New AMA policy: Professionalism in the Use of Social Media

The American Medical Association just posted “Professionalism in the Use of Social Media” , a policy statement issued by the House of Delegates at its 2010 Interim Meeting.  The policy stresses maintaining professionalism,  privacy, and patient-physician boundaries.

Reaction to the policy amongst medical/industry bloggers is mixed.

Dr. Bertalan Meskó (ScienceRoll) and John Mack (Pharma Marketing Blog) suggest that the policy is too little, too late. “The cow has left the barn,” as John Mack puts it;  doctors are using social media and find it useful.

Dr. Meskó points us to Medicine and Web 2.0, an online course giving practical information for the physician using social media.

Stephen Welch (executive editor for Chest), in It Ain’t Rocket Surgery , applauds AMA for “pushing this out in front of docs and generating discussion about the use of social media by physicians” but notes that the policy is “too general and seems more like a warning in some areas than a policy.”

Want to read more? Keep up on this topic with Google or Google Blog searches.


FDA Social Media hearings

Emerging Technologies Librarian at University of Michigan is posting a series of reports on the November FDA public forum intended to inform FDA’s development of guidelines for their use of social media  (FDASM).  Her posts include commentary as well as links to videos and documents.

Why do we care?  As she says,

The FDA guidelines will very likely shape non-health guidelines for social media and may very well impact on health communications in broader spheres, especially that of information professionals, health advocates, and potentially the general public. Please see for more information on how you can contribute to the dialog.

While the FDA posted two 8-hour videos of the hearings, some of the material has been broken down into more manageable pieces as individual speakers have uploaded their bits to YouTube.  A playlist of these videos (for those who can get to YouTube) has been posted at UM Health Sciences Libraries blog: FDA Social Media Forum Videos: Thought Leaders & Opinions.  The playlist can also be found at The first video in the playlists includes an interview explaining the FDA’s interest in using social media to communicate with the public, referencing the peanut product recall that occurred earlier this year.

Check out Emerging Technology Librarian’s posts on FDASM:

Online CE: Social Media

MLA’s Task Force on Social Networking Software is offering another free online series:  Dig Deeper with Social Media.  Starting Jan. 19, the series will offer a short week-long course each month on the topics of media sharing, web collaboration tools, wikis and blogs.  Find the courses and details such as technical requirements at  Dig Deeper with Social Media.  CE credit is available to MLA members only, according to the Task Force blog.