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Our Vision, Values and Policies

Vision and Values

The Student Doctor Network is you. A group of students came together to create this community back in the late 90s. We're student and doctor organized and operate as a nonprofit organization.

We want students to become doctors. We want to make this dream accessible for everyone, especially those with the least resources. We don't sell stuff, we don't sell member information, and we have no hidden marketing agenda. We believe the education market is unreasonably expensive and this site is our effort to reduce and remove financial barriers to information.

Members volunteer to serve as moderators of the community. All revenues generated are reinvested into services and tools to help fellow students get into school. This is a community of love, support and hope... not of profit, hate or fear.

We promote and celebrate diversity of people and ideas. We are open to discussion of challenging topics, but we demand all members behave professionally and treat each other with dignity and respect. Racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and other 'isms' are not tolerated.

If this sounds like a place for you, welcome! If not, we wish you the best.

Forum Policies

  1. You are the moderator of SDN. Our volunteer members can't screen every post or thread - we rely on fellow members (you) to report mean posts, false posts, spam, trolls and haters. Use the "Report Post to Moderator" Button. Once reported, a member of the volunteer team will review the post and take appropriate action. Please note it may take a few hours (we're all volunteers - so school or jobs take priority), but we do carefully review every post reported.
  2. Be courteous and contribute positively. If you disagree with someone, be courteous and stay positive in your response. Negativity is harmful to our community. Repeated negative posts will result in removal from our community.
  3. Treat everyone with dignity and respect. We are open to discussion of challenging topics, but we expect all members behave professionally and treat each other with dignity and respect.
  4. Racism, sexism, heterosexism (homophobia), antisemitism and other 'isms' are not tolerated. We promote and celebrate diversity of people and ideas. Negative prejudgements purposely marginalize one group in an effort to establish a defined norm for another group; this kind of thinking is antithetical to the delivery of medical care. Even if you find an old thread that contains such ideology, please report it.
  5. Protect anonymity. Remember, students, doctors, schools and professional organizations follow the SDN Forums. Please keep your identity protected – don’t post or use your real name on the forums. Additionally, members are not permitted to solicit personally identifiable information from other members (such as through research surveys, etc.) without written permission from SDN or disclose another member’s identity without their written permission.
  6. Don’t stealth market/advertise. If you want to discuss your product or service in the forums, we ask that you do so in a transparent and professional manner. We do not want to dilute valuable discussion with fake accounts posting to secretly promote services or products. To discuss your service or product, you must be a recognized sponsor. You have two options for sponsorship: 1. basic sponsorship which identifies you as a sponsor to our members and allows for signature block placement. 2. subforum sponsorship which additionally includes banner placements on the subforums sponsored. (Note that we maintain a strict firewall between sponsorship and content. No content or forum preferences are given to sponsors.)
  7. Stay on topic. Our membership encourages open discussion and debate as long as it relates to the topic of the thread at hand. Posts that do not relate to the original purpose or topic of the thread may be moved to a more appropriate location.
  8. Don’t cross-post on the forums. Just post once. Posting a question or comment in multiple forums is annoying to other members and may be removed as a duplicate.
  9. The truth will set you free. Make sure what you write is true and correct to the best of your knowledge, and if you used medical/health information from another resource, give credit where credit’s due, and be sure to reference the source.
  10. Respect copyrighted information. Selling or trading illegally copied materials is a federal offense; if reported or otherwise notified of such actions, SDN may report such piracy to copyright holders and appropriate agencies. Copying information from other Web sites hurts their ability to maintain sustainable revenue. Read our DMCA notice.
  11. We believe in the team approach to medical care. We encourage members to engage in discussions across the wide variety of medical fields represented on the forums. Open dialogue between medical professions promotes better understanding and working relationships. Bashing other professions is not tolerated and will result in removal from our community (see: treat others with dignity and respect).
  12. Images / Videos / Medical Images: Pornographic, sexually explicit, harassing or degrading images are NOT permitted. This includes, but is not limited to, strategically covered nudity, sheer or see-through clothing, lewd or provocative poses, close-ups of breasts, buttocks, or crotches. If you find such posts, please report them. Note that medical images and videos are permitted when patient approval has been obtained, contains no Protected Health Information (“PHI”), and has no images of the patient’s full face. Images must meet HIPAA policies on PHI. You are responsible for any images posted as SDN does not review any images or videos submitted to its Forums.
  13. Don’t be a poser. Chances are you’re not the dean of admissions or a neurosurgeon … and everyone knows it. But if you are a neurosurgeon, or other health provider, let us know! Request a fancy “Verified” badge from the Help Desk so members know your status when you answer forum questions.
  14. No sockpuppeting. This goes along with the rule above, please just use one account. It's okay to post with a secondary account if you have a sensitive subject that you don't want to post using your primary account. However, both primary and secondary accounts will be removed if found to be violating any policies above.
  15. Have fun and support each other! The educational process can be stressful and intimidating. This is a place of love, support and hope. We’re all in this together. Welcome, and see you on the forums!