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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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 ...

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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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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)

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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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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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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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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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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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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