Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

Social Media Footprint: How Concerned Should Medical Professionals Be?

Hey Docs out there! What if your patients found out about your most embarrassing moment from college? What if they saw a picture of it? I was watching and listening to one of my favorite technology shows over the weekend called “The Tech Guy” with tech journalist Leo Laporte.

In the brief video here, you’ll see the host take a call from an attending physician. The caller stated that back before medical school, he posed for PlayGirl magazine and now some of those pics are showing up on websites and the caller was trying to figure out how to have them taken down. It sounds like the pictures were taken in the pre-internet days. For the full exchange, click here and fast forward to the time 13:21hrs on the clock behind the host.

This call opened up the larger issue of Online Reputation which has been talked about in Health Care Social Media circles for a long time. But, it is interesting seeing what this non-medical tech journalist (and the caller) says about it: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Family Medicine Rocks Blog*

Diabetes 365: Photos Of Life With Diabetes

An update on Diabetes 365

There’s been a handful of photographers who have tackled the Diabetes 365 project for this year, and I’m proud to be in their company.  It’s a very inspiring experience, to see how diabetes is reflected in the lives of the members of D365, and how it is captured through their camera lenses.

Some of us are using our DSLR cameras, some of us our point-and-shoots, some documenting with our iPhones or our Blackberries, but every last one of us is showing our lives with diabetes, every day.  I know I’ve talked about this project before, but watching the photos stack up in the Diabetes 365 Flickr group and seeing how, and what, people with diabetes are choosing to document their lives with this disease is incredible.

You didn’t need to join the group in January – it’s a rotating door of participants.  If you want to join the Diabetes 365 group, you can jump in anytime and start.  Every day can be Day 1.

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

DC Snowstorm Photos

balconysnowHow deep is the snow? Judging by my balcony, at least a foot and a half. I asked Mr. DrVal to demonstrate for you with a tape measure – of course, our mischevious kitty, Ona (full name is Ona Riss Kitty) wanted to be in the photo as well.

I caught these guys (second photo) digging out a Politico newspaper vending machine. Seemed like a very DC thing to do.

Of course, having grown up in Canada, the snow storm didn’t faze me much. I ventured out to get a salad, some frozen yogurt, and to see the movie Avatar. That was well worth the walk to the theater (saw it in all its 3-D wonder)!

Mr. DrVal summed it up with his usual dry wit, “It’s The Lion King meets An Inconvenient Truth.”

Please go see it though – the effects are really amazing.

All in a winter’s day…


Does Lumigan Grow Eyelashes?

Last year I blogged about a new FDA approval for Lumigan (Bimatoprost) ophthalmic solution for glaucoma to be used as a safe way to grow eyelashes. I thought the readers of EverythingHealth would enjoy seeing if it really worked.

You be the judge..the before photo shows eyelashes (with mascara, of course) before using Lumigan. The 2nd photo shows eyelashes after 6 weeks of use. The manufacturer states it takes 8 weeks for full benefit.

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Saturday Surgery: $150

My primary care physician has a cash-only medical practice, and he is paid by the hour for whatever he does – be it a phone call, email, office visit, house call, or outpatient surgical procedure. He doesn’t charge higher prices for procedure complexity – that’s factored into the time it takes to complete the procedure. It’s a wonderful model for those of us who’ve chosen high deductible health insurance plans, and pay cash for primary care services. My husband and I save thousands of dollars/year with our plan, and spend a few hundred of that savings to cover our primary care needs. We also have our family physician available to us 24-7 via phone/email, and can generally see him for an in-person visit within hours of a request for one.

Yesterday was a perfect example of the incredible convenience of this model of care – I called Dr. Dappen at 10:30am and asked if we could come in to have a sebaceous cyst removed from my husband’s back. Dr. Dappen said he’d be happy to see us at 11:30am that day, so we hopped in a car and were finished with the procedure by 12:00. I even had fun taking photos for the blog (see below)…

Cost of the procedure: (surgery plus supplies): $150

Days spent waiting for an appointment: 0

Time spent in a waiting room: 0 minutes

Convenience of having a cash-only family physician: priceless

*For more information, check out: Doctokr Family Medicine, Vienna, Virginia*

Pearly appearance of small sebaceous cyst

Pearly appearance of small sebaceous cyst

Excision of sebaceous cyst

Excision of sebaceous cyst

Wound closure with simple sutures

Wound closure with simple sutures

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

See all book reviews »

Commented - Most Popular Articles