We want doctors to feel comfortable providing answers to questions about medicine and medical problems. Quora's policy is that in answering medical questions, doctors should not give a reader the impression that they are acting as her doctor, thus possibly creating a professional relationship (i.e., doctor-patient) and subjecting the doctor to "duties of reasonable care."
Questions related to medicine
- It's OK for a question to describe a general situation, illustration, illness, or symptoms, but the question should withhold enough facts so that it's clear that it's not describing a specific patient.
- Medicine-related questions on Quora are not allowed to provide facts that give the impression of being patient-specific. Questions that are patient-specific should be edited to become questions about general medical problems or deleted.
Answers related to medicine
- Medicine-related answers can provide general guidance, context, and illustration, but specific or diagnostic answers are not allowed. Answers should not provide specific treatment recommendations or give the impression that they are a substitute for a real-life consultation with a doctor.
- Doctors should not solicit patients for treatment. For example, doctors should not volunteer to schedule patient appointments on the site; doing so could violate medical board rules regarding advertising.
- In answering medicine-related questions, doctors should be careful not to discuss privileged or confidential details of past or current patients. Doctors should also be careful not to accidentally reveal confidential information in indirect ways – for example, by discussing hypothetical illustrations that could be traced back to specific patients.
- Needless to say, doctors should not suggest or prescribe medication to questioners based on interactions over Quora. Such a practice would likely violate telemedicine rules for many state medical boards.
Adding medical disclaimers to answers
- Doctors or medical students who answer medical or medically-related questions on Quora should identify themselves as licensed physicians or medical students and add a disclaimer to the end of their medical answers.
- Quora makes it easy for users who are doctors or medical students to include a personalized medical disclaimer when answering a question in the Medicine and Healthcare topic (and related topics).
- Attaching a disclaimer ensures that anywhere the answer text is shown, it is accompanied by the disclaimer text beneath it. The disclaimer will appear in a visually distinct region beneath the answer, truncated to show only the first line with an option for the reader to expand to the full text.
- To add a disclaimer, the eligible user should click the "Attach Medical Disclaimer" link found by clicking the "..." icon at the bottom of the answer editor and following the instructions.
- This medical disclaimer will be the disclaimer that shows up on your answers in questions in Medicine and Healthcare. Once initially set, a user's personalized disclaimer may be edited from the Settings page. Note that editing this text will update the text on all previous disclaimers.
- Once an eligible user initially creates a personalized disclaimer, she can attach this disclaimer to any existing answer (i.e., even on questions that are not tagged with Medicine-related topics) by editing that answer and clicking the "Attach Disclaimer" link. Disclaimers may be removed from an answer by editing that answer and clicking the "X" next to the disclaimer text.
- We've worked hard and done research to craft this disclaimer language to protect our users. However, medical board rules differ by state and country, so we aren’t sure that this language will work for every doctor in every location -- especially since rules can change over time. As always, use your own good judgment as a licensed professional and, if appropriate, you should edit or add to disclaimer language to comply with your state’s medical rules.
- We hope that over time, doctors in the Quora community will share what they learn about state-specific disclaimer language.