fbpx

Bad behavior in Physician Groups is Rampant. We Need to Do Better

Bad behavior in physician-only social media groups and platforms is rampant. We need to do better.

February 7, 2022

(this article is a response to our anonymous article, which you can read here).

 

It’s probably been about a decade since I first became aware of physician-only social media. I was excited at first. I started with Sermo and moved to Facebook when the groups there exploded, and I’ve since moved onto other platforms as well.

Have the groups provided what I thought they would?

When you’re the physician, you’re often working with nurse practitioners, physician assistants, RNs, and other support staff.

As the captain of the ship, there are problems that physicians, alone, face. It is often hard to find a peer audience with whom to discuss these issues, so these groups were a welcome change.

At first, these platforms seemed to be what I had hoped they would be: a place for free exchange of ideas.  I learned unique things about point-of-care-ultrasound, FOAMed, celiac, cancer management, rare diseases, and new drugs; toxic training programs, great and not-so-great hospitals, and recertification issues.  We discussed ways to navigate tricky physician issues and things that really couldn’t be addressed in more general groups.

 

As the captain of the ship, there are problems that physicians, alone, face. It is often hard to find a peer audience with whom to discuss these issues, so these groups were a welcome change. #medtwitter Share on X

 

I love science and healthcare topics, and I found the experience rich and rewarding. At first. But then the “dark underbelly” of the groups began to emerge.

We fought about politics. Right/left, immigration, race, religion, women’s issues. The divides grew and groups splintered. One specialist group was considered too conservative, so a parallel liberal group was formed. A big group was repeatedly anti-Semitic. Its leader and moderators were called out repeatedly, until a significant number of the Jewish physicians in that group, including me, left. Some groups, specifically apolitical, degenerated into cesspools of bias.

Then there’s the control. When a group leader can reach 5,000, 10,000, or 30,000 physicians, he or she has a captive audience, which represents a potential source of income. Group leaders are possessive of this potential income and seemingly loathe to share it. I’ve watched group leaders marginalize other physicians. I’ve seen other physicians badmouthed, cancelled. I’ve seen efforts to get dissenting physicians de-platformed, fired from their jobs, or to destroy their businesses. Some leaders have tried to block others from internet posting.

 

We fought about politics. Right/left, immigration, race, religion, women's issues. The divides grew and groups splintered. One specialist group was considered too conservative, so a parallel liberal group was formed. Share on X

 

 

Who are these people? What happened to #FirstDoNoHarm?

When I was a child, my mother used to tell me not to say anything that I wouldn’t want on the cover of the New York Times. Things are different now, so I have changed this for my own children. I tell them: Don’t put anything on the internet that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to read. Treat others as you want to be treated.

In Judaism, we refer to some of this bad behavior as lashon hara (לשון הרע). Literally, “evil tongue,” although not all the bad behavior is people saying bad things about others.  Sometimes it is deletion of posts. Blocking certain voices. Expulsion.

This is wrong. There’s enough room out there for us to be civil and disagree, for us to support each other’s business ventures, and for us NOT to treat each other the way these groups – especially some of the leaders – treat some physicians.

 

In Judaism, we refer to some of this bad behavior as lashon hara (לשון הרע). Literally, “evil tongue,” although not all the bad behavior is people saying bad things about others. Sometimes it is deletion of posts. Blocking certain… Share on X

 

 

I’m not naming names. I don’t believe in doing that.

It’s ok to disagree. It’s ok to debate. However, it’s NOT ok to belittle, gaslight or behave maliciously. I don’t care what the issue is.

First, be kind.

As my oldest learned in fifth grade: #KindnessIsCool.

 

 

 

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Of Interest

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

Delia Chiaramonte, MD

Speaker: Delia Chiaramonte, MD

Elevate your team’s caregiving, authentic communication, and self-care skills with practical tools and insights delivered by an inspiring and dynamic physician speaker

Sondra Miles, MD

Speaker: Sonny Miles, MD

Dr. Sonny is an integrative and palliative care physician who who asks audiences to go deep within and live what matters most to them.

Meridith Englander, MD

Meridith Englander, MD

Interventional radiologist who practiced for 18 years before leaving clinical medicine for a career at a non-profit, regional health care plan.

Want More?

Be a part of our healthcare revolution. Don't miss a thing SoMeDocs publishes!

Disclaimer: SoMeDocs assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, claims, or content of the individual experts' profiles, contributions and courses. Details within posts cannot be verified. This site does not represent medical advice and you should always consult with your private physician before taking on anything you read online. See SoMeDocs' Terms of Use for more information.

follow us

© 2024 SoMeDocs. All Rights Reserved.

Soak up content & grow

Educational reflections..

Drop your email address below and we’ll email you the link for continuing opportunity pathways from CMEfy. Check your spam folder if you do not receive our email. We’ll also add you to our Sunday newsletter, so you can receive even more of our unique content!

Support A Platform that Celebrates Real Doctors

For as little as $10, you can help keep this openly accessible site available to all & help us sponsor in more doctors.

Interested in subscribing
to our unique content?

Interested in subscribing to our unique content?

Site SoMeDocs Logo, square

WANT TO STAY IN THE LOOP?

DON'T MISS A SINGLE CONTENT PIECE.