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Q: Follow-up question for voila-ga ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   7 Comments )
Subject: Follow-up question for voila-ga
Category: Health > Medicine
Asked by: yreka-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 26 Aug 2002 22:11 PDT
Expires: 25 Sep 2002 22:11 PDT
Question ID: 58931
Hello, voila -- I appreciate your willingness to step in when
it was clear my exchanges with another researcher were going nowhere. 
And to offer your information freely in the comments section was
exceedingly generous.

Now I'm simply interested in your thoughts on this question:  What
motivated you to do this?  

You could have waited to see if I would
reject the original answer (I did) and repost it (I didn't), as you
could then have claimed the payment yourself.  Many people, having
missed the opportunity to make the money themselves, would figure
there's no point in giving away their expertise for free.  

Just curious, and grateful.
Subject: Re: Follow-up question for voila-ga
Answered By: voila-ga on 31 Aug 2002 19:42 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Yreka,

Thanks so much for waiting for me, and here's your $50 glimpse into
VoilaWorld/GAWorld/ResearcherWorld.   I'm sure it's probably more than
you'll every care to know.  If you're just after the answer to your
*specific* question, please skip down to the enumerated section.
Now, yreka, had you asked a question not about my own doofus opinion,
I would have readily obliged or referred you to one of my e-steemed
colleagues if you were in a hurry.  There are quite a number of
full-time GA researchers, but I have a very demanding job so I can
only come out and play on the weekends.  Sure, I'll do a hit-and-run
in the comment section, but rarely can I answer anything remotely
coherent during the week.

If I can snag a no-brainer question, I will; however, the GA locking
situation (as it now stands) is too frustrating for me.   While I'm
working I have to grab my Revereware timer, set it for one hour,
experience a minor MI every time that sucker rings, then repeat this
process at least 8 times till I can work on the question, which is
usually after midnight.  By that bewitching hour, I'm usually ripe for
either the CCU or the psych unit.
It's just my personal style, but I like to 'sit' with a question for a
long time.   Many researchers capably answer your questions quite
quickly and impeccably and I admire their ability to do so.  I prefer
a long picture, nay, a bay window of opportunity.   My view is that
not all of your questions require 'answers in an hour.'  If they are
urgent or you have any personal parameters, I'd expect to see that in
the body of your question.

The word 'experts' also bothers me.   Lots of us can be whoever we
want to be behind these monitors.   Be assured that all GA's
researchers are expert at locating information and providing you with
a variety of links for additional verification.   But, if a specialist
in a certain field is requested, I think we owe it to the customer to
leave that question open for *those* experts.  Needless to say, GA is
but a microcosm of an imperfect world.   Researchers, could we check
yourselves -- not our ego or our wallet -- and do the right thing for
our clients.  Treat them like family, albeit an extended one, but
*family* nonetheless.   Would I give this answer to my mother?   Okay,
this one, probably not.

Yep, you bet, we're all human and may prefer, say, an Aunt SallyMae
Snollygoster who understands the value of our time to a Crazy Uncle
Joe Kickinmygroin who's in need of a $2 Viagra script.  If a
researcher has the inclination, an interest in a certain question, and
it doesn't compromise their integrity to answer, by all means, we'll
give it our collective best shot.

So, yreka, my voila-ga philosophy is if I can't give you 110% in my
answer, I will only comment.   Usually an answer entails corralling my
thoughts which are a rather scattered, overmulti-tasked mass of
neurons these days.  As a medical editor, I dole out words and
research medically related information 12/5, so I'm linguistically
challenged by day's end.  I'm lucky to know what day it is.

Inspiration is also a factor in my putting pen to paper.   As a rule,
music supplies my fuel.  I maintain a strict 'no fly' zone weekdays,
but on the weekends I tend to crank and perspire.  Should you be the
overly curious type, Yreka, your inspiration for this reply is "Pull
Up to My Bumper, Baby" from Grace Jones' "Nightclubbing" CD.   Okay,
okay, I'm getting to your answer, really I am.  Alas, if you think I
wasn't going to avail myself of the opportunity to yak about my
participation at GA, you don't know voila-ga very well.  She's one of
those overly familiar boat-rocker chicks when she gets wound up.  I'm
sure every researcher will get their turn on the soapbox.  This is my
Kodak moment.

Yreka, apologies if any of the comments have offended or if they're
just cluttering up your question here.   My take on comments is that
they're gifts --some will be your favorite yippee just-what-I-wanted
presents, some you will {gasp} regift, and some will be de-retailed at
your nearest Wal-Mart as they're an absolutely gawdawful pink mohair
moo-moo of a comment.   Still, I figure everyone's heart is in the
right place.   People have been known to chase me off their comment
porch with many a dirt clod and a blast of their garden hose.

It stands to reason you've struck a nerve here and may get additional
comments after my bulbous opinion.  I have it on authority that a
certain GA kook who calls herself 'grannybing' doesn't mind
controversy.   What say as a courtesy to yreka, who has already
indulged us enough, post any rebuttal and comments here

What was the question again?  Ah, yes, what was my motivation, Mr.

1.  Free will.   It usually takes a couple of blasting caps to get me
to do something I don't want to do.  Similarly, those same blasting
caps would be needed to blow off my arms if I thought I had something
to contribute.  In my Google Answers review, they said they admired my
*enthusiasm* which I'm sure is code for 'you freakin' big mouth, you!'

2.  Responsibility.  I did see your original question come through
last weekend and had an opportunity to lock it myself.  The trouble is
my experience with doctors was pre-internet and a couple wars ago. 
Things are constantly changing in the medical field, so I wanted to
give another researcher the opportunity to provide you with the most
up-to-date information.

3.  Expediency.  Since I know you're a repeat customer and know the
drill, I thought you *might* repost your question, but I honestly had
no way of knowing.   They took away my psychic ability when they
arrested Miss Cleo.  As it works here at GA, someone else may have
claimed your repost anyway.  Additionally, I wasn't sure how dire your
need for this information.  The comment section just seemed the most
expedient method for posting.

4.  No-brainer factor.  The data I gave you was off the top of my head
and from my personal experience.  To me, being paid for that was akin
to paying a stranger for directions.  You just don't do that.

{Personal anecdote on the 'directions' issue}

Years ago I was in Italy with a friend on a bus going to who knows
where.  Beside me was the most angelic-faced raven-haired schoolboy
with backpack in tow.  I asked him if he spoke English, which he did
flawlessly, so I begged the question if were on the right bus for the
Uffizi.  He said "yes" and then proceeded to tell us which stop we
needed along with the direction, distance, and landmarks we passed
once we de-bused (is that a word?).  I was genuinely grateful to the
lad, so I reached into my recently purchased gigantor leather bag
{insert olfactory hallucination here} and pulled out some bills and
tried to give it to him.  He summarily waved the money off and my
traveling companion elbowed me in the ribs saying, "You're insulting
the kid!  Didn't your mama teach you anything?"  Heck, I just thought
the kid could use some cash and, had I not been mistaken for a female
pederast, I would've stuffed some bucks in his back pocket.  Kids and
researchers can *always* use cash.  So, yreka, thanks for using this
backdoor method of payment so I could provide you with this enema-like
answer.   My colorectal surgeon's collection department sends their
gratitude as well.

5.  Perspective.  All of us interpret your questions from our own
unique perspective and give you the 'truth' as we see it.   In your
particular question about experts, I felt you were asking for a peek
behind the doctor drapery by someone in the trenches.  Your question
didn't really have a right or wrong answer like so many others.   Mine
only offered a different perspective.  It's totally up to the customer
what they do with any of the information we provide.   But it's not
about making anyone wrong -- it's just another way to go with your

While pyoderma gangrenosum has many underlying causes, I intuited that
whatever autoimmune factors were at work, these were being addressed
by either or both a gastroenterologist or rheumatologist.  PG is a
very derm-specific problem for which your friend needs a wound care

6.  GA Pride.  Hmmm...that looks a lot like gay pride...not that
there's anything wrong with that.  Every GA researcher takes pride in
their work and in giving customers the best possible service.  
Sometimes that requires putting our heads together on an answer or
clarification.   I don't think I'm giving away secrets in telling you
there's a researcher's clubhouse very selflessly maintained by
'webadept.'  In his forum, people call attention to 'answers in need
of assistance'.   There are far too many messages to read individually
and things invariably get missed, so we also have a personal
messengering function.

For their own reasons, not every researcher has chosen to participate
in this non-GA sponsored endeavor.  Some researchers we'd like to
reach out and touch and/or smack, but we have no way to contact them. 
 For me, it's horribly impolite, unprofessional, and semi-cheesy to
step on another researcher's toes in the comment section.   This is
not the researchers' gladiator competition.   It is our naked
reputations flappin' in the wind though, so I hope everyone will be
mindful of that with their comments.

Neither are any of us infallible.  Jump right in if you have evidence
contrary or complimentary to what a researcher has presented.  I think
we can stick to the facts and our experience without any personal

Most researchers also troll for the one star-rated answers.  If any
one of us miss the mark, it affects all of us, so you'll see lots of
researchers in the comment section.   I know I speak for everyone in
saying that we'd like the Google Answers Game to be successful and the
only way to ensure that is good word-of-mouth and good customer
service -- whatever it takes.  We're all committed ... or maybe should

7.  Super Fun Service Work.  I'm an unbelievable slacker in my
precious free time.  I'd *like* to do community service work but I
don't always 'work/play well with others.'  This is my 'do no harm'
method of giving back and at the same time not inflicting my
personality on people -- except you, yreka.  Believe me, I am not my
personality, but I *am* partially my experience/knowledge and that's
what I'd like to share with you guys here.  If you have certain
information that will assist someone, isn't it a semi-morsel of an
imperative to pass it on?  I dunno.  It is for me.  We lose our
humanity when we reduce everything to a business transaction.  I
figure everything will come out in the wash.  If not, there's always
The Shout Stain Removers (aka Goggle Editors).

8.  Education.  Granted, every one of you questioners are paying for
your answers, but do we really have any idea how many people this
service impacts?  The knowledge resource base here is staggering.   I
may even learn how to cut and paste successfully one day.   Sure, some
of the information is trivial and may only be accessed once, while
other answers may be viewed thousands of times.  Do you resent these
bozos drafting on your dollar?  If you're a member of the GA
community, which is growing exponentially, I highly doubt it.  Yreka,
I know by your participation here that you're a generous FOGA and we
want to keep you as a satisfied customer.

9.  Martin Buber Told Me To Do It.   Buberology says if you see
someone struggling, offer your hand.  Do not make a distinction in
their 'otherness'.   He is I is We is They ... yada yada.  I also
ascribe to the theory of they'll be hell to pay if I don't.  Just
hedging my bets.

Dang, I'd hoped to turn this into a top 10 list but I've gone and run
out of motivation.   I have a variety of reasons for commenting on
other people's questions but this is yours, yreka.  For additional
commenter's motivation, you can also check here

p.s. You're still here?
p.s.s.  Fellow Editors:  Bite me.  It's my day off.
p.s.s.s.  Cox Cable:  The check's in the mail.
p.s.s.s.s.  Grace Jones:  Where the heck are ya, woman?
p.s.s.s.s.s.  Googleys:  If I'm not fired, can I please change my
screen name?

Seriously, yreka, the above was geared for psychoentertainment
purposes only.  I have worked for docs on both coasts and points in
between -- in individual/group private practice and university
settings.   I know of no proprietary databases for medical experts.  
While the 'by your articles in Dermatology Times' you will know them,
I suspect that may be true for docs who are somewhat isolated or if
they're looking up information for their own practice use.  Ordinarily
my boss would ask me to call  the medical librarian and tell her he
wanted six months' worth of articles from "X" journal waiting for them
at 8:00 along with a chilled martini.

It's been my experience with referrals that a series of calls were
made on a patient's behalf.  And, to dispel a myth, doctors don't only
refer to their friends.   Even if they were having some personal
imbroglio with another physician, if it was in the patient's best
interest, that knucklehead got the referral.   Maybe I've been
fortunate to work for extremely ethical physicians, but that's always
the way it was handled in every office that I've ever worked.   I
expect it to be the norm.

As with any other business, if you're good at your craft, word gets
around -- in this case the medical grapevine.  Many of the 'experts'
may not have written the most journal articles, but I assure you they
never lacked for referrals.  And this predates HMOs when
fee-for-service was de rigueur.  Many times while publishing articles
garners a feather in your cap or earns a prestige cookie for the
associated university, expert status is gained in the constant honing
of your skills.   Very few docs I've worked for seldom had time for
their families, much less publish their findings, and few did so
unless they were pressured.   Many are catheterized and
institutionized by now, I'm sure.

I mentioned doctors on the coasts in that besides the patients within
the U.S., they also received international referrals.  Most of the
specialists tend to congregate on either coast, although many fine
experts reside throughout the country (brought to you as a PC/CYA

You couldn't pay me enough to work in medicine today.  While I hated
holding patients back with a whip and a chair, I couldn't abide the
constant authorization and drug formulary nightmares that go on in
offices today.   Things fell through the cracks then, as diligent as
we were.  I can't imagine the crush now with managed care.  A person
needs an patient advocate these days.  Doctors are far too busy. 
{shamelessly biased opinion}

While I mentioned "Best Doctors," in my initial post, I checked a bit
further and they had nothing to offer in the derm specialist
department.  The link to UCLA had a point-of-entry R.N. referral
process which was at no cost to the patient.  I hope all universities
will be going to this practice eventually.

Yreka, I hope this answers your question and provided you with a
chuckle, but if you need further clarification, you know what to do. 
Please, do stop by again.  We hope to give you the very best that
Google Answers has to offer.   If it wouldn't be too much trouble,
could you let us know how your friend's doing?

*I brake for nurses and medical librarians holding martinis*

More or less,
V "I am not a doctor" V
yreka-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
WOW. If I ever win the lottery I think I'll underwrite a new program
for GA researchers.  Every week, a different researcher will have an
opportunity to make $50 (or more, if I win BIG money) by simply
speaking his/her mind on whatever's of interest at the moment.  And be
guaranteed a 5-star rating to boot!  You spent far more time on this
answer than you were supposed to, but that's your choice, and if it
gave you an excuse to spend a day listening to Grace Jones (love that
groove, not to mention the cheekbones), so be it.  I appreciate your
thoughts on the process here, and here's one of mine: after posting
several questions, my biggest frustration with GA is that, like
fishing, I have no idea what kind of fish is going to take my bait. 
Or to take the analogy further, if there are even any fish in the pond
that I'd like to catch.  I know you're all "expert researchers" but
most questions would seem to benefit from someone with experience in a
specialized research niche, for lack of a better way of putting it.
Despite the high quality of most of the answers I've received, I must
admit I always have a nagging feeling that there might have been
another researcher who would have *hit the nail on the head.*  Your
answer has given me some reassurance that if this is the case, there's
a good chance they will go ahead and offer their information as
comments.  This is the second time, by the way, that a researcher has
realized an answer wasn't what I was looking for and bailed us out via
comments.  Another of my thoughts (and, no, you didn't ask, but now
it's my turn), is that no matter how hard I work on my questions, and
think I've made them crystal clear, it turns out that they were
confusing or easily misunderstood.  That has led to frustration for
both me and the researchers. Oh well.  I have come away from each of
my questions far ahead of where I started, so am grateful for the
attention I've received, especially on this one, which I hope will
lead to some help for my brother.

Subject: Re: Follow-up question for voila-ga
From: jeffyen-ga on 27 Aug 2002 02:14 PDT
>>Many people, having missed the opportunity to make the money
themselves, would figure there's no point in giving away their
expertise for free.

Then again, many people might not think like that... There's different
motivations for researchers to decide whether or not to answer a
question. Money is one reason, and there are probably 20 other reasons
not related to money at all... :)
Subject: Re: Follow-up question for voila-ga
From: alexander-ga on 27 Aug 2002 07:17 PDT
Agreed -- the money is the prime motivator for my being here in the
first place, but I would gladly answer a $2 question that involved a
lot of research if I was personally interested in the
question/answer/topic. GA has been as much of a learning experience
for me as a way to make a couple extra bucks when I have a minute.
Subject: Re: Follow-up question for voila-ga
From: huntsman-ga on 27 Aug 2002 09:25 PDT

> ... there's no point in giving away their expertise for free.  

There's also no point in throwing away useful information that might
help you. I think most researchers would rather see their work used
even if there's no guarantee of monetary compensation.

But we hope for customers like yourself who express their appreciation
so generously.

Subject: Re: Follow-up question for voila-ga
From: voila-ga on 27 Aug 2002 09:28 PDT
Hi Yreka,

I hope you don't mind if I defer your question until this weekend as
my work as an Iditarod sled dog keeps me pretty busy during the week. 
Short answer you will find in Martin Buber's book "I and Thou."

Speak to you soon,
Subject: Re: Follow-up question for voila-ga
From: webadept-ga on 27 Aug 2002 16:19 PDT
Most of the researchers, even though we are (on many levels) at odds
with each other, realize that a client not satisfied, is possibly a
missed question some time in the future as well. I think most of us
have stepped in with a comment or an answer when another of us has
found himself adrift in a particular case.

I think it also has a lot to do with mindset and momentum. When I
start answering questions first thing in the morning, I tend to keep
doing so, and if there isn't one to answer, I start looking for ones
that I can add something too, just to keep the rhythm going. Its fun,
I feel like I'm really helping someone out and in some cases I'm
helping several people out. Its a good feeling.

What's really important is getting you an answer. Just like we are
doing here ;-)  ... most of us anyway.

Subject: Re: Follow-up question for voila-ga
From: yreka-ga on 27 Aug 2002 17:26 PDT
Oh my, how complicated this has become.  All I wanted was to know if
an "insider" would have any resources at their disposal that a John Q.
Public normally wouldn't know about.  And I wanted to hear it from
someone who had worked in medicine.  Even if the answer was "sorry,
but no."

Siliconsamurai, I submitted my request for a refund last night, with a
lengthy explanation.  After reading your comment posted today, I
immediately emailed the editors asking what was up, and received an
auto-response message notifying me that they would get back to me
within 72 hours.  That's all I can do for now.
Please don't feel you need to spend another second on this question!

Voila, there's no hurry.  And I don't mean for you to actually *work*
on this question, just to briefly share your perspective and collect
the $50.
Subject: Re: Follow-up question for voila-ga
From: siliconsamurai-ga on 28 Aug 2002 08:43 PDT
The editors notified me of your request and once again I stated that I
supported your request for a refund and I see that it has been debited
from my account so the answer, and probably the question as well
should have been removed by now.

Best wishes and I hope you will continue to avail yourself of our
services. As you can see, there are a lot of very dedicated
researchers here.

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