Tag Archives: blogs

the word BLOG

What doctors want you to know about healthcare

If you want to know what doctors think, and more importantly, how they feel about their jobs, read KevinMD.

(This post has affiliate links.)

Founded by Dr. Kevin Pho in 2004, this blog features articles by thousands of doctors, representing multiple specialties, ages, genders, ethnicity and practice setting. They write on multiple topics related to health, the science, practice, business, and politics of medicine, the doctor-patient relationship, and anything else even remotely related to medicine and health care.

On KevinMD  you will not find detailed infographics, slick images, or cute printables. Rather you will find stories filled with raw emotion as physicians  candidly share the horrific  struggles, the occasional remarkable successes, and the everyday grind  of providing healthcare to hurting, needy, sometimes demanding, occasionally grateful patients. And you will hear from patients whose experiences with physicians and the healthcare system range from sublime to horrendous.

You may not like or agree with some of the things you read there-I often don’t and I’m a doctor myself. That’s part of the point of this blog. We physicians are not homogenous. We are individuals with different stories to tell from differing points of view, based on background, training,  and experience.

The blog is divided into sections based on broad categories of topics –

physician, patient, policy, tech, social media , meds, conditions.

Some of the articles are directed to patients while others are physician oriented. I encourage you to read some of both, in addition to the ones I am sharing here.

Many of the physician authors write their own blogs, so it is a good place to explore and discover other health bloggers that you may enjoy.

How doctors feel about relationships with patients-

Dr. Jennifer Lycette , an oncologist who blogs at The Hopeful Cancer Doc, offered her take on a situation that I have encountered more than once myself.

Don’t call me “Mrs.” Call me “Doctor.”

 

“To address a female physician as “Mrs.,” even if she is married, is to imply that despite all her professional accomplishments, her worth is reduced to her marital status. It ignores all the hard work that went into earning the title of “Doctor,” and denotes, whether intentional or not, that a female physician is somehow less deserving of the title than a male physician.”Dr. Oglesby nametag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 How patients feel about communicating with doctors

Martine Ehrenclou is a patient advocate.  She is the author of Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive and The Take-Charge Patient.

She submitted an interesting piece on a controversial topic, that of patients recording their visits with doctors, either with or without permission.

“patients are in fact secretly recording conversations with their doctors without asking permission first.

Talk about a blow to the doctor-patient relationship.

I understand the hesitation to ask permission to record an office or hospital visit with a medical provider as I experienced it myself. But secretly recording is a violation of trust. Why would any patient surreptitiously tamper with the relationship with their doctor, something that is considered the cornerstone of quality care?’

Documenting information your doctor gives you is essential because it’s just too easy to misunderstand or forget the medical information conveyed. “

She offers these

Tips to remember what the doctor tells you.

 

 

 

How doctors think about treating illness

Dr. Eileen Sprys is a family physician who wants you to know

When you have a cold, why I’m not giving you an antibiotic

“I want you to know that as a physician, I feel a pang of insecurity, guilt, and sadness when a patient tells me they’re upset because I won’t write an antibiotic.  I don’t want you to be sick or miserable.

I understand how inconvenient and sometimes life altering a cold can be. I desperately, desperately wish that I had a cure for your cold, but none of us do.

I also want you to know that for every antibiotic I over-prescribe, that I run the unnecessary risk of making someone even more sick, even to the point of hospitalization or death. I went into medicine to help you and to relieve your suffering with integrity — and that by giving you antibiotics without indication, I am betraying my own purpose.”

 

six-facts-graphic

 

What doctors want you to know but don’t have time to tell you

a vision refractor

An ophthalmologist is a physician (doctor of medicine, MD, or doctor of osteopathy, DO) who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system and in the prevention of eye disease and injury.

Dr. Brian C. Joondeph is an ophthalmologist and can be reached on Twitter @retinaldoctor. This article originally in the HealthZette reveals

8 things doctors secretly want to tell their patients

Number 8 is “I’m only human.”

 “We have our good days and bad days just like anyone else. We try to always have a smile on our faces, be upbeat and cheerful. But we, too, are affected by life’s challenges — work, family, finances, health, and so on. Don’t be too quick to judge and criticize!”

What doctors do away from their practice

KevinMD does have a few photos, and even some videos. I enjoyed this one by physician-comedian Brad Nieder, MD who blogs  at the The Healthy Humorist. In this clip he explains how he learned to eat less.

 

 

After you explore KevinMD, please come back and leave a comment about a post you especially liked, learned something from, or maybe disagreed with.

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the word BLOG

Doctor bloggers you need to know

This post has several affiliate links, for your convenience and to support this blog. thank you!

In a previous series I recommended several physician written health blogs. In this post, I revisit some of those sites, and introduce you to a few more I have discovered.

These blogs are all written exclusively or mostly by physicians, or other healthcare professionals. While personal health blogs can be interesting and helpful, blogs that offer information from people who study and practice health and health care professionally offer extra benefits.

White Coat Pink Apron– good food for busy people

White Coat, Pink Apron web site

Dr. Diana, a Boston allergy specialist, blogs about food and shares recipes that are

“quick, easy, generally toddler-friendly, and sometimes Armenian, that anyone can make.”

In this post she shares two recipes for fish, salmon and cod, that adhere to the Paleo concept- no grains ,no beans, no dairy, and no sugar.

LEMON ROASTED SALMON AND KALE

dinner plate with fish, green beans and rice

illustration only, not actual recipe

Alert and Oriented.com

Dr. Michel Accad continues to blog about health care policies and economics, the doctor-patient relationship, and medical history, philosophy, and ethics.

 

According to Dr. Accad, human health is uninsurable; our bodies are not machines so cannot be evaluated objectively. He argues that health insurance is an income subsidy that helps sick people pay for medical care. In this thought provoking post, he explains why

Health insurance is not insurance

He has also published a book,

Moving Mountains: A Socratic Challenge to the Theory and Practice of Population Medicine

“This book will be of great interest to any reader concerned about healthcare. It will be of particular appeal to medical and public health students, as well as to healthcare professionals, including academics open to a challenging perspective.” Amazon

 

 

2 peds in a pod– (peds meaning pediatricians)

Practical pediatrics for parents on the go

Dr. Julie Kardos and Dr. Naline Lai practice pediatrics together and co-author this blog about infant, child, and adolescent  health issues. Including  “Essentials of Life- eat, sleep, drink, pee, poop, love”

Here they explain how to read food packaging labels accurately.

Deception in Packaging: Navigating the Nutrition Information Highway

Family of 4 sitting at a dining table.

Read food packing labels carefully to create nutritious meals.

Freud and Fashion

by psychiatrist Vania Manipod, DO

…BECAUSE IT’S STYLISH TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH, ESPECIALLY HOW WE MAINTAIN OUR OWN.

sketch of clothes, shoes, pants

because it’s fashionable to talk about mental health

Dr. Manipod is active on several social media sites as well as her blog. As a psychiatrist, she focuses on mental health, for both patients and other physicians.

She offers Advice on How To Cope With Burnout,  advice she tries to take herself.

And in an interview post she discusses

how a New York woman fights the stigma of mental illness

Dr.Linda-

Just a family doctor speaking up from the frontlines of medicine

Dr. Linda Girgis, M.D. has published a  fiction book, Pandemic Rising

Pandemic RISING- a book

“The year is 2025 and there is a war of worlds in full swing: pathogens versus humanity. In the antibiotic-resistance era, people are living in a petri dish of toxic microbes. Unfortunately, humanity lost its most powerful weapons, antibiotics, when previous generations of doctors prescribed them indiscriminately. Additionally, the efficacy of vaccines waned when people refused these fortresses based on mythological beliefs. Across the globe, tens of thousands are dying while scientists and doctors race to find a cure and vaccine for these super-bugs. Will the medical community of scientists and doctors succeed in developing new ammunition? Or will humanity die off in the battle against the new world order of infectious diseases and pandemics?” Amazon

 

 

On her blog, she shares a poignant story about a terminally ill patient with an unshakable will to live in this post-

A Lesson a Patient Taught Me about Defying Death 

Please visit at least one of these doctor bloggers, and leave them a comment. They will appreciate  the support and you may learn something new.

Previous posts about  doctor bloggers

10 health blogs you should read- a pair of docs and more

10 health blogs you should read- a family (doc) reunion

10 health blogs you should read- blogs by docs

10 health blogs you should read- 3 blogs by 3 docs

 

Books also available at Barnes and Noble/Nook

$5 Off Your Order of $40+ and $10 Off Your Order of $75+

10 health blogs you should read- a pair of docs and more

 

The final 2 blogs in this series are different;  while they have a founder and chief contributor, they feature posts from many writers, including non-healthcare professionals.

For the introduction and first 8 blogs, here are the links-

blogs by docs

3 blogs by 3 docs

a family (doc) reunion

I recommend all of these blogs because they

  • offer valid medical information on a variety of topics.
  • offer sound advice without quick fixes.
  • discuss common everyday health concerns.
  • discuss the healthcare system, how it works well and how it doesn’t.
  • offer insights on healthy living, both as individuals, families and a society.
  • show you how physicians think , feel and act , both as persons and professionals
  • will educate and challenge you.

ChangingAging with Dr.  Bill Thomas

Exploring Life Beyond Adulthood

“What we need is  a radical reinterpretation of longevity that makes elders (and their needs) central to our collective pursuit of happiness and well-being.”

On ChangingAging, Dr. Bill Thomas and other contributors explore “the terrain of human aging.”

Named by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top ten Americans shaping aging, Dr. Thomas is internationally known for his health care system innovations.

Kavan Peterson ,Co-Founder/Editor writes,

“I think aging is integral to human development and growth, yet much feared and little understood. By nearly every measurement, the second half of life brings more happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction than the “glory days” of youth. Instead of embracing the many virtues of aging, society teaches us to value only the most superficial dimensions — our ability to look and act youthful. The consequences of this outlook are stupendously wasteful and harmful to both individuals and society at large.”

I have  had patients ask me, “Doctor, am I just getting old?”  And my answer is, yes, we all are. No matter your chronological age, we are all changing and aging; so whatever stage of life you are in, this blog can be useful to you. Even if you are not facing these challenges now, someone you love probably is, or you will eventually.

 

Here is a link to the top ChangingAging posts of 2015

And here they declare 2016 as the year we “fire ageism”

 

Dr. Thomas’ book

Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life

“offers groundbreaking insight to the postwar generation on facing their second coming of age, a developmental opportunity to reshape their lives and our society.”

 

Second Wind by Dr. Bill Thomas

 

 

 

KevinMD.com

Social Media’s leading physician voice

 

Founded in 2004 by Dr. Kevin Pho, KevinMD.com

 “shares the stories and insight of the many who intersect with our health care system, but are rarely heard from.”

Over 2,000 authors contribute to KevinMD.com: front-line primary care doctors, surgeons, specialist physicians, nurses, medical students, policy experts.

And of course, patients, who need the medical profession to hear their voices.

Many, if not most, of the medical contributors also have their own blogs or web sites.

Dr. Pho Kevin received his medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine and practices internal medicine in Nashua, NH. Besides writing for the blog, he conceives and executes digital strategy and directs technology infrastructure,  and contributes to many other major publications including USA Today.

 

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a minority physician? This post describes it from one doctor’s experience in dealing with racial slurs

Here is what it’s like being a black man in a white coat.

This patient-submitted post details the financial hardships of severe chronic illness.

There are also plenty of educational posts like this one explaining the right way to boost your child’s immune system.

The human immune system

The organs of the human immune system image image courtesy MedlinePlus

 

 

And if you are considering “alternative” forms of medical care, read this article first – what a naturopathic doctor thinks about her profession

 

 

10 health blogs you should read- a family (doc) reunion

This is the third post in a series. Today I’m sharing 3 blogs written by family physicians.

For the introduction and first 5 blogs, here are the links-

blogs by docs

3 blogs by 3 docs

 

I recommend these health blogs because they

  • offer valid medical information on a variety of topics.
  • offer sound advice without quick fixes.
  • discuss common everyday health concerns.
  • discuss the healthcare system, how it works well and how it doesn’t.
  • offer insights on healthy living, both as individuals, families and a society.
  • show you how physicians think , feel and act , both as persons and professionals
  • will educate and challenge you.

 

People sometimes ask me if I  ever considered specializing, and I answer, “I did. I specialized in family medicine.”

According to the American Board of Family Medicine.

“Family medicine is the medical specialty that provides continuing, comprehensive health care for the individual and family.

It is a specialty in breadth that integrates the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences.

The scope of family medicine encompasses all ages, both sexes, each organ system and every disease entity.”

 

Like me, these physician bloggers are Board certified in family medicine. To become certified, we must:

  • Graduate from  a medical or osteopathic college
  • Complete an accredited residency
  • Maintain an unrestricted license to practice medicine
  • Pass a secure, computer-based certification examination every 7 to 10 years
  • Complete at least 150 hours of continuing medical education every 3 years
American Board of Family Medicine certification plaque

By completing the annual Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements , my certification will be extended through 2019.

Many family physicians belong to a national medical association, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), as well as our state chapters.

The AAFP provides high-quality learning opportunities for family physicians,  patient education materials and practice management support.

 

I don’t know these doctors personally, nor am I directly financially connected to them.

(This post does have affiliate links which can pay a commission to this blog for purchases made through them. )

 

Prevention Not Prescription

Transforming from a sick care to a health care system

 a blog by Kohar Jones M.D. who calls herself physician-writer-educator-advocate,

 

Dr. Jones blog is now inactive. Here is a link to an article she wrote about her experience working in Senegal- “The silent scourge of development.”

The Chicago Public Library

The Chicago Public Library

 

 

 

Common Sense Family Doctor

Common sense thoughts on health and conservative medicine from a family doctor in Washington, D.C.

a blog by Kenny Lin, M.D. who is

  • a board-certified Family Physician and Public Health professional practicing in the Washington, DC area.
  • Associate Deputy Editor of the journal American Family Physician (AFP )

 

  • teaches family and preventive medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
  • Paid consultant to the American Academy of Family Physicians, John Wiley & Sons, and Business Health Services.

In this post he suggests that climate change may really be a health issue.

And here  Dr. Lin explains some medical terms that doctors use frequently but patients may not understand.

 

Dr. Linda

just a family doctor speaking up from the frontlines of medicine

 Linda Girgis MD, is a family physician who treats patients in South River, New Jersey and its surrounding communities. She

  • holds board certification from the American Board of Family Medicine and is affiliated with both St. Peter’s University Hospital and Raritan Bay Hospital.
  • collaborates closely with several universities and medical schools where she teaches medical students and residents
  • has earned awards and recognition from her peers and a variety of industry bodies
  • contributes to other health blogs
  • has written and published two books

 

Dr. Girgis’ primary goal as a physician remains “ensuring that each of her patients receives the highest available standard of medical care.”

Topics covered include medical information, healthcare policy, public health and poems, like this one she posted on World Cancer Day 

And in this post she encourages patients to advocate for their own healthcare.

Dr. Girgis wrote these books-

INSIDE OUR BROKEN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM and THE WAR ON DOCTORS 

THE WAR ON DOCTORS book INSIDE OUR BROKEN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM book

 

 

 

10 health blogs you should read- 3 blogs by 3 docs

 

Today I am continuing my series about health blogs you should read.  We’ll look at 3 blogs by physicians in 3 different specialities  today.

For the complete introduction to this series and for the first 2 blogs, go to this post, otherwise continue reading .

 

I recommend these health blogs because they

  • offer valid medical information on a variety of topics.
  • offer sound advice without quick fixes.
  • discuss common everyday health concerns
  • discuss the healthcare system, how it works well and how it doesn’t.
  • offer insights on healthy living, both as individuals, families and a society.
  • show you how physicians think , feel and act , both as persons and professionals
  • will educate and challenge you.

These blogs open a window into the medical community.  You may be surprised that physicians have the same concerns about health and medical care as you , and some that you are unaware of. Most importantly, you will find they are on your side; they care about you,their patients,  probably a lot more than you care about them.

 

These bloggers’ viewpoints often surprise and challenge me; I don’t always agree with them and you may not either.  By recommending them, I don’t endorse their opinions, nor do I benefit financially.  

We’ll explore these 10 over several days so check back often, or subscribe by email to make it easy to keep up.

The accompanying photos are illustrative only, and are not necessarily affiliated with the blogs or bloggers mentioned.

 

James Marroquinn, M.D.

Dr. Marroquinn writes on health, bioethics and the practice of medicine.

He practices internal medicine in Austin, Texas, is  fellowship-trained/board certified in palliative care and works from time to time at an inpatient hospice facility.

Battleship Texas sign

The last of the battleships to participate in World War I and II, Battleship Texas became the first battleship memorial museum in the U.S. in 1948.

 

 

His goals for his self-titled blog are

“to inform people (including myself) about health science, ponder philosophical, political, theological issues associated with medicine, and make sense of my experience as a physician.”

Dr. Marroquinn posts infrequently; his posts are timely, articulate and informative.

Here is a post I especially enjoyed about Boxing and Parkinson’s Disease. He discusses a video about 60 Minutes news correspondent  Leslie Stahl and her husband who has Parkinson’s Disease.

In this post, he offers three reasons why physicians and other health practitioners should recognize and address the spiritual component of their patients’ lives. 

 

medicine for real– Navigating the healthcare system

is written by  blogger Dr. Shirie Leng, an anesthesiologist, who writes,

“I have worked in health care both as a nurse and as a doctor for 15 years.  The health care industry is just that, an industry.  As such it doesn’t have a whole lot of concern for the “customer”.  I write about the processes, redundancies, red-tape and pure pointlessness of much of medicine, so that you can make decisions and navigate for yourself.”

pre-op area of hospital

I suspect Dr. Leng spends much time in places similar to this.

 

 

Besides healthcare, she writes about education, insurance, end-of-life issues, motherhood, and the history of medicine.

Dr. Leng had not posted in awhile because, as she explains it, “nothing health-care related has outraged me recently.  And I definitely write better when agitated about something.”

But she did post  this piece recently, Health Is For Us, Not you , in which she touches on mass shooters, Syrian refugees and ISIS.

 

 

freud & fashion

BECAUSE IT’S STYLISH TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH, ESPECIALLY HOW WE MAINTAIN OUR OWN.

THE WRITINGS OF A YOUNG, MODERN & NEWLY-GRADUATED PSYCHIATRIST

You’ve met Vania Manipod, D.O when I shared her post about New Year’s Resolutions.

In this post, Dr. Manipod gives tips on recognizing and controlling anger

 

musicians on California beach

Dr. Manipod comes from California , which I found to be an interesting place.

flowers along the Pacific Ocean shore

And beautiful.

 

10 health blogs you should read- blogs by docs

Since I started blogging I have reviewed many health, fitness and wellness blogs. I find most of them interesting and/or entertaining. I find a few of them informative, stimulating and valuable.

I have read health bloggers who write about their personal experience dealing with a particular medical condition, which I think can be powerful and helpful.

Some bloggers write to discuss and promote a particular lifestyle or product that they believe has value to health and/or fitness.

And there are blogs written by people with training and experience in some aspect of medical care, wellness, fitness and/or nutrition (all of which I define broadly)

I think all of these blogs have a place and all seem to have their audience. One of the first things I check when I read a blog is the “about” section, or its equivalent. I want to know who writes the blog and what their credentials are. Anyone who writes a blog about a particular topic should clearly and accurately state their credentials for that topic, or lack of, if that’s the case. (I state my credentials on the page “Meet Dr. Aletha”)

If I wrote a cooking blog, I would admit that I have no training in cooking, other than high school home economics (do they still teach that in school?), which was a long time ago.  I would explain that I created or borrowed the  recipes,  report how I prepared it and how it tasted. I would make no claims as to its likely success for you  and tell you to try it at your own risk.

I wish all health bloggers would do the same. Most do, and for that I commend them.

I believe all bloggers who promote and/or recommend products or procedures to prevent or treat medical issues should confirm whether or not they have accredited education in that discipline.

In this blog series, I will tell you about health blogs that are worth reading. Most of them are written by physicians, medical scientists, other health professionals and affiliated professionals. Persons who spend the majority, if not all, of their adult life studying and pursuing a discipline, likely know that subject well.

Many writers research and report about medical information. By virtue of their education, training, and experience, physicians know how to interpret and apply that information.

I recommend these health blogs because they

  • offer valid medical information on a variety of topics.
  • offer sound advice without quick fixes.
  • discuss common everyday health concerns
  • discuss the healthcare system, how it works well and how it doesn’t.
  • offer insights on healthy living, both as individuals, families and a society.
  • show you how physicians think , feel and act , both as persons and professionals
  • will educate and challenge you.

 

These blogs open a window into the medical community.  You may be surprised that physicians have the same concerns about health and medical care as you , and some that you are unaware of. Most importantly, you will find they are on your side; they care about you,their patients,  probably a lot more than you care about them.

Physicians bloggers work long hours in their demanding practices and also have “lives”, meaning spouses, children, friends, homes and hobbies; they still make time to write blog posts, often without compensation and without charging you. I think you should take advantage of their expertise.

These are blogs written by a single or several physicians. I am not including blogs which accompany medical websites affiliated with universities, medical centers, professional associations or government agencies. Perhaps later I will give you a list of my favorites among those. As I discover other valuable blogs, I will share those with you also.

These bloggers’ viewpoints often surprise and challenge me; I don’t always agree with them and you may not either.  By recommending them, I don’t endorse their opinions, nor do I benefit financially.  

We’ll explore these 10 over several days so check back often, or subscribe by email to make it easy to keep up.

The accompanying photos are illustrative only, and are not necessarily affiliated with the blogs or bloggers mentioned.

 

 

“Alert and Oriented”

the progress notes of Michel Accad, M.D.

(Doctors write progress notes  in the charts of hospitalized patients to document medical treatment and response each day)

Dr. Accad is a cardiologist and internist in solo private practice and teaches at the University of California San Francisco.

” ‘Alert and Oriented’ is a medical phrase that describes the mental status of a patient who, despite being in serious shock from trauma or disease, maintains clarity of mind and focus of thought.

 

EKG tracing of heart activity on a cardiac monitor.

Based on the heart rhythm, this patient is likely alert and oriented.

 

Sadly, the medical community enmeshed in today’s health care system is like a patient in acute shock. The only chance to survive is to remain alert and oriented.” (quote from the blog introduction)

Dr. Accad blogs about the healthcare system, the doctor-patient relationship, medical ethics, medical economics, and health care policy.

In this older post he explains the

evolution of the food pyramid to the healthy plate nutrition recommendation.

healthy plate of vegetables , pita bread and hummus

 

In another interesting post, he explains

why mammograms may be over diagnosing breast cancer.

 

 

 

 

I have previously introduced you to Kristin Prentiss Ott, M.D. when I shared her post about emergency room care here. Dr. Ott is an emergency physician who writes

Emergency helicopter landing at a hospital.

Some of Dr. Ott’s patients arrive this way.

.

 

Rx Blog Therapy

“because writing and relating are good medicine”.

In addition to medicine she writes about parenting, politics, faith and reading/writing.

Here she offers some soul searching thoughts on sexism and racism.