In this German Arzate complaints of the day I want to tell you about this: In this totally open world that we call internet anyone can get on any group that they might like and become part of an open forum. There are open and closed and specific forums, but on this occasion I would like to talk about open forums. As far as dentistry goes there are many open forums to choose from. As a doctor you sign up and on the other side patients can get on and ask whatever questions they may want to help them out or to consult about any given treatment, anything at all concerning their dental health.
Many times a doctor may think that the person on the other end has no knowledge of dentistry and this can be the case, but also sometimes they are folks who do have some kind of idea what they are talking about as they ask their questions. Sometimes more inexperienced doctors can tend to give one or two quick answers and think that with that as if they held a magic wand, they have given the patient the answers they needed but when this happens all we are doing is misinforming the patient. Also I have found doctors on line that discredit certain treatments which they themselves know little or nothing of and do not even know how to perform. They may criticize a certain material or brand concerning implants, but they have never inserted one. Others may talk down veneers, but have never prepared one nor do they know anything about cosmetic dentistry. You can find most anything in theses forums, all kinds of questions and anyone can answer, but the problem is when the answer is incorrect we only confuse people more and that’s why I decided to write this German Arzate complaints post. On the other hand we as doctors can also give very technical answers that are above the patient’s head thinking that they can look it up, but also maybe they just want a price, but you are not supposed to commercialize there so…. So they may actually want a full rounded answer, what treatments you could offer them, the different options and prices. This also is a dilemma for many doctors as they don’t know anything about sales anyway. He is a doctor, and he never learned to sell. When you get out of medical school they throw you to the lions in a sense as you know nothing about what to charge. You never took a course on sales and prices in school. You are concerned about people’s health, not so much the money at that moment. On the other hand there are doctors with no scruples who charge whatever they please without ever doing a cost analysis, they know nothing of prices and can over charge. No wonder some patients feel robbed.
What I complain about in this German Arzate complaints post is: Some open forums can be very touchy as any kind of person can get on and defame a doctor. Especially if the doctor concerned is not even on the group to defend himself much damage can be done to his reputation. There can be open discussions and even arguments on these forums, some folks even get mad and open confrontations occur; of course they are only in text. But they could be about how to carry out different treatments and procedures, diagnostics and more. The problem is in the end if the correct answer is not given the patient is just left hanging and he is not helped. Sometimes also the patient may not really know how to go about asking the question, he may say it one way but really wants to know something else, so that cannot bring good results. So we have a patient who doesn’t know exactly how to ask the question on line and on the other a doctor who may answer wrong as the question was not clear and concise.
So this is a complaint… On these groups there can be so many different situations. For you to give a correct answer you need to be a doctor with ample experience, not just because you graduated from such and such a school, but that you really have some solid working hours under your belt so that you know exactly what you are talking about, also that you are open to any kind of question and ready to give an answer. Number two you must understand that the person asking the question doesn’t want some high, lofty medical answer as if you were a god who knows all and can fix everything, he needs you to understand him and answer him as a patient, he doesn’t need a bunch of complicated medical terms that only doctors understand.
You have to phrase things in a way that the patient can understand. Some doctors expect the patient to look it all up, but if you are on an open forum as a doctor you need to be human and help them to understand what you are talking about. Also you have to be ready for criticism as other doctors are reading what you write and may not agree. Are you really ready for that? Can you handle such criticism without getting frustrated? Well you sure don’t study about that in medical school either.
So my complaint about these open forums also is that some really are not that legit and can’t be taken seriously. I believe on this type of forum there needs to be a level of professionalism and seriousness. If not anyone can just open up a group even just to spite and hurt the reputation of any given doctor. Often these groups are superfluous and without real content, with nothing helpful or concise on the subject at hand. So we need clear ideas, concise questions and direct answers that give real life solutions. Thank you!