Guidelines for ‘friending’ a doc in the digital age

WASHINGTON – Sometimes it’s difficult to get in touch with a doctor. So how about sending a Facebook friend request?

Mashable reports the American College of Physicians and the Federation of State Medical Boards have come out with guidelines doctors should follow when communicating with patients online.

The guidelines say the patient/doctor relationship can benefit from the online world, but that certain lines shouldn’t be crossed.

For example, doctors should have separate “personas” for personal and professional use. And they shouldn’t communicate with patients via text or email without patient consent.

To read more about the social media guidelines, read the full explanation on and check out the chart below.

Social media guidelines for doctors

WTOP’s Veronica Robinson contributed to this report.

Follow @VRobWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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