These days, it’s incredibly easy for doctors, (or anyone,) to have their own website.
A name can be reserved in a few minutes, the software to create them is free, school children can create acceptable websites these days, and having them hosted costs no more 2 or 3 dollars a week.
To us their importance is that they can make it so much easier for prospective patients to learn the exact details of a doctors’ areas of expertise – this when medical knowledge is increasing and increasing making the percentage of it that any one doctor can cover well smaller and smaller. Not only can they make it easier and easier for prospective patients – all they have to do is Google the doctor’s name and all the important information they need on him or her is set out in front of them, but, to us, just as importantly, if not more importantly, they can make the doctor’s life easier and better in that the patients that come to them for help are the ones they can help the most. Only not so good doctors, those who are struggling to get enough patients, are interested in getting patients they can’t really help.
But, in practice, very few doctors have their own website. And when you send emails using the one and only email address for a whole practice, often no response at all is provided, or they are dealt with at the receptionist level by people who have no real idea of the areas of expertise of any particular doctor, who are often virtually abusive that you might have put them to any trouble, and we’ve even had emails saying, “Oh we don’t provide medical advice by email,” as though advising on doctors’ areas of expertise is providing medical advice!!!!!!
The Skin Hospital is a classical example. At last count there were 54 dermatologists listed on its website. Yet, in the past, we’ve found that when emails were sent to any one of them, it soon became obvious that they never passed on to the addressees, we were just told things like, “Oh, any one of our doctors could help you with that,” – this, when you could hardly get a specialisation with more sub-specialisations in it than dermatology. And the last couple of emails sent to it haven’t even been acknowledged!
In the words of Donald Duck, “Such dumbness might be catching!”