The government dropped a gigantic dataset: details on nearly every single procedure performed by a U.S. doctor on a Medicare patient. The release was greeted with some serious gnashing of teeth, at least as far as doctors were concerned. The American Medical Association, which has always been staunchly opposed to the release of this sort of data, made sure it's objection was -- again -- on the record. MedPage Today leads ...

Read more...

I'm often asked why I use a pseudonym. When I first started blogging almost 4 years ago, I was still in practice. Some of my posts are a little edgy and my sense of humor is not for everyone. I didn't want patients to Google me and have my blog come up on the first page of hits. Now that I've been retired for over a year, I still have not ...

Read more...

I like a lot of things about Facebook. It allows me to see pictures and video of my nephews and niece and of friends’ children, it quickly lets me know when something big (either happy or sad) is going on in people’s lives, it lets me know what people are thinking about, and it gives me the opportunity to share my own news, thoughts, pictures, or occasional videos with others. But as much as ...

Read more...

As a pediatrician, I encourage families to search online for health advice. Yet how you search and where you click matters. Tips for you and your time with “Dr. Google” or “Surgeon Bing.” The Pew Internet Project’s research finds that over 70% of Internet users in the United States say they have looked online for health information in the last year. Furthermore, most health information seekers (ie freaked out parents searching ...

Read more...

“It’s a disgrace to the human race.” The talented, high school senior physically cringed as she described the app, adding, “it’s just horrifying what people put on there.” Teens in my office have nearly universally agreed in the repulsive nature of one of the newest social networking apps called Yik Yak. The app is causing disruption within our local community; being described as a way to cyberbully, offend, and generally disgust anyone anonymously. App users, or ...

Read more...

Much has been written about how Web 2.0 tools can change the healthcare landscape.  It would appear a recent set of circumstances has upped the ante. This story begins with a recent study that attempted to tackle the problem of ICU infections. ICU infections are a challenging problem, patients who are admitted to the ICU are at risk of worsening illness and death from infections such as MRSA which can be ...

Read more...

We tweet about births, weddings, first days of school, anniversaries, illness, and mundane things like what we had for dinner last night. One area that seems to send shock waves and launches a thousand Mashable articles is tweeting about someone dying. Last summer, NPR's Scott Simon tweeted live from his mother's bedside. And the world watched and mourned right along side him. Right now, Laurie Kilmartin, a comic from the show, ...

Read more...

If knowledge is power, then content (in proper context) is king. Why am I online blogging, pushing content through my website and even interacting on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and many other sites?  Because my patients are there. Increasingly, they are utilizing the Internet to self-diagnose; to look for “second opinions” from peers and friends; to research a physician, recommended treatment, or hospital; or to find the latest information on their ...

Read more...

Over the last decade, researchers, doctors and the life-sciences industry have made great strides in treating HIV. Medications once routinely delivered through complicated multidose cocktails are now, for some patients, available in a one-pill-a-day form. While adhering to even a once-daily regimen is still a challenge, significant progress on the treatment of HIV is undeniable. On the prevention front, however, there’s still work to be done. Despite a significant public-education campaign ...

Read more...

On December 4th, 2013, Katie Couric gave the HPV vaccine center stage during a segment on her talk show, Katie. The segment, entitled “The HPV Controversy,” was 20 minutes long, but ignited a digital firestorm between pro- and anti-vaccine voices that raged for days after the stage lights went dark. In partnership with Global Prairie, the entire online conversation surrounding this Katie segment was digitally captured using DataFarm. ...

Read more...