Facebook: friend or foe for health professionals?

What you say on Facebook may affect your professional credibility – especially for those in the health industry.

U of G researchers found that posting only one subtle comment expressing workplace frustration was enough for people to view you as a less credible health professional. The first-ever study was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

“This finding is significant not only because health professionals use social media in their personal lives but are also encouraged to use it to promote themselves and engage with the public,” says psychology professor Serge Desmarais. He conducted the study with Prof. Jason Coe, Department of Population Medicine, and then-graduate student Cynthia Weijs.

“It makes sense for people whose personalities are a large part of their profession to promote themselves through social media, but it may not make as much sense for health professionals and other professionals whose trust and credibility is a large part of their personal capital.”