Doctors behaving badly online

And here we go again. Yet another warning to doctors who decide they really must wade into social media. This warning is for those doctors who have learned nothing from the cautionary tale of 48-year old E.R. physician Dr. Alexandra Thran. She learned a hard lesson last year about the consequences of behaving badly online after she was fired from her Rhode Island hospital, fined and reprimanded by the state medical board.

Why? Dr. Thran had posted personal information online about one of her trauma patients. Although her Facebook post did not specifically include the patient’s name, she violated the patient’s privacy rights by writing enough that others in the community could easily identify the patient, according to a board filing.  Continue reading

Mayo Clinic: “Beware of alternative health care fraud”

A fellow heart attack survivor recently praised a miracle heart disease treatment called chondroitin sulfate. This supplement, she said, had been studied by a “brilliant doctor” during the 1970s, but is no longer heard about very much.  She attributed this fact to one of those “what your doctor doesn’t want you to know’ alternative medicine conspiracies. Alternative medicine practices are those not typically used in conventional medicine. When an alternative practice is used with conventional therapies, it’s called complementary medicine. Together, these treatments are referred to as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

I’m very interested in CAM, but my skeptical self accepts nothing – especially things my doctor doesn’t want me to know! – without suspicious scrutiny.  Continue reading