Professional Boundaries and Digital Professionalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The relationship between physicians and patients is unlike any other personal or working relationship in modern society. The patients must put their utmost trust in the abilities and intentions of their physicians, and in return, physicians must put the needs of patients above their own (described as a physician’s fiduciary duty). Often, the physician-–patient relationship crosses over boundaries that are present in other aspects of our lives. These so-called professional boundaries must be observed to avoid potential ethical or legal problems. Physicians ought to abide by the most conservative guidelines for professional boundaries established by their institution, state, and medical organization. Increased use of digital technology in medicine is blurring the lines of these boundaries. Physicians’ use of social media, email, and telemedicine all offer potential benefits as well drawbacks that should be considered before social media is incorporated into their practice.

Original languageUndefined
Title of host publicationPrinciples of Medical Professionalism
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780197506226, 9780197506257
StatePublished - Apr 2021

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