Jen Wademan, OD, is going on 15 years of practice. When she started out, MySpace was as far as the world of social media reached. She often found patients through referrals and word of mouth. But now, with more than half of the world on some form of social media, according to the University of Maine, those who aren’t on it are missing out on an entirely different world of possibilities.
Dr. Wademan personally only had a Facebook account just 10 years ago. A few years ago, a staff member recommend she start one for her practice, Bidwell Optometry, in Folsom, California. “At first I was skeptical,” Dr. Wademan says. “I thought, who would ever want to follow an optometrist?”
A PROJECT OF PASSION
Bored and unmotivated during the slow, early days of the pandemic, Dr. Wademan “thought it would be fun to show the behind-the-scenes of running a practice during such a strange time.”
“At first it was a way to connect with people, even when we couldn’t connect in person,” Dr. Wademan says.
Now, Dr. Wademan has almost 20,000 followers on her personal (and verified) Instagram profile, where she posts photos and reels about her life as an optometrist. She’s a Figs ambassador and an Eyeko partner, and while she says it’s a lot of work, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’ve made so many amazing connections with patients, optometrists and others, even in fields not related to eye care,” Dr. Wademan says. Patients often come into the practice and say they found her own TikTok or Instagram. “It’s a way for me to reach a broader audience, exercise my voice, make people laugh, educate people and offer more than what I do at my practice.”
IT’S NOT ALL PERFECT
Dr. Wademan says one of her biggest challenges has been making sure her social media presence remains a creative space for her and not become a task she dreads. She recommends taking breaks when needed and not comparing her output with that of others. “It’s easy to ‘doom scroll’ and get stuck watching others doing, creating, and accomplishing more,” Dr. Wademan says. “It’s easy to say, ‘Wow, I wish that was me.’ But we all have something to offer just being our authentic selves. And it’s not always perfection!”
While there is a fight for attention and engagement when it comes to making revenue from socials, Dr. Wademan says staying true to yourself is best. “I don’t want my patient to see me on social media then not recognize me or my personality in person,” she says.
“There is no perfect recipe to the ever-changing world of social media. It’s okay to not post on a schedule or to say no to partnerships or opportunities. As long as we are elevating eye care, educating our patients and providing the best for them, then we as ODs are doing just fine.”
Find Dr. Wademan on her socials below:
Read more inspiring stories about women ODs here.
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