Social media guidelines for doctors Australia

social media, facebook on iphone next to macbook computer

Social Media is, of course, a part of our everyday lives now. As medical professionals though, the boundaries are more defined.

Here’s a quick refresh on what you can and cannot say online:

  • Complying with confidentiality and privacy obligations- Doctors’ ethical and legal responsibility to maintain patient confidentiality also applies online. The potential anonymity online is not a safeguard.
  • Complying with your professional obligations as defined in your Board’s Code of conduct– Professional codes of conduct are clear that doctors should not engage in harmful behaviour, this, of course, flows onto online forums.
  • Maintaining professional boundaries– Due to the power imbalance between doctors and patients, it is imperative professional boundaries branch across to social media as well. This includes allowing patients access to your profile.
  • Communicating professionally and respectfully with or about patients, colleagues, and employers- Whilst social media can be a great resource to interact with colleagues, the codes withstand- that includes scenarios where your colleague may be posting information online or behaving inappropriately. As a part of professional conduct, you should consider letting them know in a discreet way (such as a personal email, text message, or phone call).
  • Not misinforming, misleading or being deceptive, including advertising. Only claims that are supported by acceptable evidence-  it is important you keep your reputation and integrity up to the standard you would in person. Although you may see many other medical professionals with brash claims in their advertising online it’s important not to replicate this.

Call us today to discuss anything social media: 1300 073 239