The Checkup: Would You Friend Your Doctor on Facebook?

Let's discuss the doctor-patient relationship when it comes to social media, shall we?

• Today’s lead item comes by way of a Chicago-based blogger, who writes about a doctor who cared for her during a recent hospital stay. Doctor and patient-blogger talked about their shared love of yoga—”She promised I would see her in one of my classes one day,” the patient-blogger writes—and says the doc gave her a business card and said to call or email if she had any questions. “Obviously I looked her up on Facebook,” says the patient-blogger. “She wasn’t wearing her lab coat or stethoscope, but some sort of silly hat.” The blogger sent a friend request, but the doctor never confirmed it. From what I can decipher by the tone, the blogger seems somewhat miffed about the whole thing—like, why wouldn’t the doctor want to be her Facebook friend? To which I say: wait, why would she? Although it’s not strictly forbidden, the American Medical Association recently released guidelines about doctor-patient relationships when it comes to social media, warning the MDs about the potential problems with such relationships. And like many teachers, whose employers require them to use social-media profiles that aren’t accessible to students, some hospitals are starting to ask the same of doctors. I personally think it would be weird to be Facebook friends with my doc, even though I’m sure she’s a lovely human being. I mean, I don’t really want to see pictures of her kids or her cat or the gourmet dinner she whipped up on Tuesday night. And I’m sure she’s not interested in what I’m up to, either.

Addicted to coffee? Do you work in the food-service industry or a field of science? Figures.

• In which an editor at Prevention eats a New York City pigeon—all in the name of journalism. (And I thought making a fool of myself in front of the Eagles Cheerleaders was bad!)