Recently, I've seen many concerning conversations on private Facebook groups, particularly in relation to how we treat and interact with each other on these platforms. It has become clear that we must prioritize professionalism with EVERY interaction on any social media platform.
What can we do to protect ourselves and best represent our profession?
Make sure you are always behaving in a professional manner. Keep in mind that any comments written on social media - whether it be on a personal or private page - should be written as if you are comfortable with the comment being printed/shared by patients in your lobby or the public. Meaning, anyone on that page can screenshot and share any information. These pages are limited in their privacy and we, as a profession, must maintain professionalism at all times.
A colleague had a preceptor in their clinic and found out the preceptor wrote some very harsh comments about them on a FB group. I read them and they were shocking. My colleague had a very different version of what happened. While we can't control what others say about us, this has left me thinking… How do we protect ourselves, our profession, and give useful feedback all at the same time? How do we create this culture of respect, courtesy and professionalism amongst all NDs? Because if we can't be respectful with our internal disagreements - how do we expect others to respect us?
We have a responsibility to create and maintain a culture of professionalism. When we witness a colleague acting in a way that isn't professional or appropriate, we should kindly remind them that we are bound together, and conversations that aren't productive or appropriate can only harm the foundation of our amazing profession.
Personally, I make sure that any online conversations are carefully written. Our office protocol is that staff speak about patients as if they are standing in the room. Would you speak the same? Candidly, I am not sure if the negative online behavior is a result of our current political climate or just the natural evolution of social media.
Do you have any thoughts on this? Can we refrain from name calling on social media? Can we rise up and be an example to others? Even when we disagree with our peers, can we maintain a fair and productive conversation?
As we are continuing to grow as a profession, we will come under more scrutiny and have a responsibility to represent the entire profession positively in our interactions.