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The real danger of web 2.0

Recently, I wrote a longer summary of the dangers of web 2.0 for medical professionals. And a week ago, I reported about a new medical case presentation in Second Life at the Ann Myers Medical center. Something happenned there I forgot to mention. There was an interesting discussion between a girl, let’s call her Millie, and our staff:

[10:33] Millie: hi there
[10:33] Staff1: hi Millie
[10:33] Staff2: hi millie
[10:33] Millie: hi everyone
[10:33] Me: hello
[10:33] Staff3: hi milie
[10:34] Millie: i’m sorry…is this an actual hospital or where young doctors and nurses train?
[10:34] Staff4: it is a training institution, Millie
[10:35] Millie: oh i am sorry
[10:35] Staff3: no problem
[10:35] Millie: i just came here because i wasn’t feeling great, i fainted not long ago so wanted to get checked out
[10:36] Staff4: have you had your blood sugar checked lately
[10:36] Millie: i haven’t no
[10:36] Staff3: you mean real life millie? or here in second life?
[10:36] Millie: should i find a doctor to visit?
[10:36] Staff4: in real life yes
[10:36] Millie: ok…i should do that then
[10:37] Staff3: also cut back your caffiene
[10:37] Staff3: drink plenty of water
[10:37] Millie: are you all trainees in real life?
[10:38] Millie Gears: fantastic…well thank you everyone for being so friendly….i’ll get going


What should a medical professional, who is an educator in Second Life, do in such a case?

I don’t know know whether to laugh or to cry. This is a real danger as people shouldn’t search for a doctor in Second Life. It should never happen…

What do you think?

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. This happens in medical newsgroups as well.
    I seriously doubt that the person has consulted a real MD: From her perspective, there was trained professional staff giving the advice to drink water and coffee.
    One should be very carefull to give advice online (except to consult a real doctor).
    [or is this perspective distorted as I live in a country with an unversal health care system an low financial barrier to help…]?

    PS: the girl should be referred to mental care as she has obviously lost sense of real life vs. SL!

    PS: parents have just let their daughter die from diabetes while waiting for God to help… Things can always go worse than our SL-case!

    April 3, 2008
  2. Apparently, we’re now drinking too much water!


    April 3, 2008
  3. Kathie Rose #

    Hi Berci! Since that was my first SL experience at AMMC, and I did not really know what to expect, I thought “Mille” was part of the case presentation. I did not know we would retire to a conference room and have a case presented via notecard. I thought the case was being presented by “Millie” and the interns were, perhaps, supposed to react to her presentation and symptoms. Turns out “Millie” was not the case, but it might be interesting to think about presenting cases in such a manner in the future.

    April 3, 2008
  4. CT #

    I’m surprised by the level of naivete on both ends here. Seeking and providing advice online will always be a hazard but I think it will become less of a witnessed problem as time goes on. Both patients and providers are becoming better versed on what is appropriate and what isn’t. As medicine 2.0 expands and patients and providers get used to it, everyone will be able to better identify its limitations.

    April 4, 2008
  5. Roo #

    This is a very interesting topic and I am sure this will make plenty of headlines in the near future. I have spent the past 3 years as a full time resident of Second Life and have met people who claim to be everything from Detectives, Doctors, Counselors, Scientists, Teachers, Police Officers, Nurses, Judges, etc., How can one really know the truth of a persons credentials when there are so many people who are just role playing in virtual worlds for fun and fantasy. Many people can not afford to go to a real Doctor and will seek out any free advice – if they can obtain it. This seems to be a growing crisis and one that will eventually lead to somebody receiving unfavorable information from an impersonator… since there is no way to really tell the difference and people are getting so desperate in this economy.

    April 5, 2008

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Virtual Medical Dangers of Web 2.0 | Womenhealth
  2. La propagation virale, dangeureuse ? | Charbel Matni's Blog

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