Online trouble for med students

CHICAGO (AP) - September 23, 2009

The study's lead author says the number of such postings was "higher than we expected." And she calls those only "the tip of the iceberg." These include a student posting patient details on Facebook, and another who requested an inappropriate friendship with a patient on the same site. Other examples included profanity.

A quick search of YouTube finds numerous videos posted by medical students, from harmless musical numbers to a prank with what appears to be a dead body. The study's author says there's no way to tell whether the cadaver prank is real or not. But either way, she says, it doesn't reflect well on the medical profession.

The study found 47 of 78 medical school deans who responded to the survey knew of incidents of unprofessional conduct online. The study appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

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