Use of Social Media in Health Care–Opportunities, Challenges, and Ethical Considerations: A Position Statement of the American Academy of Neurology

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Code of Professional Conduct (CPC)1 formalizes the standards of professional behavior for AAN members. The CPC provides the ethical principles and professional standards that neurologists and other neuroscience professionals should or must observe in their clinical and scientific activities. While ethical principles do not change with time, developments in technology and social structure may lead to a change in how these principles are applied. One such technological development is social media—a class of communication tools that has rapidly grown in number and popularity in recent years. The AAN developed this position statement to review in-depth how social media use has transformed clinical practice, with a particular focus on neurologic practice, and, by exploring the relevant principles in the CPC,1 to provide an ethical framework for neurology professionals and trainees to consider when engaging in social media. This statement complements the CPC; it is not a replacement for the AAN Web site’s Code of Conduct, Privacy Policy, or Terms of Service.

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