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

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:  Continue reading

Vintage Christmas ads we’ll likely never see again

Happy Christmas, little consumers! Since retailers first figured out the link between the power of advertising and subsequent sales, they’ve used ads to guide our Christmas gift shopping choices – like this 1939 ad for a Colt Officer Model Match handgun.  Here are a few other ad examples we’re not likely to see this season . . . . Continue reading

The Quantified Selfer’s Christmas form letter

Yes, indeedy, it is that time of year when you create the impersonal yet one-size-fits-all Christmas form letter to send off to all your friends, faux friends, wannabe friends, or Real Life Relatives that you just can’t seem to keep in touch with throughout the rest of the year.  Although there’s likely an app for this, I thought I’d offer you Quantified Selfers out there a simple Christmas letter template you can use to communicate with those people you otherwise don’t bother with.

Like all Christmas form letters, the tone here is important. A humble-brag approach is best. Quantified Selfers do not want to come across as self-absorbed data dorks, even though – as Donna Cusano of Telecare Aware once described you – there may be just a wee whiff of “stark raving narcissism” about all that obsessive self-tracking and sharing going on among the worried well.

Let’s see if this handy Christmas form letter template might work for you:   Continue reading