Social media and you: what every physician needs to know

J Med Pract Manage. Nov-Dec 2012;28(3):206-9.


New healthcare models have been developed to keep up with the dynamic changes of the Internet revolution through social media. Physicians are taking this new technology and enhancing their communication with patients as well among the healthcare community including distributing public health information via Twitter and Facebook. However, a physician's freedom of speech via Twitter and blogs can reach millions instantly, causing irreversible harm. U.S. licensing authorities have reported numerous violations of professionalism by physicians resulting in disciplinary actions negatively impacting their careers. Federation of State Medical Boards guidelines advise that patient privacy must be protected at all times on social networking sites. In addition, employers and residency programs are also now searching Facebook and other social networking sites before hiring applicants. There are many benefits of social media; however, professionalism, patient privacy, and boundaries need to be maintained.

MeSH terms

  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Physician's Role*
  • Social Media*
  • United States