Usually the reserve of millennials, one surgeon finds that Instagram can help make connections in clinical settings.
Reviewed by Dr Luciana Finamor
With a PhD and fellowship in the therapeutic areas of retina and uveitis, and a current research area of ocular tuberculosis, Dr Luciana Finamor is not your typical internet sensation. However, she has taken Instagram by storm since her first post on the site on the 15th August 2015.
Dr Finamor graduated in medicine at the age of 22 years-which one might consider the median age of the Instagram generation-from the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), Brazil. She concluded her residence and PhD studies at the same university.
Currently, Dr Finamor is medical assistant at the eye care centre Clínica de Olhos Dr Moacir Cunha and researcher of the clinical research sector at UNIFESP’s ophthalmology department. She has published more than 20 papers in Brazilian and international reputed journals.
However, her experience and expertise cannot easily be detected from her social media page, which currently boasts 18.1K dedicated followers comprising medical students, marketeers and established ophthalmologists. Her focus on social media has always been an appealing blend of real life; candidly photographed for the visual social media platform in an evocative way. This is why, she believes, people follow: because a quote can resonate more than, say, a clinical photo of an eye under surgery.
“I try to inspire and make people feel better,” she said of her motivation to start her page. “I post good pictures, tips and motivational quotes” she added, when asked about the recipe for her popularity.
Just scrolling through her page, you can see the appeal – a consistent blend of conference slides, quotes for your soul, family snapshots, food photos and selfies taken with her ophthalmology co-workers.
“Fast and easy to operate” is how Dr Finamor describes Instagram, and on her page we are taken through her journey, not just as an ophthalmologist, but also as a mother, wife and avid traveller.
Instagram has given Dr Finamor the tools and resources to combine this love of travel with meeting other ophthalmologists from all over the world, as well as studying their practises. According to webstat site Omnicore, Instagram has 500 million daily active users – that is a large audience to reach when you are sharing the right sort of content.
As a doctor and travel enthusiast, Dr Finamor has a unique lens with which to see the world. So, how does she explain the differences between European ophthalmology and the practice in Brazil, her native country?
She actually sees similarities in the two having spent so much time in both: “Fortunately Brazil has excellent ophthalmology, good teachers and universities! We need more support in our research. I can say that European ophthalmology is more similar to Brazilian than American.”
She added: “We need to work hard to have vacations and travel around the world. And Brazil is a ‘hotter’ country, like the people. Maybe we have a closer approach to our patients than the European ophthalmologists. For example, in Brazil we still do not have optometrists and most of our patients come just to review the glasses.”
So where will her success with Instagram take her next? “I really don't know what’s next for me but I may have an Instagram which focuses on published papers. I already established @Evidencebasedmedicine, but I still don’t have the time to dedicate to it. With a husband and three children, I’m very busy!”
Her advice to other ophthalmologists looking to enter the two-dimensional world of social media is to “keep it real”: “Try to make it not too professional and not too clinical, to gain followers. Your site should be like a dedication pleasure.”
Dr Luciana Finamor
Dr Finamor is a medical assistant at the Clínica de Olhos Dr. Moacir Cunha, Brazil, and researcher in the ophthalmology department of UNIFESP. At present, her main research area is ocular tuberculosis. Dr Finamor has no financial disclosures to declare. Visit her Instagram site at www.instagram.com/dralucianafinamor