How will BlogMed be different than other blogging events with a medical tracks?
Well, I guess it is the proverbial fork in the road. This is the multiple choice Paul Revere question (awake, dreaded Kraken of USMLE exams! I actually can't believe I am using the Paul Revere description, because I am Canadian and really had no idea about the one if by land thing until recently. We only have Laura Secord in the Great White North, well, and beer too).
Here is the question.
BlogMed 2011 would be used to:
1) To promote your brand/practice and sell stuff like books or other stuff. I use the term stuff, because a lot of what is sold cannot be connected back to medicine, even with very careful analysis.
2) To support evidenced based medicine in blogging
3) To disseminate your beliefs. Some of these are interesting ideas, and others a just dangerous and/or weird. In the dangerous/weird category are the vaccine causes autism folks, the free-birth promoters, and the colonic irrigators. There are many more, but I have just picked these as examples. The evidenced based reality is that vaccines do not cause autism, a skilled birth attendant makes labor and delivery safer for mom and baby, and a colonic irrigation does not clean out your "toxins," your liver and kidneys do!
4) To talk about the role of social media and new Internet based technologies in advancing the practice of medicine.
The answer is C, 2 and 4!
We may all have stuff to sell, and certainly you can make connections at the conference and pass out business cards and have whatever dinner on the side with whomever you like (hey Steve Jobs, I'm saving a spot on my dance card for you), but no one is going to get a lecture spot to talk about their book or acne products or whatever.
The evidenced-based medicine is very important to me, and I think must be a core concept behind BlogMed. Do an Internet search on any medical subject and chances are many of the pages that come up as hit 1, 2, or 3 will have grossly inaccurate information. One study looked at using "vaccine safety" and "vaccine dangers" and more than 60% of the information on the first page of hits was inacurrate. That is the stuff patients are reading. I think that people who want to be part of the BlogMed community need to commit to an an oath of Medical Internet Integrity, just like the Blogging with Integrity concept and product promotion. Yes, you have a right to say whatever you want on your own web site or blog...that's an amendment, right? I have no quarrel with that. Ideas and discussion are great things. However, if you have an MD/DO/RN/PhD after your name some people are going to accept your ramblings as truth. I think the public has a right to know if your content is evidenced-based or simply your own belief. There are "famous" doctors promoting the idea that HPV does not cause cancer, even though the Nobel Prize was awarded to the guy who proved it does! So, I am proposing a BlogMed widget (or you know, something like that), which people will post when their content is evidence based and not when it isn't. People who abuse the widget will end up on my list of general medical douchery.
Talking about social media and medicine will be the other focus. Because there are cool things going on. Blogging for better health care. Texting and e-mailing appointment reminders, sending health info and support by e-mail, e-mailing your doctor, and Skyping your doctor. And what about Facebook Fan pages for you practice, Twitter accounts, YouTube channels? There is so much to navigate and discuss. to figure out how all this can be folded into the batter of health care will take medical professionals and patients.
It will take people who care.
People like you.