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Cover Image of Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam published by Weinstein Books
Cover Image of Lost in Translation by Nicole Mones published by Delta
Cover Image of Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris published by Little, Brown and Company
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Biomed Experts Dot Com: Websites That Connect Specialty Groups

abstract:Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Social Networking sites aren't just for programmers, technology buffs or citizen journalists. The staid institution of Medicine is getting on the band wagon. The other day my husband received an email announcing his enlistment on a website designed to connect biomedical specialists the world over. It has a lot of cool features that include the individual's research areas, their network of contributers, a mapping system to see how their life-work is linked around the world to other researchers or clinicians, and a list of their publications. The advantage is that researchers (or plain old doctors) can locate THE person in the world who is leading in a particular area of expertise. Check it out, and then find out how this and other web publications are changing how medical professionals communicate, connect and collect data. There is even a website that asks patients to give their inputs on disease symptoms and reactions to drug Rx and other treatment modalities.


January 03, 2009

Podcasts: The New Way Doctors Are Keeping Updated & Earning CME Credits

Every week my husband downloads the latest medical podcast, a review of the latest studies in peer review journal. He puts them on his iPod and then listens to them while he's jogging. When topics of particular interest come up related to his area of specialty, he downloads the entire article on his computer. The articles can contain images and video content of pathology reports, microbiology slides, surgical procedures and investigative tests. Each podcast session has related post-tests that earn credits toward continuing medical education credits - a mandatory requirement for maintaining license in North America.

Medical Wikis

Another medical publication is leading the way in "wiki" technology by collecting feedback on topics and feature articles in one of the most prestigeous journals in the world, The New England Journal of Medicine. At my last stint at the Stanford Professional Publishing Courses, I was surprised to see the entire web team of the this prestigious medical journal presenting their technology advancements for their website, which serves as an adjunct to their printed journal. The astounding part is how clinicians can read an article - say on the latest diabetic treatment, and then any registered doctor can review the article, compare the results and the diagnostic tests or pathology photos and then send in their two- cents on individual experiences within their practice. The scale of collaboration in this field has never been broader or easier. Medical journals are rapidly moving toward paperless subscriptions, which offer medical professionals all the advantages of instant "key word" web search capabilities to their entire archive of back copies.

In years previous to modern-day digitized content, researchers and clinicians had to visit the medical library or send their secretary or research assistant (read medical student/slave) to track down the physical paper in the stacks of the local library. There was also a honorific system of "requesting a copy of the abstract" from a researcher, which meant the researcher when published would receive copies of their published paper to send out like autographed collector items to people studying within the same field.

Patients Like Me: Patients Helping Patients is a website where patients can go for information, networking and support. They also get to provide important information about their conditions and communicate with people having the same diagnoses or sets of symptoms that is helping further the understanding of their disease, Dx, Rx and recovery, as well as provide an outlet for support along the way. It's an excellent website.



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