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Blogger Leaves Post-Mortem Message After Losing His Battle With Cancer

There is a really moving story on CNN.com about a blogger who left a post mortem message on his blog after his battle with cancer. I’ve seen many blogs which just became archives after the blogger (mainly cancer patients) passed away. This is the first time in my experience when the blogger made this transition himself.

“Here it is. I’m dead,” read the last internet post of Derek K. Miller, who died last week after more than four years of blogging about his struggle with colorectal cancer.

“In advance, I asked that once my body finally shut down from the punishments of my cancer, then my family and friends publish this prepared message I wrote — the first part of the process of turning this from an active website to an archive,” he wrote on his blog, penmachine.com.

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Should Doctors Bother To Blog Anonymously?

I see it from time to time. The doctor with a voice who’s uncomfortable with transparency. They post and comment under the cozy blanket of putative anonymity. But it’s bad policy. Here’s why doctors need to be outed in social media:

Anonymity is a fantasy. It’s remarkably difficult to achieve. With small thoughts you can hide – in fact, no one cares who you are. If you offer anything worth hearing people will ultimately find out who you are. And the plaintiff attorneys will always sniff you out.

You need a reality check. Anonymity gives us phony security and opens the door for us to say the things we wouldn’t normally say. There’s no editorial influence more powerful than knowing that my patients and my boss are listening. While an incendiary rant may serve to vent frustrations and drive traffic, it just fuels the perception of doctors as cynical, frustrated folks. And we don’t need help with that. Read more »

Blog Rally For Roxana Saberia And Free Speech

This post is republished from Paul Levy’s blog. Please feel free to repost and distribute to raise awareness of those who do not enjoy free speech:

Thanks to T at Notes of an Anesthesioboist for getting this going, a group of bloggers is holding a blog rally in support of Roxana Saberi, who is spending her birthday on a hunger strike in Tehran’s Evin Prison, where she has been incarcerated for espionage. According to NPR, “The Iranian Political Prisoners Association lists hundreds of people whose names you would be even less likely to recognize: students, bloggers, dissidents, and others who, in a society that lacks a free press, dare to practice free expression.”

Hearing reports like these has prompted us to do a ribbon campaign. Blue for blogging.

Please consider placing a blue ribbon on your blog or website this week in honor of the journalists, bloggers, students, and writers who are imprisoned in Evin Prison, nicknamed “Evin University,” and other prisons around the world, for speaking and writing down their thoughts. Also, please ask others to join our blog rally

Heard Around The Blogosphere: 2.22.09

greysharkI thought I’d highlight some interesting posts written by my peers this week. Keep up the great blogging, everyone!

Healthcare Policy

This is what happens when you begin the process of bailing out key stakeholders in our economy:  h/t Happy Hospitalist

Britain’s NHS has hired teams of bureaucrats whose sole purpose is to enforce health coverage denials. Dr. Crippen also notes that the NHS will cover sex change operations, but not ear repair from piercings.

The number of Americans without health insurance is increasing by 14,000/day. H/t Shadow Fax.

Just Plain Gross

Thanks to Medgadget for featuring a story on grey nurse sharks. Apparently their young, while still in the womb, cannibalize each other until only one is left in the uterus. They even linked to a video of fetal sharks devouring one another. Eww!

Bad Science Of The Week

Thanks to Mark Hoofnagle for deconstructing the laughable PLoS article suggesting that cell phone exposure increases migraine risk but decreases Alzheimer’s and epilepsy risk. The study was a statistical fishing expedition that proposes random cause and effect.

Good Doctor

Dr. Theresa Chan coaxed a 90 year old man out of somnolent delirium by singing to him.

“Bad Doctor”

By not caving in to a 16 year old’s request for a medical excuse from school or admitting a patient to the hospital for walker training and observation, this doctor won no brownie points with his patients.

Funny Patient

Nurse Gina witnesses a post-op patient give a doctor a math lesson.

Tragedy

A physician mother struggles with the immanent death of her 4-year-old with brain cancer.

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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