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    If the GMC are going to visit this forum (which I don't think is proper but we are probably stuck with it), perhaps they would like to discuss something relevant like their guidance for doctors on use of social media: http://www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/ethic...ance/21186.asp

    As all registered doctors in this forum are already in breach of paragraph 17, perhaps we could start there?

    "If you identify yourself as a doctor in publicly accessible social media, you should also identify yourself by name. Any material written by authors who represent themselves as doctors is likely to be taken on trust and may reasonably be taken to represent the views of the profession more widely".

    The justification for this policy is illogical... even if others take my statements to "represent the views of the profession more widely" (which they have no right to do any more than the views of a single chef represent all chefs), how is that in any way mitigated by providing my name? The only "benefit" that I can see of using my name is that my employer/deanery, the Daily Mail, and the GMC can give me a slap if they don't like what has been written. Does this really mean that I and others have no right to an anonymous space online?
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    errrm ,who cares if someone is a doctor or not, people prefer anonymity in forums as it allows themselves to voice their views, share interests without fear of persecution by those who know them.
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    (Original post by General Medical Council)
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    It would be interesting to hear what the GMC's views on this topic.
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    What about Dr Rant/Medical Registrar/ENT Registrar etc etc etc? I guess it's in the syntax, 'Should' not 'Must'. A bit like 'introduce' not 'impose'.
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    I was just hoping they'd go away if no-one replied to their threads, they're quite obviously not an independent organisation given their current meddling in the junior contracts debate. I can only assume that in a few years time we will be seeing some of their higher-ups appearing on the honours list.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    What about Dr Rant/Medical Registrar/ENT Registrar etc etc etc? I guess it's in the syntax, 'Should' not 'Must'. A bit like 'introduce' not 'impose'.
    "Should" can only mean "must" when uttered by a regulator that has the power to end careers. I have no doubt that there would be an adverse finding against Dr Rant, the Medical Registrar, etc if they were identified and brought in front of the MPTS.

    I agree that the social media guidance is unbalanced and out of touch. The next topic of conversation should be the GMC's complete loss of credibility over the junior doctor strike. Niall Dickson's email this time wasn't terrible (although still dripping with disapproval and subtly threatening) but his intervention immediately before the BMA ballot was appallingly cynical.
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    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords
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    (Original post by EYDavis)
    As all registered doctors in this forum are already in breach of paragraph 17, perhaps we could start there?


    "If you identify yourself as a doctor in publicly accessible social media, you should also identify yourself by name. Any material written by authors who represent themselves as doctors is likely to be taken on trust and may reasonably be taken to represent the views of the profession more widely".
    Are they though? Discussing hospital or personal issues from the perceived perspective of a doctor is different to specifically identifying yourself as a doctor then giving advice. I think posting about, say, Jeremy Hunt in the Doctor's Society page is clearly outside the scope of this guidance.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I was just hoping they'd go away if no-one replied to their threads, they're quite obviously not an independent organisation given their current meddling in the junior contracts debate. I can only assume that in a few years time we will be seeing some of their higher-ups appearing on the honours list.
    I don't really understand why lots of doctors seem to think everyone should automatically back the BMA's position...
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I don't really understand why lots of doctors seem to think everyone should automatically back the BMA's position...
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    (Original post by spacepirate-James)
    It would be interesting to hear what the GMC's views on this topic.
    EYDavis spacepirate-James

    Thanks - the question of anonymity and representation on social media is a very good one and one we’re often asked. The key point is the difference between ‘should’ and ‘must’ and ultimately we want the doctor to be the one to make a call on a case by case basis. This blog goes into a bit more detail:https://gmcuk.wordpress.com/2013/04/...-social-media/
    It makes a few points here:“Like all our guidance, Doctors’ use of social media describes good practice,not minimum standards. It’s not a set of rules.”

    “We don’t want to restrict drs right to express their views except where it breaches patient confidentiality or if they are harassing/malicious to colleagues.”

    It also goes into a bit more detail on anonymity and freedom of expression. I think it's worth a read and I'd be interested to get your views on it.

    However I would say that we’re definitely not here to monitor how people on here (or anywhere else) use social media but hopefully just to share surveys, blogs and get your views on draft guidance. Do let me know though if you have any other questions though and I'll (or my colleagues Tanita and Lorie) will try and answer them if we can.
    James
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    (Original post by General Medical Council)
    EYDavis spacepirate-James

    Thanks - the question of anonymity and representation on social media is a very good one and one we’re often asked. The key point is the difference between ‘should’ and ‘must’ and ultimately we want the doctor to be the one to make a call on a case by case basis. This blog goes into a bit more detail:https://gmcuk.wordpress.com/2013/04/...-social-media/
    It makes a few points here:“Like all our guidance, Doctors’ use of social media describes good practice,not minimum standards. It’s not a set of rules.”

    “We don’t want to restrict drs right to express their views except where it breaches patient confidentiality or if they are harassing/malicious to colleagues.”

    It also goes into a bit more detail on anonymity and freedom of expression. I think it's worth a read and I'd be interested to get your views on it.

    However I would say that we’re definitely not here to monitor how people on here (or anywhere else) use social media but hopefully just to share surveys, blogs and get your views on draft guidance. Do let me know though if you have any other questions though and I'll (or my colleagues Tanita and Lorie) will try and answer them if we can.
    James
    One worry is that we hear on the one hand that these are simply guidelines to be followed on a case-by-case basis, but then the same "guidance" states that "Serious or persistent failure to follow this guidance will put your registration at risk." Emphasis added.

    How is it guidance, i.e. able to be ignored if seen acceptable and justifiable by the individual, if the threat of removing registration is stated?
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    MJK91

    Good question- I’ve been to check this with a couple of colleagues from our standards team. Apologies in advance for a lengthy answer.

    The fact that it is guidance rather than rules doesn’t make it mutually exclusive from the fact it can result in investigation and removal from the register. However the emphasis in the sentence you quoted is really placed on the words ‘serious’ and ‘persistent’.

    Probably the key paragraph in our social media guidance is the fifth which offers the principle that if you wouldn’t say or do it in real life because you could get in to trouble, then you probably shouldn’t do it online. It’s ok to give your opinions on, for example, a politician online but it’s not ok to threaten to kill a politician online.

    And to reiterate, we don’t police social media use and we only respond to concerns raised with us. It is, of course, worth noting that employers might look at your social media profiles and may be more likely to view your posts more harshly.So in that sense it’s worth being aware of your social media footprint.

    There is another point here about the GMC’s remit though. The language about our guidance stems from the Medical Act 1983.

    Apologies again, it is about to get detailed…

    Section 35 of the Act says that the GMC has power to provide ‘advice’ to the medical profession. This is why the social media guidance is not a statutory code or set of rules and why there is no automatic link between someone ‘seriously and persistently’ breaching guidance and any action against a doctors registration.

    Doctors are expected to be familiar with the guidance, though, and to use their judgement to apply the principles to situations they face. In that sense the guidance isn’t just advisory. A ‘serious and persistent’ departure from guidance to the point where, for example, an employer or patient reasonably raises a concern, can potentially bring in to question a doctors fitness to practise and, in the very worst (but fortunately pretty rare) cases their registration.

    Apologies for the lengthy reply but the social media guidance for doctors is a tricky area and one we're probably most often asked about. One complication of course is that social media is constantly evolving. If anything, that is one of the reasons we are keen to hear people’s experience of our guidance and to take your feedback on board. I hope this helps. Thanks,

    James
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    (Original post by fishfacesimpson)
    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords
    Dude I literally opened this thread to post that.
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    Well this is spooky...
 
 
 
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