I had a very very interesting experience yesterday. As I’ve mentioned in my links above, I am mainly doing this as a hobby and do not intend to become rich from this tele-dermatology service!!
One of my patients in the UK who was pleased with my service suggested that I should register in a forum called ‘Skin Care Talk’, and get myself known. I was not aware of this forum and did not like the idea of randomly advertising to an internet community. Anyway I thought I’d give it a look and registered on the site. It is actually a very useful forum for people to share their skin problems online and seek advice. However the forum rules clearly state that they are not responsible for advice given and the advice posted should not be treated as ‘medical’ advice. This is perfectly reasonable considering that the users of the forum are non-medical personnel.
I was a bit sceptical to start with but did post on a few threads offering an opinion on case histories and pictures posted. What followed however within the next couple of hours completely caught me unawares. I was met with a personal scathing attack on my reputation and was banned from the forum, for offering ‘medical’ advice. I was sent a message that I was banned because the forum rules state that ‘medical’ advice is not allowed. I was/am completely flabbergasted. If they do not allow medical advice, why in the first place are they running the forum. What’s the point of random non-medical advice, which would probably end up confusing everyone?
I think the forum is ruled by a bunch of moderators who are used to their reputation of being half-wits and could not bear with the idea of someone ‘medical’ stealing their ‘fame’!! Anyway, I think I have learned my lesson and it is probably best I stick to my blog. As with every doctor, his/her own patients are the best publicity.