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Latest Posts

Counter Point: Happy Birthday Health Reform

Who would have thought when we first looked upon you a year ago, barely formed, still somewhat embryonic, that you would have grown so much in just a year, and created so much, well, trouble? Yes, I’m talking about you, health reform. After all, aren’t you the reason for the sea change in Washington? Aren’t you behind several pending appeals that will get to the Supreme Court? Aren’t you the reason that the country is going to hell in a handbasket?

But wait. Let’s look at some other major milestones of the past year.

– You sent $250 checks to Medicare beneficiaries to help cover the “donut hole” in their drug coverage.
– You created special insurance pools designed to provide health care NOW to people with preexisting conditions who can’t get coverage.
– You allowed parents to keep their kids on their health insurance until the children turn 26, providing a major safety net.
– You did away with lifetime caps, enabling those with some serious medical conditions to continue receiving health insurance.

And that’s just in a year. Imagine what the next year and the year after that will bring. So I’ll say it again, Happy Birthday, Healthcare Reform. May you live to a ripe old age and only get better.

*This blog post was originally published at A Medical Writer's Musings on Medicine, Health Care, and the Writing Life*

Dr. Val Tells Lee Aase (At Mayo Clinic) About Her Innovative Primary Care Practice

valabcThanks to my friends at #HCSM (a Twitter group created to spark discussion about healthcare and social media) for inviting me as a guest speaker on their 1 year anniversary. We had a special Blog Talk Radio event, moderated by Lee Aase (Mayo Clinic’s social media guru) and Dana Lewis. Tom Stitt and Meredith Gould were also critical in coordinating programming and technical arrangements.

The goal of the show was to discuss how social media and healthcare intersect – with a diverse group of 8 speakers (from patients, to physicians, to industry and insurance stakeholders). I’ve edited my clip for your listening pleasure (please excuse the technical glitch near the end – you’ll know it when you hear it). The full 2 hour show may be downloaded from Blog Talk Radio.

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For more information about my practice, check out Read more »

Happy Birthday, Emergiblog!

Today marks the fourth year anniversary of Emergiblog, a delightful collection of Emergency Medicine musings by nurse Kim McAllister.

Kim doesn’t know this, but I use excerpts from Emergiblog when I teach blogging courses to healthcare execs. Her writing is a favorite with them – and when I ask what kind of person they think she might be (judging from her blog) they say things like:

“An experienced nurse with a heart of gold.”

“Someone who’s seen it all and still kept her marbles.”

“I want her to be my nurse when I show up in the ER.”

I agree with all those sentiments… and I wish you a very happy blogiversary, Kim! I’ll see you in Las Vegas*

*Attention – anyone who reads/writes blogs should join us at Blog World Expo, October 15-17. This is our very first year for a special medblogger track. All are welcome!

Speakers include:

Kevin Pho – KevinMD

Dr. Rob – Musings Of A Distractible Mind

Kim McAllister – Emergiblog

Dr. Val – Better Health

Dr. Mike Sevilla – Doctor Anonymous

Paul Levy – Running A Hospital

Kerri Morrone Sparling – Six Until Me

Gene Ostrovsky – Medgadget

Terri Polick – Nurse Ratched’s Place

Nick Genes – Blogborygmi

Marc Monseau – JNJBTW

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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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

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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