Dear Better Health Friends & Contributors,
2012 will mark Better Health’s 4th year anniversary of group medical blogging. I began Better Health with the hope of organizing “voices of reason” in the health blogosphere so that our ideas would enjoy greater circulation and be more influential. We were the early adopters of social media – some of the first physicians, nurses, patient advocates, and scientists to join together to provide trustworthy content to our readers via blogs. We grew to represent over 130 bloggers and, over the years, were joined by such prestigious organizations as the American College of Physicians, Harvard Health Publications, Diario Médico, and the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention. I am proud of our excellent writing, and I know that we touched many lives through our blogging.
Many of our contributors have enjoyed such success in blogging that they are regular features of several publishing platforms. Others have gone on to careers in social media education and are now sought-after speakers across the U.S. and beyond. Today’s blog audiences often receive their health information via personalized “filters” on Facebook and Twitter, rather than specific websites. And so for these reasons, Better Health has achieved its purpose to promote medical bloggers. I will discontinue future publication of blog posts at the getbetterhealth.com website as of today. Better Health, LLC will continue on as my personal consulting company.
I want to thank you all for contributing content to Better Health – I have personally enjoyed reading your work and I wish you success in your future writing endeavors. As I look forward to the next chapter of my life I hope to remain in touch with you all via email, Facebook (/drvaljones) or Twitter (@drval).
Please note that Grand Rounds will continue as usual, and that the getbetterhealth.com website will remain in archive format indefinitely.
With all my best for 2012,
P.S. I will continue to promote medical blogging via Grand Rounds, and I will be hosting it at USA Today in the near future (date TBD). Please stay tuned for submission information. The Grand Rounds calendar will remain updated at the top of the Better Health home page indefinitely.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Tony-award winning actor and Broadway star, Ben Vereen about his recent diagnosis of diabetes. Ben has had an extremely accomplished career, including recent guest appearances on NBC’s Law and Order, and ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. He’ll appear in an upcoming Fox feature with Patti Labelle called, “Mama, I Want To Sing” so don’t miss it.
To listen to a podcast of our interview, please click here.
Dr. Val: Ben, how exactly were you first diagnosed with diabetes?
Vereen: Unfortunately, prior to my diagnosis I didn’t recognize the signs of diabetes and didn’t understand what was causing my symptoms. I had dry mouth, frequent urination, severe thirst, sugar cravings and fainting episodes and didn’t realize they were all caused by diabetes. One day my daughter saw me pass out and she took me to the hospital. It didn’t take them long to figure out that my blood sugar was out of control. They kept me overnight and told me the next day that I had diabetes. I was shocked because I thought I was exercising regularly and eating well – it never occurred to me that I could have diabetes.
Looking back I realize that I had been told once (about 8 years ago) that I had “a touch of diabetes” but I thought it had gone away because of my good eating habits and exercise. I wish I had thought to follow up on that diagnosis and ask my primary care physician to check my blood sugar regularly.
Read more »
Even though I live in DC it was my first visit to the Department of State. I was surprised by the level of security (I passed through 2 metal detectors to get to the conference) and the multitude of languages spoken by the attendees. Many were wearing headphones, which were connected to a translator service. The lectures were rapidly translated into the various languages of the audience members (the way it would for the United Nations meetings), though I enjoyed the ability to listen directly to the speakers in my native tongue.
I was able to interview a keynote speaker, Joe Harford, Ph.D., the Director of the Office of International Affairs, of the National Cancer Institute. Here’s what he had to say:
Dr. Val: Why is the risk of breast cancer (in the US) greater now than in previous generations?
: The main cause of the increase is related to changes in reproductive patterns within the population as a whole. Women who have fewer children (and later in life) tend to have higher risk of breast cancer. This is associated with hormones – the breast is a hormonally responsive organ and breast cells that convert to tumor cells also have hormone receptivity. Pregnancy and breast feeding are protective for breast tissue. Women can check out their risk for developing breast cancer by filling out this short, online assessment tool
at the NCI. Read more »
I’m introducing a new feature to the blog: a weekly cartoon posted every Friday. If you’d like to subscribe to the cartoon feed (perhaps you’d like to feature the weekly cartoon on your website?) please contact email@example.com
Enjoy your weekly dose of humor from Dr. Val! By the way, what time on Friday should I publish these do you think? I’d appreciate your feedback.