Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Public Service Announcement - Moderation Policy

This is just a reminder and to establish an anchor point about moderation on this blog.  If you attempted to post a response on the blog and it did not show up it is most likely due to one of these reasons.  It is always possible that I made a mistake or that your response ended up in my spam file.  In fact, several posters clued me in about that happening and I did find and post their responses.  It should be pretty clear that you do not have to agree with me but there are some limits that are fairly basic to a small barely read blog like this one.  These limits follow:

1.  No trolls - I am not fascinated by trolls or the troll culture.  One of the reasons that I started this blog was that I used to post in what I thought was a professional forum that was dominated by a troll.  There was no moderation and eventually all of the interesting posters left and went elsewhere.  So spare me the First Amendment arguments - that kind of rhetoric just doesn't fly here.  My reasonable test is what would happen to a troll in any medical staff meeting?  Consider this a similar atmosphere.

2.  No advertising - This is a strictly non-commercial enterprise.  I type it up on my own and there is no sponsor or source of revenue.  As I have pointed out to people who want to advertise here, I have many copyright permissions at this point that are all contingent upon the non-commercial status of this blog so at no point is it possible for me to accept advertising.  The Creative Commons license allows anyone to repost the contents of this blog with the proper attribution.  If you like the content - just repost it or link to it.  No advertising also includes posts with hyperlinks to product advertising and that kind of link results in a rejected post.  It also includes posts with no content and apparent compliments that are hyperlinked to advertising through the name of the poster.

3.  No anti-psychiatry rhetoric - There can be discussions of anti-psychiatry from a philosophical standpoint, but if the main point of the post is to bash psychiatry or psychiatrists this is not the place and you probably already know that.  There are many anti-psychiatry blogs that you can flock to.  Some of them are even contain active posts by psychiatrists.  Psychiatry attracts a lot of haters and my original analyses of the problem in 2012 still stands as well as a clear anti-psychiatry bias in the media.  At least part of that media bias is that they are just being provocative to draw a crowd and of course they have no responsibility to people with clear problems.

4.  No personal attacks - ad hominem is the poorest form of criticism.  If the argument cannot be addressed, attacking the person is not a substitute - at least here.  There are many other blogs and media sites where that is acceptable.  The standard I use for physicians is the expected behavior in professional settings with colleagues.  If a post does not meet that standard it is on shaky ground.

5.  No medical advice - this blog is not the place to seek personal medical advice.  Nothing here should be construed as medical advice or a discussion of an actual patient.  My opinion stated here in many places is that only your personal physician or physicians knows enough about you to make suitable recommendations.

6.  No interminable arguments - I don't have to have the last word on anything and frequently just stop posting.  I will not post repeated posts making the same argument or with very slight modifications.  One of the most interminable arguments has to do with the link between psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies.  I have debunked that argument on this blog many times.  I would refer you to blogs where they have interminable arguments about how bad psychiatric medications are and how corrupt psychiatrists are for their connections to Big Pharma.  Neither argument is accurate but this is the place to read about how medications are actually used.

7.  Stay on topic - It is a reasonable requirement to address the topic.  Newspaper web sites are good examples of what can happen when this simple rule is not followed.  A corollary is to address the topic in a timely manner.  I have had people notice posts from 3 years ago and write a response.  Blogger does not allow me to terminate discussions like some web sites.  My only option is to not post untimely responses.  Six months is a reasonable time frame.

That is what I have so far.  I reserve the right to add more as they come to me.  The goal is to maintain coherence and rational discussion.  Any inspection of the blog posts shows that there is not a lot of discussion and stimulating discussion is not one of my primary objectives. I appreciate the people who have taken the time to read this blog and post their comments - many of which make excellent points and do stimulate further discussion.

My goal all along has been to produce opinion and analysis consistent with the way that real psychiatrists train, work, and practice.  I do not see myself as unique in any way.  I routinely have contact with excellent psychiatrists who I have trained with and who are colleagues.  They approach problems in psychiatry and think about those problems in very similar if not identical ways that I do.    I see this blog as a creative outlet as well as one of the few places on the Internet where this kind of content is available.

George Dawson, MD, DFAPA


The photo:  John Schneider.  RCA 40A Ribbon Microphone. August 19, 2007.
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  1. So, I don't understand if I was a Troll, Anti-Psychiatry , or another....I was just curious where all the Psychiatrists went who did therapy that is all...I did not mean to be offensive, just sadly missing a very good Doctor, one of those "Once in a Lifetimes" I guess.

    1. I considered your post off topic. The topic was Big Data and you commented that I seemed to be "up on coding" and then asked about where psychiatrists who do therapy went. I have posted many times that psychiatrists are rationed, that insurance companies don't want to pay for psychotherapy by psychiatrists (or much of anything else). In New York City for example, there are a lot of private pay psychiatrists and a fair number of psychiatrists seeing publicly funded patients. There are very few psychiatrists available to see middle class working patients who have insurance that rations psychiatric care.