Yes, doctors can blog, but not about their patient’s details.

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I found this one year old post by Andy Merrett at The Blog Herald implying doctors should not blog because “they break medical ethics by sharing details of their patients“. The quoted statement is true, but his generalization is somewhat misleading. Here is an excerpt of the post.

Should doctors, and those in other professions where confidentiality is at a premium, be allowed to blog?

Not that there’s any way to stop them should they wish to, but are they breaking medical ethics by sharing details of their patients, however obfuscated the facts are?

You can read the whole post here.

Frankly, I disagree with Andy’s generalization. I’m also struck with his “leading” proposition. I think nobody would contest that doctors should put a premium on patient’s confidentiality in all situations. Any physician who breaks this doctor- patient confidentiality should be held liable for unethical practice.

But Andy assumed (or is implying) all doctors are blogging about their patients only. Perhaps, he should take a look at the doctors who blog ( in TBR or in GR or in Medlogs for example) about many other worth while endeavors (like food, travel, etc) other than just their patients’ details!

Read about the types of blogs physician may pursue online here, at My Diabetes Central.

Should we slam doctors for blogging just because they have the potential to divulge patient’s confidential information?

Health Care Blogger Code of Ethics has implemented “guidelines” on how to deal with medical (including patients’) information in the blogosphere. Medical bloggers who have been “ratified” by this code, is known to adhere to a strict confidentiality clause.

So yes, doctors can blog. But they should keep patient’s confidential information off the blogosphere.

Dr. Remo-tito Aguilar co-founded #HealthXPh. A board certified orthopedic surgeon, he is previously Chief of Clinics at St. Louis Hospital in Tacurong City and a consultant in Orthopedics at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City. Dr. Aguilar is a healthcare social media evangelist and writes his medical musings at The Cast & Curious (www.remomd.com).

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