by Walter van den Broek, MD, PhD Do Facebook and other social networking services damage the profession of physicians or the public trust in this profession? So far, no systematic research into this topic has been published. However several cases were presented in the media resulting in disciplinary measures. On social networking sites patients may learn information about their doctors that compromises the professional relationship. Threats to ...

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I recently wrote about the hidden dangers of physician social networks, and how private posts can potentially become public at a later date. With the recent controversy surrounding former Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel and Journalist in mind, I commented that,

passionate, controversial debate is frequent on Sermo, along with discussion of patient cases. Part of what makes the site so provocative and insightful is the fact that the conversations ...

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As more students participate in social media, like Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, Bryan Vartabedian asks, "Does Twitter Belong on Your Medical School Application?" Great question. I'd say that the majority of doctors and medical schools fail to see the utility of social media, and are generally behind the curve.  Indeed, as Dr. Vartabedian writes, "some academics, after all, see social media as a waste of time." But that's going to change.  With ...

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Email, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Delicious, Digg, LinkedIn, blogs (of course), and scores of others—all part of the new and wonderful ways we can now connect with one another electronically, each with its own culture and unique set of rules. In one sense, the planet has never been more interconnected. And yet, this interconnectedness, while wonderful, hasn’t come without cost. Isolation Much has been written about the dangers of Internet addiction. From pornography ...

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by Kristina Fiore Websites that encourage teens to continue in their eating disorders tend to do so via "thinspiration" -- a combination of images and prose that drive the viewer toward continued weight loss, researchers say. About 85% of these sites provide thinspirational photos (or "thinspo") of ultrathin women and oaths to "Ana" or "Mia" -- nicknames for anorexia and bulemia -- according to Dina L.G. Borzekowski, EdD, of Johns Hopkins, and ...

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My friend and colleague Katherine Chretien has a provocative op-ed in USA Today entitled, "A doctor's request: Please don't 'friend' me," which asks the question whether doctors and patients should interact in social networking sites such as Facebook. Social networking has huge potential in health care regarding the sharing of information and ideas, and could possibly even enhance communication between doctors and patients. However, as Dr. Chretien points out, many ...

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In May, I spoke at the Chronic Care and Prevention Congress about my most recent report, “Chronic Disease and the Internet.” I talked about the social life of health information and the internet’s power to connect people with information and with each other.  Living with chronic disease is associated with being offline – no surprise. What’s amazing and new is our finding that if someone can get access to the ...

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by Cole Petrochko Last week, I was sick, the kind of sick where you're not well enough to leave the house and be productive, but not sick enough to successfully sniffle in bed and subsist entirely on chicken soup and the wishes of family. My existence during that time could have been summarized as, "Periodic bouts of achy consciousness followed by extended fever dreams about King of the Hill characters." Most of ...

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Dave Weigel was formerly a blogger at the Washington Post who covered conservative politics. He was ousted from his position after incendiary statements made on Journolist, a left-leaning listserv maintained by the liberal blogger at the Post, Ezra Klein. Journolist is no more, but there's fallout from this episode that physicians should be wary about. Jeffrey Parks first made the connection about a similar, closed community that physicians participate in. Namely, ...

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In Boston we took the availability and quality of our tap water for granted until May 1, 2010, when a major water pipe break interrupted water service to two million Greater Boston residents. Information spread quickly to citizens about the problem and what to do, all the more notable because the water main break occurred on a Saturday. In this age of consumer paranoia about withheld information, the Massachusetts Water Resources ...

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