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September 23, 2009

Med Students on Twitter, Facebook: No Patient Privacy? - TIME

A new survey of medical-school deans finds that unprofessional conduct on blogs and social-networking sites is increasing among medical students. Although med students fully understand patient-confidentiality laws and are indoctrinated in the high ethical standards to which their white-coated profession is held, many of them still use Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and other sites to depict and discuss lewd behavior and sexual misconduct, make discriminatory statements and discuss patient cases in violation of confidentiality laws, according to the survey, which was published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Of the 80 medical-school deans questioned, 60% reported incidents involving unprofessional postings and 13% admitted to incidents that violated patient privacy.
I could think of beneficial uses of images and media that could be kept on a connected handheld or smartphone for medical students, such as how to do certain procedures. But, of course, all this would have to provide anonymity and require the patient's consent.
But what's going on here is just downright snarky, and easily traceable.


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