Could a doctor’s social media post get them into trouble?
Good medical practice sets out the standards of care and professional behaviour expected of all medical professionals registered with the General Medical Council.
It is imperative that doctors are held at a high standard to maintain faith in the medical profession.
According to the General Medical Council’s website, when describing Good medical practice, they say:
“69. When communicating publicly, including speaking to or writing in the media, you must maintain patient confidentiality. You should remember when using social media that communications intended for friends or family may become more widely available.”
The standards expected of doctors do not change because they are communicating through social media rather than face to face or through other traditional media. Doctors who share misleading information on social media could face regulatory action.
In the Consultation draft of revised Good medical practice, which ran from April 2022 to July 2022 with changes finalised in 2023, doctors could also be required to contribute to a positive environment. Part of that contribution is that they must not abuse, discriminate against, bully, exploit, or harass anyone, or condone such behaviour by others. This applies to all interactions, including on social media and networking sites and whether in a professional or personal capacity.
If you are a doctor and are being investigated by the General Medical Council for a social media post or any other reason, please get in touch with our Crime and Regulatory team who would be happy to discuss how we can help: