Now that I have been writing this blog for a full year, it is time for a year-end review.
It is a time to say thank you to those people and web sites that I not only learn from nearly every day, but more importantly, have helped me find my way in this new forest. You have walked the forest many times before, and I am grateful for your guidance.
Naming names and giving specific thanks has its risks. Take as an example, the following true-story: the hospital in which I work has many outstanding nursing units. My patients are primarily on just a few, and one day recently, I made some heartfelt positive remarks about how fine a job this particular unit (Unit A) was doing. They were positive words, sincere, and plain-spoken, so what could go wrong? Well, as it was, there was a nurse pulled from another unit (Unit B) who heard my compliments. It got out that I was complimenting this unit (A), and not that unit (B). I caught heck from Unit B, which also does a fine job, and whom I have complimented previously.
So, in mentioning specific people and their websites, I do not mean to slight others. Like in the real world of giving compliments, I apologize even before I start writing.
For Cardiology and Electrophysiology:
DrWes: Dr Wes Fisher, one of the grandfathers of cardiology blogging, has mused for many years on topics from high tech electrophysiology to the roller-coaster ride that is parenting. Many years ago, before I even knew of the word, blog, I googled an ICD topic, and up popped DrWes’ site. “Wow, this is cool,” I thought. Dr Wes is a practicing academic electrophysiologist. He is an outstanding writer and his commentary on matters of healthcare reform are particularly timely and informative. And yes, Dr Wes has been an exceedingly kind soul to me, for which I am very grateful.
DrRich: Dr Rich Fogoros is a retired electrophysiologist. Dr Rich was a highly accomplished academic EP. He has authored many books, is still writing a general cardiology information column at about-dot-com, and most recently, writes passionately and provocatively about the notion of the covert rationing of healthcare. As DrRich is retired from the game, his writings are frequently stinging and blunt. Despite our nation’s bill of rights, it would be a challenge for a currently practicing doctor to write with such realism. DrRich has graciously taken opposing views to mine, and for someone of his notoriety to engage my viewpoint, I am also grateful.
Cardiobrief: Larry Husten, a PhD and former taxi-driver is the editor of my favorite journalistic site for cardiology news. Dr. Larry was the previous editor of the monstrously large website, TheHeart-dot-org. Although Cardiobrief has been spot on in its factual reporting of important cardiology news, its greatest strength is its lack of industry influence. Moreover, Dr. Larry has made the role of medical industry’s influence one of Cardiobrief’s signature issues. Want to know the real scoop on this trial, or that trial, give Cardiobrief a look. In his benevolent support of my writing, Dr Larry has disproven the prejudice that NY city taxi-drivers are mean.
CardioVascular Business: CV business provides a comprehensive and informative look at the business of cardiology, and you guessed it, the editor, Chris Kaiser has been a longtime supporter of @drjohnm. Thanks, Chris.
Atrial fibrillation sites:
StopAF: StopAF blog, authored by AF patient, Melanie True Hills is a for patient, by patient comprehensive AF site. If you are a patient looking for information on AF, StopAF is likely to either have what you need, or it can point you in the right direction.
KevinMD: It is not an understatement to say that Dr Kevin Pho’s, Kevin MD is the internet’s most helpful medical site. Whether you are a doctor, nurse, patient, lawyer or business-person, KevinMD has something for you. Each day, Kevin publishes 3-5 posts culled from the vastness of the medical internet world. Dr Kevin Pho is not only a practicing physician, but he is also an accomplished media personality, writing frequently in major news publications, as well as appearing on major mainstream news programs. Despite all this stardom, Kevin answers my emails, provides sage advice and the best part: he occasionally publishes my writings. Put KevinMD in your reader, and you will surely be more educated.
BetterHealth: Dr Val Jones, another famous doctor, maintains the informative website, BetterHealth. (the url is… ‘getbetterhealth’) Like KevinMD, Dr Jones publishes an amalgam of smart health commentary, from a wide range of medial writers. (Yes, Dr Val has also been so kind as to include me.)
HappyHospitalist: Dr Happy, an anonymous hospitalist, is also a prolific writer of matters medical. Dr Happy keeps an encyclopedic-like site which he updates more frequently than one would think possible. Early in my blogging career, when HTML looked to me like ECGs must look to a third-year medical student, Dr Happy took the time to send me remarkably complete ‘e-explanations’ of the internals of website design. The time he took to help me, a nobody, clearly reached the threshold of: a random act of kindness. Thanks, Dr Happy.
DrRob: Dr Rob authors the highly famous site, Musings of a Distractible Mind. DrRob is an overt master of the obvious, and as such, he and I see things a lot alike. Dr Rob’s words, through his eloquent and warm writing style, highlight the human side of doctoring. I marvel at his prose and the rightness of his notions. Patient, or doctor, or both, read Dr Rob.
It is true that electrophysiologists specialize in “life-prolonging” care (to use the right verbiage.) However, no matter how sub-sub-subspecialized we are, we are also doctors, who, by definition are charged with doing what is right for our patients. Yes, it is true that I am blessed to be married to a palliative care doctor, and in being so have an obvious bias, but nonetheless, it seems obvious to me that patients should be presented choices: a choice to pursue care that is based upon symptom-control, or the fury of modern medicine’s life-prolonging care. The choice of when to unleash such fury is becoming one of our greatest challenges. This I believe.
Pallimed: Here is a comprehensive site on all things palliative care and hospice. It is maintained by the seemingly tireless, social media king-of-the-hill, Dr. Christian Sinclair
Other notable Internal Medicine blogs:
Everything Health. A true resource for patients, authored by Dr Toni Brayer from CA.
Musings of a Dinasaur. By family doctor and talented writer, Dr. Lucy Hornstein
db Medical Rants: Dr Rob Centor, a professor of Medicine, on the blogosphere since 2002.
Science Based Medicine: In the mood for some serious science. This is your place. Jenny McCarthy fans, beware.
Surely, there are jobs that lend themselves to blogging more than others. With my obvious bias, doctoring does seem easier to write about than…say…being a corporate tax attorney (no offense meant). That said, however, no medical field seems more fertile for writing than emergency medicine. So it should be no surprise that there are many emergency medicine doctor/authors out there. Emergency medicine shouts: “blog me, I dare you.” Four (of many) notable sites would be,
EdwinLeap: Dr Leap is a gifted and passionate writer.
StoryTellERDoc: Anonymously written. Here you will read moving stories on the human condition.
GruntDoc: Although an ER doctor, GruntDoc provides a frequently updated and frankly written general medical, and ER site.
Movin Meat. With the aptly named url… ‘allbleedingstops’
For my cycling fix:
How can you be a cyclist in America, and not be one of the 2.6 million who follow Lance on twitter? Whether you are a fan, or not, Lance is an interesting character, and having millions of followers on twitter gives him a loud voice. It is pleasing to me that most recently, Lance tweeted two very important medical stories. The first was Atul Gawande’s recent New Yorker piece on the vital role of hospice and palliative care. The second tweet concerned the recent NEJM trial which showed the superiority of early palliative care over aggressive chemo for widespread lung CA. For me, that Lance educated millions on these two vitally important topics is far more remarkable than his cycling prowess.
For general cycling news, I also follow velonews (who recently published a small essay of mine), pezcycling and cyclocross magazine. For interesting and sharp-tongued cycling commentary, I read the bike snob NYC, and the cyclocosm blog (believers read at your own risk.)
Saying ‘thank you‘ has not always been a strong point of mine. But hopefully, I am still young enough to learn, to improve, to grow wiser, and yes, to be more thankful for the kindness and generosity of others.