A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals startlingly widespread physician misuse of the internet, including writing prescriptions for patients that have never been seen. Most of the State Medical Boards surveyed revealed that they had received complaints about physicians prescribing medicines over the internet and/or misrepresenting credentials. Other violations included revealing confidential patient information on the internet, failing to tell patients about conflicts of interest, making derogatory comments about patients and discrimination against patients.
When these practices result in physical injury or other harm, physicians can be held accountable through a medical negligence claim. Other options include filing a complaint with the State Medical Board or contacting hospital administration to make a complaint.
The article can be accessed here: Greysen S, et al “Physician violations of online professionalism and disciplinary actions: A national survey of state medical boards” JAMA 2012; 307: 1141-42; DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.330.