AMA: Docs must police each other in social media

The American Medical Association wants doctors to blow the whistle on their peers who behave badly online. The new policy is likely a response to concerns about patient confidentiality in social media exchanges, writes Colin Zick in the Foley Hoag law blog.

"When physicians see content posted by colleagues that appears unprofessional they have a responsibility to bring that content to the attention of the individual," the policy reads. "If the behavior significantly violates professional norms and the individual does not take appropriate action to resolve the situation, the physician should report the matter to appropriate authorities."

The reporting component is one of six that comprise the policy, and it's positioned next to last. Previous items advise on extending traditional patient-privacy and professional standards into cyberspace.

The policy states also that physicians should routinely monitor their own Internet presence to ensure that the personal and professional information on their own sites and, to the extent possible, content posted about them by others, is accurate and appropriate.

- read the column
- and here's the policy statement