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Latest Posts

“E-Visits” With Patients: For Greedy Doctors Or Not?

Dr. Wes (a cardiology blogger whom all should read) wrote a very compelling post about technology and the bondage it can create for doctors:

The devaluation of doctors’ time continues unabated.

As we move into our new era of health care delivery with millions more needing physician time (and other health care provider’s time, for that matter) –- we’re seeing a powerful force emerge –- a subtle marketing of limitless physician availability facilitated by the advance of the electronic medical record, social media, and smartphones.

Doctors, you see, must be always present, always available, always giving.

These sound like dire words, but the degree to which it has resonated around the Web among doctors is telling. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*

The Mayo Clinic Center For Social Media: What It Represents

In a move that may represent a new level of social health organization within large institutions, the Mayo Clinic announced that it has launched The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. Mayo intends to “accelerate effective application of social media tools throughout Mayo Clinic and to spur broader and deeper engagement in social media by hospitals, medical professionals and patients to improve health globally.”

Look for more information in Mayo’s press release which is diplomatically vague while at the same time lofty and enticing.

So what does this really mean?

The Mayo Clinic recognizes opportunity. The opportunity to formally offer comprehensive social media training to hospitals and medical schools is huge. The Mayo Clinic can and should leverage what they’ve done both to their own advantage and to help create a new standard for providers. While the details are forthcoming, Mayo Clinic’s manager of social and sydicated media Lee Aase tells us that Mayo wants to make available its resources, training, toolkits and legal guidelines to fledgling hospitals. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

Physician Social Networks: Are Doctors Liable For What They Say?

Last week I invited a local pediatrician to connect with me on a physician social network. I thought it would be cool to see how it might improve our ability to stay in touch and share information. In a return email she was enthusiastic, but qualified it by saying that she wouldn’t want to be held liable for anything she said.

It raises an interesting concern: Can a physician be held accountable for rendering an opinion in a clinical scenario casually presented in a physician network?

Water Cooler Risk

The question of liability for casual dialog is interesting, but not a new question. Doctors have been talking for years. At lunch conferences, in hallways, and in surgical lounges -– the curbside is a way of life for all of us. Good physicians, after all, almost never work alone. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

Twitter Transparency: 6 Rules

They say transparency is king — the more you share the better you look. But I’ve got rules. Here are a few things you won’t find in my Twitter stream:

Beer. I was recently speaking at a meeting out of town and caught up with some friends at the end of the day to visit and have a beer. I was in a different time zone and noted on Twitter the specific microbrew I was enjoying. The following week in my clinic a parent commented on my social activity. While I’m no stranger to transparency, the realization of my visibility was eye-opening. It reminded me that everyone’s watching and 140 characters doesn’t offer enough space to explain the why, or the time zone, of what I’m doing. So I’ve sworn to keep activities like beer consumption out of my twitter stream.

My kids. I try to keep my children out of my social footprint as much as possible. But as most of you who follow me know, they sneak their cute little selves in on occasion. It’s unfortunate because everybody loves hearing about my kids. This is at the request of my wife who’s a booger about privacy. I do mention the occasional date night with my daughter but, by and large, you won’t hear much. Kids are great jumping-off points for personal digression, but we have to be careful about using them to our own advantage. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

Doctor Suing For Bad Ratings Online

Dr. Kimberly HenryI must say I think Dr. Kimberly Henry, cosmetic surgeon, has made a big professional mistake. She has filed a lawsuit to stop online reviewers from badmouthing her on the Internet. She is seeking injunctions against at least 12 reviewers from sites such as Yelp.com and DoctorScorecard.com. Dr. Henry claims libel and defamation, invasion of privacy and interference with prospective economic advantage and is seeking $1million in general damages and $1million in special damages, etc.

Now I don’t know Dr. Henry nor do I know of her plastic surgery technique. I don’t know who the disgruntled patients are or if they are unfairly targeting her. What I do know is that the Internet is here to stay and there’s no place to hide if you don’t provide excellent customer service. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

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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