April 30, 2013

More social media

I've been playing with Twitter (@rbstansfield) as a work-related information channel. I follow medical education hashtags (#meded is used a lot, but also some conference-specific ones pop up occasionally). I have noticed a few things. These are in no particular order:

So that's where I am with Twitter. What am I missing?

Posted by rbrent at 07:03 AM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2013

Knowledge vs. know-how

The heady stuff of medicine---the diagnosis, the treatment decisions, the patient interactions---are dramatic enough for TV. But apparently the technical things about how things are done are not.

There's a lesson in here somewhere.

Posted by rbrent at 07:28 AM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2012

A stupid NYTimes article (part 1)

Okay I'm going to read the stupid thing.

Nope I had to stop when I hit this:

"He reached into a deep pocket of his white coat and produced not a well-thumbed handbook but his iPhone. With a tap on an app called MedCalc, he had enough answers within a minute to start the saline at precisely the right rate."

The thesis here is that since doctors can look up dosages and test values using a small computer instead of a book or notecard we all now live in a new age of medicine. That is absurd. Lookup tables are lookup tables. Perhaps the invention of the spiral notebook made similar waves in the health industry?

Plus: iPhone and MedCalc are trademarks which makes this article very ad-like. Also the doctor had the answer "[w]ithin a minute..."? I bet the "well-thumbed handbook" would have easily beaten that time. But at least MedCalc for iPhone provided "precisely" the correct answer.

(This is minor but I can't let the "[w]ith a tap on an app" crap slide. It's delightfully Seussian and that's fine. But 1) "app" is not really a word and 2) if it took only one tap I'll eat my cap. This writing is pap.)

My point is this: the passage overstates the innovation of a computerized look-up table over a paper one, it exaggerates the accuracy and ease of use of such things, and it slyly advertises for particular products while it does it.

God I loathe the New York Times. I'll try to get further through this article later, though. It's the paper of record, after all.

Posted by rbrent at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)