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. ...

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Use crowdsourcing to develop clinical trialsAt my hospital, we are committed to offering a lot of clinical trials in the community. But it’s hard -- nationally, only about 3% of patients with cancer participate in clinical trials. Even at some academic centers, it may be below 10%. With less research funding available, we need to find new ways to make it easier and cheaper ...

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Twitter -- its functions, benefits, risks and limitations -- has figured prominently in the heated discussion about Emma and Bill Keller's respective editorials in The Guardian (since deleted, though the archived version is still available) and the New York Times about the Twitter feed of Lisa Bonchek Adams. I have followed Lisa for a long time and greatly admire her thoughtful, highly personal tweets about the ups and downs ...

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Historically, we’ve often thought of the doctor-patient encounter as something of a silo. Patients come in with symptoms, and the doctor addresses them, perhaps ordering tests or referring the patients down the line of colleagues. That model inexorably changed with the Internet. Today, patients come to their appointments educated on symptoms, treatments, and even us. They are frequently prepared with research and granular questions. They are engaged with the process, and often ...

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Twitter and cancer patients: What to make of the outrage?On one afternoon last week, I sat at my desk working on a paper when my iPhone buzzed, telling me I had a new message. This message, forwarded from my Twitter account, alerted me to an editorial published in the Guardian (which has since been removed because it was “inconsistent with the Guardian editorial code). Entitled, “Forget funeral selfies. What are the ethics of tweeting ...

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I use Facebook. I’ll just start right out by saying it. But sometimes I wish I could stop. While I do share meaningful conversation and get caught up on how my friends and their families are doing, I also spend a great deal of my time trying not to see things. While others might be able to scroll right past that friend’s post about vaccines causing autism, or about treating ...

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I am consistently bemused by those who recommend more rigorous or more pervasive standardized testing as the primary means for insuring physician quality. The vast majority of physicians have already passed through a complex gauntlet of multiple choice exams, extended credentialing and certification processes, and lengthy tests of knowledge and skill. And yet, some physicians (to put it bluntly, sorry friends) are very bad at what they do. Intellectual intelligence is ...

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There are certain situations in my life where I feel really stupid. One is when CNBC's Squawk Box senior economics reporter Steve Liesman discusses the bond market. While I recognize the words he uses as English grammar,  I find almost every word to be incomprehensible gibberish.  Recently, he informed me that “given the Feds propensity towards quantitative easing in Q4 the 10 year yield could hit 3%.” I think that ...

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It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. No where is this more apparent than working to get physicians to understand the potential of social media for their practice.  The adoption of social media by doctors -- even something as relatively simple as Twitter, is tough. Face it:  Thinking that a re-tweeting of how much we want more doctors on Twitter by next year is just preaching to the social ...

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I come across many people using the terms social and digital interchangeably. Some doctors are digitally savvy. Yet that does not mean that they are practiced communications experts, or that they have the skills to make the most of today’s digital social tools. I thought this might be a good opportunity to open up this discussion. As physicians, we were among the first professionals to adopt smartphones and iPads into our workflow ...

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