In my course in which I also describe what doctors should do when patients add them as friends on Facebook, we cover topics that are related to the everyday lives of physicians from the digital perspective. A few days ago, Joel Topf, nephrologist, told me on Twitter that he used my method when a patient added him on Facebook:
If the profile is personal, I reject the request and send a private message to the patients explaining why I did that: this is a personal account, while our relationship is professional. They always understand and accept my decision.
Then I asked Joel whether it worked out well.
My method is based on purely natural communication and transparent reasoning. This is why it works.