Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Medicinal Likes: The Dilemma of Befriending Doctors on Social Networks


Argentine television host and actress Mirtha Legrand had surgery for an abdominal flange in 2019 and commented when she reappeared on her show: “Heartfelt congratulations to my doctor, Guillermo Semenyuk, a great physician.” After the start of the pandemic, her twin sister died and her doctor reassured her that she should not go awake due to the risk of getting infected with the coronavirus. In 2021, stents were placed in his heart arteries, and he was diagnosed with COVID-19 last May. “Yesterday I spoke to Dr. Guillermo Semenyuk and told him I was worried because I didn’t like it. So he came to sweep me”, Legrand wide.

The television diva has always appreciated the professionalism and support of her doctor, who is an Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires and was named one of the 100 Most Outstanding Personalities in Medicine for the Konex Award in 2013. But Mirtha Legrand’s doctor is far from wanting to become a celebrity. He cultivates a low profile and does not have a social network. “I don’t think you need to be friends patient through social networks. I believe in a good personal relationship, but not in those ways and take care of what is called friendship., Dr. Semenyuk replied by email infobae,

With the increase in the use of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, among others, Health professionals have the opportunity to access new communication channels With your colleagues, your patients and the community at large. But the dynamics of virtuality are different from face-to-face encounters, and not everyone agrees that male and female doctors have to “accept” their patients as “friends” on social networks.

An Article In The Journal Of The Argentine Society Of Pediatrics Recommends That Doctors – Even Students – Not Accept Friend Requests On Social Networks From Current Or Former Patients, Or Their Families (Getty Images).
An article in the Journal of the Argentine Society of Pediatrics recommends that doctors – even students – not accept friend requests on social networks from current or former patients, or their families (Getty Images).

Recently, Special Magazine Argentine Archives of Pediatrics Published in its latest issue by the Argentine Society of Pediatrics An article that questioned whether health professionals establish “friendships” with patients through social networks. The authors are Fernando Lamas, Laura Krinsky, Hernán Rovenztin (from Juan Garrahán Pediatric Hospital) and Ignacio Maglio, lawyers specializing in bioethics from the integrative care team of the Muniz Hospital in the city of Buenos Aires.

Experts gave different recommendations, and with regard to the relationship between doctors and patients, they emphasized that professionalism should be protected: “The personal sphere should be separated from the professional. It is recommended that health professionals – even students – do not accept friend requests on social networks from current or former patients, or their families”, the authors said. He also suggested that “comments about symptoms or treatments should be general, never about a specific patient, even if they are the ones who question us on social networks.”

Social media-he told- “They require the same kind of ethical conduct as professional relationships with patients and with other colleagues in everyday life. Their improper use can blur the line between public and professional life of an individual.

when asked by infobaeone of the co-authors, Dr. Maglio argued why it is not appropriate to have patients as friends on social networks: “We believe that there is a moral imperative that male and female doctors should not be friends so that they can manage health care in a responsible way.” can do with If they become friends, it means making the clinical relationship unnatural. Nor should we fall into the extreme opposite of total objectification. It should be viewed with compassionate and loving eyes, but never in a relationship of friendship.

&Quot;Doctors Should Not Befriend Patients So That They Can Take Care Of Health Responsibly&Quot;Lawyer Ignacio Maglio/File Said
Lawyer Ignacio Maglio/Archive said, “Doctors should not befriend patients so that they can provide health care responsibly.”

Para Maglio, Doctors can access and choose a digital communication channel with their patients via email, WhatsApp, SMS, but they have to make it clear that it is part of medical care. They should specify what type of information will be shared (such as the results of clinical trials). He recognized that the present moment with new technologies is also an opportunity: “A Hippocratic medical model needs to be harmonized with a digital health system. This will result in a secure doctor-patient relationship, quality and respect for human dignity.”

However, there are health professionals who already have their patients as friends on social networks. In some cases they admit that they have had to review the decision. “At one time I had a private account on a social network with photos of my family, but I felt it was not convenient and I turned it off. Today I only use social networks with public accounts in which I am sick and give general guidance on treatments. If you ask me about a particular condition of a patient, I suggest consulting a physician. But I do see that there are colleagues who prefer to disclose their personal lives to their patients on social networks”, said Gabriel Lappman, cardiologist and author of the book. Reset: Lifestyle Medicine,

Meanwhile, the doctor Mariana Lestel, who is often consulted by TV show programs and is part of the medical staff of the oncology hospital in the city of Olavaría in the province of Buenos Aires, commented infobae, “Today, from the most prestigious doctors who write in international scientific publications like Eric Topol, to lesser-known professionals, everyone has social networks,” he said.

“I use social networks openly and I have different followers. There are people who in some way or the other approach each other for guidance on diseases. Sometimes I help them solve the problem related to the bureaucratic process, but this is a different moment from the medical consultation, which should follow the same guidelines as when it is in person”, Lestel said. He mentioned that in some cases he uses WhatsApp groups to inform families during hospitalization of patients. “I think you have to set a limit as a professional. This is the same ethics that should be followed in real life. For example, you cannot go to the patient’s house for dinner,” he said.

&Quot;I Don'T Like It When Some Co-Workers Use The Network To Advertise Themselves, Promise Magical Results With Plastic Surgery, Or Despise Interventions.&Quot;Said Expert Jorge Pedro / Archive
“I don’t like it when some peers use the network to advertise themselves, promise magical results with plastic surgery or minimize interventions,” said expert Jorge Pedro/Archive.

Dr. Jorge Pedro, former director of communications for the Argentine Society of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery (SACPER), argued that he shares moments from his personal life and professional issues on Instagram, where his patients can follow him. Instead, on Facebook, he distinguishes between an account to keep in touch with his loved ones and others as a professional. “I only want to use social networks to inform and guide the community responsibly and ethically. When some co-workers use the network to advertise themselves, promising magical results with plastic surgery or I don’t like if interventions are shortened. As plastic surgery specialists we can reduce scars on the body and the passage of time, but we don’t have a magic wand or an eraser. The patient has to deal with the limitations of treatment and their Potential complications should be known”, Said Dr. Pedro, who has hosted television programs as a health communicator.

Debate about the use of social networks in the medical community is pending, as Mirtha Legrand’s doctor wrote in a 2019 editorial in the journal medical buenos aires, Dr. Semenyuk suggested that discussion forums be created between doctors and patients on the use of platforms like WhatsApp to “contribute ideas, which of course will differ, but will contribute to improving health in general, that important Trying not to lose the aspect. Of the dual relationship, which provides carefully chosen examples, metaphors, words and attitudes to give confidence, sometimes only comfort, but always affection”.

For Semenyuk, taking care of these issues would help philosopher Zygmunt Baumann avoid “liquid medicine.” “Time and artificial intelligence will tell,” he wrote. And maybe it would be nice again, driven by some influential person, to consult a doctor who listens while looking us in the eye and even touches us.

read on:

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