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Scaring physicians aways from using social media

Posted: April 12, 2010 at 8:15 am

Is there a doctor who wants to spend 3 hours per day on social media while running the risk of being sued?

This useful critical review by a freelance journalist at the NEJMJobs site has a focus on some of the litigation risks inherent to the use of social media in healthcare:

“Dr. Pho, who spends up to three hours a day in social media activities, is surely in a minority of physicians who devote considerable time to blogging, Twittering, or engaging in Facebook updates.

Social Media Activity Risks Difficult to Predict

Despite the potential professional benefits of social networking participation, some physicians are approaching the social media realm with trepidation, for fear that personal and professional presences will overlap in a manner that increases liability exposure.

That’s a valid concern, because the medico-legal aspect of social media activities has been little explored and is not well understood. In addition, the obvious risks of incurring HIPAA violations should patients’ health information be unwittingly exposed are a deterrent. “The laws haven’t caught up with social media and networking, so to be safe I don’t blog about my patients,” Dr. Pho said. “Even though I think that interesting or challenging cases can be used as a learning tool, too much of my professional livelihood is at stake.”

None of the physicians interviewed for this article have accepted patients’ requests to become Facebook friends, and all cited concerns that doing so would “cross the boundary” between a personal and professional relationship.

“I think that very few doctors are interacting with patients directly on Facebook because we’re so terrified of being accused of practicing medicine and getting sued. Whatever you type is eternal and a perfect record of whatever you said,” she said. “That makes it all even more scary.”

“We’re concerned about this because there have been instances in which physicians have used Facebook in an inappropriate manner,” said David Troxel, MD, The Doctors Company’s medical director. “Social media networks are not HIPAA compliant and are just not appropriate for any physician-patient communication, so it’s a real liability threat because it’s so easy to lapse into a casual conversation.”

The NEJMJobs article linked in the paragraph above does not discuss the use of social media for medical education of students, residents and patients.

Another area that was not highlighted enough was the widespread use of Facebook “fan pages” by hospitals and physicians to attract patients and create relationships. Does this mean that the patients can be “your fans” but not “your friends”?

Overall, this article is a good review of some of the risks involved with the social media adoption in healthcare.

However, for a more nuanced approach to social media use by physicians, please review this detailed primer by the cardiologist Dr. Wes:

Facebook Friend Request – A young doctor gets a message from a dying patient – NYTimes, 2010.

Image source:, public domain.

Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow on Twitter and Buzz, and connect on Facebook.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Scientists Embrace Openness Article in Science Careers

Posted: April 12, 2010 at 8:15 am

Chelsea Wald just published an article in Science Careers: Scientists Embrace Openness (April 9, 2010). She interviewed several people in the Open Science movement including Jonathan Eisen, Steve Koch, Anthony Salvagno, Carl Boettiger and myself.

The article covers Open Notebook Science, Open Data and associated themes. I think it presents a view of the most commonly discussed advantages and disadvantages very well.

One section was particularly relevant to an issue I recently posted about – (and discussed on FriendFeed):

Open Notebook Science advocates claim that being open may protect a scientist’s ideas rather than exposing them to theft. Newton’s decision to conceal his findings within an anagram made it harder for him to prove priority over rival Gottfried Leibniz. Open Notebook scientists say all they need to do is point to their open notebooks to show that they had an idea or found a result first.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Diabetes Ads

Posted: April 12, 2010 at 8:15 am

Don’t treat Diabetes to your kidneys.
About 10 to 40 percent of patients with Type 2 Diabetes will eventually suffer from kidney failure. So, visit your doctor regularly and ensure healthy kidneys.

Here’s a public announcement effort by Greenroom Advertising Mumbai, India in educating those with Type 2 Diabetes to keep up their doctor visits to ensure healthy organs.  I wish the execution was more realistic…

[via adsoftheworld]

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Anatomic Fashion Friday: Skeleton Bodysuit

Posted: April 12, 2010 at 8:15 am

This is an amazing 100% knitted cotton bodysuit.  To own this, you need to pay £500.00 from GoodHoodStore.  Imagine how cool you’d look!

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

"The Secret Museum" Exhibition Opening, Observatory, TONIGHT! April 10, 7-10 PM

Posted: April 12, 2010 at 8:15 am

Hi all! Just a reminder that tonight is the opening party for my new exhibition at Observatory “The Secret Museum,” an exploration of the poetics of hidden, untouched and curious collections from around the world in photographs and artifacts.” This show is produced in conjunction with the Congress for Curious People, which encompasses a slew of exciting events and begins this Monday!

Full details follow. Hope to see you there!

Exhibition: “The Secret Museum”
Opening party: Saturday April 10th, 7-10 PM
On view from April 10th-May 16th
Admission: Free

An exhibition exploring the poetics of hidden, untouched and curious collections from around the world in photographs and artifacts, by Joanna Ebenstein, co-founder of Observatory and creator of Morbid Anatomy.

Photographer and blogger Joanna Ebenstein has traveled the Western world seeking and documenting untouched, hidden, and curious collections, from museum store-rooms to private collections, cabinets of curiosity to dusty natural history museums, obscure medical museums to hidden archives. The exhibition “The Secret Museum” will showcase a collection of photographs from Ebenstein’s explorations–including sites in The Netherlands, Italy, France, Austria, England and the United States–which document these spaces while at the same time investigating the psychology of collecting, the visual language of taxonomies, notions of “The Specimen” and the ordered archive, and the secret life of objects and collections, with an eye towards capturing the poetry, mystery and wonder of these liminal spaces. In tandem with this exhibition, Ebenstein has organized a 2 week “Collector’s Cabinet” at the The Coney Island Museum, which will showcase astounding objects held in private collections, including artifacts featured in her Private Cabinet photo series of 2009.

To download press release, which includes sample images, please click here.

Congress for Curious People at the Coney Island Museum
2-day symposium exploring the idea of collecting curiosities in the 21st century as well as the politics, history, and changing methodology of collecting and collections. Also on view will be “The Collector’s Cabinet,” an installation of astounding artifacts held in private collections. A week of themed lectures at the Coney Island Museum will precede the symposium:

The Saddest Object in the World
An Illustrated Meditation by Evan Michelson, Obscura Antiques and Oddities, Morbid Anatomy Library Scholar in residence
Date: Monday, April 12th
Time: 7:00 PM
LOCATION: * Coney Island Museum, Brooklyn

Taxidermy in the Fine ArtsRobert Marbury of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists
Date: Tuesday, April 13th
Time: 7:00 PM
LOCATION: * Coney Island Museum, Brooklyn

A Brief History of Automate
An Illustrated Lecture and Demonstration by Mike Zohn, Obscura Antiques and Oddities
Date: Wednesday, April 14th
Time: 7:00 PM
LOCATION: * Coney Island Museum, Brooklyn

A History of Taxidermy: Art, Science and Bad Taste
An Illustrated Presentation By Dr. Pat Morris, Royal Holloway, University of London
Date: Thursday, April 15th
Time: 7:00 PM
LOCATION: * Coney Island Museum, Brooklyn

Charles Wilson Peale and the Birth of the American Museum
An Illustrated Presentation by Samuel Strong Dunlap, PhD, Descendant of Charles Wilson Peale
Date: Friday, April 16th
Time: 7:00 PM
LOCATION: * Coney Island Museum, Brooklyn

Museums, Monsters and the Moral Imagination
An Illustrated lecture with Professor Stephen Asma, author of Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads and On Monsters.
Date: Thursday, April 22
Time: 8:00 PM
LOCATION: * Observatory, Brooklyn

Experimenting with Death: An Introduction to Terror Management Theory
An Illustrated Lecture by Michael Johns, Former Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Wyoming
Time: 8:00 PM
Date: Friday, May 7
LOCATION: * Observatory, Brooklyn

You can find out more by clicking here. You can get directions to Observatory by clicking here. You can find out more about the “Congress for Curious People” by clicking here. You can get on our mailing list by clicking here can join Observatory on Facebook by clicking here.

Image credits: Images 1-3: Tim Knox and Todd Longstaffe-Gowan Collection, London. Image 4: Archives 2009-015, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. Image 5: Natural History Museum Store-room; Image 6: Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Rouen, Store-room; Image 7: “Femme à barbe,” Musée Orfila. Courtesy of Paris Descartes University.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Animal Body Worlds at the Neunkirchen Zoo, Saarland, Germany

Posted: April 12, 2010 at 8:15 am

The controversial Body Worlds creator Gunther von Hagens opens his latest anatomical exhibition at the Neunkirchen Zoo in the state of Saarland, Germany. The ‘anatomical safari’ contains over 100 animals in various degrees of dissection showing von Hagen’s famed plastination process. Presented as a holistic and sculptural anatomical menagerie, the display features the most revered species in the animal kingdom: among them a long-lashed, freckled tall blonde—a giraffe; and two regal, husky, graceful, behemoth elephants.The animal revue posed immense technical challenges for Dr. von Hagens and his plastination team. “Samba” with her size of 6 meters long and 3.5 meters tall is the largest creature that Dr. von Hagens has ever plastinated – the specimen is as heavy as three passenger cars. The preservation required 64,000 working hours, four tons of silicone and 40,000 liters of acetone. By comparison, a human plastinate is completed in 3,000 hours. The exhibition allows a peek under the thick yet light-sensitive skin of an elephant. Its trunk with its network of 40,000 muscles is a feat of design excellence, as well as virtuosity. Visitors will see a plastinated giraffe and learn how its unique cardiovascular system prevents it from being in permanent cardiac arrest and allows it to overcome the challenges of its extreme physique….

From; click here to see full story with more images.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

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