Social Media etiquette

As much as I hate to admit it, social media has taken over our lives. With the rise of technology comes the pressures of a different persona: the real life and the life behind a screen. This new era has even led to the GMC (General Medical Council) providing guidance for medial students and doctors to put to practice.

Professionalism is a buzzword that most medical students and doctors come across numerous times each year. The importance of maintaining certain standards of behaviour outside of medical school is also made clear to us from day one and the reason I am writing this post is not only because of the content of my blog, but also some of the posts I have been seeing from other medical students across social media.

It is a no-brainer that you should not post pictures of patients or talk about specific people you meet on the wards. Yet, there are countless stories on the web of medical students making these mistakes. Mistakes that can lead to disciplinary action by the medical school/GMC…

Having a blog where I can voice exactly how I feel about certain things is really difficult. On the one hand, I want to give an honest account of my time at medical school. But on the other, I have to ensure that what I say is professional. It can be difficult getting this balance right but I feel that the older my blog becomes, the better I am at writing pieces that are true to what I want to get across.

Something I do before posting anything on social media is to imagine how I would feel if the head of my medical school was looking at the content I post. Would I be embarrassed? Would I be worried about getting into trouble? If I feel as though the answer to either of those questions would be a yes, I do not post it. It is so easy to post an image on Instagram talking about how difficult it was to get through a day of boring lectures, but just think of how the medical school would take it.

I get it. For some, It can be frustrating not being able to be ‘free’ with what you can post on social media when your friends on other courses do not have this problem. But remember, medicine is a way of life. It is not just a job. It is the way you portray yourself both in the hospital and also outside of it. You have been given the most precious opportunity to look after vulnerable people and with it comes responsibilities.

It is so easy to get warped up in the world of social media but be careful out there!






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