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Latest Posts

Diabetes: When Being “No Worse” Means Progress

“Everything looks good.  No progress is good, actually.  Means your eyes haven’t deteriorated any further in the last five months.”  Dr S, my eye doctor at the Joslin Clinic, ran her fingers across the keyboard, typing notes into my online file.

“So it’s the same as back in November?  When I moved from mild to moderate retinopathy?”

“Right.  Still non-proliferative, but the same.  Not worse, by any stretch.  We’re working with a few spots, a very small bit of leakage, but nothing I’d recommend treatment for, other than watching it closely.”

I let out the breath I didn’t realize I was holding.  The fluorescent bulbs in the room were bright and ricocheting off the white walls, making me feel like I was in an avalanche of light. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Nurse’s Life Changed By Twitter

Dear @Twitter,

I so totally know how this sounds to write to a service, but I must confess: your little wings have changed the trajectory of my life and – for the most part – I think it’s been for the best.

I’ve been around for over 40 years, have seen many things, met all sorts of people and have – mostly – enjoyed my life. But I think every several hundred years, a tiny and almost insignificant tool comes out of nowhere and changes the world – like the wheel and zero, both of which are truly “nothing” (both are each shaped the same way). And yet the each not only changed the course of civilizations but also created them. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Phil Baumann*

Medical Terminology Reasoning (Or Lack Thereof)

SpitballIt’s been a very long time since I did an “Ask Dr. Rob” post. It’s also been a long time since I shot a spitball out of a straw and hit someone behind the ear during social studies class. I realize that just because it’s been a long time since I’ve done something, it doesn’t mean the world is better off with me doing it again.

Still, there have been some interesting questions that have come up and I think it’s time they should be answered. They’re both along the same line:

Question 1: What’s the difference between health care and healthcare? I see that you contribute to the Health Care Blog, but you write about healthcare all of the time. What’s the deal?

Question 2: What’s the difference between EMR and EHR?  It seems that some people feel that it’s vile and uncouth to call it “EMR,” only accepting people who call it “EHR” into their secret societies of people who are smarter than everyone else. What’s the deal? Read more »

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

Keeping Patients Quiet

Some things are just part of the problem in healthcare. The company Medical Justice is one such thing. I’ve written about them before. Medical Justice sees the medical malpractice crisis and devised a solution: Muzzle the patients. It’s as misguided as it is ridiculous.

Medical Justice says doctors need to stop their patients from saying bad things about them. They charge doctors hundreds — even thousands — of dollars a year to help do this.

Under one of their programs, they give doctors contracts to use with their patients. The doctor tells the patient that they must agree to the terms of the contract before the doctor agrees to see them.  Okay, so there are lots of forms that patients need to sign when they go to the doctor. What makes these so different? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*

Games For Health 2010

Games For Health 2010It’s time for the 6th annual Games for Health conference. The conference, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides a forum for experts in the fields of video games, healthcare, and science to come together and share the latest and greatest in health-related video game news and research.

From their promotional pamphlet:

Because digital games can actively engage and challenge people of all ages, they have the ability to help individuals manage chronic illnesses, support physical rehabilitation, pursue wellness goals and contribute to changes in health behaviors. Public health leaders, doctors and nurses, rehabilitation specialists, emergency first responders and other health professionals are also using games and game technologies to advance their skills and enhance how they deliver care and services. Games are even beginning to mine the wisdom of the crowds to forge critical new discoveries in biology and genomics.

The acceptance of games as a valuable health management and training method, the popular success of consoles like the Nintendo Wii, and the growth of smartphone game applications indicate that there is tremendous potential for continuing to move health and behavior change activities beyond clinical settings and the classroom and into consumers’ home, work, social and recreational spaces.

We’ll be reporting throughout the event (May 25-27). Stay tuned for info on the PS3 Move, a Wii laparoscopic trainer, and more.

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

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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