Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

Becoming A Savvy Healthcare Consumer: A “Difficult Science”

Dr. Kent Bottles is in the midst of a very thoughtful multi-part blog post under the heading, “The Difficult Science Behind Becoming a Savvy Healthcare Consumer.”

Part I examined “the limitations of science in helping us make wise choices and decisions about our health.”

Part II explores “how we all have to change if we are to live wisely in a time of rapid transformation of the American healthcare system that everyone agrees needs to decrease per-capita cost and increase quality.”

Both parts so far have addressed important issues about news media coverage of healthcare. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*

Warning Labels For Health Journalism

I’ve seen the very clever journalism warning labels pictured and offered on Many good friends and contacts wrote me about this, some urging to produce its own — and we may. Of the many great labels offered, this one is perhaps my favorite:


*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*

Massive Medical Blogosphere In China

In the medical blogosphere, we talk a lot about medical community sites such as, or and we always mention these as huge communities.

While Sermo has over 110,000 physician members, the Chinese has over 1.4 million professionals on its site. It has a blog, a conference site, a pharmacy channel, biomedical business information platform, it covers more than a 100 specialties, and offers thousands of jobs. I tried to translate the mission statement with Google Translate:

Lilac Garden Biomedical Science and Technology Network ( DXY.CN ) was established in July 23, 2000, and since its inception has been committed for the majority of medical professionals to provide a specialized life science platform. With professionalism and strong accumulation and the deepening and development of professional exchange, Lilac Garden has grown into the largest and most popular group of pharmaceutical industry professionals to network media platforms.

Now I’m looking for Chinese doctors who would help us create a Chinese section for PeRSSonalized Medicine, the easiest medical information aggregator that features only selected resources. If you know someone, please let me know.

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Dr. Val, GastroGirl, and Chef Rock – Revolution Health & Hell’s Kitchen?

I watched the final episode of “Hell’s Kitchen” last night – a cooking show where a mean chef berates young chef hopefuls in a series of competitive cooking contests.  The host of the show was almost as vicious as my vascular surgery preceptor in medical school… you docs out there know what I mean.

Anyway, I had the pleasure of being the sous chef for Chef Rock at a recent charity event for celiac disease awareness.  GastroGirl (Jackie Gaulin) and I helped him whip up a delicious, gluten free meal and CNN’s Heidi Collins taste tested our dish.  Although our shrimp and grits lost to a rival “coriander encrusted skate” I always thought that chef Rock was a winner.

And here he is: the top chef of Hell’s Kitchen.  Congratulations, Rock!  I’d be delighted to work as your sous chef in Las Vegas… see you at the B. Smith’s victory party!This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

See all book reviews »