Social media

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KevinMD is now on Facebook.

facebook You can now join the KevinMD.com Fan Page, which provides another forum for discussion and debate. Go over to Facebook.com/KevinMDblog and become a fan.

But wait, there’s more.

As an added bonus, on September 1st, 2009, I will select one lucky random Facebook fan to receive a …

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Is it dangerous for a doctor to be online?

As more doctors are blogging, using Twitter, or are on Facebook, minding their online reputation becomes more important.

I’ve written and cited several pieces on this issue in the past, and it cannot be stressed enough that what you write or say online stays there forever.

Over at his blog at White Coat Underground, internist PalMD writes about the many potential pitfalls of physicians maintaining an online presence.

For instance, citing HIPAA …

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Are drug companies trying to influence health journalists?

The pharmaceutical industry has been vilified by its close association with physicians.

With reforms having distanced these two groups, it appears they are moving onto trying to influence reporters. As journalist professor Gary Schwitzer writes in a recent blog entry, Pfizer is offering journalism fellowships on cancer issues.

The program, not unlike Pharma-sponsored CME for doctors, includes an all-expense paid trip for the 4-day seminar.

Professor Schwitzer has …

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The AMA and Sermo break up, and how it’s getting ugly

When the online physician discussion site, Sermo, and the American Medical Association joined forces in 2007, it was heralded as a promising partnership for both entities.

In fact, as Sermo’s CEO Daniel Palestrant said back then, “As a company, we had to take a very rational perspective on that by saying we’re a small software company, not an advocacy organization. Who is the best entity to turn voice into action? …

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Inside the operating room with Sanjay Gupta, America’s most famous neurosurgeon

Sanjay Gupta, arguably America’s most famous physician-correspondent, also “moonlights” as a practicing neurosurgeon.

See him in action in this 5-minute clip from CNN.

(via Clinical Cases)

Can Twitter be used to analyze your psychological profile?

Here’s a pretty interesting tool, as more people are online on Twitter.

Dan Zarrella, a social and viral marketing guru, has come up with TweetPsych (via TwiTip), a site that can build one’s psychological profile based on the content of their Tweets.

As he states on his blog, “Communication is a window into a person’s mind, and the way a person talks can tell you a lot about how they think.” …

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How Twitter can strengthen the doctor-patient relationship

Pauline Chen goes social media on us in a recent column.

Focusing on Twitter, she recalls a patient with Buerger’s disease who tried to quit smoking. Unfortunately, the patient wasn’t successful, and had to have multiple amputations.

Dr. Chen wonders if like Twitter, blogs or Facebook had existed back then, would the patient “have felt a little less isolated and perhaps been able to quit smoking if [she] texted a …

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Tips for doctors who use Twitter

Like everyone else, the medical establishment is increasingly using Twitter these days.

Over at Better Health, Bryan Vartabedian gives some sage advice for physicians who may not be used to the technology. Like every other social media platform, Twitter can be used to both help, and potentially harm, a doctor’s brand. And with that brand being essential to growing a practice, that means Twitter can yield tremendous influence.

So with …

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The media influence on patients and medical stories

Does the media accurately report medical news?

According to a poll from the ACP Internist, most respondents don’t think so. Some of the problems come from the academic medical center PR departments, which either “overstate results or don’t include important caveats when pitching study results to the media.” Often times, these press releases make their way into the media and disseminated to patients.

In today’s competitive environment where newspapers …

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Hospitals are using social media, like Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, for advertising to patients

Traditionally conservative hospitals are opening up on social media platforms.

For those who follow this blog, or are on Twitter, you’ll probably notice that more and more medical institutions are having a Web 2.0 presence. Facebook groups, Twitter, blogs, or YouTube webcasts, for instance. Indeed, there’s even reports of academic centers using Facebook to recruit for difficult to fill clinical trials.

A recent article in The NY Times outlines the phenomenon, …

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Is House M.D. bad for medicine?

A few days ago, we talked about how Scrubs was a relatively accurate portrayal of medical life.

Let’s talk about the other end of the spectrum, namely, Fox’s House M.D.

As an emergency physician notes, the doctors in the House-universe seem super-human. Indeed, “the docs on that show are not only walking encyclopedias of rare diseases, but they are …

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Val Jones on the KevinMD.com Live Q&A: Thursday, May 14th at 10:30pm Eastern

The intersection between physicians and the media will be the topic at the my next Live Q&A.

Val Jones will be answering your questions. She is the President and CEO of Better Health, a network of prominent health bloggers (of which I am a member of).

She is a member of the National Press Club in Washington D.C., and has appeared in the USA Today, …

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What is the most accurate medical show on television?

Believe it or not, some say it’s Scrubs.

Aside from the goofy and absurd moments, I’ve always found that the anecdotes in the show hit the right notes of medical training. Far more than, say, House or Grey’s Anatomy.

Slate agrees in this essay, and explains why: “Scrubs . . . is mostly about what happens at hospitals between …

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KevinMD Live Q&A: Sunday, April 26th at 10:30pm Eastern

Here’s your chance to ask me questions about the past week’s events, such as the swine flu outbreak, my USA Today op-ed on cancer screening, the Craigslist Killer, or anything else that crosses your mind.

Just click the window below on Sunday, April 26th at 10:30pm Eastern. I’m looking forward to answering your questions.

Celebrities and professional sports players are increasingly using Twitter.

The medical profession is no exception, with more doctors, nurses, hospitals, and professional organizations opening accounts daily.

I’m cited in the ACP Internist discussing about doctors who Twitter, and along with fellow med-Twitterers Rob Lamberts, James Peabody, Phil Baumann, and Ted Eytan, discuss whether or not it’s helpful to medical practice.

You can find me on Twitter …

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6 top medical comments, April 26th 2009

Here are some of the more interesting comments readers have left recently.

1. Mediaslackers on the UK’s proposed 48-hour physician workweek:
I agree there are significant dangers inherent with limiting the number of hours a doctor can work in a week, but I don’t think they are totally insurmountable or all that much greater than when a doctor is working 30 hours straight, getting a divorce …

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Did social networks cause the FDA to rescind the ban on concentrated morphine?

On April 1st, the FDA demanded that the production of concentrated liquid morphine, among others, be stopped.

9 days later, they changed their mind and rescinded the decision.

Had they gone through with the ban, shockwaves would have been sent through the palliative care community. As physician Christian Sinclair notes, with only the lower concentration available, “Giving a dying patient with dysphagia 5ml instead of 1ml …

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Which television doctor shows do the medical profession like best?

ER and Scrubs get positive comments, while House, M.D. gets almost universally panned.

MedPage Today performed a survey showing that 90 percent of respondents felt that medical shows on television impacted the doctor-patient relationship.

It’s interesting to read the almost universal condemnation of Fox’s House, M.D., saying that the show “gives a very bad name to physicians and the medical …

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