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Why Should You Attend Blog World Expo?

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I’m a speaker at Blog World Expo, Los Angeles, on November 4th, 2011. And guess what? Four Better Health contributors will be joining me! Nick Genes, Kim McAllister, Terri Pollick, and Kerri Sparling will all be part of the Social Health track. You can get discount tickets my clicking on the Blog World Expo icon on the top right of the Better Health home page. We all hope to see you there!

For those of you who are on the fence about going – here’s what I’ve been asked to talk about: “physicians engaging online in social health.”

You’ll learn about:

1. How I used Twitter to help patients when there was a flu vaccine shortage

2. How I use podcasting to teach about eye health and vision care

3. How I use blogging to instruct families on healthy eating strategies to prevent illness

4. How I use telemedicine and mobile devices (at eDocAmerica and DocTalker Family Medicine) to answer patient questions in rural areas, where there is a doctor shortage

If you work in healthcare, then the Social Health track is a must-attend. Not only will you find out about cutting edge trends in healthcare communications, but you’ll get to rub elbows with early-adopter physicians, nurses, and advocates who are using innovative digital strategies to deliver care, educate patients, and change the world.

And for those who will be attending the conference for other reasons, but are wondering if they should stop by the Social Health sessions… It will be a great opportunity for you to learn how to use online resources more effectively to care for yourself and your family’s health (and save money in the process).  Or think of it this way: at some point everyone needs a doctor… that includes parenting bloggers, military bloggers, god bloggers, political bloggers, and tech bloggers. So let’s meet each other at Blog World Expo!

* You could snag a live, in-person conference ticket and save 20%. Enter the code “BWEVIP20″ for the discount.

Conference Emphasizes Patient Centered Care

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In the video above, you’ll see a vid that I pieced together to give you my impressions of last weekend’s Kansas Patient Centered Medical Home Summit (Thanks to Tony Wood for the additional video). I know that I’m making it too simplistic a description, but PCMH is team-based care with many medical professionals with the physician the leader of the team and the patient at the center of the care. Check out a good description of PCMH from the TransforMED site.

Perhaps the best sessions of the Kansas PCMH summit were the ones with patients presenting. In the video above, you’ll hear segments of two patient stories. And you’ll hear Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Family Medicine Rocks Blog*

Building On The Strengths Of Your Perfectionism

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I often think of the well-known expression “perfect is the enemy of good” when I am endlessly rewriting an article to make it better (when it is already good enough) and in the process just make or even miss a deadline. But this old saying also reflects the dark view many people have of perfectionism. As a personality trait, it is seen as obsessive and at times pathological. People who are perfectionists may become so focused on setting a high standard for themselves that they live their lives as if graded constantly on a report card.

But perfectionism has a bright side, too. Desirable aspects of this personality trait include conscientiousness, endurance, satisfaction with life, and the ability to cope with adversity. This helps explain why some perfectionists become corporate leaders, skilled surgeons, or Olympic champions.

Dr. Jeff Szymanski, a clinical instructor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and executive director of the International OCD Foundation, believes it is possible to become a better perfectionist—by building on the strengths of this quality and learning to minimize its drawbacks. In his new book, The Perfectionist’s Handbook, he discusses this theory in greater detail and provides exercises people can try at home. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*

Could Twitter Be Used To Predict Epidemics?

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Do you remember when Google Flu Trends was announced to be able to track and predict flu outbreaks in US states based on the search queries focusing on flu symptoms? Do you remember when a study pointed out although it was interactive and neat but was not as useful as CDC national surveillance programs? Well, now Twitter is meant to fill this gap. If you ask me, it won’t.

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Do You Think You Have OCD?

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When I leave for work in the morning, I go through my precommute checklist. Train pass, check. Wallet, check. Coffee mug, check. Smart phone, check. Keys to the house, check. Only when I’m sure that I have everything I need do I open the door and head outside.

Sometimes I worry that this morning routine is becoming too much of a ritual. Is it possible that I have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD for short)?

Probably not. The fact that I am able to get out the door every morning means that my daily ritual isn’t interfering with my ability to function, says Dr. Jeff Szymanski, a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School.

You have OCD when obsessions and compulsive behavior Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*

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Latest Book Reviews

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

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