The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announces that 1,834 out of 2,211 passed the Physician (Complete and Finals with Prelims) Licensure Examination given by the Board of Medicine in the cities of Manila, Cebu and Davao this August 2013. In addition, a small but active group of tech savvy senior professionals use Facebook to upload videos of endoscopy cases and discuss them with small groups of colleagues. More than 10,000 individuals took action through Facebook to show opposition to recent changes in the provision of hospital accommodation for young doctors in the United Kingdom, while others weighed in to the debate about medical education.

The members of the Board of Medicine who gave the licensure examination are Dr. More diverse groups such as “The NHS is sucking my soul dry” and “I am a doctor and I hope my patients don’t see me on Facebook” are also popular, though much to the disappointment of its 5,700 members the latter was recently closed down. The General Medical Council guidance from hasn’t changed—”You must make sure that your conduct at all times justifies your patients’ trust in you and the public’s trust in the profession” —but it’s undeniable that the advent of online social networking has increased the chances of being caught acting disreputably.

“Protect general practice” groups had 5,000 members from diverse clinical and non-clinical backgrounds, including some of the few specialist registrars making use of the technology.

It is no doubt here to stay, but it doesn’t have to be a minefield of ethics or mistrust.

With a little care and attention (Box 2), online social networking has the potential to make life a good deal easier for medics: to connect us with our friends and colleagues, facilitate learning and communication, arrange events, and share our knowledge with the wider world.

In extreme cases such images could lead to a complaint being made.” The fact is that doctors and would be doctors are held to higher standards of personal conduct than other groups in society.

Saintly behaviour is neither demanded nor expected, but with the job there comes an expectation of a reasonable level of common sense and decency.

“The cost to a person’s future can be high if something undesirable is found by the increasing number of education institutions and employers using the internet as a tool to vet potential students or employees,” says David Smith, for the Information Commissioner’s Office, in relation to recent UK governmental guidance on online social networking.

To some extent the medical regulators are playing catch-up with the advances in social networking, but guidance is available and it’s well worth observing in your online activities.

Students are using these networking tools to show their support for causes, exchange answers to exam questions, and disseminate course notes, in addition to sharing the mandatory photos of alcohol fuelled antics.

“Without it you wouldn’t know what was going on,” said a student at St George’s Medical School, London.

Junior doctors are making time for the technology too, with most UK schools boasting groups with a few hundred members.