Posted in #HCSM

Doctors’ use of social media

Improving medical education and practice across the UK

Jane O’Brien from the GMC’s standards and ethics team on our new social media guidance.

On the 25 March 2013 we published new explanatory guidance on Doctor’s use of social media (PDF) alongside the new edition of Good medical practice for all UK doctors.

The response from the profession has been lively – particularly about the phrase:

If you identify yourself as a doctor in publicly accessible  social media, you should also identify yourself by name.

Like all our  guidance, Doctors’ use of social media describes good practice, not minimum standards.  It’s not a set of rules.

But the response from the profession shows that doctors are unclear or uncertain about:

  • Why we included this in the guidance
  • What ‘identify yourself as a doctor’ means in practice
  • Whether this curtails doctors’ rights to express their views
  • Whether the GMC would take disciplinary action against a doctor because they used a pseudonym
  • Why doctors shouldn’t raise concerns…

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