Tom Seery of and I had a fairly long discussion a few days ago about both Realself.com and Medical Spa MD's approaches to the marketplace and strategic directions.
Of course one of the topics we touched on was realself.com's decision to remove all physicians from the site that were not board certified plastic surgeons or dermatologists.
Tom didn't get into much detail on this point other than to say it was a long story and that keeping only board ceritified plastic surgeons and derms was the decison they'd made, and they're going to stick to it.
While I don't really have a decision staked out on this I made the point that physicians get good at what the do a lot of. If I were a Botox patient I'd much rather have a non-core doc with a lot of experience shoot me up than a fantastic plastic surgeon who almost never does it. (Truth be told, I can't see the flaw in that logic.)
I can understand realself.com's decision on a purely business decision. Realself.com's looking for some level of credentials to make sure that the laymen who are the real target market of the site are getting at least some level of 'trained' physician.
Realself.com is great for patients who are researching treatments. The consumer-centric focus differs from our physician-centric community but there's some small overlap.
One of the thoughts I opined to Tom was that I could see it would be challenging for new physicians who were just coming on to the site to be motivated to contribute with the way their ranking system works. If you're answering a lot of questions you get greater visibility and promotion internally on the site. While it stimulates some docs to write a lot of answers, it's hard to see how any new physicians could come up with the number of answers to gain some placement. Tom says they're going to launch some new initiatives that will 'promote' new physicians. (This might anger some docs who have spent endless hours writing answer about Botox or liposuction.)
Anyone here have an opinion about realself.com?