in-Training affirms that respect for the patient and his or her privacy is paramount in physician-journalism. As an online publication and an educational experience for budding physician-journalists, in-Training holds its writers and editors to the highest of standards of journalistic integrity and beneficence towards the patient.
in-Training recognizes that the dual role of a physician-journalist is laden with ethical pitfalls. As such, the Editorial Board of in-Training has adopted the physician-journalism ethical guidelines set forth by Dr. Tom Linden, MD, the Glaxo Wellcome Distinguished Professor of Medical Journalism in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in his seminal article “A Delicate Balance—Ethical Standards for Physician-Journalists” published in July 2011.
These guidelines, adapted from Dr. Linden’s article, charge writers for in-Training to consider the following in their reporting:
Avoid reporting on your own patients unless consent is given freely and not under duress.
Be sensitive to how your story will affect a patient featured in your piece; consider an alternative narrative even if the patient consents to being profiled.
Never feature one of your own patients in a story in which a reader, listener, or viewer can identify the individual being profiled.
Do not exploit vulnerability for gain or glory.
in-Training requires that all patient names be changed and all protected health information (PHI), as prescribed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), be omitted from articles.
Articles on in-Training are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of their educational institutions, in-Training, the in-Training staff, or Pager Publications, Inc., the supporting organization of in-Training.