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FAQ Page

  1. About doc2doc
  2. Getting started
  3. Privacy
  4. Patient confidentiality guidelines
  5. Forums
  6. Blogs
  7. General info about using doc2doc
  8. Further assistance
  9. Getting Involved
  10. Glossary of networking terminology

About doc2doc

What is doc2doc?

doc2doc is an professional networking community for healthcare professionals worldwide. It is an independent, secure medium of communication aiming to improve the working lives of doctors and other healthcare professionals, and the healthcare of their patients. doc2doc is a place where healthcare professionals can meet and talk about their clinical and non-clinical interests on discussion forums, blogs, or through direct contact with other members. doc2doc can be used to organise hospital events, create study groups, get in touch with old colleagues, and find new colleagues to collaborate with. There are blogs, clinical forums, off duty (travel, books, cycling etc) forums, an online journal club, polls, e-books, and much more.

Who runs doc2doc?

doc2doc is provided by the BMJ Group. The BMJ Group is a trusted global medical publisher which provides a wide range of products and services to improve the decisions healthcare professionals make every day.

doc2doc is run by its community manager, community clinical editor, and editor, all of whom are based at BMJ Group's London office.

Pluck provides the technology for doc2doc.

What can I do on doc2doc?

  • Forums: you can start, follow, or join discussions on various clinical and non-clinical topics. [If you are a registered doctor, you will be able to access doctors’ only forums (closed clinical forums), where you can discuss clinical problems and seek advice from other doctors.]
  • Blogs: you can write, follow, or comment on blogs.
  • Friends: you can search for members by their real name/country/specialty, and invite members to be your friends.
  • Private messaging: you can send private messages to and receive private message from other members.
  • Public messaging: you can leave public messages for members if their persona allows for it.

Who are the founder members?

doc2doc's founder members are the early members who made regular contributions to the forums and/or blogs pages. They were offered founder member status for posting at least five comments per week or over 100 posts altogether during the first three months of their registration. We are very grateful to our founder members for helping to build the site, and, to acknowledge their hard work, they are:

  • recognised on the doc2doc website
  • in receipt of letters of thanks for their portfolios
  • invited to doc2doc community get-togethers in London.

Is there a doc2doc advisory board?

doc2doc's advisory board consists some of our founder members, as well as other regular posters/bloggers. The advisory board is contacted when major changes to doc2doc are being discussed. If you wish to be considered for a position on this board, please email community.doc2doc@bmjgroup.com

Getting started

How do I register?

Registration is free. To register, click the "Register" box.

Can I use my BMJ subscriber account details to access doc2doc?

No. You still need to register with doc2doc so that you can choose a username and tell us your GMC number. However, if you sign up using the email address you use for other BMJ products, the registration process will be quicker.

Can I use my student.bmj.com account details to access doc2doc?

Yes. When you register for Student BMJ you will be asked to create a doc2doc username. Your Student BMJ login details are the same as your doc2doc login details.

Why do you ask for a GMC number?

We ask for a GMC number so we can verify UK registered doctors and grant them access to doctors' only forums (closed clinical forums) accordingly. As we do not have access to the databases of other countries' regulatory medical bodies at this time, we verify non-UK doctors by other means.

What if I don't have a GMC number?

If you are a registered doctor from a country outside the UK, we will ask you for one or more of the following when you request access to closed clinical forums:

  • details of current workplace of practice, including job title, postal address, telephone number and website address
  • details of registration with recognised medical regulatory bodies
  • faxed or emailed copies of your graduation or other certificate confirming you are a doctor.

If you are not a registered doctor you will not be able to access the closed clinical forums. You will, however, be able to access all open forums automatically and request access to closed community forums by emailing community.doc2doc@bmjgroup.com.

How do I customise my profile?

If you decide to, you can customise your profile in many ways, including adding your own picture/avatar, writing an "about me" section, and providing details about your previous jobs and research interests. To get started, go to the "Update your profile" tab in "My doc2doc".

I'm having trouble registering. Help!

If you are having trouble registering with doc2doc please take a look at our registration guide, which takes you through the registration process step by step. If you are still having difficulties, please email community.doc2doc@bmjgroup.com outlining the problem. We'll do our best to respond the same day.

I've forgotten my password. Help!

Don't worry, just click here and follow the instructions.

I have registered but can't access the doctors' only forums (closed clinical forums). What should I do?

When you registered, did you tell us your GMC number? If you didn't or you don't have a GMC number, you will not be able to access the clinical forums until you provide evidence that you are a practising doctor.

Please follow the link that is appropriate to you:

If this does not solve your problem, please email community.doc2doc@bmjgroup.com.


How secure is doc2doc?

Your security is very important to us. All your personal details are kept on a secure server and we will not share these with anyone. We try to ensure that the clinical forums are accessed only by doctors but we cannot guarantee this. We carry out random checks on our members so please don't be offended if we ask you for information confirming your doctor status.

Please ensure you keep your password safe and do not share it with anyone.

Who can see my profile?

You can decide who sees your profile information on doc2doc: you can choose for it to be visible to "Everyone", "Friends only", or "Nobody".

To change this setting, go to "My doc2doc", "Settings", then "Privacy and preferences".

Patient confidentiality guidelines

In discussions or blogs that involve your experiences with individual patients it is essential to ensure that you protect patient confidentiality, for your patients’ interests and your own.

  1. We advise you to obtain written patient consent to discuss any case on doc2doc whether or not you think the patient can be identified. This should ensure that you are protected in case there is a complaint. When obtaining consent make sure that you are clear that you want to discuss the case on a website that is designed for medical professionals but which may be seen by non medical professionals worldwide and may be included within other BMJ Group publications (in any media). Be clear to them that they may be identified.
  2. If you have not obtained patient consent, make sure you don’t write anything that could identify or potentially identify a patient. It is very difficult to truly anonymise a post, but these tips may help:
    • Consider which parts of the history are important for the discussion. In many cases potentially identifiable details can be removed without loss of meaning.
    • A key give away to the identity of a patient is the identity of the doctor treating them. Consider using a general screen name (such as John1) and either making your profile private or removing identifiable details from your profile such as place of work.
    • Ask yourself the following question: ‘if I knew the person in the case report and about their condition, would I recognise them from this description?’
  3. We don’t check that every discussion or blog complies with our guidelines. If a complaint is made or we become aware of non compliance we will remove your posting, edit it, or ask you to do so.
  4. Images – such as x-rays, laparoscopic images, ultrasound images, pathology slides, or images of undistinctive parts of the body – may be used without consent so long as they are anonymised by the removal of any identifying marks and are not accompanied by text that could reveal the patient’s identity through clinical or personal detail. If there is any chance that a patient may be identified from a photograph or other image or from its legend or accompanying text you should obtain written consent.
  5. If the patient you want to discuss is deceased, consent is not required by UK law. However, if you wish to discuss a case in detail that may identify the patient in any way you should gain the consent of the family.
  6. For more information on the legal and ethical issues around confidentiality you may find this editorial in the BMJ useful. Guidance from the General Medical Council can be found here.


What makes a good discussion post for the forums?

There are no hard and fast rules for creating a new post. If something interests you, such as a piece of research, news story, or clinical problem, it is likely to interest others on doc2doc.

Just like in a face to face conversation, try to make your answers informative, concise, and well constructed. Try to back up any claims that you make by linking to some supporting evidence.

Can I edit my forum posts?

You can go back to edit your forum posts by clicking “edit” at the bottom of the post. You must be logged in to do this.

How can I find out if someone has replied to a forum thread I want to follow?

By choosing to "subscribe to this discussion", you will receive an email whenever someone posts a reply to that discussion.

How do I link to a particular post within a thread?

It is possible to create a permalink to posts if this icon appears . When someone later clicks on the URL you created, they will be taken straight to the post rather than the first post in the thread.

What is the difference between open and closed forums?

Open forums are discussion forums that can be accessed and joined by all doc2doc members.

Closed forums are forums accessible by authorised members only. Closed forums include doctors' only forums (closed clinical forums) for doctor to doctor clinical discussion and member generated community forums. Closed forums will have a padlock icon next to them.

To ensure the privacy of the closed forums, they are run using slightly different technology to the open forums so you may find the look and feel varies when you switch between using the two types of forums.

Can I create my own forum?

If you wish to request the creation of a doc2doc forum, please email community.doc2doc@bmjgroup.com

I am a doctor and practise in the UK, how do I access doctors’ only forums (closed clinical forums)?

If you are a doctor and practise in the UK, you can get instant access to doctors’ only forums (closed clinical forums) by telling us your GMC number when you register. If you registered without telling us your GMC number, you need to email your gmc number, full name and email address to community.doc2doc@bmjgroup.com

I am a doctor and practise outside the UK, how do I access doctors’ only forums (closed clinical forums)?

If you are a doctor and practise outside the UK, please email community.doc2doc@bmjgroup.com with details of current workplace of practice, including job title, postal address, telephone number and website address.

Please also include your full name and doc2doc community name in the e-mail. If you are not able to do this, or would like to ask anything about this verification process, please email our community team. We can then give you access to these forums.

We aim to process all applications within 72 hours.

I am a medical student, how do I access doctors' only forums (closed clinical forums)?

You need to be a registered doctor to be granted access to doctors' only forums (closed clinical forums).

Why do I need to provide evidence that I am a doctor to access doctors' only forums (closed clinical forums)?

Doctors' only forums (closed clinical forums) are guaranteed spaces for doctor to doctor communication. To ensure this, we must restrict access to doctors' only forums (closed clinical forums). Access is granted to doctors upon receiving evidence that they are registered to practise.


How do I become a blogger?

We are keen to encourage a broad range of blogs and bloggers from the medical profession. If you would like to write a blog, please email community.doc2doc@bmjgroup.com with your blogging idea.

What makes a good blog?

doc2doc bloggers can be from a broad range of health professions, and blogs can be about anything from personal views on being a healthcare professional to opinions on medical topics, research, books, films etc. Basically we want you to write about what you care about, with the aim of encouraging people to say what they think about it too.

How do I post a blog?

If your request to become a doc2doc blogger has been accepted, you are able to post your own blogs within whichever blog category you think is appropriate (Doctors’ blog, News blog, Food for thought, Medical students’ blog, Medical bytes, Artsy docs blog, Clinical blog, Community blog).

Once you click on the appropriate category, you will see a tab at the top right saying, "Write new post". Give your blog a title and write the blog where it says "Body".

Tags allow blogs to be tagged according to theme. Tags appear to the right of the list of blogs once blogs have been posted. When someone then clicks on a tag such as "medicine" they get a list of all blogs with that tag.

By entering something in "Abstract", you can type your own summary text for the blog listing page rather than have doc2doc technology automatically use the first paragraph of the body.

Press "Submit" when you're ready for the blog to go live.

Can I edit my blogs after I have posted them?

You can go back to edit your blog by opening the blog, and clicking "view/edit posts".

Can I edit my blog comments after I have posted them?

You are not able to edit comments you made to blogs once you have posted them. If you wish for a blog comment to be removed, email community.doc2doc@bmjgroup.com

How can I find out if someone has commented on a blog I want to follow?

By choosing to "Subscribe via RSS", you will receive an email whenever someone posts a new comment to the blog.

General info about using doc2doc

How do I report offensive comments?

Should you find any doc2doc content to be in breach of the Code of Conduct, please use the "Report abuse" button that accompanies all content on doc2doc.

When you have clicked the report abuse button you will be asked to select what type of abuse has occurred and have the option to include a message with your report. Please include as much detail as possible when making an abuse report. With your help, we can ensure that any abusive, defamatory and inappropriate content is removed as soon as possible and maintain a high quality of discussion and interaction on doc2doc.

How do I search for content on doc2doc?

At the top right of the screen, above the poll, there is a search bar. Type a key word into this box to search the site. If you are searching for a phrase of two or more words, add speech marks around the words.

How do I find other doctors?

You can find colleagues simply by clicking the "People" button and entering information into the 'People Search' box. You can search for members by specialty, country, or grade. You will be able to view the name, country, specialty and grade of each member that the search finds. You will not be able to see their doc2doc community screen name or their profile picture unless you are their friend. Once you have located the member you are looking for, you can request to be their friend and send them a private message.

What do certain icons mean?

This means the first post in the thread is a question

This means the first post in the thread is a discussion starter

This means the first post in the thread is a poll

This appears next to posts or threads you have not yet read

This allows you to insert an image into a post

This allows you to insert an emoticon into a post

How do I connect to my Facebook and/or Twitter accounts?

Enter the "My doc2doc" area and select "settings", then "connectors". By clicking the Facebook connect and/or Twitter connect buttons you are able to share your doc2doc content with Facebook friends and/or Twitter followers.

What are doc2doc badges and certificates?

doc2doc's rewards system offers bronze, silver, gold, and platinum badges to regular users who contribute to doc2doc forums. Virtual badges and downloadable certificates are visible in users' doc2doc personas (accessible by clicking "My doc2doc").

Bronze badges are awarded to users who have posted 50 times in doc2doc forums; silver badges are awarded to users who have posted 100 times in doc2doc forums; gold badges are awarded to users who have posted 500 times in doc2doc forums; and platinum badges are awarded to users who have posted 1000 times in doc2doc forums.

Currently, rewards are only available for posts in doc2doc forums. The number of blogs or blog comments you have posted are not counted when these rewards are issued. However, regular doc2doc bloggers will be awarded with a separate blogger’s badge.

doc2doc champions are also awarded badges and certificates.

Further assistance

What are your rules for abusive or disruptive comments or users?

Please refer to doc2doc's terms and conditions for our rules on abusive users and comments. If you think that somebody has broken these rules we urge you to bring this to our attention through the "Report abuse" button that appears next to all content on the site.

When you have clicked the report abuse button you will be asked to select what type of abuse has occurred and have the option to include a message with your report. Please include as much detail as possible when making an abuse report. With your help, we can ensure that any abusive, defamatory and inappropriate content is removed as soon as possible and maintain a high quality of discussion and interaction on doc2doc.

One of my comments has been removed from the site. Why? Can I get it put back?

If you think that your content has been unfairly or mistakenly removed, please email community.doc2doc@bmjgroup.com

If the doc2doc community management team thinks the removal your content necessary as per doc2doc's terms and conditions, we ask that you do not recreate that content.

How do I report technical errors?

If you encounter a technical problem with any part of doc2doc, please email community.doc2doc@bmjgroup.com

What internet browsers are supported?

The technology that powers doc2doc supports the following internet browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 6
  • Internet Explorer 7
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Firefox 3.0
  • Firefox 3.5
  • Safari 4.0.4 on Mac OS X 'Leopard' (v10.5)

What are your competition rules?

From time to time we will run competitions on doc2doc. The general rules for doc2doc competitions...

Employees of the BMJ Group and associated companies are not eligible to enter. The winner cannot exchange any prize for an alternative to what is offered. The winner will be notified by email. It is the participant's responsibility to ensure that the contact details and email address held by doc2doc are valid and correct. The prize can only be despatched on confirmation of receipt of notification from the winner. The winner's name and country will be available by emailing community.doc2doc@bmjgroup.com. doc2doc has the right to update these terms and conditions.

The specific rules vary for each competition but will be visible in the relevant thread or email.

Getting Involved

How can I get more involved with doc2doc?

These are exciting times at doc2doc and we are always looking for people to help us build the community and develop the site. If you would like to be involved, please email community.doc2doc@bmjgroup.com with your ideas and suggestions.

doc2doc champions

doc2doc clinical champions are senior doctors from a variety of specialties. They can be approached about specialty specific queries.

doc2doc journal club champions are doctors and medical students from a variety of backgrounds. They start and manage discussions on the journal club forum on a regular basis.

Visit our clinical champions page for information on our clinical champions.

Glossary of networking terminology

Avatar (n.)
An image/picture/portrait/caricature/cartoon representation of yourself. Appears next to any doc2doc posts you make in open forums or blogs.
Anonymous (adj.)
Describes content from computer users whose online identities are invisible to other users.
Blog (n.)
Online paragraph(s) of prose written to inform other computer users of your opinions. Sometimes considered to be a short essay. Can be written on a personal blog page where you are the only person who blogs, or on a public blog page where several people blog. doc2doc has public blog pages for its members to use.
Blog (v.)
To create online paragraph(s) of prose.
Blurb (n.)
Short summary.
Community (n.)
An online group. All doc2doc members collectively comprise the doc2doc community.
Community management team (n.)
Team of moderators who are responsible for the day to day running of a community's networking site. Members of doc2doc's community management team are Dr Luisa Dillner, Dr Sabreena Malik, David Payne, and David Isaacson. It is their responsibility to answer community queries, and watch for flaming, breaches of patient confidentiality, and publication of libelous/defamatory material.
Discussion thread (n.)
An online discussion presented as a list of participating computer users' contributions/responses. Usually started by someone with a strong opinion on the discussion topic or by someone posing a question to the community. Typically appears in a forum as a "chapter" appears in a "book".
Emoticon (n.)

Textual/cartoon representation of specific facial expression.

:DBig grin/laughing

There are a selection of cartoon emoticons (smileys) for you to choose from when posting on doc2doc -

Flaming (n.)
Interaction that is offensive or insulting and typically containing vulgar/inappropriate language.
Forum (n.)
A platform for discussion threads. Typically a "book", the "chapters" of which are discussion threads.
Forum troll (n.)
A user who posts in a manner that is detrimental to the community spirit without necessarily flaming or breaking forum rules. A forum troll will typically single out another user until the other user reacts or leaves the community. We ask doc2doc members not to "feed the trolls".
Group (n.)
A collection of community members with a common interest.
Lurker (n.)
A user who browses a site without posting content (looks but doesn't touch)
Moderator (n.)
A person whose responsibility it is to read content to ensure flaming is avoided. He/she has the authority to remove content and block/ban users. doc2doc moderators are the members of the community management team - David Isaacson, Sabreena Malik, and David Payne; their jobs also include watching for breaches of patient confidentiality and publication of libelous or defamatory material.
Onymous (adj.)
Describes content from computer users whose online identities are visible to other users.
Persona (n.)

Your personal profile page (My doc2doc).

Post (n.)
A blog/comment/discussion thread submitted to a website.
Post (v.)
To write and submit a blog/comment/discussion thread to a website.
RSS feed (n.)
A subscription service that informs users when new site content is posted. RSS is thought to stand for Really Simple Syndication. If you subscribe to a doc2doc RSS feed (by clicking the "Subscribe to this discussion" button), the latest comments, threads, videos, and pictures from your chosen forum will appear in the bookmarked areas of your browser.
Smiley (n.)
A cartoon emoticon.
Spam (n.)
Unsolicited/unwanted content.
Subscribe (v.)
To request email contact when there has been response to a certain discussion thread or blog.
Thread (n.)
An online discussion presented as a list of participating computer users' contributions/responses. Usually started by someone with a strong opinion on the discussion topic or by someone posing a question to the community. Typically appears in a forum as a "chapter" appears in a "book".
Trusted user (n.)
A user chosen by the community management team to help with the day to day running of the site.
Username (n.)
A name you choose to represent yourself on a community/networking site. It will appear as your on-screen name whenever you are logged onto a site - it can be your real name, or a fabricated name, or a combination of both.