(HealthDay News) — The use of social media channels and associated benefits for physicians are highlighted in a recent article published by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). And guidelines are provided for physicians wishing to become active in social media.

Noting that social media channels can benefit physicians both as sources of content and as platforms for dissemination of information, the AAFP discusses social media use. Guidelines are also provided regarding areas relating to becoming active on social media, including time commitment and personal exposure.

According to the article, many physicians use social media for keeping up with new information needed to provide quality care. More than 70 percent of primary care physicians and oncologists reported using social media at least once a month to explore or contribute heath information, according to a recent study. Social media can also enhance professional networking efforts, and offers physicians a platform to express their views and educate their patients and their community.

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“While the AAFP recommends that physicians explore the use of social media, you must decide whether you want to go beyond exploration, basing your decision on your own circumstances and the value you find in social media for yourself, your patients, and your community,” according to the article.

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Guidelines: Social Media for Family Physicians