The Ethics of Social Media for Health Care Students

Earlier this year I was sent a survey about how I might judge a potential health care provider based on their social media profile, specifically Facebook. The survey provided examples of Facebook profile pics and posts, and asked if the example would change my perception of the provider or my willingness to accept the provider for my healthcare. Interesting.

Today somewhere in social-media-land I stumbled on the John Conley Ethics Essay Contest from the American Medical Association.

2010 John Conley Ethics Essay Contest for Medical Students:

Their topic “asks whether information about a medical school applicant’s character that is gleaned from a social networking source should be considered in assessing her acceptability for admittance into the profession.”

This is really very interesting. They propose a fairly sophisticated and realistic scenario in which an applicant for a position has posted comments on a public unsecured Facebook page that imply a lack of compassion for certain categories of patients. Should this information be used by the committee as part of their decision process, especially since it contradicts the content provided by the applicant in their application? Go read the scenario description at the link above.

I really wish this was one contest where they would post ALL the entries, not just the winning ones.

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