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The Happy Doc

Sep 10, 2017

"I think [] it’s  a tremendously powerful tool, not only to connect with and educate patients, but as the platform evolved, it was a tremendous tool for other healthcare professionals to speak up and be heard. Not only to speak to patients, but also to get their voice heard when it comes to healthcare reform"


Welcome back Happy Doc Family! For our next 2-part series, we are thrilled to feature Dr. Kevin Pho. Some of you may know him through his website, KevinMD. Dr. Pho started his platform of social media in 2004 and noticed how well his posts were being interpreted as tools for patients and healthcare professionals. Thereafter, the platform known as KevinMD has risen as a very influential website that shares the voices of physicians and healthcare professionals. In addition, Dr. Pho, who is an expert and book author of social media in the physician space, gives us his perspective on the benefits of developing an online presence and how to build that presence. Enjoy this week's episode!


Kevin received his medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine and practices primary care in Nashua, New Hampshire.  He was a member of the New Hampshire Union Leader’s 40 Under Forty, an inductee to the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame, and named a top doctor in the state by New Hampshire Magazine. Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Pho knew that medicine was a calling for him. Upon graduation, he became a certified physician in Internal Medicine. Furthermore, he became involved with being a national media commentator, co-author of Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices, and a keynote speaker. Now, his website receives over 3 million views each month and has over 250,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter. Due to Dr. Pho's successful platform in social media, he has been featured on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, CNN, New York Times, and USA Today (where he is a member of its editorial Board of Contributors). *** KevinMD action challenge: Reflect on your personal experiences and training in healthcare and medicine. In what areas are you lacking a voice, what have you wanted to express? Let us know: what do you wish we talked more about in health care? Tweet us @thehappydoc1 and please consider reading and writing a piece on We would love to hear your thoughts! *** Join The Happy Doc Family! Subscribe to the podcast, and join the subscriber's list on the sidebar! Facebook       Instagram      Twitter


Sample of the conversation

The moment Kevin decided to build

I think it was 10-12 years ago when I wrote something about a drug that was recalled and a patient actually read my blog post and noticed it the next day and said, ‘hey Dr. Pho, you know I read your blog post,” and that’s when that proverbial light bulb moment came up and I said, hey other people are reading what I have to say.

On losing a sense of control as a doctor

A lot of physicians have lost control, not only in their practice but the doctor-patient relationship which used to be sacred. Now there are so many influences that affect that doctor-patient relationship. It could be the politicians, it could be the health insurers, it could be the drug companies. As physicians, a lot of them do feel powerless when it comes to maintaining that sacrosanct relationship.

Don’t accept the status quo

It’s important to advocate for patients, advocate for the profession, speak up against some of the hidden challenges against our medical profession. For example, burnout, suicide, and all these other third-party influences that detract that [patient-physician] relationship. It’s important for us to speak out because the status quo simply isn’t acceptable.

Tenacity, a key to Kevin’s success.

I’m pretty tenacious, I don’t give up. I think you have to have that trait in order to be in the social media platform space. I think that a lot of the gains when it comes to building an audience and influence is very incremental. As you know, none of this happens overnight. I think a lot of the effort that gets put in is really small victories, small gains, and I think that really fits with my personality and that I’m able to chip away…plug-in, make small improvements, keep at it for 13 years…

For more of the conversation, listen to the audio!