Social media and my employer….

twitter-bird-blue-on-whiteThe twitter world has been very excited about whether one should reveal ones real identity when using social media. The problem seems to be that expressing an opinion on-line which does not reflect the policies of your employer maybe a risky thing to do. The GMC have recently made their feelings very clear on this:

“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.”

Good medical practice (2013)

I wonder whether this is such a problem. Surely if we as practitioners have concerns then should we not be first voicing them to our employers? Is it appropriate to voice specific concerns about the practice of ones organisation over such a public medium without first taking those concerns to the horse mouth as it were?

I would like to quote Dr Henry Woo here as he mirrors my own thoughts:

“To hide because the individual wishes to publish inappropriate or controversial medical tweets indicates a lack of courage or conviction in their thoughts to use their real name.  Professional bodies will create guidance on social media to factor in the lowest common denominator level of behaviour that sadly does occur among us.”

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