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Jeannie McClelland

Guidelines Quick Byte

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Hi Fellow Forum Members,


Time for another thrilling episode of ISN Quick Bytes. These short posts are intended to clarify important points and serve as a helpful reminder. They may also help you to understand why certain things have been edited or even deleted in their entirety.


This first series deals with the Forum Guidelines (which, of course, you read and set to memory when you joined the Forums). The guidelines are always only a click away at the left of the purple toolbar at the top of every Forum page.


In the introduction, we are reminded that: This forum is a free service of the International Scleroderma Network (ISN) at www.sclero.org. The ISN is a nonprofit international patient and medical organization that delivers top notch research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses. All of these guidelines support the ISN's international and nonprofit mission.


This Guidelines Quick Byte is about who we are and if you sometimes are like me and wonder just who you are, it'll help you to know that too.


Who We Are All volunteers and forum users are assumed to be non-medical professionals. Even when expertise is acknowledged or claimed, always consult your doctor for medical advice. We provide basic support and general information, but we are not doctors, counselors, psychiatrists, social workers, or legal, financial or disability advisors.


Ah, but I am a doctor. I have a Ph.D., ABD.


I am not familiar with the ABD degree.


Of course everyone knows ABD means All But the Dissertation. But I did most of the coursework.


And what is your field of expertise?


Ah, um, well, horticulture. But that doesn't matter! I've read just about everything on the internet about scleroderma and I know what I'm talking about. You'll save yourself a lot of time and money taking my advice instead of wasting it at your doctor's who isn't all that sympathetic to your problem anyhow.


Do I hear everyone saying "Hey, I know where she's going with this! It's those silly disclaimers, isn't it?" Well, you are right. This is a demonstration of why we put them in. Anybody can claim to be anyone, but even if the claims might be true, they should be posted with appropriate references and disclaimers.


Even those of us who have been vetted (screened) through the volunteer process with the International Scleroderma Network must support our own statements with appropriate references and disclaimers.


We can't approve posts that imply special knowledge, offer a diagnosis or suggest a treatment (no matter what the claims of professional standing, however insightful and helpful the posts may seem to be) without editing in a disclaimer and the just-plain-common-sense advice to check first with your own doctor.


Here’s that link again for those of you who just can’t wait for the next Guidelines Quick Byte to arrive: Forum Guidelines (link found in the purple toolbar on every Forum page).


Best wishes and happy posting,

Jeannie McClelland

(Retired) ISN Director of Support Services

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Manager

(Retired) ISN Blog Manager

(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide

(Retired) ISN Artist

International Scleroderma Network

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