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Commentary
Oct 8, 2012

Social Media and Medical ProfessionalismToward an Expanded Program

Author Affiliations

Affiliations: Berman Institute of Bioethics and Division of General Internal Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University and School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(18):1418-1419. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3220

Social media use—via Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social networking technologies—is widespread in medicine. Surveys consistently demonstrate that physicians (particularly younger ones) and patients frequently use social media personally and professionally.1 Social media's benefits include disaster response efforts,2 public health tool kits (eg, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and sites where physicians consult each other about patient care. Anecdotal reports of diagnoses aided by social media highlight the potential benefits for geographically remote physicians or obscure diagnoses. Some physicians extol social media's utility in marketing their practices and extending care in an era of time-pressed office visits.

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