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Latest Posts

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

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*

Warfarin For Early Cancer Detection?

In cancer treatment, detection of a tumor in an early stage markedly increases the chance of favorable outcomes.  
Can the much-aligned blood thinner, warfarin, occasionally help in early detection of cancer?

Few pharmacologic agents receive more bad press than warfarin.  Stories, which are too numerous to count, like “Did warfarin kill my father,” can be widely found on Internet forums, search engines, and are often quoted by reluctant patients — whose numerator of bad warfarin experiences is one.

It is true that warfarin has a narrow therapeutic window — a small difference between an effective dose and dangerous dose. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*

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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