As a physician on social media, you may want to maintain a degree of transparency, but guidelines are very important when using any sort of media in a professional capacity. Here are four things to avoid when posting Twitter, Facebook or any other social media site:
1. Alcohol consumption – You may just be meeting up for a beer with some colleagues after work; however, leave the booze out of your social media. Drinking pictures, statuses or Tweets don’t add to your professional image.
2. Patients – The specifics of a patients case are their property and to use that without their expressed permission is a violation of the doctor-patient relationship, even if HIPAA compliant.
3. Complaints about work – We all may have some work related grievances; however, talking about these on social media can come back to you from a coworker and doesn’t increase your credibility among peers.
4. Travel plans – As a locum tenens physician, you may be tempted to post something like, “Headed to New York for the week on a new locums assignment #locums #travelingphysician.” However, anyone can access your public social media profile, including criminals. Knowing that you have an empty house can set your home up for disaster. Instead, keep your destination to yourself and share with only close friends. If you still feel the need to broadcast on social media, create some privacy settings to keep that information within your close circle.