Purpose and Use of the Medical Forums/ Ask a Doctor
The Doctors Lounge Medical Forums/ Ask a Doctor (Medical Forums / Forums) do not give medical advice. Use of the Medical Forums is subject to our Terms and Conditions of Use.
The Medical Forums are intended as a patient resource. It is important to understand these Forums in no way constitute medical advice. Your choice of treatment, or indeed whether to receive treatment at all, rests with you and your physician(s).
We know that each individual patient has differing needs, concerns, desires, and medical situations. The information provided on these Forums may help you learn the opinions of doctors / other patients, and may suggest questions you can ask of your doctors or research yourself, but is not medical advice.
LEGAL ISSUES/ACTION AND SCOPE OF SERVICE
You remain solely responsible for the content of your messages, and you agree to indemnify and hold harmless Doctors Lounge with respect to any claim based upon transmission of your message(s).
By participating in these forums, you grant us the right and license to use, reproduce and display any submissions to the forum without compensation to you or any one else.
We at Doctors Lounge also reserve the right to reveal your identity (or whatever information we know about you) in the event of a complaint or legal action arising from any message posted by you.
PRIVACY AND PERSONAL INFORMATION
Beware! You are making a public post. It is your responsibility to ensure that your identity is not revealed on these forums. You will not have the ability to later edit or delete your post. This service is optimized so as to benefit you as well as future visitors seeking the same information. Since this is not an private service, posts that receive a reply are never deleted. It is not our responsibility to remove identifying information such as your name, e-mail or a familiar username.
Understand that your commentary could possibly have an unlimited shelf life. Your posts may appear for an undetermined amount of time, possibly for years and may appear on popular search engines. Therefore please think about the future implications of your posts as you are writing and responding within the Medical Forums.
Any messages that we deem unsuitable will be deleted or edited.
Any user who fails to abide by the Forum Rules will be banned without warning.
This website was not designed to deal with medical emergencies. If you suspect that you or a relative has a medical emergency please CALL 911 or its equivalent in your country.
The Doctors Lounge Medical Forums are operated by a volunteer staff including doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals. See our members page for a list of staff members. We are not always able to respond in a timely manner with sufficient personnel. As such, and since this is a free service, we cannot guarantee that your question will be answered.
Please be polite to others using the Medical Forums and treat them with respect and dignity. To this end, please note that you are not allowed to post comments that are rude, defamatory or prejudiced against age, sex, race, location, or against the religious, political and cultural background of any other user.
Send thanks, words of encouragement if you feel one of our health professionals has been able to help you. Above all, if your condition has improved or your diagnosis has been resolved, please post a follow up in your original thread so that other users may benefit.
Only one user account per individual
You cannot have more than one user account. We regularly check our database for accounts with conspicuous similarities.
Please keep your signature under six lines - the shorter the better. Long complicated signatures do nothing but distract other posters and eat up bandwidth. The content of the signature must be respectful.
One question at a time please
Please post one question at a time and wait for a response from one of our staff before posting a new question. We understand and respect the reasons you may have for asking several questions but please note that you should give us a chance to answer questions asked by other users as well. Once your question has been answered you may ask a new question if the subject is significantly unrelated to your original posting. In real life situation this would be like going to a hospital and summoning all the doctors at once. It does not show respect for the doctors or to their efforts in attempting to answer all the questions and may result in your questions being answered last or even deleted altogether.
Do not post the same question more than once
Cross posting is defined as posting the same information in more than one forum. We are very strict with cross posting. Your posts will be deleted and you will be permanently banned from using the forums. We understand that some medical issues may fall under the domain of different medical specialties (e.g., lower abdominal pain may be adequately attended by a gastroenterologist, a urologist, a gynecologist or a general surgeon). We ask that you post your question in the most likely forum to attract an answer from the staff member most comfortable with answering it. Again, this would be like scheduling an appointment with all the doctors mentioned above whenever you get lower abdominal pain.
Maintain Topicality (Stay on topic)
Please keep threads on-topic. Post your follow-up replies in the original thread. If you wish to say something which is not within the topic of a thread, create a new one. By not maintaining topicality you render your topic incomprehensible to other users. It's also considered a sign of disrespect to the healthcare professionals working on the forums as they have to go back to your other post to understand your question and help you. These posts are inevitably cleaned up by our moderator and the user may be banned as a result.
Use a descriptive title
You are more likely to get looked at by someone that is experienced with your condition if you use a descriptive title than if you use "Please help me".
Use proper English
Please use complete sentences and paragraphs with the appropriate grammar. Text messaging abbreviations are confusing. So don't write "U" if you mean "you" or "2" instead of "to". Try to break down longer posts into paragraphs.
Do not use ALL CAPS
Do not write your subject and post in all capitals (ALL CAPS). Your post will be read last and maybe deleted.
Advertising is not permitted in these forums. You cannot use these forums to sell anything.
External links to promote other websites are not allowed. Use of external links is generally discouraged as this makes the information presented on the website dependent on an external source which is not under our control and which may change over time.
Calls to action
Being negative about a certain company or product in itself is not prohibited if it is within a well worded thread that invites discussion rather than a call to action such as "Don't buy product A" or "Boycott company X". These posts are likely to be deleted for legal/anti-competitive reasons. Similarly you are not allowed to promote a certain product (see under advertising).
Help us keep this service free
Please understand that while this service is offered free to the end-user it is not free for us. Each new question you post that we answer directly costs us money in addition to the costs incurred as a result of the time and effort spent by the individual healthcare professionals offering to help you.
Research your question
Before asking a new question please take the time to look for questions that are similar to yours by browsing the Medical Forums / Forum Archives. Alternatively, you can conduct a basic site search using our Search page. This will prevent us from having to repeat ourselves unnecessarily at a time when our resources are strained. By doing so you are helping us to keep this service free for the benefit of everyone. Thank you.
Trim your posts
Keep your posts as short and as to the point as possible. Please remember that our healthcare professionals would like to help as many patients as possible by writing long, excessively detailed posts you are making it harder for anyone that wants to help you. We understand that every detail is important but please remember that this is not a clinical setting and a diagnosis or treatment decision will never be made on these forums. Should the person answering your question require further information he will request it from you.
Suggested structure for a medical reply:
Start your topic by including the six essential background details outlined on the new topic form. This includes:
- Past diagnoses
- Past surgeries
- Family history
- Current medications
Write a SHORT history (max. two paragraphs) of your condition with your question clearly shown at the end.
Copyright infringement is illegal on these forums. Therefore, please do not post articles in their entirety. When posting copyrighted material, please use the quote feature to highlight the important parts of the article and provide a thorough summary for others. You must also provide sufficient credit to the author and a link to the original article in your post. If the article cannot be found online, then at the end of the post provide an appropriate citation using the AMA citation format.
Please do not try to pass someone else's work as your own. Anyone caught committing plagiarism will be dealt with severely.
Using the quote feature
Please use it sparingly. The Quote feature is in place to aid the continuity of a discussion, such as when referring to a post other than the one directly above yours.
When replying to a post, quote only what is needed for context. No one is interested in reading the entire post again! Quoting the entire post wastes expensive bandwidth and is annoying. After hitting the quote button, please remove the portions of the post that are unrelated to your response.
Dr. Tamer Fouad, M.D.
The Doctor's Lounge.