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When is it Acceptable for a Doctor to Use Social Media?

Like individuals in all professions, many doctors are finding that social media is becoming a necessary aspect of both their personal and professional lives. For doctors, posting information about their patients (and their personal lives) can have obvious consequences and as a result, the North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) has established a set of six guiding principles for licensed physicians to keep in mind when using social media.

Guidelines for North Carolina Doctors’ Use of Social Media

The North Carolina Medical Board’s position is clear: “Healthcare practitioners are held to a higher standard than others with respect to social media.” Noting that doctors’ ethical obligations “extend beyond the exam room,” the North Carolina Medical Board encourages licensed physicians to abide by the following principles when communicating with patients and posting information online:

NCMB Endorses Model Guidelines for the Use of Social Media

In addition to establishing these guiding principles, the North Carolina Medical Board has also endorsed the Model Guidelines for the Appropriate Use of Social Media and Social Networking in Medical Practice published by the Federation of State Medical Boards (the “Model Guidelines”).

The Model Guidelines generally focus on the same primary ethical considerations as the NCMB’s guiding principles, but go into more detail while providing some examples of unprofessional and unethical online behavior.

For doctors in North Carolina, using social media for marketing purposes, to maintain professional connections and stay in touch with friends and family all come with their own unique challenges. In today’s world, understanding the professional and ethical implications social media is critical to avoiding accidentally putting your license at risk.

Speak With a Raleigh Professional License Defense Attorney at Cheshire Parker Schneider & Bryan, PLLC

At Cheshire Parker Schneider & Bryan, PLLC, we provide experienced legal representation for medical license defense in North Carolina. If you have questions about your ethical and professional responsibilities or need to speak with a lawyer about a disciplinary matter, we invite you contact us for a confidential consultation. To schedule an appointment with one of our professional license defense lawyers, call (919) 833-3114 or contact us online today.

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Cheshire Parker Schneider, PLLC 133 Fayetteville Street Suite 400 Raleigh, NC 27601 | Phone: (919) 833-3114