Social Media and Professionalism

We’ve talked about Facebook here before. But last week, a blog post in the Health section of NYtimes.com caught my eye. “Should Your Doctor Be on Facebook?” discusses the risks of health professionals engaging in social media. Danielle Ofri, MD, explores the topic:

For doctors like me who have waded into social media, however gingerly, many questions arise. Is posting a medical musing or details of a recent party on Twitter or Facebook the same as chatting with colleagues while walking down the hall of the hospital? Do the same rules of etiquette and liability apply to this extremely public environment?

I worry that it is impossible to maintain a perfect firewall, so I’ve decided to limit my online presence to the professional side of my life, keeping personal information off the Web. And before I post anything anywhere, I try to imagine what a patient of mine might think if she stumbled across it. Would it make her cringe? Would she feel awkward during her next office visit? Would this somehow compromise our relationship?

How do you manage your social media presence as a dental student? Do you plan to change the way you use social media when you are a practicing dentist? Let us know in the comment section below!

~Kim Schneider, Communications Editor

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