I’d like to thank various media outlets for recently citing KevinMD.com.
[Physician blogger John] Schumann was worried, too. He lived nearly a thousand miles away — too far to come and see his friend. Besides, the patient was posting all his test results for his friends and family, so Schumann was following the case from a distance, and he still had no idea what was going on. If he was the second opinion, then the patient clearly needed a third. Suddenly Schumann had an idea. What if they opened the mystery of his symptoms to other doctors? What if they put his case on the Internet — on a blog read mostly by doctors — and let some new eyes and brains work on this problem? The patient was excited by the idea.
That afternoon Schumann put the case on a blog he was writing and contacted Kevin Pho, who has a popular medical blog (www.kevinmd.com), who then posted it, too. Within hours, a dozen comments were posted in response.
New York Post: A code red on doctors: With high costs & debt, is med career still a sure thing?
Blogger Dr. Pho decries a system that, he says, tends to force more medical students into lucrative specialties, leaving the generalists — internists and family practice doctors — in short and diminishing supply.
“My personal opinion is it will be very difficult to start solo practices in the years ahead, and there will be more pressure to see a greater number of patients in a given time, which means the quality of individual care may suffer,” he warns.
With so many new doctors facing tough financial challenges, Dr. Pho argues for training in the business of medicine as part of the regular curriculum.
“When you graduate, you’re suddenly in this world where the business of medicine goes hand in hand with the practice, and there’s a lot of on-the-job training. It’s probably the biggest shock that new doctors face.”
Still, there’s a bottom-line message that Dr. Pho and his colleagues fear isn’t getting through — and it’s one of the reasons why he spends time and effort writing about his profession. “Doctors want people to know that what want they want most is to do what’s best for their patients, and there are a lot of impediments to that right now.”
Angie’s List: The doctor will tweet you now
Dr. Kevin Pho, an internist in Nashua, N.H., and author of the blog, KevinMD.com, says doctors are using social media, such as blogs, Twitter and Facebook, to connect with patients personally and educate them on medical topics they’re hearing or reading about in the news.
“Medical studies are breaking on a daily basis,” says Pho, who has been blogging since 2004 and contributes regularly to USA Today and CNN.com.
“It’s imperative doctors and hospitals have a presence so they can help patients and put information into context so they can interpret how it affects them,” he says …
… The biggest challenge both Pho and [fellow blogger Bryan] Vartabedian foresee with health care providers using blogs, Facebook and Twitter are potential privacy issues.
They say they’ve read doctors’ posts that discuss patient cases, and while they remain compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the posts may still be viewed as a breach of trust by the patient.
“When you’re on Facebook or Twitter, both the patient and doctor need to be careful not to provide personal information,” Pho says. “It’s so easy to press enter and it’s out there forever.”