The term “resident” is inclusive of all trainees at SIU School of Medicine, whether training in a residency or fellowship program.  Residents are contractually obligated to abide by the SIU SOM Social Media Guidelines for Faculty, Staff, Employees and Learners, the social media policies of their employing hospital and of every clinical site in which they rotate.  The broad framework of these various social media policies are similar.  Social media can be powerful tools of communication, connection, and sharing.  However, indiscriminate use of social media is fraught with peril.  It is easy, in the heat of the twitter-moment, to forget this. 

Privacy in social media does not exist.  There is no plausible deniability in a hateful blog or Facebook post. An inappropriate post can reflect on the resident, SIU SOM, our affiliate hospitals, and the medical profession for years to come. 

No matter where your clinical site is, violation of the following standards is absolutely unacceptable and will result in discipline up to and including termination from the training program. This list is not all inclusive – these are lapses to which busy or stressed residents are vulnerable. 

  • Anything you post must maintain the integrity of the institution.
  • All HIPAA rules apply to social media outlets. It is never permissible for an individual to share patient information on your personal social media accounts under any circumstances, even if you think you have de-identified it. 
    • Some programs may have a HIPAA compliant site and patient consent process. If your program has one, and if it is open to residents, it is your responsibility to learn and adhere to all rules and protocols.
  • It is never acceptable to post confidential or proprietary information about the school, affiliate hospitals, other learners, faculty or staff.  
  • Posts must be respectful. That means no bashing, bullying or mocking others. No threats. 
  • Posts with offensive terms or language that target specific ethnic or racial groups, individuals’ religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation, or harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.

The above examples are unacceptable whether or not you identify yourself as an SIU resident. If you do choose to identify yourself as an SIU resident: 

  • Be clear that any views you post are your own, and not necessarily those of the institution; 
  • Take extra care to honor SIU in your digital behavior.