ABSTRACT: Social media and dentistry: some reflections on e-professionalism.
The proliferation of digital technology is impacting on the training and development of healthcare professionals. Research on the online behaviour of medical and pharmacy students indicates that social media poses a number of risks to the professional practice of healthcare professionals. General Dental Council guidelines on the use of social media also suggest that it has the potential to expose dental professionals to a variety of breaches of professional conduct. This paper explores the various ways social media can help, as well as hinder, the practice of dental professionalism. However, the lack of primary research on the social media behaviour of dental students and qualified dental practitioners alike acts as a barrier to increasing social media awareness within dentistry. The paper concludes by calling for more research-led discussion on the role social media plays in shaping our understanding of dental professionalism in the twenty-first century.