Health Law Checkup - December 2010
American Medical Association's Social Media Use Policy Requires Physician Vigilance
The American Medical Association (AMA) recently issued a new policy for physicians and medical students on Professionalism in the Use of Social Media. The policy addresses how patient privacy and confidentiality standards should be applied when using social media. The policy acknowledges that social media “can support physicians’ personal expression, enable individual physicians to have a professional presence online, foster collegiality and camaraderie within the profession, [and] provide opportunity to widely disseminate public health messages and other health communication,” but also cautions physicians and medical students to carefully weigh a number of considerations when using social media. Set forth below are summaries of the policy’s tenets and a discussion of them.