Tag Archives: social media

1 Comment

Domhnall_MacDomhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK

 

Some sessions just stand out. Dee Mangin's stunning distinguished presentation of her research into whether iron deficiency without anaemia in infants affected their long term developmental outcomes. They had, incredibly, 100% recruitment with blood tests in infants, and they followed the kids meticulously for 6 years with validated outcomes for intellectual and psychomotor ability. There was no loss to follow up with only minimal data loss e.g. 5% missing blood data blood at age 6 years. Dee’s presentation kicked off a superb afternoon on Tuesday at NAPCRG 2015 of ground-breaking trials asking important clinical questions... Do steroids help in chronic cough? What's the effectiveness of maintenance SSRI (and what happens with antidepressant withdrawal)? It would be unfair to release any of these findings in a blog and we all look forward to publication of the papers. Suffices to say, they will be practice-changing. ...continue reading

Jalali_cropAlireza Jalali, MD, is Interim Head of Anatomy in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and Social Media Adviser to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

 

At a recent conference I was approached by more than a few colleagues and asked about the Kardashian Index (K-index). For those oblivious to the term, K-index is a ratio of a researcher’s Twitter followers (as a measure of “celebrity”) over the number of their research citations (as a measure of “scientific value”). The authors of the article that defined it imply, and I quote: “A high K-index is a warning to the community that researcher X may have built their public profile on shaky foundations, while a very low K-index suggests that a scientist is being undervalued.” Many physicians were wondering if they should maintain their presence in “Twitterverse” (cyberspace area of Twitter, with more than 500 million active users) as academic community may view this negatively. I found this thought-provoking, particularly in a time when misinformation on Ebola is wide spread across internet and the presence of physicians, as health advocates and educators, in the digital world is important and can even be viewed as a part of their social accountability.

The Good: ...continue reading

CHEST 2014 photoMatthew Stanbrook (right in picture) is Deputy Editor at CMAJ, currently at the CHEST 2014 annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

 

While social media and its intersection with medicine may evoke both interest and anxiety among physicians, medical organizations are paying increasing attention to its potential. Therefore, I was not surprised to find that the American College of Chest Physicians, one such organization has been actively growing its social media presence recently, chose this topic for a plenary address at this year’s CHEST Conference. The keynote speaker was one of the most influential physicians on social media today, Dr Kevin Pho (left in picture). Pho was born in the United States, but grew up in Toronto, before returning to the U.S. to complete medical school and specialty training in Internal Medicine at Boston University, after which he set up practice in New Hampshire. His foray into social media began in 2004 when he created his medical blog, KevinMD.com, which subsequently has become one of the most prominent and popular examples of its type. He joined Twitter in 2007, where his presence has been equally strong, amassing 112,000 current followers.

Pho presented a compelling and entertaining case for why physicians need to participate actively on social media. Here are his reasons:

1. We’re way behind. Physicians in particular lag behind much of the rest of society in their adoption of social media. As Pho said, “A few years ago, the only people who had pagers were doctors and drug dealers. Today, it’s just doctors.”

2. Medical misinformation has become widespread ...continue reading

1 Comment

Bob_Seeman_Photo_forCMAJBob Seeman is Chair of The RIWI Corporation, CEO of Clera Inc. in Vancouver, and former Head of Strategy for Microsoft Network, UK

Neil_Seeman_Photo_forCMAJNeil Seeman is Founder and CEO of The RIWI Corporation (RIWI) in Toronto, a Senior Fellow at Massey College, and teaches on public health policy and the Internet at the University of Toronto

 

Recently the US Surgeon General published a report on smoking called The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress. The 978-page report barely made the mainstream media.
It might have something to do with the Internet. Most online media don't consider the progress news. But the Internet itself may have a lot to do with all that progress the report heralds.

The only mention of the Internet in the report celebrated how the 2009 Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) closed a loophole letting individuals buy tobacco products on the Internet without paying the appropriate taxes, and restricted youth access to tobacco products on the Internet by requiring age verification prior to sale and upon delivery.

Fifty years ago, public reception to the Surgeon General's Report was what the media like to call a 'man-bites-dog' story. It made (huge) news. ...continue reading

3 Comments

Moneeza cropMoneeza Walji is the CMAJ Editorial Fellow 2014-15

You’ve likely been nominated by someone in your family, your group of friends or in your organization to do the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease characterized by the progressive degeneration of motor neurons. The cause of the disease is unclear and it has no known cure. Approximately 2,500 to 3,000 people in Canada are affected by ALS according to the ALS Society of Canada. As the ALS Ice Bucket challenge has taken Facebook - and the world - by storm, social media is abuzz with a new term: "Slacktivism". ...continue reading

9 Comments

Émilie Lacharité is Digital Content Editor at CMAJ (she is also a trained medical illustrator)

Perhaps you’re familiar with the profession, but many are not. Medical illustrators are educated in human anatomy and life sciences and have the skills and technical training to communicate scientific concepts in a visual way. They create animations, illustrations, 3D medical models, virtual simulations, medical games, interactive educational modules, and more. There is one accredited program in Canada, Biomedical Communications, at the University of Toronto (my alma mater).

Last week, I attended the Association of Medical Illustrator's 69th annual conference in Rochester, MN, home of the world-famous Mayo Clinic. Rochester is a tiny town but it boasts an impressive variety of leaders and experts in diverse fields. Our group of 400+ attendees got to hear from some of them, as well as other awe-inspiring speakers from around the globe.

There were so many great talks and I wish I could address them all but, alas, here’s a quick flyby:

Dr. Christopher Moir, pediatric surgeon at Mayo Clinic, gave a poignant and emotional talk about the successful separation of conjoined twins Abbigail and Isabelle Carlsen, which took place back in 2006. He explained that multiple imaging techniques ultimately still fell short in detailing the intricacies of the girls’ anatomical abnormalities (such as a common duodenum, and a messy network of bile ducts) in a way that was clear enough for the surgical team to feel confident with performing the operation. Medical illustrator Michael King was asked to step in and worked closely with pediatric radiologist Dr. Jane Matsumoto to provide a series of extremely accurate illustrations of the twins’ anatomy (see one sample below). These provided a crucial surgical planning tool for the team of 70+ people who separated the twins. The poster-sized print-outs were then used as reference on the day of the surgery. “Medical illustrators saved the lives of two girls”, said Dr. Moir.

Mayo Clinic conjoined twins' illustration

Again on the theme of medical planning tools, Mayo Clinic pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Nicholas Wetjen, explained a new approach used for surgical treatment of craniosynostosis (the abnormal fusion of one or more bones of the skull in infancy). A medical 3D animator (whose name I unfortunately did not catch), uses CT scan information from a child’s malformed skull, recreates it in 3D software, and essentially provides a virtual platform in which surgeons can break down the top portion of the skull into pieces - think puzzle pieces - and reconfigure the skull into a more natural shape. They then map out the new skull pieces with lettered codes on the child's skull and perform the operation. Their research on the technique has found it yields a better shape result with a single, shorter operation. Win, win. More details here.

Lee Aase, Director of Social Media for Mayo Clinic, shared his insights on the importance of being out there (here?) in the world of #socialmedia. He said the networking that happens on social platforms is what drove Mayo to the top, despite it being in a small city. And with its relatively minimal cost, the return on investment for being involved in social networking has the potential to be quite large.

In their talks, MK Czerwiec (aka Comic Nurse) and Johns Hopkins medical illustrator and instructor Lydia Gregg, shared with us the power of comics in medicine. Although they have been in the field for a long time, graphic novels and comics are now being recognized as an important and effective modality for knowledge transmission, especially for taboo or touchy subjects (e.g. bipolar disorder), the younger crowd (e.g. asthma education, retinoblastoma), or even for global topics such as a graphic novel on pandemics, published by the CDC. Comic Nurse MK Czerwiec, who is in fact a nurse, now does workshops with medical students to unleash their inner graphic art talent. For more on graphics in medicine, check out graphicmedicine.org.

Avid Twitter user Jen Christiansen, Art Director of Information Graphics at Scientific American, shared her insights on the difficulties of visualizing complex scientific information for both an educated lay audience and an expert audience within the same graphic. Not an easy task but she always finds beautiful solutions. She also challenged us to rethink how we depict the brain, an organ that may be better understood as a functional map rather than an anatomical one. See the Human Brain Project for more information.

There is a fascinating community of science+art lovers on the Internet. Some of the insiders helped us explore this world. There was Glendon Mellow, social media guru, talented artist, and blogger for the Scientific American blog Symbiartic, a lovely fellow with an under-appreciated sense of humour. There was also Julia Buntaine, founder and editor-in-chief of online magazine SciArt in America, who seems to know everything about science-based art. Follow #sciart, #scicomm on Twitter and check out scienceblogs.com for more.

A handful of fine artists shared with us how they have discovered a love for anatomy and medicine and garnered attention along the way. There was Lisa Nilsson, of the Tissue Series fame, who recreates anatomical cross sections entirely out of rolled-up narrow strips of paper (a technique called quilling). Artist Danny Quirk uses liquid latex and markers to dissect with a paintbrush directly on human subjects, giving us a dramatic peek inside (see below).

tumblr_mkp3dkyLrn1s2r9t4o2_1280

Then, if all that wasn't enough, our minds were blown by a couple of speakers who have worked with the likes of National Geographic, BBC, Discovery Channel and, oh ya, George Lucas. The first was Viktor Deak, paleo-artist, who, as he put it best, "likes to make heads". In his small NY City home studio, he creates anatomically correct forensic reconstructions of fossil hominids, both in sculpture and as paintings or murals. This video pretty much sums up the greatness that is Viktor Deak.

The second mind-blowing presenter was Andrew Cawrse, who gave a few talks and workshops. Andrew started out as a visual effects guru working with the greats in California and while doing so he became obsessed with sculpting human anatomy. He eventually left Hollywood (!) in order to dedicate himself to teaching and his anatomical modelling company. His Sculpting for Surgeons class teaches cosmetic and plastic surgeons to pay attention to the aesthetics and proportions of anatomy as well as its function. "Be addicted to the human form," he said, "in order to recreate its beauty."