A recent complaint to the College serves as a reminder to registrants about the use of social media. In the complaint, a physician had responded to a negative online criticism that had been posted by a patient. In responding, the physician identified the patient by name and made unfounded allegations about her.
The College deemed this unprofessional, a serious breach of patient confidentiality and in contravention of the professional guideline Social Media. Registrants are encouraged to review the guideline and be mindful that any internet content is public and widely accessible. Privacy of patients, colleagues and co-workers must always be maintained. Identifiable patient information or patient images should never be posted. Defamatory comments can be considered libelous.
Anger is natural, but expressed anger is unprofessional. Registrants wishing to discuss concerns are encouraged to contact the CMPA or the College.
Review the College’s guideline, Social Media, updated in June 2019. The CMPA offers similar guidance, How to manage your virtual presence and real reputation.