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AMA offers physicians guidance on using social media

Earlier this week, the American Medical Association adopted a new policy directing physicians on how to "maintain a positive online presence and preserve the integrity of the patient-physician relationship." According to the AMA's release, the new policy recommends doctors:

  • Use privacy settings to safeguard personal information and content to the fullest extent possible on social networking sites.
  • Routinely monitor their own Internet presence to ensure that the personal and professional information on their own sites and content posted about them by others, is accurate and appropriate.
  • Maintain appropriate boundaries of the patient-physician relationship when interacting with patients online and ensure patient privacy and confidentiality is maintained.
  • Consider separating personal and professional content online.
  • Recognize that actions online and content posted can negatively affect their reputations among patients and colleagues, and may even have consequences for their medical careers.

And Bryan Vartabedian, MD, has published a full copy of the policy on his social media and medicine blog 33 Charts.

Previously: Social media brings up questions, ethical unknowns for doctors, How to respond to patient contact on Twitter: A physician's advice, Physician 2.0: Do doctors risk becoming irrelevant if they ignore social media? and Why health-care professionals should blog

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