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(b) When using the Internet for social networking, physicians should use privacy settings to safeguard personal information and content to the extent possible, but should realize that privacy settings are not absolute and that once on the Internet, content is likely there permanently.Thus, physicians should routinely monitor their own Internet presence to ensure that the personal and professional information on their own sites and, to the extent possible, content posted about them by others, is accurate and appropriate.The local physicians should be able to turn for assistance to their colleagues in prosperous communities, particularly those in close proximity.
If a physician has reason to believe that non-sexual contact with a patient may be perceived as or may lead to sexual contact, then he or she should avoid the non-sexual contact.The more deeply involved the individual is in the clinical encounter and in medical decision making, the more troubling sexual or romantic contact with the physician would be.This is especially true for the individual whose decisions directly impact on the health and welfare of the patient.(e) When physicians see content posted by colleagues that appears unprofessional they have a responsibility to bring that content to the attention of the individual, so that he or she can remove it and/or take other appropriate actions.If the behavior significantly violates professional norms and the individual does not take appropriate action to resolve the situation, the physician should report the matter to appropriate authorities.
Physicians can also volunteer their services at weekend clinics for the poor and at shelters for battered women or the homeless.