Physicians and other medical professionals are likely well aware of the dangers that can come with social media. Posting anything about procedures or patients can lead to serious problems, including potentially putting your medical license at risk. But there are also potential benefits that can come with using social media. Most notably: the ability to network.
Are physicians networking and building their profession through social media?
Never before have we been more aware of the power of technology. The pandemic forced us to use aps to hold remote meetings and reach out to colleagues to discuss treatment options for patients. Now this technology can also serve as a tool to build a professional network.
Physicians were not shy when it came to using technology to meet this need. According to a recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), almost 70 percent of medical professionals used social media of some sort to build their professional networks. Interestingly, the report also found that use was impacted by gender. According to researchers, this could serve as an opportunity to further address gender inequality within the profession.
How can medical professionals use social media without putting their license at risk?
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends doctors avoid posts about patients or interacting with patients as well as reviewing institutional policies. The researchers for this study also participants were able to use social media wisely by focusing on expansion of their research portfolio, finding speaking engagements, discovering scholarship opportunities, or learning more about clinical topics.
What if I get push back for using social media?
Know that you have options if use leads to concerns or even an investigation by your local licensing board. These things are not always very clear cut. As a result, it is important to protect your interests and not ignore the investigation.