Residency

E-professionalism is a must for tech-savvy residents

Residency Program Alert, June 1, 2009

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Imagine walking past a patient’s room and overhearing the following conversation between a resident and his or her patient:
Resident: Hello, I’m Dr. Smith. How are you today?
Patient: Um, hello. I’m okay. How are you?
Resident: Ugh. Not good. I got together with a bunch of friends last night and went to a party. We played an insane amount of drinking games, and I lost a lot. So I’m pretty tired today and not really on top of my game.

Although this exact conversation will most likely never occur, this same information can be conveyed to a patient online via a resident’s social networking site, such as a Facebook or Twitter profile or blog.
Social networking Web sites and modern communication media such as text messaging, e-mail, and smartphones are a part of residents’ daily lives. Although such technologies have a place in society and even in education, they are ripe for misuse. For example, they can increase instances of unprofessional behavior leading to legal action, says Nancy Spector, MD, associate pediatric residency program director at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Residency Program Alert.

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