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Latest Posts

The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) Bloggers Join The Better Health Team!

It is with great pleasure that I welcome our CDC colleagues to the Better Health blog team. Going forward, Better Health will feature content from the CDC blogs on a weekly basis, and our collaborative efforts will be highlighted on the CDC blog pages as appropriate.

Better Health and the CDC share a common mission: to reach as many Americans as possible with scientifically accurate, trustworthy, and helpful medical information. As social media platforms (such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook) become a gathering place for people seeking health information – it is important for experts to be able to provide content through these channels. The CDC’s relationship with Better Health is an excellent example of a public-private partnership that can magnify reach and relevance.

By becoming a content partner with Better Health, the CDC joins a prestigious international team of physicians, nurses, health experts and patient advocates, including notable organizations such as the American College of Physicians blogs, Harvard Health Publications, Diario Medico, Healthline, the Center For Advancing Health, and the Columbia University Department of Surgery. Read more »

Where Does The Patient’s Responsibility For Their Health Begin?

When you or I visit an accountant, a lawyer or car mechanic, we know what our role is and have a pretty clear understanding of what the ” expert” is supposed to do. But when it comes to a trip to the doctor these days the roles and responsibilities of patients and physicians have become blurred and unpredictable…and the patient seems to generally be on the losing end.

Take my Mom’s case. My Mom who was 89 years old and evidently had severe osteoarthritis. She never knew that even though she was been seen every couple of months by her Internist for years and years. It’s too bad…because my Mom died last week from complications due to a compression fracture of her spine. Turns out her spine was very fragile according to her consulting Neurosurgeon but no one ever told her.

The first question that entered my mind when I heard of her condition was why didn’t her primary care physician “pick up” on the severity of her condition before she fell and fractured her spine? Read more »

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

Harvard Health Publications: A New Content Resource For The Better Health Blog

I’m very pleased to announce that Harvard Health Publications (HHP) is Better Health’s newest content resource. Soon readers of the Better Health blog will enjoy contributions from the HHP team. We believe that their insight and perspectives will be a great addition to our unique collection of healthcare voices online.

The Better Health blog is a continuation of “Dr. Val And The Voice Of Reason,” first launched in 2006. At the time, I was inspired to start a blog because of the baffling amount of misinformation that my patients were finding on the Internet. It was a David-versus-Goliath enterprise, but I felt duty-bound to do what I could to provide a counterpoint to media hype, fear mongering, and snake oil salesmen.

Over the past four years I’ve been humbled by the number of others who have chosen to join me on my quest. I’m no longer a single voice, but rather a facilitator of a movement designed to empower patients with trustworthy health commentary. Currently the Better Health blog offers content from over 100 contributing authors, most of whom also manage their own blog sites. In addition, I am a proud contributor to Science-Based Medicine, a blog devoted to an in-depth review of controversial therapies and practices.

HHP shares my desire to promote evidence-based information in an accessible format. Their goal is:

” …to bring people around the world the most current health information that is authoritative, trustworthy, and accessible, drawing on the expertise of the 9,000 faculty physicians at Harvard Medical School.”

I applaud this commitment to journalistic excellence and medical integrity and I’m proud to promote their efforts to empower patients on a national and global scale.

A warm welcome to the HHP team, and a big “thank you” to the readers who have inspired me to keep writing all these years.

– Val Jones, M.D. (aka “Dr. Val”)

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 Cartoon

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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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