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Latest Posts

Vacation Unplugging: How Important Is It?

It’s a post you’ll see periodically: Blogger goes on vacation and goes dark from his blog and Twitter. This spawns the requisite post detailing how nice it was to be away. Refreshed and all the stronger, we hear about the lessons from playing parchese, listening to the crickets sing, and ignoring the purr from Tweetdeck.

[Recently] I have been on vacation, but I didn’t necessarily unplug. I screened for critical emails once a day. I had prewritten and scheduled a couple of posts, but they didn’t require much maintenance. Besides that, I was too busy boogie boarding, kayaking, and eating crab cakes to really look at Twitter. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

How Reliable Is Health Information On The Web?

Recently some Science-Based Medicine (SBM) colleagues (David Gorski, Kimball Atwood, Harriet Hall, Rachel Dunlop) and I gave two workshops on how to find reliable health information on the Web. As part of my research for this talk I came across this recent and interesting study that I would like to expand upon further: Quality and Content of Internet-Based Information for Ten Common Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Diagnoses.

The fact that the article focuses on orthopedic diagnoses is probably not relevant to the point of the article itself, which was to assess the accuracy of health information on the Web. They looked at 10 orthopedic diagnoses and searched on them using Google and Yahoo, and then chose the top results. They ultimately evaluated 154 different sites with multiple reviewers for quality of content and also for their HON rating. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*

The Cancer Journey: Take Control Of Your Illness And Treatment

I love this – a website that could’ve ONLY been created by cancer patients. From ThinkAboutYourLife.org:

Find empowerment: Anything you can do to feel like you are taking control of your illness and treatment will help you. Think About Your Life was developed by cancer survivors. We have used the tools on this website in our own experiences, and we hope to inspire you do the same.

This website provides easy-to-use tools for each stage of the cancer journey to help you:

  • Process your thoughts and feelings: Elizabeth shared the “Good Day, Bad Day” tool with her family to tell them how they could help her throughout treatment.
  • Take control and make decisions: Amanda used her “One Page Profile” with her doctor to discuss the impact of treatment on her life.
  • Think about the “what now” and the “what next”: The “Hopes & Fears” tool helped Susan think about the next few months of her life after treatment.

I learned about the site from its creator, Amanda George, who commented on a recent post about person-centered health. Hot diggety. Don’t you just love how the Internet lets us connect with each other and share ideas?

*This blog post was originally published at The New Life of e-Patient Dave*

Defining “Health 2.0″ And “Medicine 2.0″

My good friends, Tom H Van De Belt and Lucien JLPG Engelen from the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, just published a great systematic review in the Journal of Medical Internet Research about the definitions of medicine 2.0 and health 2.0 It was time to collect all the available data about these terms. An excerpt from the abstract:

Objective: The objective was to identify unique definitions of Health 2.0/Medicine 2.0 and recurrent topics within the definitions.

Methods: A systematic literature review of electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL) and gray literature on the Internet using the search engines Google, Bing, and Yahoo was performed to find unique definitions of Health 2.0/Medicine 2.0.

Results: We found a total of 1937 articles, 533 in scientific databases and 1404 in the gray literature. We selected 46 unique definitions for further analysis and identified 7 main topics.

Conclusions: Health 2.0/Medicine 2.0 are still developing areas. Many articles concerning this subject were found, primarily on the Internet. However, there is still no general consensus regarding the definition of Health 2.0/Medicine 2.0.

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

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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