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OB-GYNs Use Social Media to Correct the Record on Women’s Health

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danielle jones-mama doctor jones-tiktok-women's health-gynecology-pregnancy
Dr. Danielle Jones

Dr. Danielle Jones has amassed a huge online following as she helps spread accurate and helpful information about women’s health.   

Danielle Jones, MD, knew from early in her medical career that social media could be a powerful educational platform. “I’ve been on social media in some capacity since 2009,” the obstetrician-gynecologist says. “I was a medical student when I started on Instagram, when it was very weird to be on social media and documenting your time in medicine. I really liked the ability to connect with other people, to listen to stories from patients, from other doctors, from other medical students, and to find good people who didn’t think the same way.”

Jones, who is also a mother of four, has since become an online sensation as Mama Doctor Jones, with over 3 million followers across her various platforms. Her videos on Youtube and TikTok garner millions of views, and the platforms have enabled her to share information on women’s health to a huge audience. “I started my TikTok in October 2019. At the time, there was only a couple of doctors on there. At first, I was using it as a creative outlet, and very quickly it became an opportunity to reach a younger patient base who needed to be educated on sex education topics like safe sex and pregnancy prevention.”

Jones’ videos have been so successful because she speaks to her audience as if she were a friend, while having the qualifications to be an authority on women’s health. “I made a concerted effort early on to make sure my presence on social media was more like if your friend happened to be a gynecologist,” she says. “I didn’t ever want it to be, ‘I’m a doctor in a white coat telling you the things that you should believe.’ I wanted it to be more like your nerdy friend that likes to talk about science over coffee.”

Combatting misinformation

According to Jones, there has long been a silence around women’s health in the medical field. “The entire field of gynecology and pregnancy has been taboo and under-discussed for so long that I would say almost every facet of health for people who have a uterus or could get pregnant is something where I find myself repetitively having to nail down what’s actually true,” she says. Because of this, Jones found that much of the information online about women’s health is not always accurate. “This entire field is just a landmine for people going viral on social media, saying things that are either not quite true or just outright false.”

While social media platforms have helped OB-GYNs like Jones spread more accurate information, they have also been pervasive in spreading misinformation at an increasingly alarming rate, and this also inspired Jones to act as a corrective. “Sometimes I’ll find credible sources, but there’s also misinformation out there,” she says. “You always want to ask yourself, who is this person and what qualifications do they have? There’s a whole bunch of people on social media who call themselves period experts or hormone experts, and they don’t have any training or any education whatsoever in that field.”

Jones hopes that through her social media platforms she can encourage other people to share more accurate information about women’s health and lift some of the stigma directed at those open conversations. “If you see something and it opened your eyes to your gynecologic health, share that with a friend or a family member to open up these conversations and make these topics less taboo,” she says. “That’s what we as a group of OB-GYNs and people on the internet sharing this information are trying to do on a large scale.”

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