A new study shows some physicians use social media inappropriately.

See on Scoop.ithealthcare technology

Back in college, a friend of mine was seeing a therapist. It was a small school, and the therapist was always in the commons drinking coffee and smoking with the students, including my friend.


t was a little sketchy even back then, but she was sure it would end after college. It hasn’t: More than 20 years later, the shrink is all over Facebook. She’s “liked” my friend’s business Facebook page, she frequently comments on the alumni page, and she’s become Facebook friends with other classmates. My friend is not happy that this ex-therapist—someone with whom she shared deeply personal issues from a difficult time in her life—has taken advantage of easy online access to her, even if it’s virtual. Old classmates you never liked all that much lurking on your page are one thing, but a medical professional who knows your inner secrets is a whole other level of invasion. In my friend’s words: It’s creepy.


Here’s the problem: Doctors are learning social media nuts and bolts by trial and error. As recently as 2010, only 10 percent of medical schools had social media policies, according to an article in Medical Education Online. Some—like those of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine—go beyond the general guidance offered by most by including a colorful list of concrete examples of what not to do, such as posting a photo of a baby discharged from the hospital without getting the parents’ permission. Other guidelines, such as those put out by the American Medical Association, advise doctors to be careful when posting and to always maintain patient privacy, but these recommendations—instead of popping up as screen savers on exam room computers as regular reminders—are buried in websites.


See on www.slate.com


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