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Current dermatology reports




Department of Medicine; Fellows and Residents


Dermatology, Information, Legal implications, Medical ethics, Social media


Purpose of Review: The purpose of review is to provide guidance on the use of social media within the context of dermatology and discuss its ethical, professional, and legal implications in education, mentorship, networking, business, and clinical settings. Recent Findings: Despite its fundamental value as a means of communication and knowledge sharing, social media carries legal, ethical, and professional challenges. Healthcare providers have run into issues such as misinformation, conflicts of interest, and overstepping patient-physician boundaries when using social media. An interesting finding is that dermatologists commonly engage with an online audience through social media marketing or being an influencer to improve business and extend their reach to clients; however, this warrants formal training and the need to monitor their own online presence to prevent legal consequences. Summary: Social media has become integral in everyday life; billions of people now receive information and stay connected with each other through social platforms. Within medicine, social media has enhanced various aspects of healthcare, such as professional networking, patient care, and patient education. In dermatology, social media allows dermatologists to promote their businesses and services through patient testimonials, posting advice on blogs, and networking with a large audience of potential patients. However, having a social media presence must be exercised with care, purpose, and transparency to maximize benefits and minimize harmful consequences. This is especially important when inappropriate social media posts by physicians can be scrutinized for breaching patient confidentiality, violating privacy, financial conflicts of interest, and possibly disseminating incorrect information.

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