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Latest Posts

Dr. Val: Back By Popular Demand?

I started medical blogging in 2006, and posted something new every day for over two years straight. I met some terrific fellow bloggers in those “early years”, and soon wondered if we might reach a larger audience if we pooled some of our blog content. This blog site (Better Health) was born in October 2008, and soon grew to have over 130 contributors! We developed a large following on Facebook and Twitter and partnered with such prestigious organizations as the CDC, Harvard Health Publications, and the American College of Physicians. We actually grew so large so fast that I had to hire a small staff to help me run the blog… Which became logistically challenging and pretty expensive, rather quickly!

Because Better Health has always been a labor of love, and not a well- oiled, monetization machine, I eventually had to close the doors. It broke my heart. It was such a shame that a collection of the best medical blog writing just couldn’t be supported financially – at least I couldn’t find a way to do so! In January 2012 I posted a farewell note and decided to continue my social media life on Twitter and Facebook instead.

A few days ago I noticed a large uptick in Twitter followers and was surprised to see that I had been recommended (by Healthcare IT News) as one of the top 10 physicians to follow on Twitter. In the article it commended my work as a Better Health blogger… the blog that I had recently shuttered.

I had been toying with the idea of starting a personal blog again because I found it rather challenging to say all I wanted in only 140 characters, and this new influx of followers gave me food for thought. What if I just keep it simple this time? What if I write blog posts at Better Health when the spirit moves (instead of feeling pressured to post something every day or to include 100′s of others in my blog posts?)

So that’s what I’m going to do. This is just me again – the way it all began. But without any regard for traffic, numbers, or popularity. Maybe only a handful of people will read my posts here. And that’s ok with me! So welcome back to the OLD new me. The cycle is complete?

P.S. I will continue to blog at Healthline to educate patients about their eyes, and I also hope you’ll listen in to my Healthy Vision radio show. Or follow @drval on Twitter?

Dr. Val Reports Live From HIMSS To ABC News

HIMSS 2010 is the largest Health IT conference of the year. I spent the last 3 days interviewing exhibitors in Atlanta about what’s hot in healthcare. For this segment I Skyped in to ABC News in DC to discuss some of the most interesting gadgets that I discovered during my interview process. The segment was short, so I only had the chance to present 3 devices: the Panasonic Tough Book, the GE Vscan, and Radar Find’s RFID tags.

Dr. Val Gives ABC News A Sneak Preview Of The Largest Health IT Convention Of The Year: HIMSS In Atlanta

This year, the Better Health team will be offering live coverage of healthcare’s largest tech conference: HIMSS in Atlanta, March 1-4. Three medical bloggers, Dr. Val Jones, Dr. Mike Sevilla, and Dr. Nick Genes will interview over 40 different exhibitors and stream their interviews live via UStream. You can ask questions of the interviewees by submitting questions to @drval during the event. Dr. Val Jones will report to ABC News, DC via Skype from the convention floor on Wednesday, March 3rd at 10:50am. Here’s a sneak preview of HIMSS:

Stay tuned to the Better Health blog for more information about HIMSS coverage… Or meet Dr. Val at HIMSS during her “Meet The Bloggers” panel discussion. Read more »

A Tale Of Two ePatients – Limerick By Dr. Val Jones

Today I presented 20 slides in 20 seconds each at the ePatient Connections conference in Philadelphia. It was in the new “Pecha Kucha” format whereby the presenter must encapsulate her thoughts very carefully as the slides advance automatically each 20 seconds.

I decided to do it as a Limerick, since timing could be more easily gaged that way. I wasn’t sure how the presentation would be received, but the crowd loved it and asked for a copy of my slide deck… so for you conference attendees who wanted it… here it is:

And here is what I was reading as the show advanced (the slides advanced every 2 verses). Enjoy! Read more »

Nurse Kim Visits Health 2.0

foodtrayAll I could think of when I saw this photo was Gordon Ramsay screaming that the Cream of Wheat was lumpy.

But she’s smiling, so this can’t be Hell’s Kitchen.

It’s more like pot-luck-in-the-break-room.

Cherry Ames got in trouble for “sampling bread and butter” in the ward kitchen, which was apparently against the rules back in the day.

Now you can come into my department and have a four-course meal laid out on the table, which is great for morale but bad for those of us babes with too much “back”.

And when it really does look like “Hell’s Kitchen” in the ER, nothing boosts your serotonin like a big, chocolate brownie, or nacho cheese Doritos!

Sometimes it feels like my shift is one big exercise of will power, and I usually poop out by by 0300. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Emergiblog*

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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