Med-Blog Grand Rounds Takes a Virtual Tour

Live, from New York, it’s med-blog Grand Rounds, volume 7, number 43!

As I’m staying home for the summer, I’ve asked bloggers to share images of where they’re from, or where they go, so we could take a virtual tour together:

Washington Monument, at the U.S. National Mall, Wikimedia Commons (WC) image

We’ll start with a post from the Washington, DC-based Prepared Patient Forum, where Jessie Gruman clarifies that Engagement Does Not Mean Compliance. As Jessie says, “I am compliant if I do what my doctor tells me to do. I am engaged, on the other hand, when I actively participate in the process of solving my health problems.”

Heading north, to Philly –

Philadelphia City Hall, from the steps of the Art Museum (image courtesy of Bill Strouse)

Here, steps away from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, Ryan DuBosar covers a hot topic for the ACP Internist blog. In But wait! I wasn’t ready for you yet, he comments on CNN’s recent report that some patients are starting to bill their physicians for wait time.

On I-95, delays in Connecticut…or Amtrak…

Ether, or Good Samaritan, Statue in Boston Public Garden (WC image)

Writing in Boston, David Williams of the Health Business Blog presents the fourth and final segment in a series: Harvard Pilgrim CEO Eric Schultz holds forth on social media and mobile apps. I might’ve gone with a Pilgrim or Plymouth image to accompany this post – by association and flight of ideas, but David was kind enough to teach me something about medicine that can be learned in the Boston Public Garden, where the Ether Monument depicts an early use of anesthesia. Cool.

Wildflowers, Mass Audubon Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick (image courtesy of Paul Levy)

Nearby, Paul Levy likes to take hikes in places like central Massachusetts. Now that he’s Not Running a Hospital, he takes on Google+, the latest social media entry, and summarizes so many of potential connectors in Google+: Cutting down on the irrelevant cruft?. In this timely post, Paul asks the official ML question of the month: “Is it worth it?”

(No answers yet on the non-metaphysical question.) An added perk is a Tuesday term I was inspired to look up: cruft. Thanks, Paul; it’s always good to know more stuff…

Shifting gears, and possibly vehicles, somehow we arrive in Dayton, Ohio:

Dayton Ohio skyline (image courtesy of Hank Stern)

In Dayton, with a skyline I’ve never seen, Hank Stern shares his thoughts on what he calls, um, the Best Little House Down Under, he suggests that Australia’s national health system leads some people to fund their health care needs through tricky career moves, at InsureBlog.

Venturing southward…

Louisville KY, along a bike route (courtesy of J. Mandrola)

John Mandrola writes from Louisville, where he practices cardiology, posts as Dr. John M, and cycles a lot. In Having a Hand to Hold, he considers the value of stable, long-term relationships in cardiac health.

Dr. R. Bates cools her feet in the reflecting pond, at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock

In Little Rock, Arkansas, we’ll find plastic surgeon Ramona Bates. In her free time, Ramona quilts and posts at Suture for a Living. She’s been concerned about the heat wave, and recommends an “oldie but relevant” post on heat-related illnesses. Given how the weather’s been here and elsewhere, we should all probably take a break and read her wise words.

A postcard arrives from the Windy City, of Oklahoma!

After planning our route, John Schumann, an internist who’s been teaching in Chicago and posting at Glass Hospital, sent word that he’s moving, for real. He and his wife are taking on new positions in Tulsa, in August. Meanwhile you can read his Debunking Urban Medical Legend, on dealing with patients who want to sign out AMA. Or you can catch an embedded, education video featuring the doctor in a cameo role as a recalcitrant patient.

Hard to know, sometimes, exactly where the news is coming from. Which leads me to our next post:

cornstalks, in the U.S. (FEMA image, WC)

Happy, the Happy Hospitalist, confided that he might be somewhere near a corn field. So I’ve placed the hospitalist at the heart of our nation’s map, figuratively and not literally, and definitely not with certainty. In a recent post on hospitals’ skyrocketing payments to hospitalists, Happy explains why they’re worth it.

On vacation –

Michael Kirsch, MD Whistleblower and Ohio gastroenterologist, recently visited Denver. He inadvertently submerged his iPhone into a pool where he took a dip, and then pondered An iPhone App for Medical Checklists? What’s truly remarkable is that Scientific American picked up on Michael’s situation so promptly; they got right on the case and immediately published a proposal to waterproof iPhones.

You’ve gotta have friends –

While in Colorado, we might visits some bloggers who live there:

view of Longs Peak, in the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies (image courtesy of Philip Hickey)

Upon hesitation, I share a post from Behaviorism and Mental Health – “an alternative perspective on mental disorders.” Philip Hickey, a retired psychologist, considers “the spurious medicalization of problems of living” in Natural Correction. I’m not sure where the he’s coming from, exactly, but the author does offer an idyllic view of the Rocky Mountains from his living room window.

Hard to find a perspective like this in Manhattan –

Somewhere else in that big, central state, Louise writes about Hospital Mergers and teamwork for the Colorado Health Insurance Insider.

Now, going to where wild things are:

grizzly bear (image from Healthline)

In Stanford, CA, Paul Auerbach is as an accomplished ER physician and professor. According to Healthline, where Paul posts regularly, he’s authored definitive books on subjects like “Wilderness Medicine” (now in its 5th Edition) and “Medicine for the Outdoors.” Just this week, he wrote on How to Prevent Fatal Bear Attacks.

Wow. (For someone in my shoes, this is about as exotic as medicine gets.) Seriously, do they teach this at Stanford?) More posts from the Bay area:

San Quentin, with inmates looking toward the distance (courtesy of Dr. Tony Brayer)

Perhaps the most isolated, provocative source for a post comes from Toni Brayer of Everything Health, who writes on her experiences playing tennis with inmates at San Quentin. Better than my writing on it, go take a look at her fabulous perspective: “As I scan the horizon I see the hills of Marin County…then my eyes stop at a guard tower with guards holding guns.”

If you’re getting tired from so much virtual travel, don’t worry: there’s sex and a mystery sign ahead to grab your possibly-flagging attention:

Golden Gate Bridge and Citgo Sign (mash-up image, courtesy of Barbara Kivowitz)

What Do You Do When Illness Makes Sex Impossible? asks Barbara Kivowitz at In Sickness and In Health. She’s sometimes in San Francisco, and sometimes in a place that sports Citgo signage. Barbara offers a hybrid, unevenly-weighted mash-up pic of her blogging spots. Analyze that!

Heading north, along the Pacific coast, you might opt for these detours –

From Portland, physician and author Doug Perednia writes The Road to Hellth <sic>. In a lively-titled post, How Can We Apply “Primum Non Nocere” to Government? – Part III, he considers how the principle of “First, do no harm” might be applied to laws and regulations about medicine and healthcare. Check it out!

Nearby, in Vancouver, clinical psychologist Will Meek usually considers human relationships at Vancouver Counselor. Recently, he posted on his insights from stressed-out animals.

Speeding along, we reach Canada’s western coast –

Victoria, Capitol of British Columbia, image courtesy of Carolyn Thomas

Carolyn Thomas, of Heart Sisters, posts from British Columbia’s capital city of Victoria. She reviews some Surprising Trends in Women’s Heart Disease in an interview with cardiologist Dr. Tracy Stevens, and reminds us that physicians are still practicing medicine based on cardiac studies performed mostly on white, middle-aged men.”

No kidding –

A few notes from our far-flung correspondents:

Sydney, Australia (WC image)

In Sydney, Australia, rheumatologist Irwin Lim at BJC Connected Care considers how a case of Ankylosing Spondylitis took on a life of its own. He describes how a determined group of rheumatologists, physiotherapists, a willing pharmaceutical company and patient advocates came together to raise awareness and help people with a rare autoimmune disease.

Trinity College, Dublin (WC image)

Paul O’Connor covered a June Conference at Trinity College, Dublin, on Links Between Arts and Health Care in his Ars Medica blog. After taking in a lot of broad range of presentations, he wonders “Can reading & appreciating the arts provide doctors with clinically relevant insights?”

Nearing the end of our trip, and my home, Peggy Polaneczky at The Blog That Ate Manhattan tells how she manages results in her EMR inbox. This could be a dreaded task for any doctor after a long vacation or any day in a women’s health practice, but Peggy makes it all seem easy.

Finally, Fizzy, an anonymous blogger at one of the first blogs I ever read, Mothers in Medicine, asks Is 12 Weeks Long Enough? She considers the pressure some pregnant women feel to work right up until delivery, so as not to lose a day of covered time off with a new baby. Seems like this could happen anywhere, and everywhere.

Spaceship Earth, at Epcot (WC image)

Well, I hope you enjoyed this medical-health tour, not of the “other” kind. It’s nice, sometimes, to just relax, put your feet up, and take in the views of others.

Many thanks to all the contributors, for sharing of themselves, beyond the posts,


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