Although fewer, there are still legal concerns the physician will have to think about when participating in one of these physician-initiated sites. The main one, according to Dr. Walsh, goes back to the relatively anonymous nature of the platforms.
You Might Also Like
Explore This IssueOctober 2015
Also By This Author
“The one thing that makes me a little hesitant is that the responding providers are not necessarily acknowledged experts in the field,” he says. “There is no real quality control over the kind of doctor responding or any really good way to screen what the crowd suggests you do. At the end of the day, I have less concern about this type of crowdsourcing because the patient’s doctor is still making the decisions on what options to follow.”
Thrill of the Hunt
For physicians participating in patientinitiated or doctor-initiated websites, there is a certain thrill of the hunt involved—especially because the posts are most often by those who have reached the limits of diagnostic abilities and still haven’t found an answer.
“For me, it goes back to the inner drive of all physicians to contribute to the betterment of patient care,” says Dr. Chakravarty. “The desire to diagnose and develop a treatment plan is overarching, and helping a colleague will benefit the patient. That is what drives us every day.”
Kurt Ullman is a freelance writer based in Indiana.