Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

Is Your Doctor Drunk on Facebook?

Medical students may need to study Facebook Privacy 101.

Drunk Facebook doctors

Facebook privacy concerns just hit a whole new level with the result of a recent study and a hospital horror story that suggests far too much information is made public on the Facebook pages of those to whom you entrust your life and health.

First came the story of William Wells, who arrived at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, California on April 9 severely wounded. He died, but not before nurses could post pics of him on Facebook. Four staffers were fired, three disciplined, but none of the nurses involved were let go, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Almost equally alarming are some of the photos doctors post of themselves. The new study indicates that 46% of the recent medical school graduates in the study had public photos showing them drinking alcohol and 10% had public photos of them intoxicated. Questions, naturally, are now being raised over appropriate boundaries for doctors on Facebook.

But is the greater lesson here that doctors, like lawyers and judges, should be instructed in how to properly use social networking sites, including how to adjust privacy settings? With the very trusted role that doctors play in patients’ lives and the excess of private information available on the Web, it seems pertinent that Facebook management courses become mandatory in medical school.

Lest more people turn out like poor William Wells.

loading