There will be a twitter chat at 2pm Eastern Time on Friday, August 16, using the hashtag #IDcrisis and twitter account @BermanInstitute. This is from Johns Hopkins and they have taken up the idea of social media professionalism with physicians. Of course, this is not a new concept, but I find it interesting how academic medicine is approaching it. For background information on the chat, check out this link.
There have been some guidelines released, particularly from the ACP & FSMB, stating that "maintaining separate personal and professional identities in web postings may help to avoid blurring boundaries in interactions with patients and colleagues."
My social media colleague Dr. Katz posted the above tweet and I agree with him. People have told me for a long time to have separate twitter accounts for my personal stuff and professional stuff. How do I respond?
I tell people I'm a proud Family Doc in small town America. Personal and professional identities are constantly clashing whether it be at the hospital, at my office, at the grocery store, at the gas station - everywhere. Dealing with your personal and professional life is a daily reality, especially for a small town physician.
I don't separate my personal from my professional comments in real life. Why should I do that in my online life? And, to be honest, I don't have the time to manage more than one twitter account and more than one facebook account. If people don't like it, then they are more than welcome to unfollow me or defriend me. What you see is what you get whether in real life or on the internet.
So, I won't be able to participate in the #IDcrisis chat on Friday, basically because I will be seeing patients in my office. But, I'll be monitoring the chat and I will be interested in what those academic docs from Johns Hopkins and other places will have to say about this "crisis" they are talking about. If for anything else, I encourage medical students and other trainees to pay attention to the chat as it will be valuable information as you try to figure out professionalism in a social media world...