, Volume 29, Issue 5, p 787
Date: 12 Feb 2014

Capsule Commentary on Rocha et al., Opinions of Students from a Brazilian Medical School on Online Professionalism

This is an excerpt from the content

Social media is the communication medium of choice for many. While users of online forums and networking sites may make the distinction between personal and professional posts, posts intended as ‘personal’ can have negative professional ramifications. Rocha et al.1 surveyed 350 Brazilian Medical Students on the frequency with which they had observed ten categorized unprofessional online behaviours. These ranged from 14 % (patient privacy) to 85 % (photos of alcohol consumption). Lapses in patient privacy were universally condemned. Other unprofessional behaviors, such as posing in bathing suits, were judged neutrally.

Some differences in professional expectations as they apply to social media will be influenced by cultural differences, However, given the nature of the physician–patient relationship and similar codes of ethics for medical professionals in most countries, cultural differences should account for a minority of the variance expected for these standards in the online world. I

This comment refers to the article available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11606-013-2748-y.