Another insulting Dove ad: the Dove Beauty Patch

Let me make this perfectly clear, in case some of you still think that Unilever, the company that makes Dove beauty products, is somehow in the business of caring about women’s fragile self-esteem.

Unilever, as I wrote here previously, is in the business of convincing you to buy their products. Period.

The fact that they do this so successfully by blatantly appealing to your personal insecurities while pretending to care about you should be insulting to every woman (and man) out there. And their newest Dove marketing campaign is no exception.  Continue reading

The cardiac miracle cure? Vitamin C, lysine and Dr. W. Gifford-Jones

It all started with a simple question from one of my blog readers at Heart Sisters.  Another heart attack survivor asked me if I’d heard about the use of high-dose vitamin C and lysine to prevent or reverse coronary artery disease, a treatment duo often touted in health food stores. It turns out that almost any Canadian who reads any daily newspaper across our great country has likely heard of these particular supplements, thanks to a syndicated health columnist named W. Gifford-Jones MD whose columns have been published in over 70 newspapers in Canada and beyond.

He’s a University of Toronto- and Harvard-trained MD and author whose bio also includes “family doctor, hotel doctor and ship’s surgeon”. (That’s not his real name, by the way – which is Ken Walker).  In one of his columns published in the Windsor Star in December, the 89-year old Gifford-Jones/Walker described his own personal experience taking this vitamin C and lysine combo:   Continue reading

Can I change my mind about docs on social media?

As regular readers already know, I’ve told some embarrassingly cringe-worthy tales about how some health care professionals are using social media (here, here and here, for example).  In Doctors Behaving Badly Online, I cited studies by Washington, DC researcher Dr. Katherine Chretien and her findings of physicians’ unprofessional” posts on Twitter featuring “very naughty words, potential violations of patients’ privacy, and discriminatory statements.”

Two years ago, when the British Medical Association warned U.K. docs and med students NOT to make “informal, personal or derogatory comments” online about their patients, I became even more alarmed. Why, I wondered at the time, is it even necessary to issue this warning to intelligent, educated brainiacs with the letters MD (or rather, in the U.K., the letters MBBS) after their names?

There are still regrettable cases coming to light about Doctors Behaving Badly Online, but lately, I’ve been rethinking my former suspicion that many health care providers simply have no business wading into social media. And the reason for the rethink is this: physicians are, in essence, abdicating their role as our medical educators. Continue reading