Urine on the Google Flu Grave

google-flu-TrendCelebrating the failure of Google’s flu trends has evolved as a full-contact sport for digital health watchers. The world celebrated Google’s potential and then its failure. This piece from Wired shouldn’t be missed. A civil and properly-penned postmortem that sees Google’s predictive potential beyond our shallow schadenfreude.

Twitter and the Dean of Harvard Medical School

twitterToday the Wall Street Journal profiled Harvard Medical School’s Jeffrey Flier and his views on Twitter. It’s worth a read and it’s brief. Most importantly, it can and should be shared with medical educators as an emerging standard.

If you can overlook a degree of naiveté (you have no control over who your followers will be), the piece reflects the basic value proposition of public thinking for leadership. As important, he raises the danger of neutralizing public dialog in order to avoid conflict.

In medical education, we must begin to see public thinking as the rule rather than the exception. If you’re not part of the broader discourse, you are in absentia. Capacity for leadership and promotion should involve careful consideration of digital footprint and capacity to shape public dialog.

The next generation of medical leaders will think and trade in the currency of ideas. If medical educators aren’t involved, how are we to shape the next generation?

For how you or your physicians can begin to leverage their public voices, download and read The Public Physician available for free on iTunes.

Medicine X – How Education Begins to Change

IMG_5318Medicine is changing fast. Yet, the way we train doctors is not changing nearly as fast. It’s reflected in an education system built for 20th century.

Over the past couple of days people began talking about it at a meeting called Medicine X | Ed. This is the first meeting to tackle the thorniest issues facing our next generation of doctors.

The meeting brought together patients, medical students, allied health professionals, and medical educators under roof. Medicine X Executive Director and founder began by asking participants to start by forgetting everything they knew about medical education. Our discussion reflected the most unique angles of training from the emerging role of inter professional education to information overload and medical students editing Wikipedia.

Perhaps the greatest opportunity of MedX | Ed is that it created a safe place to discuss how desperately things need to change. Disruption in medical education is undermined by a system designed to suppress change. And as noted by Clay Shirky, institutions will work to preserve the problem to which they are the solution. Real change in meded will not come from current institutional structures but grassroots efforts.

And it starts with a conversation.

Regarding conversations, it’s worth noting that Stanford Medicine X is the most discussed academic medical meeting in the world. So when it looks to tackle medical education, you might expect key med ed stakeholders to participate. The wasn’t necessarily the case. The absence of medical education’s highest organizational leadership at MedX Ed may speak to the failure to hear what the world is saying.

Either way, Medicine X | began the conversation. To learn more about MedX | Ed, check out Wing of Zock and Amol Utrankar’s post. Stanford’s Scope Blog has some nice coverage here.

Stay Tuned for Number Two


I’m thrilled to announce my latest project, Looking Out for Number Two. As you might imagine, it’s a book about poo. Specifically, baby poo. Imagine Number Two as a slightly irreverent guide to digestive health during the first year of life. From the … [Continue reading]

What Does a Surgeon Look Like?


If you want to see how public media has changed the way doctors are portrayed, look no further than #ilooklikeasurgeon. This hashtag meme shows how surgeons have defied a stereotype. Female surgeons have taken to the social airwaves with candid … [Continue reading]

Periscope as a Medical Medium


Doctors are increasingly sharing procedures on Periscope. For the uninformed, Periscope is an in-line Twitter application that facilitates live, personal broadcasting. Most recently, an achilles tendon repair from Ohio State was ’scoped'. I thought … [Continue reading]