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The Year In Review: Social Media Medical Stories

2011 was a very intense and exciting year regarding the developments and new insights of the relationship between medicine/healthcare and social media. Here are my favourite stories from 2011 selected and featured month by month.


I had the honour to be included in the Advisory Board of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media; I wrote about how a Samsung Galaxy Tab changed totally my online activities, how Google Translate can be used in medicine and featured HealCam, a medical alternative of ChatRoulette.


Facebook diagnosis by surgeon saved a friend; there was a lively discussion whether pharma companies can edit Wikipedia entries about their own products, it turned out Wikipedia can be a key tool for global public health promotion; and Scienceroll won the Best Medical Technology/Informatics Blog category for the third time in a row in the Medgadget’s Weblog Awards.

March Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

AcaWiki: Collaborative Academic Research Database

I’ve recently come across AcaWiki, an interesting project focusing on academic research and web 2.0.

Today, representatives from the new nonprofit project AcaWiki announced the opening of their website to the public. AcaWiki’s semantic-wiki based website allows scholars, students, and bloggers to easily post summaries, and discuss academic papers online. All content posted to the site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

AcaWiki’s mission is to make academic research more accessible and interactive by creating a “Wikipedia for academic research.” “Cutting-edge research is often locked behind firewalls and therefore lacks impact,” founder Neeru Paharia explains, “AcaWiki turns research hidden in academic journals into something that is more dynamic and accessible to have a greater influence in scholarship, and society.” AcaWiki enables users to easily post and discuss human-readable summaries of academic papers and literature reviews online. AcaWiki also helps users to share and organize summaries through the use of tags and RSS feeds.


*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Social Media Ruins The Rorschach Test

The Rorschach test is used for examining the personality characteristics and emotional functioning of patients as their perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed.


New York Times had a report about Dr. James Heilman who posted all 10 pictures on the site, along with research about the most popular responses to each. Of course, it led to a heated debate whether this information should be accessed on Wikipedia or not.

The article is protected from editing until 6, August but there are serious debates on the talk page. One example:

All of the pictures of the Inkblot Cards need to be removed. Posting them contaminates this tool, The Rorschach Test. Posting the popular responses further contaminates this test. It is a simple case of scuppering a professional clinical tool and needs to be stopped.  – Comment of Edith Meyers who has PhD in Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology.

It has recently been suggested to use the hide template that would hide the word associations, so only those who want to read them would be motivated to click “show”.

As a medical student and Wikipedia administrator, I believe such things happen. It’s impossible to hide that kind of  information, but revealing these possible answers can really ruin the test itself. Solution? A hide template with a clear warning for possible patients might be one of them. What do you think?

*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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