Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
A recent study examined how medical undergraduate students view professionalism since the majority of these people
have social networking accounts and an active online presence. The study found
that students view professionalism as relevant in a clinical and university
setting, as well as a virtual setting. Students also perceive society as having
difficulty differentiating a physician’s public life and identity from his
private one. Students felt that they were always “being watched”.
While this may be true, another study of American medical schools reported that
a majority of students had posted unprofessional content online, including violations
of patient confidentiality, use of profanity, discriminatory language,
depictions of intoxication, and sexually suggestive material. Additionally,
their online profiles contain info that is not regularly shared with patients,
including sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc.
If these medical students feel that professionalism should carry into the virtual
world, they should be careful not to post anything that would cross physician-patient
boundaries. Since social media and networking is not entirely negative for
healthcare professionals, and in fact has many benefits, it is important for
these people to have a presence but to keep ethical and professional considerations
in mind. This is especially important as practitioners can be certain their
patients will search for them online – so their public and personal lives will
intersect at some point.
Do you agree - should medical practitioners stay professional across their social networking platforms?
Read the full article here: http://brainblogger.com/2010/09/09/the-doctor-is-online/