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Social Networks and Medical Misconduct


Social Networks and Medical Misconduct

(ePharmaNews) – "All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad; I will keep secret and will never reveal." Those meaningful words are part of Hippocratic oath, which was written in the 5th century B.C by Hippocrates who obviously could not expect that human relationship can ever be as complicated as it is on facebook, twitter and personal blogs, as these sites represent a common place for physicians misconducts among American doctors according to a new survey.

A team of researchers asked all states medical boards about any complaints regarding any e-misconducts done by physicians. The findings, published in a research letter in the March 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggest physicians and patients need to be aware of medical misconduct on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social media and online venues.

Greysen said the response was good at 71 percent (48 of 68 medical board executive directors responded). The majority (92 percent) said at least one online violation of professionalism had ever been reported. The most common problems were inappropriate patient communication online, such as sexual misconduct (69 percent); use of the Internet for inappropriate practice, including Internet prescribing without an established real-life clinical relationship (63 percent); and doctors misrepresenting their credentials (60 percent).

These misconducts were reported mainly by patients and their families, and half of them were reported by colleagues in the medical field. These online misconducts led to serious disciplinary outcomes including suspension, restriction or even revoking of the medical licenses of the involved physicians.

"Just about everyone now has heard of someone they know who's done something online that they wish they hadn't done. I think the message is that medical professionals are responsible for what they put online -- not only responsible for the information, but accountable," said lead letter author Dr. Ryan Greysen, an assistant professor in the division of hospital medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.


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Prepared by: Laila Nour


Source :

ePharmaNews






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