Aim. The study purpose is to analyze how doctors in contract with the Health Insurance House in Romania use social media (SM) to access and disseminate medical information.

Method. Family doctors and dentists who had a contract with the Romanian National Health Insurance House during the year 2017 represented the targeted sample. Eight thousand four hundred ninety-seven e-mail addresses and 5,422 telephone numbers were identified and collected from the National Health Insurance House web page. The invitation to participate in the study (including the link to the online questionnaire) was sent via SMS, WhatsApp, and / or e-mail from 24 May to 14 July 2017. The experimental design was cross-sectional. In the statistical analysis the following generations were defined: “Baby Boomers”, aged between 51-70 years, Generation X as people aged 38-51, and Millennials under 38 years.

Results. One hundred and twenty valid questionnaires were analyzed. The profile of the respondent was: woman (61%), from urban (71%), and specialist (50%) working in a private practice (70%). The majority of respondents use Facebook (85%). Generation X connect more to SM from public places than Baby Boomers (p = 0.007). Respondent doctors seek medical information on SM monthly (83%), but rarely give advice through SM to colleagues (28%) or contribute to patients’ medical education (32%). Most physicians interact with their patients through SM (59%), but do not discuss with them how to search for health information.

Conclusion. Social media has low professional usage among the respondents who perform their medical activity in Romania and is mainly used to search for medical information, but it does not contribute to patients’ medical education. As expected, age is a factor that determines the susceptibility of SM usage.


social Media (SM), physician, health Information