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At the most recent Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) annual meeting, which was held in Dallas, TX, in late April, the House of Delegates adopted new policy guidelines for the use of social media/networking by physicians.
FSMB president and CEO Humayun Chaudry, DO, noted that, “Digital media has enormous potential for doctors and patients, allowing us more opportunities to share information and establish meaningful professional relationships. However, physicians also need to be aware of how to maintain the same professional and ethical standards in their online activity as they do in the rest of their practice. Failing to do so can hurt patients and physicians’ careers.”
According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, violations of online professionalism are prevalent among physicians, with 92% of state medical boards having received reports of violations. Some of the violations reported include: