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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Decline Facebook 'Friend' Appeals from Patients, Groups Say

By  David Pittman
Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
Originally published April 12, 2013, and still relevant today

Physicians should avoid making or accepting "friend" requests through social networking websites with past or current patients, a new policy statement advises.

Instead, doctors should separate their professional and social lives online and direct patients to correct avenues of information if they contact doctors through social networks, according to the policy statement issued jointly on Thursday by the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

"There's this notion of blurring of our identity, blurring of our persona," David Fleming, MD, chair of ACP's Ethics, Professionalism, and Human Rights Committee, which helped draft the guidelines, said here at the ACP's annual meeting.

The entire article is here.