Community Forum top_calendar.gif top_members.gif top_faq.gif top_search.gif top_home.gif    

Go Back   Community Forum > The Internet Medical Journal > Editorials
User Name
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old September 24th, 2001, 11:44
sysadmin sysadmin is offline
Join Date: 2001
Posts: 1,085
1999.06.13 Ostrich Behavior by Medical Professionals

Medical professionals continue to ignore the risks -- and the benefits -- of online medicine. With news this last week that a young teenaged boy was able to buy Viagra online, perhaps those of us in the medical profession will heed our call to protect the public health.

Of particular interest is a pair of comments I received back from the editors of JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine. In order to bring attention to the need for online standards and regulations for the practice of medicine, I wrote letters to the editor for both journals. Both replied back to me that the reviewers felt the topic wasn't of sufficient importance to be published! Here is the letter I sent on May 1, 1999 to the New England Journal of Medicine:



Letters to the Editor

New England Journal of Medicine

10 Shattuck St.

Boston, MA 02115


Thomas F. Heston, MD, FAAFP

Mountain Health Care

740 McKinley Avenue

Kellogg, ID 83837

To the editor:

Is it still correct to define primary care as a "hands-on" specialty? With the online pharmacies and medical clinics, Iím not so sure.

Historically, young males made up the bulk of internet users. This has been assumed to be the reason that pornography has flourished online. Thus, it is not surprising that when a medicine designed to enhance sexual performance became FDA approved, the climate was right for the emergence of online prescribing. For example, earlier this year I received an email solicitation urging me to join an affiliate program promoting sildenafil (Viagra). This affiliate program was similar to the one Amazon.Com used to build its internet empire. All I had to do, according to the advertisement, was place a banner on my website. I would then earn a commission anytime someone clicked on the banner and made a purchase. I was not sent this email because I am a doctor, but rather because I am a webmaster. Virtually anyone with a website can join in the Viagra bonanza!

Physicians need to insist upon standards and regulations for online medical clinics. Those of us who have dedicated our lives to helping others improve their health must address this very real danger. With this in mind, I propose the following three point plan as a starting point for our examination.

1. Online medical clinics that establish doctor-patient relationships can dispense medical information, but not medical advice. The health care providerís credentials shall be made easily accessible online, free of charge. These providers must clearly state their precise degree and field of expertise (e.g. medicine, psychology, or education).

2. Online prescribing should be forbidden both legally and ethically. A health care provider needs to examine the patient before prescribing, and be available to manage any side-effects.

3. A world-wide licensing program should be established to allow internet users to identify reputable sources of medical information, and allow physicians from any country to establish an online medical clinic.

The internet can be a tremendously useful tool to bring doctors closer to their patients, but primary care rests upon a personal, intimate, hands-on relationship. As physicians, we need to take a leadership role in establishing online standards and regulations.

Thomas F. Heston, MD, FAAFP
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Scientists Sue Federal Government for Blocking Medical Marijuana Research sysadmin News 0 July 22nd, 2004 15:08
2002.09.01 General Medical Pearls sysadmin News 0 December 12th, 2002 07:53
Confronting the New Health Care Crisis sysadmin News 0 August 14th, 2002 19:28
May 5 - May 11, 2002 sysadmin News 0 May 20th, 2002 16:06
April 28 - May 04, 2002 sysadmin News 0 May 20th, 2002 15:49

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:24.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.  
- Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

We are committed to your good health. That means that while we provide editorial medical information, we must insist that you work with your own doctor in regards to your personal health issues. All content on Medjournal.Com is strictly editorial. It constitutes medical opinion, NOT ADVICE. We do not endorse or recommend the content of or the sites that are linked FROM or TO Use common sense by consulting with your doctor before making any lifestyle changes or other medical decisions based on the content of these web pages. Medjournal.Com and the Internet Medical Journal shall not be held liable for any errors in content, advertising, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.