Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Staying in tonight? Why not join me tonight, with your friends, right before midnight (eastern time) to bring in 2011. We'll be having Doctor Anonymous Show 199 and we'll be taking a look at the year past and looking ahead to 2011.

If you've never checked out the show before, there is a live chat room, and sometimes a live webcam and you can see me do the show right before your eyes! I did a NYE show last year, and we had a great time there! Hope to see you for the show!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Resolution: Weight Loss

Probably the most common New Year's Resolution I hear year after year is the one to lose weight. I mean, hey, even I tell myself that I'll feel better when I'm able to drop some pounds. But how is that done? I get asked all the time what is the best diet out there and what piece of exercise equipment should people purchase to get the job done. And, oh yeah, how soon can I see results?

Losing weight is not easy - duh - a doctor doesn't need to tell you that. But, in the video above, I talked with our local TV station about some practical "Dos and Don'ts" when it comes to trying to lose some weight as your New Year's Resolution. As a rule, I tell people to start off your plan slowly when it comes to eating better and incorporating some exercise. If you find the above video helpful, I invite you to check out other of my TV interviews at MikeSevilla.TV. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Welcome Medical Economics Readers

Welcome to those of you who have found my site after reading the December 3rd, 2010 edition of Medical Economics magazine. Thanks to Morgan Lewis, Jr for interviewing me for the article entitled "Getting Patients To 'Like' Your Practice." Also thanks to Chris Holley-Starling for all the great photographs including the magazine cover.

In addition to Medical Economics, I've also been featured by the ACP Internist website, Pixels & Pills website,, American Medical News, Radio Rounds program, and others.

On the Doctor Anonymous site, I invite you to check out the site including blog posts all the way back to 2006, my podcasts where I interview some of the most popular people in medical social media, my twitter stream, my facebook page, my you tube page and a lot more. I also have a LinkedIn page for your review as well. Feel free to leave a comment below, or drop me an e-mail with feedback (the e-mail address is in the sidebar). Thanks again for stopping by the site. I appreciate it!

Addendum: Local TV news interviewed me in January 2011 about the Medical economics cover. See the video below.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Courageous Or Foolish?

Every once I a while, a story catches my eye as I scan the news websites. There was one this morning on CNN with this catchy title, "Mom Defies Doctor, Has Baby Her Way." The article describes a story where mom was going to have her fourth baby. Her previous three were born via C-section. Mom did not want another C-section done, and "defied" her doctor's order for the procedure. "You're being irresponsible," the patient was told.

The middle of the article talks about the current thinking and statement of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology saying that "it's reasonable to consider allowing women who've had two C-sections to try to have a vaginal delivery." Of course, there's risks with proceeding with a vaginal delivery and risks of another C-section.

What's always interesting to me are the comments following the article. I applaud the physicians in there who are fighting back the anti-physician sentiment and those who are pushing (no pun intended) the only home birth agenda.

In this article, this person is being held up as a hero - as someone who defied the paternalistic medical establishment and did it her way. Good for her, or is it? What if that 0.4-0.9 percent possibility of severe complication occurred and there was a problem with mom and/or the baby? What would happen then?

According to the court of public opinion, there would be always someone to blame for the bad outcome, and I'm not thinking that people would be pointing fingers at mom. They would of course, people would be blaming the doctor and the entire medical establishment for not fully explaining the risks of a choice like this. And, of course, there would be the usual lawsuits when a bad outcome happens.

My point is this. I'm all for patient empowerment, and I have written about the rise of the e-patient (empowered patient), in the past. But, in the US healthcare system, there is still not enough patient responsibility that has occurred among all patients. Good outcomes are usually attributed to patient's taking initiative and bad outcomes are usually attributed to bad doctors. This frustrates me. Isn't there somewhere in the middle that both those perceptions can meet?

Dr. A Show 197 Wrap-up

Last week, Doctor Anonymous Show 197 was a lot of fun with my good friend @DrTolbert co-hosting talking about the holiday season. Also thanks to @MDStudent31 for calling into the show and to let us know of his early match news. Congrats to you sir! In the video above, you'll see me doing an (un)dramatic reading of Twas The Night Before Christmas to start the show.

As always, you can listen to the entire audio podcast in the sidebar. Or, if you like, you can go to the iTunes site for the show, download the show, and listen anytime. I also encourage you to check out the Facebook page for the show, and hit the big "Like" button at the top. Thanks for your continued support for the blog and for the show!

BTR Next Steps

Saturday Nite on BlogTalkRadio took a different turn last night. Both on last night's Doctor Anonymous Show and Annie and Burl Show, the topic was mainly the changes that are going to take place on BlogTalkRadio as of February 1, 2011. I invite you to read my previous initial reaction to this right here.

A lot of people are going to be leaving BTR come February. As I have said previously, I have not decided the fate of The Doctor Anonymous Show on BlogTalkRadio as of yet. But, it is clear that BTR are going to lose a lot of great hosts. There were a handful of other platforms that where mentioned during last night's discussion including talkshoe, ustream, livestream, paltalk and others.

In my inital research, I found the above graph comparing BTR and talkshoe. Of course, one graph is not going to sway my decision one way or another. But, in case people find other stuff as you're researching things, please post it up on your blog and/or let me know. This will be an interesting process what will happen...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dr. A Show 197 Tonight

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Thursday, December 16th, 2010 at 9pmET

I invite you to join me for Doctor Anonymous Show 197 which I am designating the "Holiday" show. My guest will be my good friend @DrTolbert from twitter. He has been on the show in the past, and he'll be stopping by to share some thoughts about the holiday season, Christmas, New Year's, and all that stuff. We'll probably also be talking about geeky stuff as well.

If you are new to the show, I encourage you to catch us live. There is a great chat room that also goes on. You can even see my shining face on the webcam. Can't catch us live? That's ok. You can listen anytime after the show as it is saved as a podcast so you can listen anytime!

For first time Blog Talk Radio listeners:
*Although it is not required to listen to the show, I encourage you to register on the BlogTalkRadio site prior to the show. I think it will make the process easier.

*To get to my show site, click here. As show time gets closer, keep hitting "refresh" on your browser until you see the "Play/Chat" button. Then, of course, press the "Play/Chat" button.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dr. A Show Changes?

This morning, I, along with the rest of the BlogTalkRadio hosts (I presume) received the above message in our e-mail boxes this morning. The statement says that as of February 1, 2011, the free BTR accounts will significantly change. Free accounts will no longer be able to schedule in a prime time slot and can only have three audio files in your account (along with other changes). The writing has been on the wall for a while, but it looks like BTR is really taking the step to push everyone to paid accounts.

What will this mean for The Doctor Anonymous Show? I'm really considering just ending the show at the end of January after 200+ shows and 3+ years and looking at other projects. I mean it's been a good run. And, to be honest, the numbers have been trailing off in the past few months anyway. Most of the audience enjoyed the novelty of this type of show at first, but I think have now moved on. And, maybe I should, too.

But, I won't make any quick decisions without considering a lot of options. Maybe I should try going back to pre-recording podcasts and releasing them, instead of this live format. Or, maybe I should try to explore more with video type of interviewing instead of audio. Social media is great in that there are so many options out there. But, if you happen to read this post and have some feedback, I'd appreciate it if you let me know. I'll decide sometime in January what I'm going to be doing with the show...

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Dr. A Show 196 Tonight

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Thursday, December 9th, 2010 at 9pmET

I invite you to join me for Doctor Anonymous Show 196 tonight. Can you believe that we're marching toward magic show number 200? My guest will be long time friend of the show Friggen Ben who is the creator of The Mind of Friggen Ben blog. And, we have talked with him on past shows about his journey toward his weight loss surgery.

I believe it was about a month ago when he had his surgery. He talked a lot about it on his blog. We'll be talking about how he's feeling and what's been going on lately with him. I'm also happy to announce that Ben will be joining me for the Dr. A New Year's Eve show later this month. We had a great time last year with Dr. A Show 137. I invite you to check out the blog post on that including a video of the last 2 minutes of 2009.

If you are new to the show, I encourage you to catch us live. There is a great chat room that also goes on. You can even see my shining face on the webcam. Can't catch us live? That's ok. You can listen anytime after the show as it is saved as a podcast so you can listen anytime!

For first time Blog Talk Radio listeners:
*Although it is not required to listen to the show, I encourage you to register on the BlogTalkRadio site prior to the show. I think it will make the process easier.

*To get to my show site, click here. As show time gets closer, keep hitting "refresh" on your browser until you see the "Play/Chat" button. Then, of course, press the "Play/Chat" button.

Dr. A on Eco Radio Network

I was invited to be a guest on the Eco Radio Network program which is out of the Albany, NY area. The topic I was asked to talk about is ailments associated with technology. You may remember I was interviewed a few months ago about this topic and I direct you to my blog post called AmEdNews: Technology Ailments for more information.

My segment will start at around 11:15am Eastern Time and you can listen to my short segment either on the Eco Radio Network website or the Talk1300AM live stream. This should be an interesting interview. When I talked with the producer, they were looking for someone to talk about this. They did a google search, and my name popped up.

They tell me that a podcast will eventually be released of the show. It's interesting because podcasts from this particular radio station are not available on iTunes. I had to hunt around for a little bit to find the radio podcast page to download stuff. I'll try to record the segment as well to post up on the blog. Hope you can check out my interview!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Dr. A on Radio Rounds Program

Thanks again to the crew over at the Radio Rounds podcast/program for interviewing me on their show a while back. Episode 416, which was broadcast on November 28, 2010, was released as a podcast last week and you can download it over on their iTunes page. If you don't already know, Radio Rounds is a program that is exclusively written and produced by medical students at Wright State University in Ohio. I encourage you to check out their website for a list of more great interviews. Thanks again to Radio Rounds!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Searching For The Imperfect Solution

This past weekend in the state capitol, my professional organization asked me to participate in an interesting meeting talking about health care payment reform and how to improve the health care delivery system. This was sponsored by the state of Ohio and their Health Care Coverage and Quality Council. It was the first meeting that I've been to where there were physicians, hospitals, insurance companies, and patients - all trying to put our heads together - present our points of view - and try to come to consensus. Did we come to consensus on solutions, not really - only that we will continue the conversation. There is no perfect solution that will make everyone happy, but we will strive to try to get to that best imperfect solution.

When is comes to health care delivery and health care payment, there was a lot of discussion on physicians and hospitals - meaning health care providers. The motivating factor in these cases uses terms like payment, lack of payment, incentives, bonuses, and penalties. I also learned some of the current buzz words including accountable care, accountable payment, global payment, comprehensive care payment, and others. I agree that the health care delivery model that is probably the one to look to is the Patient Centered Medical Home. And, the complicated entity to handle the payment question is the Accountable Care Organization. (Other states are also looking at solutions like this. You'll see in today's news that the Massachusetts Medical Society voted to endorse the "global payment plan." Addendum: Following the previous news report, the MMS issued this statement clarifying its position.)

One of the recurring questions that came up during the day was this: What will motivate patients/consumers to take a greater role in their own health? Motivating factors for patients who are required to pay deductibes and co-pays will be different than the motivating factors for patients who are not required to pay deductibles and co-pays. What about those who are unwilling or unable (ie - significant mental illness) to be an active participant to improve her/his health? Providers will be forced to suffer penalties for not reaching quality benchmarks. What if patients do not reach some pre-determined benchmarks for their own health? Will there be consequences for patients (other than the obvious health ones)? Should patient accountability be an expectation here?

As a final observation, there was a huge missing piece that was not discussed at all. The topic of liability reform, malpractice reform, tort reform - whatever you want to call it - never entered into the discussion of health care delivery and health care payment reform. If I, as a primary care physician, am going to be asked to brainstorm about innovative ways to deliver health care, all I'm asking is to somehow be met halfway and ask for relief on liability issues.

If I'm going to be asked to be a better financial steward with the health care dollar, why not try to remove those evil phrases of "defensive medicine" and "excessive testing" from my mind. Why do some symptoms that present to the ER given the "million dollar workup?" Is it good medicine, maybe. Is it fear of missing something and a lawsuit down the road, more likely. A lot of the discussion was on a comprehensive plan including providers, payors, and patients at the table. In my opinion, without significant tort reform, the question of lowering health care costs in the United States will remain unanswered.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Leisure Reading

Don't know if anyone has noticed, but I haven't been doing a lot of social media stuff lately. Why? Not really sure. Contrary to what people think, no, I haven't quit or anything like that. Anyway, one of the things that I have gotten back to is some leisure reading. Well, not actually reading, but listening to audio books. When I first started my job (has it been almost 10 years already?), I had a long commute and popped in a CD to listen to a book.

Over the past weekend, I also went to an interesting meeting (I'll post about that soon), and I listened to another book during the drive. Reading/listening to books really make traveling just go quicker. Don't get me wrong, I am the furthest thing from a book reviewer. But here are a few books I've read over the past couple of weeks.

An Object Of Beauty by Steve Martin: I'm usually not a fiction reader type guy. But I really enjoyed Martin's book called Shopgirl. This present book takes you through the world of art from the early 1990s until present day. Most of the story is centered around the character Lacey as she goes from an entry level position at an art auction house to full fledged art collector and dealer. I wouldn't be surprised if this is made into a film in the next 3-4 years. While reading the book (actually while listening to the audiobook), I was trying to picture the actors who would be in this film. Anyway, for what it's worth, Steve Martin is a good writer and I look forward to his next work.

Decision Points by George W. Bush: The world is so freaking partisan these days that some out there may think I'm making some kind of political statement by reading this book. I'm not. The book is setup with a bunch of topics - around what are thought as controversial decisions. Bush tells his point of view of the story and his rationale behind the decision and lets the reader judge for himself and herself. I'm always fascinated behind the process to make a decision - like getting the background information and updating said information - and then making a choice on the information that you have at the moment. I also learned a lot about the federal government - especially when it comes to interfacing with state and local government. Bureaucracy is frustrating, but hearing from someone in the center of it was interesting.

The War For Late Night: When Leno Went Early And Television Went Crazy by Bill Carter: When the whole Conan/Jay thing went down in January of this year, I was riveted in front of the TV like a lot of other people. This book takes you back to the contracts and the deals of when this drama started and then works it's way forward to take you behind closed doors to those days in January 2010 when everyone was wondering what was happening in the Conan, Jay, and NBC camps. Mr. Carter also wrote the book 20 years ago describing the Carson/Letterman/Leno story which again involved the Tonight Show. Really enjoyed this book. But, hey, I'm kind of a late night comedy junkie.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Germs And Kids

Everyone knows that when it comes to germs and kids, it sometimes can be difficult to limit the spread of infection - especially in the day care setting. In the video above, I talked with local TV news last week about this topic and also the topic of trying to prevent infection in college students during finals week. If you find the above video helpful, I invite you to check out my other videos over at MikeSevilla.TV. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Comeback Is King

Here in Youngstown, Ohio, football is king. There is a great tradition at the high school, college (Jim Tressel won national championships at Y'town State before heading to Columbus), and professional level. But, if the press had a number 2 sport in this town, it would have to be boxing.

Yesterday, in the midst of the Black Friday news coverage, people talking about their Thanksgiving, and continued complaints about TSA security at airports, there was a small story in Yahoo Sports which has a lot of local people talking.
Former middleweight boxing champion Kelly Pavlik has been in the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., since Nov. 4 for treatment of a problem with alcohol, the fighter’s father, Mike Pavlik, told Yahoo! Sports on Friday. The 28-year-old slugger’s boxing career is in doubt, said co-manager Cameron Dunkin, who said, “I don’t know if he’ll ever fight again.”
The article goes on to say that after Pavlik won the title, he didn't quite know how to deal with his new found fame.
“The kind of kid Kelly is, he doesn’t want to say no to anyone. It was kind of like the Mickey Mantle syndrome here. Everywhere he went, everyone wanted to buy the champ a beer. He didn’t want to disappoint anyone or say no and it wound up causing him a pretty serious problem.”
Now, don't get me wrong, people are responsible for their own actions. However, in this town, successful sports figures are elevated to such a high pedestal, it's definitely understandable about how this situation played out.

What will be interesting for me to see now is how Youngstown, Ohio responds to news of this nature. Since he lost his title 6 months ago, there has not been too much local press on this guy. Has this town now abandoned this guy since he is no longer the champ? Does this town now consider him damaged goods since he is now in rehab?

C'mon Youngstown, you're better than that. This is the time to rally around this guy again, but not because he's fighting for a titie. Now, he's fighting for his life. His father says it best at the end of the article.
“My whole concern for him is for him is to get healthy and be a good husband, a good father, a good son, a good citizen and a respectable man,” Mike Pavlik said. “That’s what I want from him. We’re all supportive of that goal. As a father, it’s destroying me to see this. Here is somebody that God has shed His blessing on and he had everything right at his fingertips.
In its heyday, Youngstown, Ohio was one of the leading steel towns in all of the world. Many local business and thought leaders are trying to write its comeback story. But, how nice would it be for the community to come together for one if its favorite sons to help him make a comeback of his own. We'll have to see if this community has the courage to do just that...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

For those of you who remember WKRP in Cincinnati, this was a classic episode. Gobble, gobble! Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dr. A on Radio Rounds Ep416

You may remember a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to the studios of the Radio Rounds program which is a show/podcast exclusively created and produced by medical students in Dayton, Ohio.

On Sunday, November 28th, 2010 at noon eastern time, I invite you to tune in live at RadioRounds.Org for Episode 416 where yours truly will be the featured guest. Thanks so much to the Radio Rounds crew for letting me hang out with them.

In the video above, you'll see portions of episode 410 featuring Howard Dean. If you miss she show live, that's ok. You'll be able to download the podcast later next week through iTunes. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dr. A Show 194 Wrap-up

Even though it's Thursday, there is not going to be a Doctor Anonymous Show tonight. However, in the video above, you can see a segment from last week's Show 194 which was on Saturday night. It was a really fun show with my co-host Kat. On our Saturday nite shows, we talk about the news of the week when it comes to current events, health/medicine stories, and some not-so-serious news. In the video above, Kat and I talk about the recent observance of Veteran's Day 2010.

You can listen to the entire audio podcast in the sidebar of the blog. Or, you can download Show 194 by going to the iTunes page for the show, and then listen anytime. I also encourage you to check out the show's Facebook page, and click the big "Like" button at the top. Finally, you can check out other videos of my on my YouTube page. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Great American Smokeout

The Great American Smokeout is an annual event that encourages smokers to quit for at least 1 day in the hope that this might challenge them to stop permanently. The American Cancer Society and other organizations observe this event. This year, the Great American Smokeout is Thursday, November 18, 2010.

In the video above, I was interviewed by local TV news about the event, the risks of prolonged tobacco use, and what to do to prepare for your quit day. One of the most important things, I think, is to make sure that you have a good support system with friends and family - when you're trying to quit smoking. For more information, I encourage you to check out the American Cancer Society site. Did you know that 2010 is the 35th year of the event? If you found the video above helpful, then I encourage you to check out other videos on my youtube site. Enjoy!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Alcoholic Energy Drinks

In the video above, you will see an interview I was asked to do on Thursday, November 11, 2010 on local TV news about alcoholic energy drinks like four loko that has been in the news recently. I talk about the potential harmful effects of the ingredients of a product like this. As of this posting, there have been a number of states, colleges, and universities who have taken steps to ban these type of beverages.

At the end of my interview, I talk about how I don't think banning a product like this is going to solve the problem. In the article, "Banning Four Loko Doesn't Solve Problems," by Alex Belz from The North Wind explains:
It seems these health officials are either unaware of or choosing to ignore the fact that combining a caffeinated beverage with an alcoholic one is a time-tested formula for a decent drink. So far, they’ve not proposed banning drinks like Jager Bombs and vodka and Red Bulls from being served in bars, but perhaps that’s just around the corner.
As of this post, it has been only hours since the ban was announced in Washington State has been announced. Since the ban does not take effect for about seven days, guess what is happening? According to The Seattle Times, a "Buying Rush Follows Washington Ban On Four Loko."

Now, don't misunderstand. I have read the stories of the sickness, illness, and tragedies that have occurred associated with this product. However, it wasn't due to the product. It was due to irresponsible use of the product. An editorial from The New Hampshire sums it up the best, "If you want to discourage something, educate us on its risks. It makes more sense to convince us to follow a practice than to force it upon us (particularly in this case, when it's not that hard to get across the state's border). Education is the way to go."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thanks Med City News!

Wanna know why social media matters? Here's why. Yesterday afternoon, I was contacted by Brandon Glenn from Med City News in the Cleveland, Ohio area about my post called "NEOUCOM Restructuring." I encourage you to check out article posted today entitled "NEOUCOM cuts 8 workers, plans to add more for strategy’s sake." The really cool phrase was at the end of the article.
News of the layoffs began spreading primarily from the Doctor Anonymous blog, which is maintained by Youngstown-area family physician Dr. Mike Sevilla, a NEOUCOM graduate.
Something that is still really interesting to me is that there is no official press release on the NEOUCOM school website (as of this posting). But, yet it looks like news organizations like Med City News, Akron Beacon Journal, and Ravenna Record Courier (local newspaper where the med school is located) received a some kind of press release and/or talked with their PR people (I would guess the med school PR people are really not happy with me right now)

One of the things that I hope comes out of this incident is that the med school consider being a little more transparent when it comes to major decisions and major moves like this. The perception of a coverup or the perception of deception really doesn't help build bridges with the people and the stakeholders who are supposed to be your supporters. Thanks again to MedCity News for following up on this story!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

AMA Social Media Policy

In San Diego this week, the American Medical Association announced some guidelines to help physicians navigate social media:
  • Use privacy settings to safeguard personal information and content to the fullest extent possible on social networking sites.
  • Routinely monitor their own Internet presence to ensure that the personal and professional information on their own sites and content posted about them by others, is accurate and appropriate.
  • Maintain appropriate boundaries of the patient-physician relationship when interacting with patients online and ensure patient privacy and confidentiality is maintained.
  • Consider separating personal and professional content online.
  • Recognize that actions online and content posted can negatively affect their reputations among patients and colleagues, and may even have consequences for their medical careers.
About a month ago, my home state Ohio State Medical Association released a "Social Media Toolkit" to assist physicians which goes a little bit deeper as far as practical steps and tips.

The importance of these two moves at a state and national level from organized medicine cannot be overstated. This is HUGE. Hopefully my professional organization, the American Academy of Family Physicians, will follow suit with some guidance for their physician members.

I have said all along that people like professional organizations will not be the ones to push physicians to social media use. It will ultimately be patients who drive physicians to social media. However, I agree with Doctor_V in saying that this major step by a physician organization will help solidify the importance of the use of social media.

NEOUCOM Restructuring

As regular readers of this blog know, I'm curious and sometimes have an opinion of what happens at my medical school alma mater - as exhibited by this post, this post, and this post. I was recently informed of another situation that occurred on Election Day 2010. And, before I go on, I should tell you that this information is 2nd hand information and may well be inaccurate. However, as of when this text is posted, there is no official word from the school on their website and no word in the press about the statements made in this post. (Also check out the video post above)

Anyway, the school is like a lot of other state schools out there in that there is no money in education. So, according to what was told to me, the school chose to "downsize" or restructure - which basically means eliminate some positions to limit costs. The interesting things about this story are when it happened - Election Day - Why? Was it to try to avoid press coverage with all the national and state elections going on the same day? That's possible.

The other interesting thing that I heard was the manner in which it happened. You hear about this in other aspects of corporate America and see on TV/movie dramas - The people who are let go - They are told they are let go - And then immediately asked to leave the premises - Essentially escorted out of the building. Does that actually happen? Apparently (according to reports) - It did happen.

That part of the story made me sad. The other part of the story that made me sad is that the people who were let go. People who have been loyal to the school and people who gave a lot of themselves to a school and employer that they enjoyed - they were shown the door and told to get out - Why? - Because they were too expensive to stay on. Meanwhile, according to this news story, the new university president has a base salary of $375,000. According to this news story, the new dean has a salary of $350,000. And, according to this story, five years ago, a name change cost a school about $300,000. Interesting, huh?

Now, I admit I don't know all the ins and outs of medical education. From what I do understand, it is a tough game. But, what do I know, I'm just a doctor? It will be interesting if and when people like alumni hear about this story. What will their reaction be? Has the school anticipated that? Probably not. I understand that tough decisions have to be made in corporate America. But, this is just another example of a school and an institution who will do whatever it takes to achieve its final vision and goal - Even if it means alienating those people who care about the school the most...

Monday, November 08, 2010

Video: Digital Pharma East 2010 Wrap-up

Last week, the digital pharma site called Pixels and Pills released what they called their "Highlights Reel" for the 2010 Digital Pharma East meeting. I was pleasantly surprised to make their highlights in the video above. You'll find my soundbite at about 2 minutes into this highlight reel. Thanks again to Pixels and Pills for including me!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Change Is Constant

I want to apologize up front for this rambling post. I have been doing a lot of thinking over the past month. And, boy, let me tell you, I have never done as much traveling as I have done in October 2010 with destinations including Seattle, Columbus, Dayton, Philadelphia, and Hershey. I had a lot of fun, but I do feel a little burned out when the month was over(and still a little bit now as well).

I guess, I should also say right away, that NO, I'm not giving up blogging, or podcasting, or any of my current projects. It's just that every once in a while, I like to mix it up a bit and try some things out. I appreciate your patience as I do things out of my usual routine.

That being said, the podcast is going to take a little bit of a break from the usual schedule. I'm still going to be doing shows, but not exactly with the days, or times, or people that you're used to. I'm going to be experimenting with doing a little more video to tell a social media story. And, I really miss writing. So, text blogging may return in the near future.

One of the things that I have learned over the past month is that even though there are not as many comments on the blog as there once was, and even though there appears that there is not a lot of public dialogue going on with my projects - I have received a lot of personal messages of appreciation for what I do out here for social media and social health.

And, for that, I sincerely thank you. Welcome to those of you who have met me and this site in the past month, and thanks to all of you out there who have followed me from the beginning. Change is constant and I want to continue to stay ahead of the curve on things. This is still fun for me, and when it is no longer the case, I'm outta here. Til then, I will continue to try to innovate and have even more fun out here on the internet...

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Dr. A Show Tonight

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Thursday, November 4th, 2010 at 9pmET

I invite you to join me for Doctor Anonymous Show 192 tonight where I will talk about my experience at the 2010 Family Medicine Education Consortium meeting in Hershey, PA. I had a fun time learning more about what great stuff Family Docs are doing out there when it comes to patient care. I got to sit in on the Health Care Innovator's network where Family Docs talked about unique health care models that not only deliver high quality care, but also do this at a cheaper price than what we're doing now.

I also was part of a panel discussion where the topic was Family Medicine and Social Media. As you know, I love talking about both these topics, and if you get a chance to check out the video, you'll see how passionate I am about these two topics. One of the really fun things was watching the REACH kids as they danced and performed during the meeting.

Following talk about the meeting, I have a little commentary about how a school - just fired a bunch of people this week - without no one in the press knowing about it. How was this able to happen? Well, they were fired on Election Day this week where the press was focused on other stories. I'll tell you what I know. And, if you have been reading this blog, you won't be surprised which school I'll be talking about.

If you are new to the show, I encourage you to catch us live. There is a great chat room that also goes on. You can even see my shining face on the webcam. Can't catch us live? That's ok. You can listen anytime after the show as it is saved as a podcast so you can listen anytime!

For first time Blog Talk Radio listeners:
*Although it is not required to listen to the show, I encourage you to register on the BlogTalkRadio site prior to the show. I think it will make the process easier.

*To get to my show site, click here. As show time gets closer, keep hitting "refresh" on your browser until you see the "Play/Chat" button. Then, of course, press the "Play/Chat" button.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Family Medicine & Social Media

I was very happy to be part of a presentation last weekend at the Family Medicine Education Consortium meeting in Hershey, PA. In the video above, you'll see the highlights of my portion of a presentation having to do with Family Medicine and social media. I want to apologize for the poor lighting and fair sound quality of this video. I'm still a novice at being a videographer, but I hope that the content will keep you watching.

The big picture point of my talk is that Family Medicine has a unique story to tell as far as our point of view of how we take care of patients. It is my opinion that we as a speciality have allowed others to define who we are and what we do. And, most of the time, we are on the defensive explaining why we are not the stereotype that others characterize us to me. Family Medicine needs to stand up and advocate for itself, and I hope this message came through in this talk. As always, I welcome your feedback. Enjoy!

Monday, November 01, 2010

American Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month and I invite you to check out the American Diabetes Association site for more information about this. In the video above, I talk with a local TV news reporter about the risk factors, complications, and ways to prevent diabetes.

The interview was only about 2 minutes, and there is only so much info that can be covered, but the interview seemed to go ok. If you found the video helpful, I invite you to check out more of my TV interviews on my you tube channel. Happy November!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kids From REACH at #fmecnet

The residency fair is always a popular place for medical students to be during the Family Medicine Education Consortium NE region meeting. At the 2010 meeting in Hershey, PA, there was an added bonus in that the kids from Reach, Inc in Central Pennsylvania also performed for us.

REACH is a visual & performing arts and education organization promoting Greater Academic Achievements through the performing arts. And, you'll see in the video above just how inspirational these kids are and this program is. Enjoy!

More interviews from #fmecnet

Thanks to Larry Bauer who recorded the videos above at the 2010 Family Medicine Education Consortium meeting in Hershey, PA. In one video, you'll see meeting attendees sharing why they enjoyed this year's meeting. And, in the other video, you'll see a session where people are learning to square dance. Enjoy!

Med Students at #fmecnet

It's always great talking with med students at the Family Medicine Education Consortium NE region meeting. At the 2010 meeting in Hershey, PA, I was able to speak to these three students about their experience at the meeting and why other med students should attend. Enjoy the video above!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Video: Health Care Innovators at #fmecnet

I was finally able to edit together some of the video I recorded at the Health Care Innovators network meeting here at the Family Medicine Education Consortium NE region meeting in Hershey, PA (twitter hashtag #fmecnet). I invite you to check out my full text blog post on this by clicking here. I apologize for not being able to get all the presenters on video since I had to leave the session early. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy the video above!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Health Care Innovators at #fmecnet

I went to a bunch of sessions today grouped together under the umbrella of the "Health Care Innovations Network" at the Family Medicine Education Consortium NE region meeting. I'm trying to get people to tweet during the meeting (hashtag #fmecnet). That concept is pretty new here, but to follow what we have so far, you can check it out here.

The moderators for the sessions were Paul Grundy, MD, Roland Goetrz, MD, and Edward Zurad, MD. These three are also going to be doing the keynote speeches during this meeting. I really wasn't sure about what I would get out of these sessions. But, I was pleasantly surprised by what I learned.

Everyone knows the many weaknesses of the current US model of health care including more payment for procedures as opposed to prevention. But, there is very little heard about those programs who are using different models or care. The models that we heard about included "Health Access Rhode Island," and Scituate Health Alliance. We also heard of physicians who directly talk with health care purchasers (ie - employers).

Everyone in the Family Medicine community knows that we give great health care in this country. Unfortunately, there was not enough data out there to back up this claim. I'm learning now that there are pockets of the country who have been gathering this data and presenting this data to employers and insurance companies. The data shows that, when done the right way, Family Docs deliver high quality care at decreased cost.

The problem is that no one (or very few people) know about these successful health care delivery models. One of the questions that came up today was this: "Can these smaller, successful programs scale up to take care of more patients - and still maintain their success numbers." That's the (multi) trillion dollar question.

I recorded a bunch of short video clips from this morning's sessions. I hope to edit that stuff and post it up to the blog tonight. I do have to tell you though - that I feel a little out of my element in that most of the people here are academic docs who have a lot of different day-to-day issues than community docs like me. But, like other conferences I've been to this month, our main focus is still the patient, and how we can deliver the best care both on a microeconomic and macroeconomic level.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Getting to #fmecnet meeting 2010

Since I'm passionate about creating content, I recorded some video, edited it when I arrived at the hotel, and uploaded it for all of you to enjoy (hehe). It was a really nice drive to Hershey, PA getting ready for the 2010 Family Medicine Education Consortium NE Region meeting. As you'll see in the video above, the fall leaves gave a great backdrop to today's drive. I'm really looking forward to this year's meeting, my panel presentation this weekend, networking with Family Docs, and letting them know about social media.

The twitter hashtag for the meeting is #fmecnet. And, even if I am the only one tweeting at the meeting, my goal is to teach these family docs the benefits of social media and how much fun it is! Hopefully my friends out there on twitter will help me show the power of twitter in that even though you're not here on site, you interact with me and know what's going on at this year's FMEC meeting. Keep track of the blog and of my twitter feed for updates...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dr. A Show 191 Wrap-up

Thanks to Kat for being my co-host for Doctor Anonymous Show 191. This was a typical Saturday night show where we share a little bit about our past week, talk about some news stories, and relax with our friends in the chat room. In the video clip above, you'll see the opening moments of the show.

As always, you can listen to the entire audio podcast in the sidebar of this site. Or, if you like, you can download Show 191 from the show's iTunes page, and listen any time. I also invite you to check out the show's facebook page and hit the huge "Like" button at the top. Finally, you can also check out other video segments from past shows over on my you tube page. Thanks as always for your continued support of my blog and of the show!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dr. A Show 190 Wrap-up

Thanks to all those who were able to listen to Doctor Anonymous Show 190 live last night. I talked about this week's Digital Pharma East meeting in Philadelphia. During the show, I talked about the 2 panels that I was lucky enough to be a part of. I also talked about some people that I met at the meeting.

In the video clip above, I make some predictions of where I see the industry going. There is no way that pharma or even docs like me are going to push physicians into digital or into social media (at least right away). Who will push docs in this direction? Check out the video above to find out what I think.

You can listen to the entire audio podcast in the player in the sidebar. Or, if you like, you can go to the show's iTunes page, download Show 190, and listen at your leisure. I also encourage you to check out the show's facebook page and hit the big "Like" button at the top. Finally, if you enjoyed the video above, I encourage you to check my youtube page. Have a great weekend everybody!

Video Essay: Digital Pharma East 2010

I took a lot of video while at the Digital Pharma East 2010 conference this week in Philadelphia. I put this video wrap-up video really fast so that I could share this with all of you. (Apologize for all the non-ideal lighting. Hey, I'm not a videographer lol) The music is "Goodbye Philadelphia" by Peter Cincotti. I also invite you to read Post #1 and Post #2 from the meeting along with Doctor Anonymous Show 190. Thanks for a great meeting!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dr. A Show Tonight

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Thursday, October 21th, 2010 at 9pmET (0100 UTC)

I invite you to join me for Doctor Anonymous Show 190. Over the past few days, I have been in Philadelphia for the Digital Pharma East meeting. There is no scheduled guest tonight, but I will share some thoughts about my experience at this week's meeting. I refer you to a couple of posts I wrote before leaving Philly yesterday (See Post #1 and Post #2). In the video above, I was interviewed by the Pixels & Pills website that follows "New Directions In Digital Pharma." Thanks so much to them for interviewing me.

If you are new to the show, I encourage you to catch us live. There is a great chat room that also goes on. You can even see my shining face on the webcam. Can't catch us live? That's ok. You can listen anytime after the show as it is saved as a podcast so you can listen anytime!

For first time Blog Talk Radio listeners:
*Although it is not required to listen to the show, I encourage you to register on the BlogTalkRadio site prior to the show. I think it will make the process easier.

*To get to my show site, click here. As show time gets closer, keep hitting "refresh" on your browser until you see the "Play/Chat" button. Then, of course, press the "Play/Chat" button.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Panel: Digital Pharma East 2010

I'm going to be leaving Philadelphia later today completing my time at Digital Pharma East 2010. I'd like to thank the organizers for asking me to be on a panel talking about the interface of pharma with physicians. The topic of this panel was similar to the discussion at Digital Pharma West this past summer.

It was a very good discussion with interaction from the audience. The bottom line is - as of right now - even though docs are using mobile and smartphones a lot, physicians are not on social media. The question kept keeping up as far as, "How can docs access pharma in the internet space?" The answer is that you just can't, because docs are not on social.

One point that was brought up was putting technology into the physician workflow. For example, putting things like pharma links into something like the EMR. In addition, wouldn't it be nice for me to see in the side bar whether the med I'm considering is on formulary or not on formulary. How about putting a link in my EMR side bar - that I can click - to get my patient a voucher for the med - instead of me trying to keep track of all the voucher cards or coupons in my office right now.

In my opinion, there is nothing that pharma can do directly that will get physicians on social media (at least right now). What I see in the future is pharma putting resources into a strategy that has worked in the past. The "Ask Your Doctor" about this med - The direct-to-consumer marketing strategy that has worked before - In addition to pharma exploring how to utilize the E-patient movement and patient advocates (Do you hear that E-patients?) - This means utilizing Consumer Directed Health Care - I see pharma pouring resources on these strategies instead of trying to get docs to access social.

Update: Digital Pharma East 2010

I'm having a great time here in Philadelphia at Digital Pharma East 2010. I'd like to thank the conference organizers for asking me to take part in the conference. I'll talk about the panel that I was on during a separate post. Usually during a meeting like this, I get to meet a lot of great people. And, I know that I'm going to probably offend someone if I don't mention everyone in this post. For that, I apologize.

However, for me, the highlight during the conference was meeting Berci Mesko, MD who is the founder of Webicina and He spent 24 hours traveling from Hungary to take part in the conference. I remember interviewing Berci in the early days of The Doctor Anonymous Show. And, he woke up at about 2 or 3am to talk to me live from Hungary.

We had a great conversation about social media. He told me that my blog and my internet radio show is a part of the curriculum for his Internet In Medicine University Course. We discussed me recording a video for his students about physicians in social media. He even told me that The Doctor Anonymous Show is a trivia question in his course. He is presenting today and he was interviewed at a session yesterday. I also invite you to check out Berci's update.

The highlight meet up that happened after the conference was with long time internet friend known as @LizzPiano. We started blogging at around the same time in 2006. In addition to reminiscing about those early blogging days, we had a great conversation about how we have seen the blogging scene change in just the past four years. The landscape of was was called "the medical blogosphere" then and "social health" now - has greatly changed with less pure story telling and more pure personal marketing of some who are seen as the leading voices in the social health space. I have a separate blog post in my mind on this topic. When will I write that post? Not right now...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Digital Pharma East 2010

I'm going to Philadelphia for two days this week to be a part of what is called "The Most Innovative Event In Pharma History." It is called Digital Pharma East put on by Exl Pharma. Back at the end on June, I was asked to attend DigPharm West in San Francisco. I definitely learned a lot by going to that meeting. I encourage you to check out my blog post of when I was there.

I'm going to be part of two panel discussions during this conference. The first one will be on Tuesday at 2:15pm. The title in the program is "Mobile Messaging To Health Care Providers." In this panel, will discuss "ways that mobile devices impact clinical workflow" and "how life sciences can use the mobile channels to provide value to the provider."

The second session will be on Wednesday at 9:30am. The title is "The Changing Landscape Of Pharma/Physician Relationships." I'm on this panel with none other than @Doctor_V. If you would like to see the full schedule, check out the link here.

One person I'm really looking forward to meeting at the conference is Berci Mesko, MD from the Science Roll website. I've been an admirer of his for a while. And, I actually interviewed him on The Doctor Anonymous Show in the early days of the show. He got up in the middle of the night to be on my show live.

One person I'm really looking forward to meeting outside the conference is @LizzPiano who lives in the Philadelphia area. We have known each other since I started blogging, and is a member of that group of people called "Bloggers Anonymous" that was jokingly started back in 2006 when I started blogging. So, needless to say, this will be a very fun trip!

Radio Rounds: Behind The Scenes

Yesterday, I was able to hang out at the studios of the Radio Rounds show/podcast on the campus of Wright State University in Dayton, OH. They broadcast Episode 410 live at noon eastern time and their guest was a recorded interview with Howard Dean.

In the video above, you'll see the what happens behind the scenes during a live podcast. It was so interesting seeing how the four co-hosts coordinated to make this show happen. As they talk about in the clip, this is the first time that these four have been in the same studio for a number of months. But, you'll be able to see the rapport that this tight knit group has.

I also invite you to check out the Radio Rounds crew from Doctor Anonymous Show 183 from a few months ago. You can download Show 183 how from the Dr. A iTunes page. I also invite you to check out the facebook page for my show. And, if you enjoy the video above, check out others from my YouTube page. Enjoy!

Twitter Mentor

I've had a lot of titles in my life. But, "Twitter Mentor" has never been one of them - until now. Over the weekend, I was asked to lead a discussion about social media with my friends at the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP). I've been involved with the organization all the way back to when I was a medical student.

The organization, lead by OAFP President Dr. Sarah Sams (pictured to the right above), has made it a priority this year to get involved and learn more about social media. This is where I come in. Not only was I asked to help come up with a strategy, Madame President asked me what twitter was all about and how to get signed up. In the picture above, Dr. Sams is tweeting for the first time.

This was also interesting, because in last night's HCSM twitter chat, question number three was this: You’re charged with setting a colleague/MD/exec up on social media. Who should they start following, listening to, and engaging with? Why? What comes first?

In the HCSM chat, they recommended finding a kind of social media mentor - which I totally agree with. I mean, hey even CEO's of companies are asking for help from the tech savvy set. Sarah has been great to work with on this. I encourage you to give her a follow @QuiltingDoctor - In addition, give a follow to the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians feed @OhioAFP. Thanks so much!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Show 189 Wrap-up

Thanks to my co-host Kat for joining me for Doctor Anonymous Show 189. Topics on the show included my travel from Seattle, some current news events, and me whining about the Ohio State loss last night. In the video above, we discuss a news story from the week talking about prescription drug abuse.

As always, you can listen to the entire audio podcast in the sidebar. Or, if you like, you can go to the show's iTunes page, download Show 189, and listen at your leisure. I also invite you to check out the show's facebook page and press the huge "Like" button at the top. Finally, check out my youtube page. Thanks for your continued support of the show!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why Social Media Needs Physician Participation

One of the most common questions I get is this: "Why should physicians get involved in social media?" This past week, Swedish Medical Center in Seattle had a social media conference of which I was fortunate to be a part of (#Swedish100). I invite you to read more about the panel that I was a part of at this link here.

However, there was a lot of buzz this week generated by the presentation by Wendy Sue Swanson, MD who is otherwise known on twitter as @SeattleMamaDoc. She makes the best case of why docs should be involved in the social space during her inspiring program. Check out the video above. This should be required viewing by all docs and all those who doubt that physicians can make an impact in social media.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Social Health at BlogWorldExpo 2010

Just wanted to give a big shout out to my friends out in Las Vegas for BlogWorld Expo 2010. Last year, I was proud to be a part of the first Medblogger Track (now called the Social Health) track at #BWE09. I encourage you to check out a bunch of posts about #BWE09 from October 2009. This year's schedule is another impressive lineup. You can check out the entire #BWE10 schedule by clicking here.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this year's meeting. But, I will definitely be monitoring the twitter stream to see what is happening out there. I also wanted to announce that I am going to be canceling tomorrow night's scheduled Doctor Anonymous Show. Starting with the travel fiasco yesterday in trying to leave Seattle, being on call tonight, and going out of town again this weekend, I gotta find some time to catch up on the office work. I apologize for the inconvenience. I encourage you to check out the video below to see the highlights of last year's meeting. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Perspective Watching Miners Rescue

Life definitely keeps you grounded. Today has been a time of emotional ups and downs. Things started off on quite a high and I was finishing up the Swedish Medical Center Health Care Symposium. It's fun doing the entire live tweeting thing. Not only does it keep me on my toes as far as paying attention to the lecture and tweeting that out.

I was about 30 minutes before boarding my flight at SeaTac, when it was announced that my flight would be delayed for 2 hours due to mechanical problems. I knew that I was going to miss my connecting flight. So, I knew that I had to rebook my flight - hoping to get back to my home airport tonight. I was told that it was impossible to get home tonight, and that the earliest that I could get home was tomorrow.

Needless to say, I was really upset by this. No only am I in the office tomorrow, I'm also on call tonorrow night. Being mad and embarrassed, I had to call my office to let them know that I had to cancel most of my morning patients and to let them know that I would not be able to be on call until I got back in town.

As soon as I was able to arrange that, I heard the announcement that the "mechanical problem" was now fixed and that they would be boarding immediately. I had already got new boarding passes, and I could not get things switched back. I would still miss my connecting flight anyway.

For the next few hours, I remained mad. But I tried to make the best of things, by getting back to watch the live stream of #Swedish100 conference, take the picture above, and tweeting away again. That was fun to virtually re-connect with friends - at least for a little bit.

As I'm writing this, it is around 8:30pm pacific time, and on the TV right now is the coverage of the rescue of the miners in Chile (as of this post the first of 33 miners rescued in Chile). That leads my thoughts to the families of these miners who have been hoping for a miracle for the past few weeks. Suddenly, all my problems seem so small. My thoughts and prayers are with the miners and their families....

Social Health Panel at #Swedish100

I was very happy to he a part of the Pre-conference session of the 2010 Swedish Medical Center Health Care Symposium. Definitely felt a little intimidated being on a panel with a group of medical social media superstars (that probably shows in the video above - sheesh)

Our moderator, Nick Dawson, did a fabulous job at keeping us on track. As you'll see in the video above from our panel, he did a great thing in which he asked the audience if they had any questions. I think those opening thoughts really guided the panel in our discussion. Nick also asked about the composition of the audience. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of physicians in the audience.

The other panelists included Kent Bottles, Jen Dyer, and Bryan Vartabedian. Some themes that came out of the discussion were the issues that physicians are concerned about - Payment reform for electronic communications, Patient privacy concerns, and Liability issues. Another interesting theme that came out was showing a lot of love for twitter. If you had any question about how physicians utilize twitter for social media consumption - You must watch the video above!

In addition to our panel, there were presentations by Dave deBronkart and Wendy Sue Swanson. (As of this posting, EPatient Dave's talk is available, but SeattleMamaDoc is not - yet) I was also able to meet a lot of great people including Bill Thatcher, Greg Guenther, and Anita Beninger. I was even interviewed by Jessica Levco from Ragan Communuications. I'll post that interview here when it is made available.

I'd like to thank the Swedish team including Dana Lewis, Melissa Tizon, Aaron Blank, and a lot of other people that I am forgetting. If you'd like to check out the twitter stream, you can check out #swedish100. (In the video below, you'll see my attempt of recording a Q&A of a question about patient involvement with their care)

Monday, October 11, 2010

2010 Swedish Health Care Symposium

Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington will be hosting their 2010 Health Care Symposium next week on October 11-12. They have an impressive speakers list including the CEO of General Electric. Dr. Rod Hochman, the CEO of Swedish, is even on twitter - and - sent me a tweet back when I said hello. (Very cool!)

I will be taking part in one of the Pre-Conference sessions. The speakers for this Pre-Con session include Kent Bottles, Nick Dawson, Dave de Bronkart, Jennifer Dyer, Wendy Swanson, and Bryan Vartabedian. (In the video above, I discuss the conference with Dana Lewis from Doctor Anonymous Show 187)

If you're not able to attend the event in person, that's ok. Swedish is making it available on a live video stream. If you want to watch the Live Video Stream, just go to - Also, as you're watching the live stream, use twitter to take part in the conversation by using the hastag #Swedish100 - They will also be using the social media tool called CoverItLive to try to funnel some of the conversation.