It’s simple: we need more physicians in media and politics. COVID-19 has proven to be a crash course in the practical application of microbiological, pathophysiological, clinical, statistical, and ethical principles. As a newly graduated MD preparing to enter residency, I spend my mornings filtering through recent journal correspondence, case reports, observational studies, and randomized control trials in order to form and refine a professional opinion on this dynamic and challenging ...

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Susanna Harris was sitting in her lab class for her graduate program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when she received an email that told her she had failed what she describes as “the most important exam in grad school,” the doctoral qualifying exam. She took the rest of the day off, went home, and baked cookies. Harris continued with her regular schedule: lab, work, home, repeat. Everything ...

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I am at a conference that is encouraging physicians to engage in social media. This is something I was always a proponent of. I felt strongly that as physicians, we help set the tone of accurate medical information. Especially now in this age of disinformation and "alternative facts," our voices are crucial. I used to be an active Twitter user. I had 21,000 followers and was verified — with a blue ...

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"Mens sana, in corpore sano," goes the old Latin saying. "A healthy mind in a healthy body."  It’s vital that way pay proper attention not only to our physical existence but to our minds and souls; to the intangible but essential part of who we are. While I write a lot about things we need to do to keep our bodies healthy, it’s important to remember that our eyes and minds ...

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Pseudoscience hate groups of all kinds are targeting physicians who openly advocate for public health issues. This is a favorite intimidation tactic used by anti-vaccine activists: When pediatrician colleague Jen Trachtenberg posted a video for National Immunization Awareness Month 2018, she was blasted with thousands of horrible comments and fake online reviews. I wrote a blog post in her defense, and immediately, I was similarly ...

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Thank you to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists for the honor of keynoting AACE 2019 this weekend. The picture above was the Q&A session in the exhibit hall after the keynote. As you can see, there continues to be tremendous physician interest in navigating the health care-social media intersection. Next weekend, I'll be in Chicago keynoting Becker’s Health IT + ...

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As first reported by The Wall Street Journal late last month, the war against anti-vaccination propaganda now has a new battlefront. Pinterest, the social-media platform where users discover images and information, has begun blocking vaccine-related search terms on its site. Anti-vaccine content contradicts evidence-based science and established research, the company told WSJ, while cautioning that the search ban is only 
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Since finishing my medical training recently, many of my friends have embraced their newfound freedom as attendings in traditional ways: reviving long-neglected hobbies, finally exercising regularly, enjoying more time with loved ones. Me? I joined Twitter. It may seem like a strange step, but after years of caution regarding the perils of social media as a physician (and more specifically, as a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist), it was only once I ...

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This article is sponsored by Careers by KevinMD.com. We live in a time when social media isn’t just about sharing pictures or ideas with a close circle of friends and family. Between our Facebook statuses, our Twitter profiles and especially our LinkedIn pages, we are always public, all the time — no matter what your privacy settings may have you believe. For ...

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For many months, artificial intelligence has been in my peripheral vision, just sitting there, ignored by me because it seemed too far in the future to be interesting now. And then, there were all these terms — Big Data, machine learning, data science — which circled the subject and, frankly, gave me a bit of a headache. Artificial intelligence is upon us, unleashed and unbridled in its ability to transform the world. ...

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An excerpt from Tweets, Likes,and Liabilities: Online and Electronic Risk to the Healthcare Professional. When it comes to HIPAA violations, there are, sadly, plenty of examples available to serve as cautionary tales. Some seem like innocent mistakes that just about anyone could make. Others are so egregious that those involved appear to be willfully inviting the wrath of regulators and ...

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“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” - Abraham Maslow. The New York Times recently published the op-ed “Dr. Google is a Liar,” written by cardiologist Haider Warraich, MD. Dr. Warraich describes the rise of fake medical news and the adverse consequences of a population who gets their medical information from social media. He shares that when ...

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From the beginning of medical school, one of the first things “instructional videos” that we had to watch during orientation was about “social media” and what “not to do.” There began this stigma, and it was frowned upon to use social media if you were a clinician. There are the obvious things that physicians should not do, such as post private information about patients, show a patient’s face without their permission, ...

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I am certain that many of you might be familiar with the intelligent, vibrant young lady named Brittany Maynard. Brittany's story was so compelling to the world that it reached the most outstanding and historic numbers through digital media. Ms. Maynard was only 29, diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and decided that she would end her own life "when the time seemed right." Maynard was an advocate ...

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For Apple iPhone users, the release of iOS 12 included a new feature called “Screen Time.” Although a number of productivity apps that offered a similar snapshot of phone usage were available before this update, I was never interested in quantifying my usage. Now, on a weekly basis, I get a reminder of the exact percentage breakdown of how I’m using my phone. In true millennial fashion, a review of my ...

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By now, I’m sure most of you probably have heard about the Cleveland Clinic first-year resident who was fired last September when it became known that in 2012 she had tweeted she would “purposely give all the yahood [Jews] the wrong meds …” The website Canary Mission documented numerous tweets expressing similar thoughts. She has apologized but will likely have great difficulty finding another job as a physician. This ...

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The news has recently reported the story about the Cleveland Clinic resident, Dr. Lara Kallab, who was fired after making anti-Semitic comments on twitter. Among them, she tweeted that, “I’ll purposely give all the [Jews] the wrong meds.” Not only were people horrified by her comments, but she also lost her job (and possibly career) because of it. However, was her punishment too harsh or not severe enough? My opinion is ...

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Long ago, and far away, I encountered a patient that changed the way I practice. I was with a medical student while examining a middle-aged woman who presented with a dramatic eruption that was probably DRESS syndrome (DRESS syndrome was not yet described). I prescribed prednisone and asked her to come in a few days later so I could assess her progress. She returned – I did not recognize her ...

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An opinion piece published in JAMA suggests the latter: "Protecting the Value of Medical Science in the Age of Social Media and 'Fake News'" The authors argue social media poses a threat to science in several ways:

  • Unfettered publication of unvetted information by sources of unknown reliability.
  • An emerging tactic of decrying disagreeable content as “fake” or part of a “conspiracy.”
  • Opponents of evidence-based research who perpetuate ...

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I use social media.  Specifically, I use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  In the beginning, I did so for utilitarian purposes.  As a columnist and aspiring writer of books, these were (and indeed are) useful marketing tools. I have, in the past, carried around a note-pad to jot down ideas.  I was never without my note-pad.  I always wanted a small legal-pad with a blue or black gel-ink pen.  It was my ...

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