AMA Social Media Guidelines

The American Medical Association has issued new guidelines intended to help physicians use social media (SM) safely and appropriately.  The initial press release is online.


The key points in the new guidelines appear to be in agreement with much of the HCSM discussion online and with previous posts and discussions on this site: be professional, be careful, be private when necessary (both with one’s own information and always when discussing issues with patients).


My one concern is the recommendation that physicians monitor their internet presence and make sure information is accurate and updated when necessary.  This is easy enough for sites we might use regularly (blogs, Twitter, etc) but will be much more difficulty when dealing with physician rating sites and the like.  How much time would that require?


I intend to look for the full policy document.  We will post and address here once we are able.


4 Responses to AMA Social Media Guidelines

  1. Carmen Gonzalez says:

    I agree that they have at least endorsed the notion of SM participation. They draw clear demarcations between private and professional profiles. As Dr. Vartabedian has discovered, the delineation requires responsibile restraint to make sure patient privacy is preserved (see What hasn’t been shared is whether their full-blown guidelines actually give examples of what to do and what not to do. Guidelines without illustrative examples might not be very helpful to the newbie doc who already apprehensive about social media. Perhaps the AMA will begin advocating SM courses in best pratices. I noticed there was no reference to establishing social media participation guidelines by the physician for his own practice. This could become a training device if properly written in accessible terms for both the doctor, his staff and patients. We shall have to wait to see the full AMA statement, but it is step in the right direction.

  2. richmonddoc says:

    Agreed. I expect the full document to be much more useful, and I’ll try to watch for that and post/comment as soon as it becomes available.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Beth Austin, Mark Ryan. Mark Ryan said: My reaction to the new AMA Guidelines on Social Media; more discussion and more thoughts to follow: […]

  4. […] Useful are the AMA Guidelines on Social Media and Physicians? A few posts ago, I noted that the AMA had released guidelines regarding how physicians should use social media.  I noted that I would try to find the full […]

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