Poll reveals doctors are hooked on social media

Doctors are hooked on social media, with 80% of a survey’s respondents using it and 78% doing so at least once a day.

A survey of 1,797 Medical Def­ence Union (MDU) members found the most popular channels were Facebook (75%) with Instagram and YouTube both at 54%.

Non-users’ reasons included privacy concerns (56%), the implication social media might have on their professional life and not having enough time (both 37%).

The research follows new GMC guidance entitled Using social media as a medical professional.

While social media can be a great tool for medical professionals to connect with others, the GMC emphasises that doctors’ conduct should justify patients’ trust in them and the public’s trust in the profession.

Dr Catherine Wills of the MDU

MDU deputy head of advisory services Dr Catherine Wills said: ‘It is unsurprising that so many doctors engage in social media; social media platforms have become woven into the fabric of many people’s lives.

‘However, doctors aren’t like regular members of the online community; they can be held accountable by the GMC for things they post, like or share. 

‘Consequently, it’s important for medical professionals to “think before they post” and to always remain professional and maintain patient confidentiality.’