Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Dangers of FaceBook

Journal article from Student BMJ:

The Dangers of Facebook

Posted 12/29/2008

Neil Graham; Philippa Moore

Increasing numbers of doctors and medical students are turning to websites such as Facebook to make friends, chat, and organise social events. These innovations have made some aspects of life easier and are a powerful tool for communication, but they also blur the line between our personal and professional personas. With the veneer of friendship that's offered on these sites, it's all too easy to reveal more information than is appropriate. If this information falls into the wrong hands, problems can arise about your integrity, employment, and fitness to practise medicine.

In a recent study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the Facebook profiles of a group of medical students in Florida were scrutinised with the aim of establishing how dangerous Facebook could be in the intersection of personal and professional identities. The study found some profiles publicly displaying photographs of trainee medics drinking to excess, engaging in sexual behaviour, and, in one instance, posing with a dead racoon. Three of the 10 students in the sample had also joined groups on Facebook that could be interpreted as sexist or racist.[1]

Whether the private activities of a medical professional have an impact on their ability to practise is debatable, but it cannot be denied that putting private material in such a public arena has the potential to undermine trust in the profession.

What's interesting about this is that Doctors are normal people (surprised?). We get up to the same shit that others do. That's why Scrubs is such a bloody realistic show! Believe it or not.

The difference now? Our real personalities are available on the web for our patients to see. If we're not careful. Suddenly they know we're not God. Bummer.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How to Cure HIV. The Book.

OH MY GOD! That picture I used in the last post led me to this book. WTF.

New Revised! Including new research and findings showing what the true causes of HIV & AIDS are and lead directly to their cure! 53 CURED Cases The First Year Cure, not treatment, is the subject of this book. In 1991 Dr. Clark discovered the source of HIV. Once the source became clear the cure became obvious. but would it work? After curing 53 cases in a row, all who used this method, Dr. Clark could wait no longer to present these findings. Since that time many more have been cured, too many to be added to this book. Most important is adding yourself to that list! Electricity can now be used to kill bacteria, viruses and parasites in minutes, not days or weeks as antibiotics require. If you have been suffering from HIV infection or AIDS related illness, learn to build the electronic device that will stop it immediately. It is safe and without side effects ad does not interfere with any treatment you are now on.

Buy it now and save yourself. Crisis. Real medicine is not about anecdotal case studies - it's about randomised control trials.

Friday, January 23, 2009

How to cure HIV

Sometimes, "lost in translation" can be bloody dangerous. See this site.

"What is this HIV Cure meant for?- This cure for HIV is a holistic HIV cure with A bio Magnetic Cards / Bio Magnetic Tablets and immune enhancing herbal medicines. No side effects in this. This s purely ethical and most successful treatment in the history of HIV. Very easy to use -Even a 10 year old boy can use this. This is most potent HIV cure available.

What is the procedure of action of treatment?
Bio Magnetic Cards Or Bio Magnetic Tablets will perform as very strong fusion inhibitor (entry inhibitor) that completely stop HIV cure from entering CD4 Cells. by creating a negative charge CD4 which will repel negatively charged HIV and prevent it from attaching the surface of CD4. So HIV can not complete its life cycle. Thus it will die in due course and will be expelled from body through excretion like that of urine etc.

What will be result-?
HIV will be destroyed and soon the body will start to gain weight . All symptoms will be subsided and CD4 count will be back to the normal. All opportunistic diseases will be cured as well. The HIV cure will be termed that because HIV 's end is the result of the HIV cure."

HIV is the biggest epidemic we've ever had. This kind of stuff makes me want to cry. It should be taken down. Someone phone Google.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Find your way around the Internet when sick...

Are you lost? Think you have a rare tropical disease? Which site do you trust?

The Aussie Government launched this initiative:

The Fifty-first World Health Assembly (Resolution WHA51.9, May 1998) requested the Director-General of WHO to develop a guide on medical products and the Internet. The guide was intended to serve as a model for Member States to adapt into locally meaningful advice for Internet users in order to help them to obtain reliable, independent and comparable information on medicinal products. The guide in this booklet has been prepared to meet the Health Assembly request. It has been developed in consultation with drug regulatory authorities, drug information experts, consumer organizations, and the pharmaceutical industry. It is a model guide, designed to be translated into national languages and modified as the local situation may require.

WHO would be grateful to receive any comments on experience gained from the practical use of the guide which would help in developing it further

At last. Someone who isn't just indexing all the bullshit diagnoses out there - and someone really trying to help the internet junkies properly embrace the cyberchondria!

It might be old. At least they're thinking right.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Medical Quackery - Cyberchondriacs

Stumbled across an old, but interesting post. Excerpt below:

"Experts warn there is a great deal of false and misleading information on the Internet. That’s true – I learned the hard way that eating a bucket of chocolate pudding doesn’t alleviate a headache.

But, for me, the outright quackery was far less damaging than the cold, hard, accurate facts. There is no more devastating statistic than a Survival Rate. That number rattles around your brain like it’s the solution to an equation that could save your life. You massage it, you toy with it… “If 75.2% survive, that means 24.8% don’t… and if 24.8% don’t that means almost 1 in 4…” There’s no better, darker way to learn math."

All to often in practice you get patients who come in and tell YOU what they have. They Google'd it and now know that they have some bacterial infection, or rare intestinal disease or worse. They want "augmentin" or something else they read up about... You smile as a doctor, say you just need to check, only to find out that they have a simple cold, or a viral gastro and nothing more..

Just try and Google the symptoms for Inflammatory bowel disease and I bet most of you will think that you have it...

The lesson is this. We study for more than 6 years to DISTINGUISH symptoms and diseases. Anybody can read medical textbooks or google symptoms and will think they have the answer, but medical school teaches you how to work out what is a headache and what is a brain tumour.

Clinical examination is important. You'd be suprised to know what I can diagnose the way you walk into the room, or by simply looking at the back of your eye (and you would laugh at the amount of information we get out of a touch-your-nose-then-my-finger neurological examination).

Ah... sometimes I miss clinical medicine... but only sometimes...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Marketing a Journal Article...

We received this mail a while ago from Dan Jeffers...

While reviewing blogs and Web sites that discuss blood disorders, I noticed that yours seems to be well-read and well-informed. Your readers may be interested in the recent clinical practice guidelines for von Willebrand Disease (VWD) offered by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. These are the first clinical guidelines in the United States for the diagnosis and management of von Willebrand Disease (VWD), the most common inherited bleeding disorder. The guidelines include recommendations on screening, diagnosis, disease management, and directions for future research. An extensive article on the guidelines is published online Feb. 29 in the journal Haemophilia.

“These are the first guidelines on von Willebrand Disease published in the United States and we are pleased to offer clinicians science-based recommendations in the evaluation and treatment of patients,” said NHLBI Director Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D. “The disease can be difficult to diagnose, especially in women of child-bearing age and in children, and the danger of excessive bleeding is often under-recognized.”

The guidelines can be found at, and are available for purchase or download.

We hope that you will reach out to your audience by posting a link and/or commenting about the recent guidelines. Thanks for helping us spread the word.

Dan Jeffers
Internet Marketing Specialist for
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

What interests me most is not the guidelines for Von Willebrands disease (for medical personel can be found here), it's the fact that medical marketing seems to have taken a new turn.

Before, if a new guideline was published, it could be found in the latest journals like the NEMJ, BMJ, AMJ, SAMJ, CME (there are many (x 100) more) and you would get to know about it via word of mouth. Usually a collegue in the specific field of medicine would have either seen it in his journal, heard about it at a conference, or a drug rep would spread the word. Mostly reputable sources.

It is interesting, that in this new landscape of everything being accessible online (don't get me into the exhorbitant prices you pay to access journals) that this seems to be a new way to market. Get it on Blogs, have the medical Bloggers promote it. It's definately a cheaper and perhaps more far reaching marketing tool. But do you always trust the bloggers information?

This at least comes from a reputable site, so I know the info is good. But in the ever increasing world wide web, where a ton of stuff is factitious (see earlier post about men having babies) and where is it getting harder to distinguish legitimate medical sites from the hocus-pocus out there - I am sceptical about the marketing means...

I don't know...

Jury is out for me...

I'm still trying to decide if I like this type of marketing or if it going to create more headaches in the long run with the large, and sometimes painful, website and information verification process.