The blog will be on hiatus until Monday, December 28th. In the meantime, I invite you to explore KevinMD.com on Twitter and Facebook, along with Google Friend Connect. Don't forget that the blog is also optimized for use in your mobile browser. Still not enough? Here's my collection of published opinion pieces, for your ...

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More doctors are using social media than ever, and that's a good thing. One thing to be careful of, however, is how easy it is to share confidential patient information. That issue is explored in a recent article from Massachusetts Medical Law Report, where I, along with others like Healthblawg's David Harlow and Sermo's Daniel Palestrant, are quoted in the piece. Although it seems like common sense not to reveal patient information, I ...

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As both patients and doctors find themselves increasingly on Twitter and Facebook, more are wondering whether they should be talking to one another using social networking outlets. This issue has come up before, most recently when the New England Journal of Medicine asked whether doctors should friend their patients on Facebook. Pediatrician Bryan Vartabedian looks further at the issue, and sees it fraught with potential risk. He points out that sharing privileged ...

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Originally published in Insidermedicine The posting of unprofessional and inappropriate content online by medical students is a relatively common occurrence that medical schools are going to have to learn to deal with, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. id="play_continuous_flvs" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="385" height="239" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0">
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Originally published in HCPLive.com by Enoch Choi, MD Patients have embraced social networking tools that allow them to share information, offer support, and compare healthcare experiences. Physicians should also use these tools to connect with their patients and local communities and provide general medical information. Healthcare social networking has made impressive inroads into the mainstream, as like-minded folks find each other online and ...

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I'm happy to announce the KevinMD Twitter and Facebook Thanksgiving Drive 2009. My forays into blogging, along with Twitter and Facebook, have provided me with countless new opportunities that I'm tremendously appreciative of. Now, I want to use the power of social media to give back this Thanksgiving season. What is this? It's simple.  ...

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by Chris Emery, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today A large number of U.S. medical schools say students have posted unprofessional material on Web sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter, but few schools have adequate policies in place for dealing with such behavior, a new study found. medpage-today Of 78 U.S. medical schools that responded to a survey, 60% reported incidents of ...

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Instead, the question should be, why shouldn't you? Kim McAllister, over at Better Health, gives some good reasons why health professionals should start a blog. But it shouldn't just be limited to blogging, but the entire spectrum of social media tools, which give health professionals a powerful way to engage both patients and colleagues. I recently gave a talk to the folks over at the New England Journal of Medicine, discussing ...

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As more physicians are on social networking sites. that's an issue that some are grappling with. The NEJM has a nice perspective piece on the issue. After realizing that a recent friend request came from a former patient, Sachin Jain thinks about the ramifications. Dr. Jain writes that, "In confirming this patient as my "friend" on Facebook, I was merging my professional and personal lives. From my Facebook page, Ms. ...

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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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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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Abraham Verghese is an internal medicine physician at Stanford, and a prominent physician-writer.

Stanford University is utilizing Facebook as a way to ask Dr. Verghese questions. He's one of the most eloquent and introspective doctors working today, so it's a treat to hear him talk about the various issues readers bring up.

Here are the first few videos in the series.

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Anorexia websites are a growing phenomenon, and now they are spreading the social media. Facebook is rapidly becoming the site of choice. Why? Because it's the "most personable," as opposed to MySpace which is "famous for creepy old men." It's causing some tension on the site, especially with anti-anorexia groups, which "actively hunt down pro-anorexia groups, and then lobby Facebook authorities to delete them." Apparently, there's an ...

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Not a very smart move by this employee who called in sick. Don't go advertising on Facebook that you got trashed instead.

Don't post patient pictures on your MySpace or Facebook page. Employees who do something that foolish deserve to be fired.

Until hospitals get a grasp of the Web 2.0 era, it's probably best not to blog about patients as well. Despite the efforts bloggers take in masking patient identity, I see hypersensitive administrators erring on the side of overreaction and start banning employees from blogging.

Medical records and Facebook

Provocative piece by hospitalist el jefe Bob Wachter. He laments how archaic most electronic records are, and I agree:

You'd think that medicine's conversion from paper to electronic records would solve many of these problems, but "“ to date "“ all it has done is create new-fangled electronic silos. In most EMRs, including the GE system we're using at UCSF, the notes are really just electronic incarnations ...

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The MySpace/Facebook generation is getting close to graduating medical school.

Boy, are they going to regret how Google's indexed their names when they start practicing medicine. This is the future of American medicine:

University of Florida researchers found several such items of interest when they trolled the Facebook pages of the school's medical students.

Researchers found shots of future doctors grabbing their breasts and crotches or posing ...

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Twitter and Facebook

In case you're looking for other ways to keep up with Kevin, M.D., my posts are now broadcast on Twitter and updated continuously on Facebook.

Facebook and your blood type

Using social media to reach out for blood donations:

For those who opt in, the system will send out alerts through Facebook "” as well as by phone, fax, e-mail and text message "” when their blood type is needed in their area. It will also send out reminders for regular donations.

Law.com: "Litigation over an insurer's refusal to pay health benefits for anorexia or bulimia may turn on what is revealed from the alleged sufferers' e-mails and postings on the social networking sites MySpace and Facebook.

The plaintiffs are suing in federal court in Newark, N.J., on behalf of their minor children, who have been denied benefits by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.

Horizon claims that ...

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