MedEdits | Medical School Admissions Consulting

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Facebook and Medicine

Wow. Facebook made it to the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Sachin H. Jain discusses some issues pertaining to professionalism when a former patient "friended" her on Facebook.

With so much personal information on social networking sites, does accepting people who aren't really your "friends" blur the lines beyond what is appropriate? Is this unprofessional? There are people out there who speculate that employers and admissions officers now scan Facebook and MySpace pages to glean information about their future proteges. Are patients also doing the same? What are the potential legal implications of this?

I advise students to be very careful with their on line personas and identities. While the Facebook generation is open and less formal than some of their more senior educators, your professional reputation starts before you matriculate in medical school and you don't want to do anything that might tarnish your image. Also, once you enter medical school, you represent the medical profession as a whole. So, think before you confirm a "friend" or post an incriminating photo. Or maybe it is time to just take down that profile.

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