LA Times on medical blogs

Medical blogs are featured in the LA Times. This blog, along with GruntDoc, Dr. RW and OB/Gyn Kenobi were linked and mentioned.

The piece talks about Grand Rounds, and re-iterates the familiar concerns about patient privacy and product endorsement.

As the medical blogosphere, or “new media medicine” (thanks, Dr. A), continues to grow, there will be controversy on how to deal with these issues. The strength of blogging is the ability to reveal the day to day lives of the medical profession, and this transparency can be controversial.

I’m sure once our medical leaders catches on to the blogging phenomenon (give them a few years), there will be some guidance. But until then, blogs will continue to push the envelope and garner (sometimes negative) media attention in the process.

Two questions need to be resolved. Should physician blogs be held to a higher standard, especially when compared to blogs in other fields like politics or the law? Should conflicts of interest be disclosed, akin to a medical journal?

I think the answer to the first question is yes, especially when it is concerns patient privacy.

The second question is less clear. Blogs are not meant to replace nor compete with those of medical journals. Content is nor peer-reviewed, nor are they free of bias. In fact, many blog entries are written with a defined slant. It is clear that blogs play a markedly different role from medical journals, and I don’t think they should be bound by the same restrictions.


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