Guidelines for maintaining a professional compass in the era of social networking

Matthew P. Landman, Julia Shelton, Rondi M. Kauffmann, Jeffery Dattilo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    42 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objectives The use of social networking (SN) sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, has skyrocketed during the past 5 years, with more than 400 million current users. What was once isolated to high schools or college campuses has become increasingly ubiquitous in everyday life and across a multitude of industries. Medical centers and residency programs are not immune to this invasion. These sites present opportunities for the rapid dissemination of information from status updates, to tweets, to medical support groups, and even clinical communication between patients and providers. Although powerful, this technology also opens the door for misuse and policies for use will be necessary. We strive to begin a discourse in the surgical community in regard to maintaining professionalism while using SN sites. Results The use of SN sites among surgical house staff and faculty has not been addressed previously. To that end, we sought to ascertain the use of the SN site Facebook at our residency program. Of 88 residents and 127 faculty, 56 (64%) and 28 (22%), respectively, have pages on Facebook. Of these, 50% are publicly accessible. Thirty-one percent of the publicly accessible pages had work-related comments posted, and of these comments, 14% referenced specific patient situations or were related to patient care. Conclusions Given the widespread use of SN websites in our surgical community and in society as a whole, every effort should be made to guard against professional truancy. We offer a set of guidelines consistent with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the American College of Surgeons professionalism mandates in regard to usage of these websites. By acknowledging this need and by following these guidelines, surgeons will continue to define and uphold ethical boundaries and thus demonstrate a commitment to patient privacy and the highest levels of professionalism.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)381-386
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Surgical Education
    Volume67
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 1 2010

    Fingerprint

    Social Networking
    networking
    Guidelines
    facebook
    Internship and Residency
    website
    truancy
    Graduate Medical Education
    Information Dissemination
    Accreditation
    Privacy
    Self-Help Groups
    twitter
    invasion
    accreditation
    patient care
    community
    everyday life
    privacy
    Patient Care

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Surgery
    • Education

    Cite this

    Guidelines for maintaining a professional compass in the era of social networking. / Landman, Matthew P.; Shelton, Julia; Kauffmann, Rondi M.; Dattilo, Jeffery.

    In: Journal of Surgical Education, Vol. 67, No. 6, 01.11.2010, p. 381-386.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Landman, Matthew P. ; Shelton, Julia ; Kauffmann, Rondi M. ; Dattilo, Jeffery. / Guidelines for maintaining a professional compass in the era of social networking. In: Journal of Surgical Education. 2010 ; Vol. 67, No. 6. pp. 381-386.
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