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Doctor-patient relationship compromised by Facebook

TG Daily, December 16, 2010

Researchers surveyed the Facebook activities of 405 postgraduate trainee doctors at Rouen University Hospital in France and found that almost three out of four had a Facebook profile. One in four logged on to the site several times a day, and half logged on several times a week.

Almost half believed that the doctor-patient relationship would be changed if patients discovered their doctor held a Facebook account, but three out of four said this would only happen if the patient was able to access their profile.

However, virtually all the doctors - 98 percent - displayed enough personal information for them to be identified, including their real name and birth dates. Ninety-one percent displayed a personal photo. Just over half displayed their current post, while 59 percent provided information on their current university training site.

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