How to make money from physician discussions

Who knew that doctor chatter could be so profitable?

The two major physician-only social networking sites, Sermo and Medscape Physician Connect, are making news, as this piece in Newsweek notes how both the pharmaceutical and the financial industries are listening in on the conversations.

These sites, however, are a relatively new phenomenon, and some wonder what would happen if doctors post something unsavory, or even illegal, on the forums.

“Is Sermo obligated to notify regulators if a doctor says she’s using yak’s milk to treat cancer or nine times the approved dose of a drug?” writes resident physician Ford Vox. “What if comments are pertinent to a malpractice case?”

All good questions, and reasons I would be very careful on what I would post on these sites. As medical ethicist Arthur Caplan comments, “It’s a new arena of ethics for sure.”

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