Last week Aaron Sorkin wrote for The Atlantic a piece in which he details his daily news feed, in What I Read. He’s not into blogs: When I read the Times or The Wall Street Journal, I know those reporters had to have cleared a very high bar to get the jobs they have. When I […]
Yesterday’s medical-blog Grand Rounds, on What it Takes, is hosted by the Prepared Patient Forum. There’s a nice array of diverse posts. Among my favorites this week are from patients’ perspectives: by Warm Socks, on complex and simple physical systems for remembering to take pills and by Heart Sisters, on ditching the bucket list. I […]
Med-blog grand rounds this week is hosted by e-patient Dave, who is Dave deBronkart, a real man who was diagnosed with a renal cell (kidney) cancer a few years back. He’s a terrific speaker and an Internet friend. By coincidence I was searching for the definition of an e-patient, and came upon it there, in […]
The author has been concerned for a while that she might be addicted to blogging. Symptoms include wanting to post instead of working on a book proposal and other, likely more important projects. She was thinking of crowd-sourcing how best to describe this disposition, but it turns out the Internet already provides a diagnostic term: […]
Yesterday I checked in on the Cancer Culture Chronicles, a thoughtful and sometimes funny blog by Anna Rachnel, who lives with metastatic breast cancer. There I learned that the author of Living With Cancer, a blog I’d read occasionally and has been in the back of my mind lately, is dead. Sadly, I never had […]
I don’t know if makes sense to blog on a book by a woman who’s dead, who wrote about photographs and the news. But new media allows us to try new things, unedited. Here goes: In Regarding the Pain of Others, which I began, unknowingly, on the evening before the recent quake and tsunami, Sontag […]
Since Watson won on Jeopardy, there’s been lots of talk of robots assuming doctors’ roles. Ten years into our future, machines with programmed empathy and nuanced diagnostic skills will solve diagnostic dilemmas, deduce optimal treatment and make us well. Yesterday I found a new Xtranormal video, this one crafted by Dr. Charles of his excellent […]
A new Twitter follow led me to LongartsZwolle, a blog by a pulmonologist in the Netherlands. A February 1 post needs no translation: More Doctors Smoke Camels Than Any Other Cigarette The clip is said, on YouTube, to be a 1949 commercial for Camel cigarettes. I tried to find more on this, first by clicking […]
Today’s Wednesday web sighting ranks high in awesomeness. I discovered Google’s Art Project through molecular biologist Jessica Palmer’s always-gorgeous Biophemera blog. The find is Google Art: I couldn’t make up my mind which image to capture for this post. So take a break and explore some of the world’s finest art collections, right at your […]
I was listening to All Things Considered yesterday while preparing dinner. A short, interesting story came on: You Have An Accent Even On Twitter. The NPR host, Robert Siegel, interviewed Jacob Eisenstein, a post-doc at Carnegie Mellon who has been examining regional variances in Twitter usage. Some highlighted examples of Twitter dialecticisms: In New York, […]
I must have been reading a magazine when Mashable reported on new findings about the news from the Pew Research Center. A December 2010 survey confirmed that Americans are turning away from newspapers and logging onto the Web. Among young people, the Internet exceeds TV as a news source: In 2010, for the first time, […]
Some weeks ago I discovered Happy’s hilarious Xtranormal videos on his anonymous blog. Yesterday I laughed watching the Hospitalist vs the ER: — I can’t tell you much about who the Happy Hospitalist is. His is one of the few anonymous blogs I read. Based on the apparent relevance of cars and parking lots in […]
When I practiced oncology, I relished time talking with patients and their loved ones about tough decisions – when an indolent condition accelerated and it seemed time to bite the bullet and start treatment, or when a cancer stopped responding to treatment and it seemed right to shift gears and, perhaps, emphasize palliation instead of more chemo, and at every value-loaded decision checkpoint in between.
These conversations weren’t easy; speaking of levels of care, palliation and end-of-life wishes are discussions that many doctors, even oncologists, still avoid.
Today Medical Lessons is one year old. That’s an important milestone in any blog’s life, as I suppose it is in this author’s. Why blog, a mother in medicine might ask me. I’m having fun with this project, for starters. Since November 17, 2009, I’ve taught myself how to use WordPress, learned the ins and […]
This post is intended mainly for medical bloggers, but it has applications elsewhere. It’s about links and uniform resource locators (URLs), terms that I didn’t fully appreciate until the last year or so. That’s because like most of my colleagues and readers, I grew up reading printed books, newspapers and magazines. Now, perhaps as much as 90 percent of the non-fiction I read is on-line.
The Web has a lot of advantages for readers – you can see multimedia presentations, or double-click to enlarge a graph of interest. What I think is best, though, is the third
Some months ago I came upon a unique blog, Ars Medica, by Paul O’Connor. The title means “medical arts” in Latin. O’Connor studied medicine before delving into the humanities. Now he writes and gives a seminar on Literature & Medicine at Trinity College in Dublin. The site’s theme is portrayals of physicians, medicine and illness. […]
As a patient who’s been there, under anesthesia more times than I care to remember, I can’t imagine anything much worse than knowing while I’m unconscious my doctor might be on-line or even just dictating tweets instead of concentrating on me, my arteries and veins and spine and…
…I think the answer is inherent in the goal of being engaged, and that has to do with the concept of patient autonomy – what’s essentially the capacity of a person to live and make decisions according to one’s own set of knowledge, goals and values.
Autonomy in medicine, which borders on the empowerment idea, can be an aim in itself, and therefore valuable regardless of any measured outcome.
Ten years ago, my colleagues and I squirmed in our swivel chairs when a few tech-savvy patients filed in bearing reams of articles they’d discovered, downloaded and printed for our perusal.
Some of us accepted these informational “gifts” warily, half-curious about what was out there and half-loathing the prospect of more reading. Quite a few complained about the changing informational dynamic between patients and their physicians, threatened by a perceived and perhaps real loss of control.
How a decade can make a difference. In 2008 over 140 million Americans…