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    Tuesday, December 20, 2005


    Welcome to Grand Rounds, where medical bloggers from around the world meet once a week to share their rants, ramblings, and observations.

    This being the blogosphere, however, our ramblings and observations are not limited to doctors and nurses, but include patients and administrators, lawyers and health policy analysts, and, of course, information technology specialists. So welcome to our cocktail party, where people from all walks of life mingle and share their take on the medical world and life in general.

    We'll start off with a little bit of fun. Our literary medical bloggers have prepared a Christmas story for us. They've all started out with the same beginning then gone off on their own imaginative flights. And they've all incorporated at least one recognizable line from a Christmas song. I give you:

    It Was a Dark and Stormy Night.

    That was very amusing, but the Center for Nursing Advocacy is not amused by this Nurse Quacktioner doll. (via The Nurse Practitioner, who was not amused that I forgot to put her link in here. So sorry.) No, not at all amused, just as the makers of Pokemon were not amused by this too-clever-by-half name for a gene, according to KidneyNotes.

    Very few of us are amused by Spam (oh, alright, I admit I often am), but Polite Dissent has the scoop on the 9 Things Spammers Don’t Want You To Know.

    And if you're looking for a present for that special biotech someone in your life, consider The Science Creative Quarterly's The Biotech Game of Life.

    On now to more serious matters. It's often said that doctors learn most from their patients, and patient bloggers are no exception. Clinical Cases and Images Blog has a round-up of patient blogs that shed light on the perspective of the patient. And speaking of shedding light on patients, Oasis of Sanity shares her stroboscopy experience.

    Sometimes, however, the encounters between laypeople and medical professionals can be more angst producing, such as Shrinkette's reluctant patient or Doc Around the Clock's ethically-challenged patient. The internal medicine doctor at the Medical Mad House is finding that being around death and disease is making him anxious. Meanwhile, a reader's comment about his choice of moniker has thrown Red State Moron into something of an identity crisis, and KevinMD gets called a crybaby by one of his readers because he dared to complain about declining physician reimbursements. (That, folks, is why Congress feels free to reduce rates so freely. They know full well there is no sympathy for physicians among voters.)

    But don't give up hope, just remember PixelRN's explanation of why she loves the MICU - because good things happen there. It's those good things that keep us going - even outside the MICU.

    Of course, medicine, and science in general, has its share of problems - not the least of which is credibility which has taken some nasty hits recently.

    Dr. Emer plots the rise and fall of Dr Hwang Woo Suk, a sad, sad, tale of human failing and weakness. What Shakespeare could have done with it!
    Dr. Andy looks at Dr. Suk's stem cells and estimates the chances of them being legitimate to be very very small.

    Health Business Blog takes on the latest credibility scandal -medical ghost writers. (Although, according to NHS Doc pharmaceutical product insinuation is even more widespread than we think) It isn't surpising then, that Health Voices calls for action to improve medical blog credibility - keeping in mind the recent Wikepdia scandal. But who is calling for the same for traditional science publications? They would seem to be in need of it more, no?

    The cost of healthcare continues to be a popular topic, especially as the baby boomer generation approaches the geriatric age. Over My Med Body explains once again why he hates consumer- driven healthcare. But Interested-Participant wonders what treatment will be denied next in a certain government-driven healthcare system, and InsureBlog notes the heavy cost of life-style treatments in our current government/employer-driven system. Hospital Strategy Impact, meanwhile, looks for ways to work within the current system, including the art of trade-offs - should hospitals be like Ikea or Jiffy Lube?

    Looking to the future, the Health Care Blog and its readers can't understand why so many doctors hate electronic medical records. The lawyer at Health Care Law blog has many good questions about the benefits of electronic medical records, which Health Voices answers. And connectologist, Tim Gee, at Medical Connectivity reports from an FDA meeting pondering the regulation of networked medical devices.

    That's all well and good, but what we really like to do is treat disease and people. So let's move on to the interesting basic science and medicine stuff:

    Anxiety, Addiction and Depression, appropriately, examines the current SSRI debate.

    Genetics and Health notes a connection between genetics and tuberculosis

    HealthyConcerns notes the news of trends toward "revirginiation" and wonders to what new lows plastic surgery can sink. Surgeon Bard-Parker agrees it's an awful expensive one-night stand.

    Orac says Bill Maher is an anti-vax wingnut - and he has the data to prove it. (And by the way, Mr. Maher, it's very irresponsible of you to try to persuade a frail elderly man to avoid a flu shot. Shame, shame, shame.)

    Grunt Doc encounters a black widow - and has advise on what to do should you also.

    Unbounded Medicine has the worst case of ingrown toenail ever seen.

    Blogs for Industry/Blogs for the Dead explains why there's no need to fear papaya - natural or man-made.

    Diabetes Mine has some interesting observations on the future of glucose monitoring.

    Dr. Charles looks back in time at the impotence of medicine.

    Aetiology wonders, if Macbeth had mad cow.

    Goodness, the medical blogosphere is a wide, wide world, isn't it? And not just in ideas, as MSSP Nexus Blog observes, blogging opens doors worldwide. Which is why blogging made Impacted Nurse's Top 5 Topics for 2006. Pay the good nurse a visit and learn how to start a blog of your own. The more the merrier, we always say.

    Thanks again for coming. Hope you enjoyed your visit. Next week's Grand Rounds will be at The Health Care Blog, where the theme will be the Best of 2005.

    posted by Sydney on 12/20/2005 01:00:00 AM

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