Report of the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs: professionalism in the use of social media

J Clin Ethics. 2011 Summer;22(2):165-72.


Although many physicians have been using the internet for both clinical and social purposes for years, recently concerns have been raised regarding blurred boundaries of the profession as a whole. In both the news media and medical literature, physicians have noted there are unanswered questions in these areas, and that professional self-regulation is needed. This report discusses the ethical implications of physicians' nonclinical use of the internet, including the use of social networking sites, blogs, and other means to post content online. It does not address the clinical use of the internet, such as telemedicine, e-prescribing, online clinical consultations, health-related websites, use of electronic media for clinical collaboration, and e-mailing patients (some of which are already covered in the AMA's Code of Medical Ethics).

Publication types

  • Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees
  • American Medical Association
  • Ethical Analysis
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Humans
  • Internet* / ethics
  • Liability, Legal
  • Personal Autonomy*
  • Physician-Patient Relations / ethics*
  • Physicians / ethics*
  • Physicians / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / ethics*
  • Privacy
  • Professional Autonomy
  • Social Environment*
  • Trust
  • United States