Monday, March 14, 2011

Goodbye Doctor Anonymous

This will be my last post on this blog. The Doctor Anonymous blog started on June 19, 2006 with the four line post called "Does This Thing Work?" And, now, this being the 1,323rd post, it is time to say goodbye.

When I started this blog, it was as kind of a joke. I really didn't think that anyone would read this stuff. I mean, who would read this stuff? As of this second, there have been 388,465 visitors to the blog and 543,436 page views. There are also over 1000 subscribers to this blog. I am just humbled by those numbers. The success of this blog and the success of me could not have been without all of you out there.

I remember when I received my first comment and I was amazed. Then, I received my first comment from overseas. Then, I started a podcast and I interviewed people from around the world. During one show, there were people from three continents on my show at the same time. I could have never imagined that.

And, the opportunities that have emerged from those beginnings. They just boggle my mind thinking back. Now, it's time to take a risk. To emerge from the shadow of Doctor Anonymous and see if I can really stand on my own as Mike Sevilla, MD - Family Physician and Social Media Enthusiast. Doctor Anonymous was a gimmick, and now it's time to be more transparent.

The new website is called "Family Medicine Rocks." Don't worry, I will still talk about my two passions of medicine and social media. I will still have commentary on these two subjects and interview people who I think are interesting in these two spheres. I'm inspired by people like the diabetes social media community and the EMS social media community, who have also added an advocacy component to their communications.

I really think that Family Medicine is a calling and I think that we as Family Medicine docs can do a better job of letting everyone know how we can help the US healthcare system. I'll talk about it more in a future post, but reading the words of Dr. Jay Lee, Family Doc in California, in his post, "Jay W. Lee: #FMRevolution = Family Medicine Revolution," I think the time is now to really share the Family Medicine story with as many people as possible.

So, I hope you join me over at "Family Medicine Rocks." My podcast will be continuing there as well. I also encourage you to follow me on twitter for the latest updates about me. Thanks again to all of you out there on the internet who have supported me and this blog for (almost) five years. Til we meet again, Au Revoir, Doctor Anonymous...

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Goal Is To Fail

I have to tell ya that this has been the most refreshing week in a long time when it comes to my social media life. In looking for a new place to go after this blogger blog, it has been a lot of fun just to bounce around a lot of possibilities.

Looking back, I know that I lost a little passion to write blog posts. I lost the excitement to do a regular podcast. I lost the courage to try to innovate. Too often, I would worry about "rocking the boat" or to change the status quo.

What happened to me was one of my biggest fears in social media: Yes, I was taking myself a little too seriously. I thought I was one of those guys who got half a million hits a month - when in reality, I was getting less than one percent of that.

It's kind of fun thinking about starting over (to a point). The topics to talk about and to write about have got my creative brain working to a point where it hasn't been in a few months - really. Why? Because I have set such low expectations for myself, it's not even funny.

Not only do I expect to fail in some of these ideas, the goal is to fail, and I expect to be really embarrassed and humilated about some of the ideas that I'm going to try to get done. Why? Because I want to learn from them and do it better the next time.

I think I've rambled on enough. Shout out to all my friends at SouthBySouthwest. I'm on call this weekend, so I couldn't fly down there right now, even if I wanted to. But, that's ok, because my new website will be launched on Monday and I'm super excited about it! Want to find out where it's at? Well, you just have to subscribe to my twitter feed to find out...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rebranding Twitter Account

This is the next post in the process of "Rebranding Doctor Anonymous." I invite you to read the first post which has why I'm actually doing this. I'm still in the midst of finding a new blog/website home for me. The exploration and evaluation process has actually been fun. And, I'd like to thank all my friends out there who have given me feedback and advice about what is out there.

So, the next step in the process is to rebrand the twitter account - to - me. I thought that this was going to be a tough process, but it actually isn't. Of course, I just googled the term and came up with a couple of good articles to walk me through the process. Thanks to hubspot and digital inspiration for their useful articles.

Thankfully, I did not have to start over from zero followers. All my followers (including the spam ones - sheesh) came over to the new account. Probably the most important thing to remember when switching twitter IDs is to immediately signup for your former twitter name so that someone doesn't take it and try to pretend that you are you. Good tips.

I've really enjoyed sharing my rebranding journey with you. Next week - specifically - Monday, March 14th. 2011 - this is when I will announce - On My New Twitter Account - where this blog/website is going. So stay tuned there. Isn't it exciting?

Monday, March 07, 2011

The Risk of Rebranding

Since the hugely popular South By Southwest conference starts later this week, this is probably a good topic to talk about. By the way, I'm not going to "SouthBy," although I really wanted to. But, the last few days have been very exciting, yet anxiety provoking for me.

I was in New York City last week working on a social media project with Dr Joseph Kim from Medical Communications Media, Dr. Enoch Choi, the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians and Einstein College of Medicine. I'll talk about it more in the future, but the project is about Medication Adherence and the use of technology like mobile and social media.

Following about 24 hours in New York, I flew to Baltimore to check out the EMS Today conference where I got to meet many of the social media superstars of the EMS community - and there are a lot of them. I even got to sit in as a guest during their final podcast of the conference. Oh, and did I mention that they VIDEO live streamed about 12 hours of podcasts over the course of 3 days. It was really good stuff.

Anyway during my 24 hours in NYC and my 24 hours in Baltimore, I've come to realize that I have probably hit the glass ceiling of success with the "Doctor Anonymous" internet identity. I have been told this in the past, but I really didn't believe it. I have gotten a lot of social media opportunities over the past few months. But in recent discussions with many people whom I've come to trust, to reach for an even higher potential, I have to let go of the whole Dr. A thing.

I have been very hesitant to do that for a number of reasons. I think that I've done a lot of work in the past (almost) five years in social media. Would that mean throwing all that away and starting over? That is something that I have been asking myself for a long time. The status quo has been screaming out in my mind for months. "Why risk this?" I kept asking myself.

So, I guess I'm announcing that I'm exploring my options to change the direction of my blog and to change the direction of my internet life. As I said on facebook yesterday, "After the last few inspirational days, thinking about building an entirely new social media plan from scratch. Will probably fail, but it's the challenge of innovating that drives me." Stay tuned to what happens, as this long time blog may not be here for much longer...

Monday, February 28, 2011

Dr. A Show Tonight

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 7:00pm ET

Yes, I've been a social media slacker as of late. I admit it. Few blog posts and little podcasts. But, there will actually be a Doctor Anonymous Show tonight at the special time and on a special night. Doctor Anonymous Show 203 will be Monday, February 28, 2011 at 7pm Eastern Time on BlogTalkRadio.

My guest will be @MsParamedic who will be attending the EMS Today conference in Baltimore this week. This will be her first EMS Today, as well it will be mine as well. Yes, I am actually going to an EMS conference. I've never been to one before. But, I remember reading about it a lot last year, and I'm looking forward to meeting some EMS podcasters/bloggers whom I have never met before.

In the video above, you'll get a little preview of our chat. We talk about the upcoming conference, her podcast called GenMed, and at the end of the interview (not on the video above), MsParamedic will ask me the "Ask Doctor Anonymous" question. Isn't that exciting?

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.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cough And Cold Medicines

Want to try to avoid a visit to the doctor's visit for that cough or cold? Why not go to the pharmacy to get an over the counter medicine? In the video above from local TV news, I talk about the good and the bad about OTC cough and cold meds. And, will that medicine from the pharmacy actually help you get better faster? If you found the video helpful, I encourage you to check out other videos about health related topics at MikeSevilla.TV.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

National Donor Day

February 14th is not only Valentine's Day, but also it is National Donor Day. Did you know that (as of this post) over 110,000 people are waiting for a donor organ? And talking about organ donation, don't forget about being a blood donor. Did you know that every two seconds, an American requires a blood transfusion? In the video above, I talk about National Donor Day on local TV news. If you found the video helpful, I encourage you to check out other videos about health related topics at MikeSevilla.TV.

Monday, February 14, 2011

People Power Revolution: Philippines 1986

With the events in Egypt over the past three weeks, it reminded me of thoughts when I was barely a teenager of a different type of revolution. If people didn't already know, my heritage is from the Philippines, even though I was born in the United States. The homeland of my parents took a lot of interest to me during the mid 1980s.

The story was similar to today in that the people rose up and, in essence, took over the government. What's really interesting is that when you search the term "People Power Revolution," in Wikipedia, it takes you to the nonviolent demonstrations and revolution that took place in the Philippines in 1986. Starring as the dictator at that time was Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos who was in power for two decades.

This story begins with the assassination of the president's chief rival at the airport in 1983. There were a lot of rumors that the Philippine president was involved. And, for the next two and a half years, the tension was building until presidental elections took place in 1986. Marcos was declared the winner, but there were accusations, especially from the international community, of election fraud.

Corazon Aquino was the leader of the opposition movement. It was her husband who was assassinated and she was the one running against Marcos. It was at this point, from February 22-25, 1986, when the peaceful demonstrations took place. Many remember the color yellow on television while watching the protests. It was estimated that 2 million Filipinos took part in the demonstrations.

The Wikipedia article gives a pretty good timeline of what happened during those few days. Yes, there was no twitter or facebook back then, but the article goes into how the rebels were able to use traditional media - like radio stations and television stations - to update the country on what was happening.

The transfer of power was peaceful and President Aquino became internationally known even to a point where she gave a speech in the US Congress and was named Time Magazine Woman Of The Year for 1986. What's interesting now is that there really has never been one person named as the "leader" of the Egyptian opposition. I find that interesting.

What people don't know about the Philippines and what people won't know about Egypt is what happens after the change in leadership. It's going to be pretty rough for a while. The graphic above outlines the multiple attempted coup attempts in the years following the 1986 People Power Revolution. What will happen in Egypt? It's hard to say. But one thing is certain, it definitely could get worse before it gets better...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Social Media Prepares Docs For Traditional Media

Thanks to KevinMD for mentioning me at the podium during his keynote address at the Texas Medical Association meeting over the weekend. Want to see the entire talk? Click here to review the session which runs about an hour. To see some small snippets, Kevin put some on his youtube page. In the video above, the first part shows Kevin's section of the talk about social media and traditional media. The second part of the video above is my interview with him talking about the same subject. Happy Monday everybody!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dr. A Show 202 Wrap-up: KevinMD

Thanks again to KevinMD for being my guest on Doctor Anonymous Show 202. We talked about his upcoming keynote address at the Texas Medical Association meeting this weekend. You can catch his keynote live on ustream at around 9:30amET on Saturday, January 29, 2011. More details at the Texas Medical Association website.

We also talked about some issues having to do with health policy like health care reform/repeal and the Medicare SGR "doc fix." Other topics included the state of the medical blogsosphere and are blogs "dying." Finally, the tables were turned on me in the "Ask Doctor Anonymous" segment where he asked me how I balance my social media life along with my analog life. And, he asks me what advice I have for docs who are curious and who want to get involved in social media.

The video above has the key parts of my interview with KevinMD. You can listen to the entire audio podcast on the sidebar. Or, if you like, you can go to the show's iTunes page, download show 202, and listen at your leisure. I also invite you to check out the show's facebook page and hit the "Like" button at the top.

You can also check out my youtube page where there are interviews of me on local TV news talking about general health topics. Finally, if you listen to the very end of the audio podcast, you'll hear me singing and taking part in a parody song - Really! Thanks for your support of the show!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dr. A Show 202 Tonight: KevinMD

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Thursday, January 27th, 2011 at 9pmET

I invite you to join me tonight for Doctor Anonymous Show 202 when our guest will be Dr. Kevin Pho who is "Social media's leading physician voice" according to his LinkedIn page. Kevin is author of the KevinMD website. We had a great conversation recently which I will be playing on tonight's show. One topic we'll be talking about will be his upcoming keynote address at the Texas Medical Association meeting this weekend. This keynote address will be broadcast live over ustream begininng at 9:30aET on January 29, 2011 at this link.
Another topic of conversation is health policy issues like health care reform/repeal and Congress' continued avoidance to pass a permanent fix to the SGR. We also dialogue about the current state of the medical blogosphere. And, finally, in the last segment of the interview, the tables are turned in the "Ask Doctor Anonymous" segment. What will KevinMD ask me? You'll have to tune in to find out...

As some may know, the network that I am a part of, BlogTalkRadio, is going to be going through some changes. And, I have written on this blog before that I am considering a different home for the show. I'll make my announcement tonight about what is going to be happening to The Doctor Anonymous Show.

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, January 26, 2011

Dr. A on Technology Today Podcast

I was asked to be a guest on the Technology Today Podcast on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 4pm Eastern Time. This show is hosted by Ajay Gupta who is a cyber security expert. And, each month on his show, he highlights the area of Health Information Technology. On the show's blog this week, they wrote the following post called "Is Social Media A Health Care Delivery System?"
Social media is a lot of things to a lot of people. Individuals use it to reconnect with old and make new friends. Businesses have certainly begun levering social media as an avenue to reach consumers. Can it really serve as a mechanism for the health care industry to deliver medical care?

Join us Thursday at 4pm Eastern on Business.VoiceAmerica.Com as we discuss this and look into how doctors are beginning to engage their own patients and even wider populations on sites such as facebook, twitter, YouTube and through individual blogs.

Dr. Michael Sevilla, of DoctorAnonymous fame joins the show to share his insights from over four years of activity in incorporating various forms of social media into his medical practice.
You can listen live to the interview at Business.VoiceAmerica.Com at 4pm Eastern Time on Thursday, January 27, 2011 for the Technology Today program. You can join the discussion at 866-472-5790 and by text at 240-731-0756. I also encourage you to check out their facebook page, you can find them on twitter at @TechTodayRadio, or you can e-mail the host at - Hope to see you for the Technology Today show!

Dr. A Show 201 Wrap-Up: Future of Family Medicine Blog

Thanks so much to the medical student authors of the Future of Family Medicine blog for being guests on Doctor Anonymous Show 201 last week. Not only have they been featured on KevinMD, but they have also been recently featured on the website Opposing Views for their post called "Is Family Medicine A Waste Of Talent For New Doctors?"

Now, I know I should not be biased, but I can't help it. I'm really hoping that you vote for the Future of Family Medicine blog in the Medgadget Medblog Awards. They are in the Best New MedBlog category. Voting starts on January 27. Vote early and vote often LOL

In the video above, I ask each of the three co-authors about the blog and about their path toward medical school in the first place. You can listen to the entire audio podcast in the sidebar of this blog. You can also go to the show's iTunes page, download Show 201 and listen anytime. I also encourage you to check out the show's Facebook page and hit the "Like" button at the top. Finally, if you enjoyed this video, I invite you to check out my YouTube page for more. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Alzheimer's #MDChat: My Thoughts

It's no secret that I wasn't a fan of MDChat 1.0 when it first came on the scene. (Feel free to read my initial review here.) But last night, I saw a tweet out there saying that the Jan 25, 2011 #MDChat would be devoted to Alzheimer's disease including an interview with a couple of people with the diagnosis. This idea intrigued me.

I know that this wasn't the first time someone was ever interviewed via twitter. But, I wanted to see with my own eyes how this would play out in real time. Even though I was on call tonight, I caught some bits and pieces of the interview live. And, I also reviewed the twitter stream and transcript.

Not only were the stories amazing, but something else I was pleasantly surprised by was that the participants in the "chat" - they didn't chat at all (for the most part) until the Q&A portion of the hour. They respected the instructions and did not cloud up the #MDChat hashtag.

So, I know I was harsh on the first go-around. But, this time, I applaud Phil and this innovative edition of #MDChat. Thanks to Gwen & Libby for sharing their stories. And, thanks to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine along with the Alzheimer's Association for their participation in the chat. Well done all around!

Dr. A Show 202 Preview

Just some random announcements to share with everyone. First, I know that I haven't mentioned it in a long time on this blog. But, I invite you to check out this week's Grand Rounds blog carnival over at For those who do not know, Grand Rounds is the gathering of the best blog posts for the entire week on one medblog site.

There is a great theme on the 33Charts site this week which I will call "Pay It Forward." The theme this week is not the usual self-promotion of your own blog posts. This week, people are encouraged (and required) to plug the blog post of other people. How cool is that? I made a suggestion myself, but I won't share what that is - Hehe.

This is going to be a big week in the life of Doctor Anonymous - particularly on Thursday, January 27th. At 4pm Eastern Time, I'm going to be interviewed for the entire hour on the live internet radio show called Technology Today. Of course, the topic will be medicine and social media. One of the topics we are going to be talking about is my Medical Economics cover/article from last month. You can listen to the live audio stream for the show show live at the VoiceAmerica Business Channel site on Thursday.

Finally, Doctor Anonymous Show 202 will take place live at 9pm Eastern Time on BlogTalkRadio. As you see in the video above, I'm excited about the featured interview which I will share during the show (you'll have to watch the video above to see who that is). Plus, with all the changes announced by BlogTalkRadio, I'm also going to be announcing what will be the next step of the show. Hope to see you Thursday for my live interview and for the Dr. A Show...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dr. A Show 201 Tonight

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Thursday, January 20th, 2011 at 9pmET

I invite you to join me for Doctor Anonymous Show 201 where I will be interviewing the authors of the blog called "Future of Family Medicine." I will be joined by medical students who started the blog a few months ago. In the video above, I talk with two of the authors from the blog (You'll have to guess which two they are Hehe).

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, January 19, 2011

Dr. A Show 201 Preview

Hope you can join us this week for Doctor Anonymous Show 201 when our guests will be the authors of the blog called "Future of Family Medicine." This unique blog is written by medical students and the topics vary from health policy, to concepts like the Patient Centered Medical Home, and today's post called "The New Deal for Primary Care in Community Health Centers." Join us on Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 9pm Eastern Time on BlogTalkRadio. Also, check out the video promo above. See you for the show!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Medical Social Media Awards

With last weekend's golden globe awards and miss american pagent, not only is it award season for actors and beauty queens, it's also award season for medicine and social media. Last week, I put out this tweet reminiscing about how I miss that the medblog awards were no longer going on - or, at least that what I thought. Just a few minutes later on twitter, I got a message back stating that the awards were just going to be announced.

Yesterday, Medgadget announced on their website the 2010 Medblog Awards sponsored by epocrates and lenovo (pretty impressive sponsors). There will be seven categories that will be recognized. The nomination process seems like a quicker timeline, in that nominations close in a few days this coming weekend. I was lucky enough to be nominated way back in 2006 in the new medblog category. The very popular (and infamous) Dr. Flea blog won that year.

The other award that I wanted to share with you is the shorty twitter awards. It's kind of funny because I really pushed to win my category a few years ago during the first year of the award. Another competitor in the same category really came after me and eventually won the category. Also, if you look at this year's site, the category of health is not even what they call a "major" category. Oh well.

For most other people writing this type of post, this is where they ask you to nominate them. Me? Well, I'm asking you NOT to nominate me for these awards. Am I still bitter about what happened before? Maybe. But, I know that there are a lot of other better bloggers and "twitterers" out there. I used to really get caught up in this stuff. Not anymore.

It's just more interesting for me to monitor twitter and facebook as people post things like "If you nominate mine, I'll nominate yours." Or, "If you vote for mine, I'll vote for yours." The politicking and the gamesmanship that will occur over the next few weeks - that's is what I look forward to every year....

Monday, January 17, 2011

Physicians in Social Media

I've been pleasantly surprised by the attention that I have received from my Medical Economics cover last month. It's amazing how many opportunities that have occurred since the magazine came out. I'll be talking about some of them in the coming weeks. Last week, local TV news interviewed me about the article.

Thanks so much to WKBN/WYTV for interviewing me last week about the magazine. In the video above, I have put together a series of stories for the 24 hour news cycle of local news - which I find really interesting. I make some appearances on the morning show, and the anchor there said some nice things at the end of the first story. All this from me spending too much time on facebook and twitter - HA!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dr. A Talking Social Media with HMCNews

Jessica Levco from the HealthCare Marketing & Communications Newsletter interviewed me a few months ago at the Swedish Medical Center Health Care Symposium in Seattle, Washington. Of course, we talked about medicine and social media.

In the video above, we chatted about why I think physicians need to be online, and at least be familiar with health information resources. I also encourage you to check out today's edition of HMCNews where I profile a couple of interesting stories.

Addendum: Apologies if this is not working. I got some feedback on that. Maybe better access the video through their direct link here.

Dr. A Show 200 Wrap-Up: EndoGoddess

Thanks so much to Dr. Jennifer Dyer for being on Doctor Anonymous Show 200 last night. She is a pediatric endocrinologist at Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. She is the first physician in her family and actually started out wanting to be a journalist. But, she became inspired to not only go to medical school, but also pursue a career in pediatrics.

Pediatric endocrinology has to do with hormones in the body, which means diseases like diabetes in children. Dr. Dyer is known as @EndoGoddess on twitter, and she is right in the middle of the fight against childhood obesity. She has been making the rounds on the medical lecture circuit talking about how she utilized text messaging to take care of patients. She talks about it more in the video above which is a presentation at a TEDx conference in Columbus, Ohio.

We covered a number of other topics in our interview including her philosophy on "meeting patients where they are" as far as coming up with a treatment plan, her pursuit of a year long White House Fellowship to address childhood obesity, her own weight loss success story, and what she does every year while watching the golden globe awards.. Hmmmm....

You can listen to the entire show in the sidebar of this blog. Or, if you like you can go to the show's iTunes page, download the show, and listen anytime. I also encourage you to check out the show's Facebook page and to press the huge "Like" button at the top. I have also done local TV interviews on health topics. Check out my YouTube page to check those out. Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dr. A Show 200 Tonight!

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Thursday, January 13th, 2011 at 9pmET

I invite you to join me for Doctor Anonymous Show 200 tonight! Can you believe it's been 200 shows already? My guest will be Dr. Jennifer Dyer from Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. She is a pediatric endocrinologist and is in the midst of writing up a research paper on how she utilized text messaging to communicate with patients. We'll also talk about her thoughts about medicine and social media in general.

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, January 12, 2011

AAFP Connection

There have been a few stated excuses why physicians are hesitant to utilize social media services for things like peer to peer communication and for discussion of clinical cases. The statements that are made are they physicians are concerned about issues of security and privacy. Don't get me wrong, I completely agree with these statements.

It's just that organizations, especially physician membership organizations, have been trying to come up with the answer of how to build a site by which physicians can feel "safe" to discuss these type of issues.

My professional organization, the American Academy of Family Physicians, announced on their Facebook page yesterday that they are introducing a platform on their website that is "safe" and "secure" to encourage family physician members increased communication.

The name of this service is "AAFP Connection," and I give a brief review of this service in the video above. Visually, the interface is nice. There is no doubt that one of the things that they wanted to do is to make the user interface fairly easy to navigate.

AAFP Connection has the equivalent of twitter/facebook updates and the ability to store photos. Something interesting is the ability to upload documents and share these as well. I wonder how much this feature will be utilized by users.

Of course, the big question is this: Will AAFP members use this platform? My initial gut feeling is no. I have been a member of the AAFP for a number of years now, and the in the "communication generation" before this one, there was promotion of the use of e-mail listservs. What happened there was it was popular for a number of months, and then people didn't utilize as much. For me, there wasn't too much real dialogue, and a lot of people used it for their own self-promotion - thereby giving it a "spam" like feel.

The failure of AAFP Connection is not going to be because of the AAFP. It's just that for those who use twitter and facebook, how can a busy physician check another social network? For those who are not even on social media, trying to explain the concept of a social network will be difficult. The good part is that their huge AAFP Committee Cluster meetings will take place at the end of this month. Maybe some good brainstorming can take place to see how to effectively roll this product out....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

EMR Not In Health Care Repeal

In his first day on the job, newly sworn in Ohio Attorney General (and former US Senator from Ohio) Mike Dewine stated his intent to join the lawsuit filed by other states with regard to last year's health care overhaul legislation. He is fulfilling a campaign promise that is outlined in the video above. The core of the lawsuit states that the federal government does not have the authority to require Americans to purchase health insurance.

Last year's health care debate was so confusing, I don't know if anyone really knows what is all in there. But in some discussions recently with physicians, they are encouraging the health care repeal legislation to go through "so we can get rid of all this nonsense electronic medical records." Now, I don't entirely disagree with this statement.

However, from what I understand, the electronic medical records legislation passed the House days following the president's inauguration in January 2009 and was signed into law a month later. This was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 and it's HiTech Act.

So, correct me if I'm wrong. But, the path toward an electronic health record is still there and not going to be a part of this health care repeal legislation. Now, I don't disagree with EMR implementation. But, in taking steps to try to integrate them into practice, it has been difficult, and I think the time lines that have been set out by ARRA are too aggressive and will lead to mistakes that will be blamed on the health care system (meaning I'll be blamed for it), and not blamed on this bad piece of legislation.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Physician Author: Terrorism Short Story

One of the things that I have always wanted to do is to highlight docs doing interesting stuff away from the job. Recently, I was in our local emergency room (the people "in the biz" and the cool kids call it the emergency department), talking to one of the docs. He is a veteran of the war in Iraq and wrote a short story with an interesting premise.

It's pretty obvious that the United States is pretty dependent on energy like electricity. What would happen if terrorists attacked the energy grid of this country? What would be the impact of such an action? How easy would it be to do? Well, this doc has written a fictional story about how possibly this could be done.

The story is entitled "1111" which means the date of January 1, 2011. The story begins on the day before. It's definitely an interesting read (read below or click here). In the video above, there is an interview with the doc on our local terrestrial radio station. It's really interesting listening him tell the "story behind the story." This story will make you think. Enjoy!

From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Tucson

The tragic events in Tucson, Arizona over the weekend has sparked another debate involving gun control, mental illness, and "how can this be allowed to happen again?" The latest information from over the weekend states that they believe that it is a lone gunman who killed 6 people and wounded 14 others during a meet-and-greet session with the local US congresswoman.

The name of the suspect in custody is Jared Lee Loughner. A article called "Massacre suspect 'mentally disturbed,' former teacher says" gives a profile of this person:
In a statement issued Saturday night, Pima Community College said Loughner was suspended after a series of run-ins with campus police between February and September, capped by the discovery of a YouTube video in which he accused the college of operating unconstitutionally. Loughner quit school after the suspension, the college said -- and it warned him that to return, he had to present a doctor's note stating that his presence would not be "a danger to himself or others."
Man, this sounds really familiar, doesn't it? All too familiar. In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings back in 2007 (has it already been almost four years since that happened?), I wrote a series of posts outlining my opinion about mental illness, gun control, and the lack of society's responsibility to finally fix the problem.

I encourage you to read them, including "Mental Health Care Delivery in US," "Depression = Murderer?" and "Privacy Laws Need Scrutinized." I'll end this post with some chilling statements from 2007 from a blog post entitled, "Can The Cycle Be Broken." These same words can be applied to the Tucson tragedy over the weekend. They are as true now as they were then...
Of course, people are outraged by this situation. I'm outraged by what happened. But, I've seen this too many times. We are shocked by what happened, we mourn the victims, we blame whomever we need to blame for what happened, then we go back to our apathy until the next tragedy happens. Well, I'm sick and tired of this useless cycle. Instead of outrage turning into apathy, let's turn outrage into action. And, I'm not talking about knee-jerk reactions...

Um, uh, wait a minute. As I think about things now, I'm thinking about what realistically can happen? Would it mean a radical change in American culture? A culture that celebrates violence? A culture that makes celebrities out of people like Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, and Cho Seung-Hui. Unfortunately, this is a culture that shirks at the idea of accountability. A culture that believes that it's someone else's job to fix the problem. A country and culture that feels no personal investment to fix its own problems. Am I wrong here? Please tell me I'm wrong...

Friday, January 07, 2011

Ragan’s HealthCare Marketing & Communications News

I'm happy to announce (in the video above) that I have been asked to be a contributor to the Healthcare Marketing and Communications Newsletter from Ragan Communications. Thanks to Jessica Levco, the Editor of the newsletter, for the invite. I met her when attending the 2010 Swedish Health Care Symposium. In the newsletter, I will be summarizing stories that I read in my own unique style. If you have never checked out the newsletter before, I strongly encourage you to check it out - especially if you are involved at all in the medicine, healthcare, social media, and marketing industry.

I would also like to welcome those of you who have clicked on over from the newsletter to check out my blog. As you can see, I dabble in a lot of areas of social media including blogging, a live internet radio show, you tube video, twitter, facebook, linked-in, and other stuff. I also invite you to check out my interview from Medical Economics from December 2010. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Long Term Impact of Vaccine/Autism Fraud Study

You may have seen today's report from entitled "Doctor Defends Retracted Autism Study." The physician states that he received money not only from the British Medical Journal, but also the Sunday Times of London - where he has been employed since the early 1980s. This physician was stripped of his medical license in May.

I, along with other people, are trying to get people to let go and move on from the false assertion that vaccines are linked to autism. But, what will be the long term impact of not only this fraudulent study, but its affect on the public? On a daily basis, the press hammers physicians for accepting as much as a pen from pharmaceutical companies. Oh yeah, accepting even a pen is against the law. Maybe that's why I haven't seen anymore pharma pens around. Hmm...

This false study will not only help perpetuate the false perception that vaccines are linked to autism, but also will hamper announcements of any future medical studies, as the question of bias and "Who paid the doctor and research team?" will come up. Convincing an ever growing skeptical public will be tomorrow's challenges. And, unfortunately, will make taking care of patients for me and other physicians more difficult...

Weight Loss New Year's Resolution

This first week of January is full of news reports of giving advice on your new diet and exercise program to help you lose that weight that you have always wanted. In a previous post and video, I talk about some "Dos and Dont's" when planning for your New Year's Resolution.

In the video above, I talk about some medical issues to keep in mind before starting your program. For example, is there a family history of medical problems like high blood pressure or diabetes? Well then, you may want to schedule an appointment with your personal physician before jumping on the bandwagon. If you find the above video helpful, I invite you to check out other of my TV interviews at MikeSevilla.TV. Enjoy!