BMA: 2015 Summary + Update to Guidance for Doctors

The potential pitfalls of social media that the BMA identifies are;

  • Patient confidentiality violations.   ref(1)


  • Use of discriminatory & profane language. ref(1)


  • Depictions of intoxication and illicit substance use. ref(1)


  • Maintaining boundaries – sharing (professional’s) personal information

“Where you post significant amounts of personal information on social media, patients may gain unrestricted access and you need to consider carefully what impact this might have on your professional relationships.”
  • Maintaining boundaries – inappropriate Doctor-Patient relationships

“Social networking sites such as Facebook also facilitate the development of online friendship networks. Doctors and medical students have reported, for example, that patients and former patients have sent them friend requests on Facebook. We recommend that, in these circumstances, if you receive friend requests you should politely decline.
  • Professionalism – consider the public interest argument of how the Public regards/ may regard the profession as a result



BMA Ethics Toolkit, Card 12, 12May 2015

ref(1) – Chretien KC et al. (2009) Online Posting of Unprofessional Content by Medical Students. JAMA 302(12):1309-15.

Call Cloud Health Now

Find out how we can support you

More About Cloud Health



Current Memberships: