Figuring figure1

Have you heard of figure1? The app on android and iOS that aims to share images of the diverse range of ailments that afflict humanity? Its been publicised as an Instagram like app for health professionals. It gives an opportunity for health professionals to share interesting cases with other like-minded people around the world. The app offers opportunity for spot diagnosis, discussion of unusual/difficult cases and sharing of ideas regarding treatments. Its particularly targeted to medical students who have not transitioned to the clinical years.

Nevertheless,  the app hasn’t been without controversy.  There is always concern about the potential for patient identities being revealed. We can also never be certain that patients have actually given consent to have their photos uploaded into the ether and for sharing with a large community. Moreover, for the general public who can also access the app it reveals the gruesome side of medicine. A side that is rarely evident behind the closed curtains of emergency departments, operating theatres and deep insight the labyrinths of hospital wards.  It reveals the coping strategies that some doctors utilise to deal with extremely confronting issues of life and death.

An example being a picture of a man with a nail through his hand and a comment post stating “nailed it” reveals that dark humour that can be pervasive within the medical profession.

I’m keen to hear what you guys think about figure1. Do you use it as a study tool to explore different cases? Have you ever felt confronted or had a negative experience? Be sure to leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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