Thursday, May 24, 2007

Loss of Physician Bloggers; Potpourri

Kevin MD has been keeping the blogosphere up to date on the sudden loss of two anonymous physician bloggers, Flea (archived blog) and Fat Doctor. For those of you not following all of this, basically the medical blogging community comes in two flavors, anonymous and not.

The anonymous bloggers have the ability to demonstrate some of the inner frustrations and joys of being a health care professional, and these have been some of the most well read blogs. Flea, a pediatrician, was one of the most popular medical blogs of 2006. The personal stories and good writing made for entertaining and interesting reads. Most early medical blogs started as anonymous and the most visited medical blogs are usually by anonymous people. But the personal stories about interactions with patients started to get some people suspicious of HIPAA and patient's rights, and Flea, in the middle of a malpractice suit, was blogging a lot of what was happening with some of the identifying details removed.

Drew and I have decided to go the non-anonymous route to ensure credibility and responsibility in our open discussions. Now of course as you know that means we still can touch on sensitive and taboo subjects, especially given that death in general is taboo. But hopefully by having our identities known we can establish trust, and maintain a site that will be helpful for years to come.
I know this does not have a lot to do with hospice and palliative care, but it kind of affects Pallimed, so I thought you should all get a chance for some insight into our little piece of the world here.

With all that being said, our good anonymous friend, HospiceGuy has a post about a hospice article from MGH.
And a few other news tidbits:

Kevorkian is likely to be let out of jail on June 1st after serving 8 of his 25 years in a Michigan prison. So get ready for a few news items to pop up and for family, friends, patients, and co-workers to ask your opinion on the whole Kevorkian/euthanasia issue. You heard it hear first!

And philosophy students get "Epi-curious" about why one should not fear death. What do you think some of your patients might say if they read this post?

The makers of Worlds of Warcraft, the engrossing online game, gave a 10-year old boy with metastatic cancer his 'Make-A-Wish', by allowing him to create a character in the online world. They also let him make his dog into a charcter, pictured below. That is pretty cool. (Thanks to Kevin MD for the link.)
(First Photo courtesy of user june c oka)
(Second Photo courtesy of Blizzard via

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