The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), along with others in the health care community, is concerned about the serious public health effects of the persistent spread of misinformation regarding the COVID-19 virus. Misinformation has been directly linked to much of the vaccine hesitancy and disregard for practical safeguards against infection, including masking and distancing, and is a contributing factor hindering national efforts to combat the virus.
As members of the medical community, we are committed to protecting patients from harm and prioritizing their welfare based on application of the best available scientific evidence. The spread of misinformation and the misapplication of medical science by physicians and other medical professionals is especially harmful as it threatens the health and well being of our communities and at the same time undermines public trust in the profession and established best practices in care. The spread by a diplomate of unscientific misinformation harmful to public health is unethical and unprofessional and may threaten certification by an ABMS Member Board.
ABMS supports recent statements by the Federation of State Medical Boards, the American Board of Emergency Medicine, American Board of Pathology and the joint statement by the American Boards of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, regarding the ethical and professional responsibility of physicians sharing information publicly to represent current scientific evidence accurately and faithfully. Misrepresentation or misapplication of science is unethical and unprofessional and harmful to patients and the public. We join the American Medical Association and other medical organizations in calling on news outlets and social media platforms to help eliminate misinformation regarding COVID-19 prevention, transmission, and treatment, and to share factual information about the importance and value of vaccination and practical mitigation methods.
Download this statement: American Board of Medical Specialties Supports Role of Medical Professionals in Preventing COVID-19 Misinformation[PDF]
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