Top 10 Nags of 2013 from The Ethical Nag

Yes, darling readers, it is indeed that time once again when all navel-gazing pundits whip up their Top 10 or Best Of  lists for the year that is quickly passing. Let’s do that too here on The Nag.

But first, I want to say Happy New Year to all my blog visitors, and especially to those of you:

  • who choose to share what you like here with friends, family or perfect strangers
  • who take the time to leave your astute, challenging or sometimes downright hilarious comments here – I love reading your feedback!
  • who follow The Nag via RSS feed, Twitter, or email subscriptions (you too can do this just by clicking the appropriate Follow The Nag buttons on the right sidebar of the homepage). I sincerely appreciate your company here.

Now here’s that Top 10 List of the most widely read Nags for 2013: 

1.  NEJM Editor: “No Longer Possible to Believe Much of Clinical Research Published”  (former New England Journal of Medicine editor Dr. Marcia Angell describes the alarming state of what your doctor is reading in medical journals; this post was #1 last year, too, but in 2013 it also set a record on December 18th when it attracted over 10,000 views on a single day.  Thank you, Facebook!)

2. Why Doctors Get Sued (hint: it’s not because of greedy patients and their even greedier lawyers – this article was also the #9 ranked post in 2011, then #7 on last year’s Top 10 list)

3.What We Can Learn About Medicine From Watching Grey’s Anatomy (a sleeper about surprisingly effective medical education on TV, first written in January 2011, then #4 on last year’s Top 10 list, and slowly moving up the charts this year)

4.  If We’re Beautiful Just the Way We Are, Why do Those Dove ‘Real Beauty’ Ads Tell Us We Need to Buy Their Skin Firming Creams? (Dove marketers have mastered the art of bamboozling women into believing they’re somehow on our side instead of just wanting to sell us more stuff)

5.  How to Make Mediocre Coffee That’s Expensive and Wasteful (glad to see so many of you reading and sharing this 2013 post about one of the most environmentally unfriendly kitchen appliances on earth)

6.  When does mindfulness become mind-numbing? (in which cardiologist/jock Dr. James Beckerman warns tech-obsessed self-trackers about the collective tendency to lose the joy of a tasty meal in the hurry to input its calories on your tracking device)

7.  “Falling In Love in Six Acts” – The Best Ad Campaign Ever (my secret crush on an iconic 1993 ad campaign revealed, #10 from last year’s list – I love the comments in response to this post from other secret fans!)

8.  Should You Take Antidepressants – And If So, Which One? (originally published here in May 2012, this post looks at a diagnosis that’s gone from being described in the 1960s as a “self-limiting, episodic disorder showing spontaneous recovery without treatment after a few months” to now being considered a chronic, drug-managed illness. Thank you, Big Pharma!)

9.  Can Statins Prevent My Head from Exploding? (another new post this year, this time responding to the controversial recently-released cardiovascular guidelines which basically suggest that, if you have a detectable pulse, you need to take statins)

10.  How 10-year old Children Are Helping Philip Morris Earn Billions in Cigarette Sales Each Year (this post from August 2010 takes a chilling look at a Human Rights Watch report called Hellish Work revealing cases of children as young as 10 working 12-hour days in Kazakhstan tobacco fields for Philip Morris International)

A number of my Ethical Nag posts were also picked up and republished as guest posts on other websites in 2013, including:

My behind-the-scenes WordPress stats page keeps up with the number of visits here (over 480,000 so far). The busiest traffic day here in 2013 was Wednesday, December 18th with 11,131 total visits – over 10,000 of those directly due to the NEJM post that day. The Nag was viewed about 180,000 times in 2013. My WordPress helper monkeys tell me that if this blog were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about eight days for that many people to see it!

That stats page also tells me that most of you reading this are from the United States, with Canada and the U.K. not far behind – but I’m tracking growing numbers in 2013 from Australia, India, the Philippines, Germany, France and Singapore – in fact, over 190 countries in total.

Thank you all for the thousands of reader comments you have left here this past year – and special thanks to Google Translate for helping me understand the ones written in other languages.

In 2013, there were 50 new posts here, growing the total archive to 383 posts since I launched this site in 2009 when, as a freshly-diagnosed heart attack survivor, I first became alarmed by what’s now known as “marketing-based medicine”. This refers to Big Pharma’s pervasive influence on that fistful of daily cardiac meds that my doctors prescribe for me and for all heart patients. My 30+ year career in the public relations field also allows me to smell a spin a mile away – which I like to translate from PR/marketing-speak as much as possible for you here.

Once again, my sincere thanks to you for your engagement in what engages me, too. Happy 2014 you all.

Cheers,

.

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