The dangers of Facebook
Neil Graham and Philippa Moore discuss the dangers of online social networking
- By: Neil Graham, Philippa Moore
Increasing numbers of doctors and medical students are turning to websites such as Facebook to make friends, chat, and organise social events. These innovations have made some aspects of life easier and are a powerful tool for communication, but they also blur the line between our personal and professional personas. With the veneer of friendship that's offered on these sites, it's all too easy to reveal more information than is appropriate. If this information falls into the wrong hands, problems can arise about your integrity, employment, and fitness to practise medicine.
In a recent study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the Facebook profiles of a group of medical students in Florida were scrutinised with the aim of establishing how dangerous Facebook could be in the intersection of personal and professional identities. The study found some profiles publicly displaying photographs of trainee medics drinking to excess, engaging in sexual