Hi Karl. Some of us do read the forum. More for selfish reasons in my case, as I was diagnosed with PD in 2001. In an effort to learn more about this condition, I stumbled upon the MGH site in 2002. It was immediately apparent that my knowledge of PD (and most other neurological diseases) was minimal at best. Medical school and surgical residency had hardly prepared me for this fight. I am a Podiatrist who specialized in surgery. I still do some consultations, second opinions, and legal work a few hours a week.
I have learned more about Parkinson's Disease from the wonderful people on this forum, who so willingly share their experiences, knowledge, compassion, and set backs, than any other source. My neurologist is great about answering my questions, trying new drug combinations, and keeping up with new concepts in the treatment of the disease. He has only so much time to spend with me. I read the forum daily to keep up with research, new drugs, patient advocacy, and tips on learning to live with PD. It is enjoyable keeping up with the lives of the regular contributors to the forum.
I can see why physicians would choose not to participate in a forum format such as this. It's not that the exchange of information here is inadequate. I find that some patients have had bad experiences with doctors and do not trust them, for good reason. Some of the patients think that all physicians are too busy counting their money to bother spending time with them. Some of the medics are just bad doctors. I believe that the above docs do exist, but they are in the minority. Some of the time patient expectations are unrealistic. Patients have a responsibilty in this game as well. It takes teamwork to make progress in this fight. Informing yourself about PD is a good start. This forum certainly helps most of the individuals who take the time to read it.