View Poll Results: Would you like more doctor participation on DEZ?

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  • Yes

    60 90.91%
  • No

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  • Maybe. Tell me more.

    6 9.09%
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Thread: Would you like more doctor participation on DEZ?

  1. #1
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    Question Would you like more doctor participation on DEZ?

    Please vote in the poll above. If you like, you can add comments below.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  2. #2
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    It says I may not vote in this poll. I was wondering why not? Well, I would say yes.

  3. #3
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    Can you try again now please, Gabriel? I found a setting awry that may have been responsible.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  4. #4
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    While I probably will be in the minority, I am reluctant to say yes to more physician participation, except in the capacity you have already set up. In other words, in the open forum for “patients and pros.”

    I have been around this forum and previous forums since my LASIK surgery 12 years ago. I have found the physician participation to range from helpful to confusing to (on a rare occasion) condescending.

    This is first and foremost a forum in support of dry eye patients. Having so many participants who need help and hope linked together with members who have discovered answers in their own journey is a wonderful thing. It is a rare member here who tries to be a diagnostician or doctor. Members here are by and large supportive and informative using their own experiences as examples. The ideas and suggestions are exchanged with large doses of support and concern. The information and tips can be used to bring to a doctor or possibly to find a new doctor.

    In previous forums in which I have participated, an occasional physician (or several) would be so involved in the forum that the members would begin to be intimidated by the criticisms and corrections that the physician would interject into a discussion. Members became hesitant to add their own ideas or experiences, waiting for Dr X to respond.

    I personally love to hear each and every member’s experiences. I have learned so much from the members here. Most of what I have learned about how to manage my symptoms over the years, I have learned from other members' experiences.

    I do believe health care professionals should be welcomed here. But I would hope that their contributions would not change the valuable exchange of ideas and personal experiences among the members here.

    Just my two cents.

    Scout

  5. #5
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    I agree, Scout (we've had this discussion many times in various forms and forums haven't we ) and I would never want to compromise what we have here in terms of a safe, supportive discussion environment for patients. Even the most well-meaning doctors, if, say, they had free access to our most-used Open Forum, would ultimately change the character of the forum in subtle ways. I would not want to sacrifice the safety and supportiveness aspects even in favor of 'information'. Participation by doctors here, whatever form it might take, needs to be in clearly designated areas without infringing on our patients-only community needs.

    Every couple of years as one dry eye 'generation' here gives way to another, I like to check in and see how people feel about inviting doctors. This year, there's an additional motive and that is that I'm hearing from more doctors who want to participate. Clearly, some just want to abuse it for PR purposes but there are some really reputable corneal specialists and optometrists who read this board regularly and would like to be able to pitch in now and then. If people here would like to have access to more dr. input, and if I can find better ways to make dr. participation user-friendly for both sides, I want to explore it. Hence the poll
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  6. #6
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    I understand the hesitancy, particularly in light of the fact that many here have had less than ideal experiences with doctors, in one shape or form. That said, I think, with some rules (for instance, Drs must identify themselves in each post and have basic information in their signature so that we know where they are coming from -- not geographically but so we know if they are a Lasik clinic, University MD, corneal specialist, etc), it would be beneficial for both sides.

    There are times when I think it would be great to have an M.D. or D.O. weigh in on something. As patients, sometimes we can know enough to be dangerous.
    The other side of it, I think there are some good opportunities for doctors to LEARN FROM US. They are more likely to do this if we interact with them, IMO, vs shove them into a corner. Even if they start out lurking, they are more apt to lose interest if they can't participate. We trade a LOT of really great, useful information on this site and if there's a doctor who has a patient he/she is trying to help and he/she reads something here that can be passed along to that patient or gives him/her an idea of some treatment to try, we've created a winning situation and hopefully, an medical advocate for people like us.

    Some suggested rules MD/ODs would have to abide by: No soliciting of any kind (you are here to help and to learn, not gain business through your participation, if people would like to learn more about your business, they may contact you through PM), Your username must contain some indication of what kind of doctor you are, Your signature must contain information on what your speciality is (Lasik, corneal specialist, etc), etc.

  7. #7
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    Potato cakes, I agree with you 100%. Both sides could learn more from each other if done in the right manner. And hopefully with that could spread better care for everyone. It has to be done carefully and with rules.

  8. #8
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    I remember making some efforts in this direction in years past, only to run out of steam trying to navigate it all in a way that didn't create too much work. Raises so many questions... whether to validate that they are doctors (and how), whether to have them all post under their names or require that they DON'T use their real names, whether to let them have a link to their site in their profile (as opposed to signature), and on and on. But it really needs to be done and while the twenty-odd who have voted so far are a very small sample, there has not been a single "no" vote which is significant. Anyway, I'll get cracking on on this. Thanks for all the input thus far, and keep the comments flowing!
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  9. #9
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    Rebecca - When I was writing my post, I thought about the name thing. It's a tough call because, as a patient, I can see good & bad on both sides of the fence. I think, in the end, though, I like the idea of them NOT using their real names or clinics.

    #1 It lessens the likelihood of promotional motives
    #2 If a physician is on the site trying to learn more to help a patient, he / she will be able to be more open, not only in terms of privacy for the patient but he/she may feel more comfortable saying "I'm here to learn from you..."
    #3 If someone here is interested in visiting that doctor, they always have the option of PMing to get that information.

  10. #10
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    I can imagine it would be a lot of work, to come up with rules and limitations to prevent problems. But for all the reasons given by others I like the idea of docs being able to participate in the patient forum, so long as it's clear that when we post there we are primarily looking for input from other patients so they are encouraged to respond even if a doctor has already done so.

    I doubt you're going to be able to validate they are all really doctors and not sure it's really necessary since they can't actually diagnose or prescribe via a post.

    By the same token, I find the pros section a little confusing. Sometimes I'm not sure if I should respond to a post there since I'm only a patient. I get confused as to whether it's for all to respond or just docs to respond. Sometimes I've responded (to e-mail link posts) not realizing it's a post in the the pros corner until too late.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryVa61 View Post
    I
    By the same token, I find the pros section a little confusing. Sometimes I'm not sure if I should respond to a post there since I'm only a patient. I get confused as to whether it's for all to respond or just docs to respond. Sometimes I've responded (to e-mail link posts) not realizing it's a post in the the pros corner until too late.
    Yes it's quite confusing especially if your main way of reading posts is with the What's New button.

    So I have been doing some furniture rearrangement the last day or so.

    If you click on "Forum" in the green bar at the top of the screen you'll see the new arrangement. I've gotten rid of Pro Corner, and instead I'm limiting where doctors can participate just by controlling their posting permissions in the database.

    All of the most active forums are now under the Discussion & Q&A heading, including the forum for doctor-patient interaction i.e. "Open Forum - Patients & Pros". There's nothing formal, no rules for either of the open forums, feel free to post just as freely in the Patients & Pros forum as you would in the patients-only open forum. There are certain other sections I felt it would not be appropriate to have doctors involved (some obvious like Plug-a-Doc, some not so obvious) or where they can start a thread but not reply to others (like Introduce Yourself... anybody including a dr can introduce themselves, but I don't want newbies pounced on by well-meaning doctors with medical-only responses, so only patients can respond to welcome new members). I'll continue to tweak and anybody who runs into problems or has a concern, let me know....
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  12. #12
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    I like the way you're rearranged things Rebecca. Very nice.

    The Patient & Pros forum does still have a description that sounds like patients are welcome to ask a question that is for pros only to respond to. But that doesn't sounds like what you wanted, based on your comments above? I'd still feel like if I wanted responses from both patients and pros, I'd need to post the same message in both forums. Not complaining though, if that's what you think will work best. I don't know what works best for the forum!

    Thanks for the improvements!

    <<Patients, post questions here for discussion with eyecare professionals. Pros, feel free to post idea, advice & questions here.

  13. #13
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    I don't understand why this thread has two hundred and something views but only 28 votes. I felt like we would have had more votes than this.

  14. #14
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    Now that I'm finally back in circulation I'm going to bump this up... if you haven't voted, PLEASE DO. Meanwhile I'm working up some revised participation guidelines for doctors/industry professionals and will post again soon.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  15. #15
    Yes, I would like to see more dr participation.

  16. #16
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    Yes, I am 100% in favor of doctor participation. It is extremely difficult to find doctors who truly are experienced and interested in helping patients who have the most severe dry eye symptoms--they are very few and far between, as I think most of us have experienced. I believe we should try and encourage professionals willing to help us to participate. I fear that if we put too many "hoops" in front of doctors willing to offer assistance, they will feel it is not worth the "risk". In other words, if a doctor suspects that his/her credibility or motives are going to be questioned, they are not going to risk their professional reputation simply to participate in a bulletin board. I also see very little, if any, potential gain they would derive--and even if there were, it would never be worth risking one's reputation to generate business. In addition, professionals have a much more "global" perspective to offer. We as patients try to do our best in helping one another, but our perspectives are very limited and anecdotal in nature--what works for us may not work for another, and vice-versa. Therefore I believe that having multiple perspectives--both doctor and patient--is most beneficial. Rebecca, thank you so much for seeking our opinions on this matter, and I hope more people vote!

  17. #17
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    I really, really appreciate everyone's input. Keep it coming please!

    Here's where I'm at thus far:

    We'll continue to have a patients-only open forum and have forums where doctors are welcome and encouraged to participate. I am changing the basis for doctor participation to anonymous only. Doctors may use their first name or a screen name, and underneath their username will appear "EyeMD" or "EyeOD". PotatoCakes, I appreciate your reasoning on that point.

    I will start working on ways to attract more doctors to participate (as well as reps from companies with dry eye products so we can ask them questions) and I would like to ask/encourage you to asking your doctor to participate here. The anonymity will keep out anyone who sees it primarily as a marketing tool and on the other hand it will open the doors to doctors who for any reason would not want to participate here using their name.

    One further note: I've struggled a bit with the question of whether to allow professionals to use our private messaging system (given possibility of abuse). Decided benefits may outweigh drawbacks so in my first draft of a policy for eyecare & industry professionals, I've stated that they may not initiate contact with patients but may reply to questions via PM. Any concerns etc. please let me know.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  18. #18
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    Just to clarify . . . posters would need to have first contacted the health care professionals via PM, before the health care professionals could respond via PM? This would allow for patients to invite a health care professional to respond with a PM.

    Also, would you know that a doctor who is posting as a professional, is indeed a doctor? I would be concerned about someone trusting that they are getting medical advice valid advice from a 'doctor' via PM. This may be a none issue, however, with issues of anonymity, there is always the risk of legitimacy.

  19. #19
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    I too am wary of having more docs on this site as those who do lasik eye surgery do it for money and therefore would be pursuing their own interests opposed to those of us who have suffer and continue to suffer from dry eyes as result of this surgery. If the docs are interested in research or helping patiensts that one thing, but if they're only interest is to promote their feild and bread and butter then no.
    fiddle

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddle View Post
    I too am wary of having more docs on this site as those who do lasik eye surgery do it for money and therefore would be pursuing their own interests opposed to those of us who have suffer and continue to suffer from dry eyes as result of this surgery. If the docs are interested in research or helping patiensts that one thing, but if they're only interest is to promote their feild and bread and butter then no.
    fiddle
    Fiddle, I went ahead and adopted potatocakes's suggestion of anonymous-only, which should effectively eliminate any abuse of the board to generate new patients. This may limit participation as they don't get any pecuniary benefit, but then, we've never had hordes of doctors flocking here anyway. And the more I think about it the more I'm liking this approach. I've tried hard over the years to keep this whole site untainted by industry, whether advertising or whatever, and this is another way to keep it 'clean'.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeful2 View Post
    Just to clarify . . . posters would need to have first contacted the health care professionals via PM, before the health care professionals could respond via PM? This would allow for patients to invite a health care professional to respond with a PM.
    It could either be via PM or post, for example, say there's a doc on the board marked Texas. You could PM them and ask their name & location so that you can visit them. Or in the context of a discussion thread you could say DrX, could you please PM me your details.

    Also, would you know that a doctor who is posting as a professional, is indeed a doctor? I would be concerned about someone trusting that they are getting medical advice valid advice from a 'doctor' via PM. This may be a none issue, however, with issues of anonymity, there is always the risk of legitimacy.
    I'll be taking simple steps to confirm identity so that anyone marked EyeMD or EyeOD is actually a doctor, but no guarantees - and it is very, very important that EVERYONE understand that anything posted by a doctor on this board is not medical advice. Doctors contributing here can share their thoughts and suggestions about possible diagnostic or treatment angles to pursue (just as we do on a peer-to-peer basis), but no one should make medical decisions based on the advice of a dr. online.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  22. #22
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    Thank you Rebecca, that does help and I agree it can't be controlled totally but making an effort does help.
    I would love more research to be done in the field of dry eyes and sites like this one might encourage that given the number of dry eye stories here.
    fiddle

  23. #23
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    yes. By all means

  24. #24
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    I cannot figure out how to vote, and as usual, am late to arrive, but I would love to see some dry eye specialists occasionally make an appearance. Not only eye doctors, but acupuncturists, reiki specialists, nutritional specialists, hormone specialists...I am sure there are more. There are the fair, the good and the great. I'd love to have access to the word of the "greats", and would also love to see them have access to one another. Have I thanked you lately Rebecca? Thank you!

  25. #25
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    I agree, more docs here would be great, since the interest and knowledge is poor in many countries as well as treatment possibilities. I would like to know whats happened with all the drugs and drops in the pipeline that is mentioned in Dr Latkaneys book from 2007....

  26. #26
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    Ya know, there's been a decent amount of doctors on here over the past few years I've read this forum. None of them ever stay very long. Why is that Rebecca?

  27. #27
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    Hi Sunshinelover,

    That is absolutely true. Here in Egypt for example all doctors recommend Lasik, and some say that Europeans and Americans, travel to Egypt to undergo Lasik because Egyptian doctors are genius! and well trained
    Moreover, after the operation, it will be nearly impossible to meet the doctor again , because genius guys are always busy
    Last edited by Ibrahim; 27-Dec-2012 at 08:01.

  28. #28
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    I personally would love to have more docs. on the forum. I think professional opinions matter greatly. I'm grateful for all the support that everyone has shared with each other but what seems evident is 2-fold. First we all want relief from our suffering and the goal of any good doctor is to do just that. Second, its been my experience that a lot of doctors look at us like a broken car that needs an oil change or new fuel injector, they don't see us as sufferers. I think that if doctors read some of our stories they'd want to do more than prescribe us drops or plugs. Bottom line, it would be nice to have doctors share some of their experiences with us so we can bring that experience with us when we see our doctor.

    patrick

  29. #29
    Yes, I would like to have more doctors on the Patients/Pros site. We can't live without them! We have our ever changing eyes, symptoms, etc. We need them for tests, prescriptions, new meds, etc. Also an educated patient can help a doctor in the diagnosis and treatment and he can help other patients too. Antigua

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