Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Ethics Forum Speaker KevinMD: Social Media Gives Doctors a Voice

Posted on November 9th, 2011 by Erica Noonan

We recently caught up with Dr. Kevin Pho, MD, a Boston University-trained internist now practicing in Nashua, NH.  His website,, is one of the Internet’s top sites for physician commentary and news.

Dr. Pho is a featured speaker at the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Ethics Forum,“Social Media and Medicine: the Impact on Your Patients, Your Practice, and You,” onFriday, Dec. 2, 2011, from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

MMS:  Why should physicians get involved with social media?

Dr. Pho: We know that social media is important to patients. A Pew study says that 8 out of 10 of Internet users are online looking for medical information, but only 25 percent of them check the source of what they find. There is lots of bad information out there. I’ll be making the case for doctors to be online, guiding patients to good information.

Another reason is that social media is gives doctors a voice in national debates they didn’t have 5 or 10 years ago.  With these (social media) platforms, we can introduce topics we think are important to a wide audience.

MMS: Many doctors say they just don’t feel comfortable with social media sharing sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Dr. Pho: Doctors need an online presence and digital footprint. Patients will be looking for them online, and gone are the days where they will be using the phone book. I tell people, you really need to control your own social media presence….

Related item

Using Social Media For Practicing Evidence Based Medicine  Cochrane Social Media Workshop 2011 (slideshare presentation)

December 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

New research distinguishes roles of conscious and sub-conscious awareness in information processing

From the 30 November 2011 Eureka News Alert

What distinguishes information processing with conscious awareness from processing occurring without awareness? And, is there any role for conscious awareness in information processing, or is it just a byproduct, like the steam from the chimney of a train engine, which is significant, but has no functional role?

These questions — which have long puzzled psychologists, philosophers, and neurobiologists — were recently addressed in a study by Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers and published by the journal Psychological Science.

December 1, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , | Leave a comment

Stinky frogs are a treasure trove of antibiotic substances

Some of the nastiest smelling creatures on Earth have skin that produces the greatest known variety of anti-bacterial substances that hold promise for becoming new weapons in the battle against antibiotic-resistant infections. (Credit: Image courtesy of American Chemical Society)

From the 30 November Science Daily news item

Some of the nastiest smelling creatures on Earth have skin that produces the greatest known variety of antibacterial substances that hold promise for becoming new weapons in the battle against antibiotic-resistant infections, scientists are reporting. Their research is on amphibians so smelly (like rotten fish, for instance) that scientists term them “odorous frogs.”..

December 1, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News, Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Arizona County Approves Integrative Care Plan

Meeting board of supervisors ART

From an article at Dr.

In a vote that may ultimately boost acceptance of integrative medicine (IM) throughout the U.S., the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed on Nov. 28, 2011, to allow the county’s employees and their dependents to receive primary care at an IM clinic scheduled to open in Phoenix, Ariz., in July of 2012. The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) will study patient outcomes to determine the effectiveness and costs of integrative versus conventional primary care within the county’s 13,000 employee system.

December 1, 2011 Posted by | health care | , , , , | Leave a comment

Edmund Scientific Removes Girl and Boy Categories for its Novelty Kits

I don’t normally  blog about commercial products, but found this interesting.
Edmund Scientific did the right thing here by responding to negative feedback.  They removed the Girls and Boys Novelty Kits categories  and replaced them with a single Novelty Science Kits category.

It just surprised me that products are still assigned gender categories! I was born in the mid 50s, but went to a rather progressive Catholic high school where gender did not come into play in science education (mid 70’s). So it still shocks me when I come across articles like this.

On a somewhat related note, this past month I was processing applications for Christmas toys for a local charity.
The voucher for toys had categories for gender and age groups.
While I was filling one out for an applicant, she said she had a boy and girl…then she took a deep breath.
She said her boy had more fun with girl toys…then asked if I could check off the form to include two girls.
Without hesitating I said of course. She looked a little stunned, then teared up and thanked me. She went on and told me a bit about the grief she was getting from families and friends about how she was not raising her son right.
All I could say, was, it wasn’t a problem with me or the agency. I added that I was not a counselor, but I believed her families/friends meant well…and gave her the 211 number to get resources if she needed help in dealing with her friends/family.
I think it took a bit of courage on her part to ask for girl oriented gifts for her son, and only hope I handled the situation with some grace and understanding. We were really swamped that day, did not have much time to spend with her. Am very grateful for my faith and workplaces that have nourished my beliefs in justice and equality.

On Girls/Boys Novelty Kits | Edmund Scientifics’ Official Blog.

From the press release (click on the link above to also read the comments)

Posted on November 30, 2011 by Jason

We’ve received a ton of negative feedback lately on our Girls and Boys Novelty Kits categories, through emails, blog poststweets — you name it. We have also read a few other posts on the topic, on sites like Scientific American and MSNBC’s Cosmic Log. Today, I’d like to announce a change to our site — one that better reflects our beliefs.

We have officially removed the Girls and Boys Novelty Kits categories from our site and replaced them with a single Novelty Science Kits category.  Our original intent was not to project gender bias, but to organize our product selection in a way that makes it easy to find specific items. We now realize that decision resulted in a category structure projecting gender bias and defining gender roles. We regret that choice, as it does not reflect our intent or beliefs.

The product selection of this new category remains the same, however, as they are simply a small selection of novelty kits that aim to combine fun DIY activities with a basic exposure to science. These kits make up around 10% of our larger Science Kits categoryand a much smaller percentage of our overall selection of educational science activities aimed at children.

Our main goal is to help parents inspire their kids to explore the world through science. To help parents & kids expand on their interests and develop new ones they never knew existed. We take pride in our wide selection of subject matter, from advanced robotics and alternative energy to the basics of astronomy, chemistry, physics, and biology.

We very much hope our products inspire the next Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Blackburn, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison. or Carl Sagan. On a grander scale, though, we just hope to inspire more people (especially young people) to be interested in science, to be curious, and to ask questions — we think the world would be a better place.

December 1, 2011 Posted by | Psychology | , , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: