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For doctors, social media a tricky case

Facebook is a great place to unload after a long day at work. But what if you work in an emergency room, where privacy is paramount? And what if the thing you want to discuss is not the evening traffic or a grumpy colleague but your patients? Don't do it, experts caution—a lesson that a physician at Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island just learned the hard way. Alexandra Thran, MD, was fired from the hospital last year and reprimanded by the state medical board last week. The hospital took away her privileges to work in the emergency room for posting information online about a trauma patient. Thran's posting did not include the patient's name, but she wrote enough that others in the community could identify the patient, according to a board filing. Thran, who did not return calls for comment yesterday, also was fined $500.
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