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Patient Forums (and why you should be in the know)

on May 3rd, 2005 | Filed under Optoblog

kcenter.org is a site all about keratoconus. What’s neat is they run a forum dedicated to discussing KC. Doctors and Patients conversing online about their eye conditions! What a novel concept! This is really cool, and I urge all ODs to go register for this site. Even if you don’t specialize in KC, is has some good stuff.
Now, I know what some of you are going to say. Won’t this spread rumors and half truths that we’ll just have to clear up in the exam room? Is it a good idea for patients to talk to each other about stuff like this?
Heck ya’! Knowledge is power. Forums like this empower the patient to be more proactive in their own care.
On the downside for some less knowledgeable practitioners, now your patients will know when to cut through the bull. A common sentiment that these forum members tell each other is that they have to trust in their eye doctor to manage their condition competently and if they don’t believe the doctor has the knowledge, skills, and ability to do that, then find another doctor.
This is what’s called riding the Cluetrain. Patients want feedback and discussion. A couple minutes in an exam room doesn’t satisfy. Find resources like this a give them to you patients. Ideally you would have your own practice forum, but for specific, life-altering conditions like KC, it’s nice to link to an international forum.

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