Future doctors share too much on Facebook. University of Florida News Desk.
"Would it bother you to know that your physician smokes cigars and likes to do “keg stands”? That your gynecologist was a member of a group called “I Hate Medical School”? That your urologist is a fan of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”?
That is exactly the sort of information many people share on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. According to a new University of Florida study, many medical students are sharing far too much."
The study was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (again?).
"Facebook is full of bluster and trash talk, and college-age users may feel that these items are not to be taken seriously. Yet patients and future employers, the researchers say, may not have quite so strong a taste for irony.
“Doctors are held to a higher standard,” Thompson said. “There are stated codes of behavior that are pretty straightforward, and those standards encourage the development of a professional persona.
The medical profession isn’t the only career that requires young people to develop a professional identity."
One of the best ways to establish an online identity is to buy a domain for your own name, start a blog and link them together. Then, you can be sure that when people Google your name, they will find you and not "bad_goat457," for example.
A domain name costs $ 10 per year. Most students are short of money but if you decide to place AdSense ads on your blog, the tiny income ($ 2 a month?) will pay for the domain name. Please note: this is not a product endorsement for Google AdSense.
Of course, as a future physician, it is probably better to blog if you have something valuable to say, or if you are planning to create a personal learning archive of sort. Google is already plenty busy indexing those trillions of web pages as it is.
Tips for Medical Bloggers
- Write as if your boss and your patients are reading your blog every day
- Comply with HIPAA
- List your name and contact information
- If your blog is work-related, it is better to let your employer know
- Inquire if there are any blogging guidelines. If there are, comply with them strictly
- Use a disclaimer, e.g. "All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice."
- Get your blog accredited by the Heath on the Net Foundation
- Woman gets fired for calling in sick, but employer catches her online at home on Facebook. http://bit.ly/zGQjq
- Omaha Herald: "Party busted for underage drinking after event posted on Facebook" http://bit.ly/UESdo
Make Yourself Google-able
How Can a Doctor Use Google Page Creator?
Geek to Live: Have a say in what Google says about you. Lifehacker.com, also image source.
Content of Weblogs Written by Health Professionals: More Bad than Good?
Using a Blog to Build an Educational Portfolio
Becoming a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine and Web 2.0 Projects
How to manage your reputation online. Medical Economics, 01/2009.