KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Survey: Doctors Violate Professionalism Online

A letter in JAMA found most state medical licensing boards are receiving complaints about some doctors' online behavior.

Modern Healthcare: Doctors' Online Practices Need Improvement
A research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that most state medical licensing boards have reported cases of "physician violations of online professionalism," and some of these violations have resulted in serious disciplinary actions such as license revocation or suspension. In a survey of 68 licensing boards, researchers found that inappropriate online patient communications or sexual misconduct were reported to the boards at 69% of the 48 boards responding (Robeznieks, 3/21).

MedPage Today: Physicians in Hot Water for Online Missteps
Many of the boards indicated that they had received more than three reports of potential violations in some of the eight specific categories covered in the survey (Gever, 3/21).

NPR's SHOTS blog: Doctors' Missteps Online Can Lead To Disciplinary Action 
And then there are the doctors who go online to prescribe medicines for patients they've never seen. A majority of state medical boards, the groups that license and discipline doctors, have received reports of doctor behaving badly online, according to a nationwide survey (Hensley, 3/21). 

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