Selling healthy nutrition: what the experts just don’t get

Earth to Cleveland Clinic: under no circumstances is a bowl of oatmeal (even one as photogenic as this one featured on your Twitter feed) a “swap” for bacon.

The only possible swap for bacon is another piece of bacon. Turkey bacon is NOT bacon. Those dreadful soy protein veggie bacon-bits are NOT bacon. And a bowl of oatmeal is most certainly NOT bacon.  The only bacon product worth eating is real bacon. Period.   Continue reading

How we got sucked into live-tweeting at conferences

What live-tweeting looks like from the stage

What live-tweeting looks like from the stage

Me: “My name is Carolyn, and I live-tweet at conferences . . .”

You (all together now):  “Hello, Carolyn!”

Yes, dear readers, I’m talking about the obsessive practice of live-tweeting to your Twitter followers those awkward little bits and pieces of a speaker’s presentation at conferences, meetings or major events.

I’m also talking from the perspective of a person who has both been onstage as a conference speaker in front of an audience of people who are live-tweeting what I’m saying, AND who has also furiously live-tweeted other conference speakers.  And here’s why I’ve finally become a recovering live-tweeter.   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