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Australian Medical Students Are Posting Too Much on Social Media

A large portion of medical students in Australia are posting inappropriate content online such as photos of themselves drinking or taking drugs, it has emerged. Even worse, some have been found sharing patient information online. 

A new survey in the Medical Journal of Australia revealed 306 out of 880 students admitted to posting inappropriate content to their social media profiles. Pictures and posts revolved around getting drunk were the most common with 301 students confessing to advertising it. Regardless of whether these posts are intentional or due to inebriated misjudgement, they are being deemed as moral malpractice by senior medical officials. Whilst it is somewhat comforting to know that out of nearly 900 students, only 18 admitted to sharing patient details online, it is still an unacceptable figure. Dr Stephen Parnis, VP of the Australian Medical Association, had this to say: “Breaches of privacy and trivialising things that would be of particular importance to the well-being and dignity of patients can do reputational damage, professionally and personally. “If something goes viral then it is well and truly out of hand and is on social media forever.” He blamed the figures on the impulsiveness that social media encourages. 

Dr. Parnis believes that medical students' incriminating photos are having an effect on their employability, and advises that they need to wise up to the fact that their social media presence may play a part in their recruitment. He added that due to the nature of their work they had a higher standard of responsibility to uphold compared to other young professionals. 

The survey, led by Dr Christopher Barlow from The Alfred and Dr Stewart Morrison from St Vincent’s Hospital, also convinced 35 per cent of medical students to change their privacy settings on Facebook. Whilst hugely popular, the phenomenon of social media is still a relatively new one, and therefore it is important to critique what we post online in order to determine its effect on other aspects of everyday life.

SMF rookie, fresh out of academia, looking forward to more creative ventures. With a love of current affairs, green tea and an ever insatiable wanderlust, Katie is ready to have her voice heard. Follow her @KatieAtSMF

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Australian Medical Students Are Posting Too Much on Social Media Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 Rating: 5

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