Students may not take photographs or video images of patients, staff or cadavers in any public area, patient care area or anatomy lab at Feinberg School of Medicine or any of its clinical affiliates.
Photographs of patients for purposes related to medical care may only be obtained by supervising faculty and with patient consent.
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Social Media Policy and Guidelines
The Feinberg School of Medicine is committed to the highest standards of professional conduct. In admitting a student to Feinberg, we believe you have already demonstrated that you possess the maturity and professionalism expected of future physicians. After you are admitted, matriculation and continued enrollment remains contingent on a continuation of this high standard of conduct.
Students accepted to Feinberg and current Feinberg medical students should be cautious in using social networking such as but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, blogging, YouTube, email distribution lists and videos. The profession of medicine is founded on the highest standards of conduct because of the trust patients place in medical professionals.
Once a student is admitted to Feinberg, he/she is expected to demonstrate sound judgment, personal perception, integrity and accountability. Posting of material that is defamatory, profane, threatening, harassing, hateful or humiliating to patients, students, house staff, hospital or medical school staff, faculty, the school or its clinical affiliates is considered unprofessional and will result in disciplinary action up to and including possible dismissal from Feinberg. Posting items that contain patient health information, undermine patients’ confidence in their health care team, defame the school /clinical affiliates and/or its employees, violate the privacy of students, staff and/or faculty, violate HIPAA standards or Northwestern University or clinical affiliate social media policies is prohibited. Medical students who violate FSM or clinical affiliate or Northwestern University social media policies will face disciplinary action by the medical school up to and including dismissal.
FSM encourages open communication in all forms, subject to the professional standards that are important in securing and maintaining the trust of the communities we serve. FSM also expects that communications by students do not materially interfere with its core enterprise, our clinical affiliates’ enterprises, or violate our patients’, faculty’s, staff’s, or students’ privacy and trust, subject to students’ own rights of speech.
FSM does not monitor student on-line communications, but FSM may become aware of and choose to review communications that appear to violate relevant law or policies.
Communications accessible by third parties that contain personal health information about patients, are always prohibited and may constitute grounds for immediate action in accordance with FSM policy, as well as applicable federal, state, and local law.
Guidelines for Online Professional or Personal Activity:
- Follow the Professionalism expectations, HIPAAcompliance,Feinberg Conflict of Interest policy, privacy and general civil behavior guidelines cited above including respecting copyrights and disclosures, and not revealing proprietary financial, intellectual property, patient care, or similar sensitive or private content.
- If Feinbergstudents identify themselves as a member of theFeinberg community on social media, they must make it clear that they are not speaking for the medical school, and what they say is representative of their individual personal views and opinions and not necessarily the views and opinions of Feinberg. Students should not provide medical advice as they do not have a medical license.
- Remember that all content contributed on all platforms becomes immediately searchable and can be immediately shared. This content immediately leaves the contributing individual student control forever.
The American Medical Student Association has published some guidelines for social media use that may be useful. https://www.amsa.org/2016/09/15/social-media-guidelines-medical-students-physicians/
Last Updated: 1/28/2019