Can social media cost you your doctor’s license?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2023 | Professional License Issues, Professional Misconduct |

Today’s professionals can use social media’s broad reach to market themselves and their services. Social media platforms can allow doctors to promote awareness, educate their audiences and establish themselves as thought leaders. Since anything posted on the internet remains forever, any mistakes could potentially haunt and jeopardize a doctor’s career.

When social media posts lead to license suspension

Doctors are under pressure to be as professional on the job as they are on social media. This is because how the public sees them online can have a major impact on their careers and the reputation of the industry they work in as a whole.

Certain social media platforms have changed the way people market themselves online. In the past few years, there have been many professionals, including doctors, dentists and nurses, found dancing and making content on TikTok.

However, a doctor’s professional reputation may be in jeopardy if the doctor’s social media posts violate patient privacy or put a patient at risk.

Just this year, a plastic surgeon who became famous for livestreaming surgeries while answering viewers’ questions lost her license. The medical board stated that her practice fell below the standard of care after her patients complained of botched procedures and that she focused on the camera instead of the procedure.

Don’t let social media ruin your career

Social media can be an excellent platform for reaching new audiences or potential patients. It could allow them to make health care more interesting for audiences and correct misinformation that is apparent online.

Having a larger audience, though, is not without its drawbacks.

Sometimes, people unintentionally reveal private or sensitive information about themselves and their professions when using social media. These are simple fixes for the average person, but doctors who make these mistakes might lose their licenses.

Also, doctors who use social media may be vulnerable to online harassment and criticism. Medical professionals should exercise caution before engaging with a rude commentator or cracking jokes that might offend a large audience.

The use of social media has the potential to promote medicine and health care to a broader audience effectively. However, it comes with risks. Before engaging in social media, doctors may want to review their duties and responsibilities to ensure they are not infringing on their patients’ rights or providing inadequate care.