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Latest Posts

Do Social Media Advocates Now Have Something To Cheer About?

Over the last year or two, lots of people have been jumping on the social media bandwagon, i.e., Twitter, Facebook, and so on. There has been a lot of talk about how social media and social networking will revolutionize healthcare, but little evidence to back this talk up. Until now, that is.

Before I get to the evidence that I referred to, I need to clarify something. The goal of social media as I understand it is to get people talking, sharing information and creating new ideas. As applied to healthcare, one of the goals of social media is to get people/patients with like medical conditions taking, sharing and supporting one another. Healthcare researchers refer to this phenomenon as peer support. Peer support is not new to healthcare. Disease-specific support groups (breast cancer, diabetes, etc.) have been around for years. “Group” physician office visits comprised of patients with the same diagnosis have been around for years as well.

The Study

Now to the evidence. As anyone with a chronic condition or who treats patient with chronic conditions knows, patient self-care is critical. Knowledge, skills and confidence are prerequisites for effective self-care management. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Mind The Gap*

Social Media As Personal Therapy

Last week Robert Scoble announced on Cinchcast the news that his son, Milan, had just been diagnosed with autism. I often listen to his Cinchcasts, and the disappointment in his voice was heartbreaking.

Then I began to wonder: If one of my children were to receive a devastating diagnosis, would my first impulse be to share the news on a public platform? Probably not. And that, among a number of obvious things, is what differentiates me from Robert Scoble.

Everyone’s got their transparency threshold. You can see it with attitudes surrounding location applications. The importance of community to each of us varies tremendously. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

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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