Thursday, October 25, 2012

USA Today article on #bcsm weekly tweetchat

Kudos and thanks to Liz Szabo (@LizSzabo on Twitter) from USA Today for her 10/23/12 article "Breast cancer survivor group is a social movement" about the weekly breast cancer social media (hashtag #bcsm on Twitter) tweetchat and online support group.  Co-founded by two breast cancer survivors/bloggers Jody Schoger (@jodyms) and Alicia Staley (@stales) a little over a year ago, the group has blossomed into a vibrant community of support for breast cancer patients and their families, caregivers, friends, and many other interested folks. If you're unfamiliar with the lingo, a tweetchat is a virtual meet-up on Twitter at a specified time, often repeated weekly or at some other interval, around a predetermined hashtag, which is a type of metadata. The conversation is often organized around questions or topics posted by the moderator, although tweetchats are by definition unstructured and free-flowing. Here's a more detailed explanation. 

The USA Today story emphasizes the power of the community that has arisen out of this online gathering. While it seems improbable that meaningful interaction could really occur over the exchange of 140-character tweets, that is exactly what happens, and the online conversation is deeply-nuanced and powerful. I have been honored to be a guest expert on #bcsm, and I frequently join in the conversation, which occurs most Monday evenings at 9:00 pm Eastern time.

I appreciate Liz Szabo allowing me to be quoted for the article and more importantly for publicizing the existence of the group and the good that it is doing. This is another example of how social media provide opportunities for connection and community that transcends geographical, institutional, and socioeconomic boundaries.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Help me show a group of physicians the power of social media

I'm going to be giving Grand Rounds for the Department of Medicine at University of California, Irvine School of Medicine on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at noon PDT, as I mentioned in an earlier blog post. The title of my talk is "Social Media and the Digital Physician - #UCIMedGrandRounds." Since it would probably be a wee bit too challenging to try to livetweet my talk while actually giving my talk (I'm good, but not THAT good), I decided to pre-schedule a series of tweets using HootSuite with the #UCIMedGrandRounds" hashtag, to be posted during the talk, roughly correlated to the topics I am covering at the time. I fully plagiarized this idea from @colleen_young, who pulled this off in spectacular fashion I am told at the 2012 #Med2 conference in Boston - props to you!

So I am hoping that my Twitter community will join in the fun next Tuesday 10/16 at noon Pacific time. Please follow the #UCIMedGrandRounds hashtag that day, and "wave" to the audience by introducing yourselves to them via Twitter. I'll send out a few reminders at the start of the talk. While I don't know how social media savvy my physician audience will be, since it's an academic medical center I suspect that penetration of Twitter may be fairly minimal. I am hoping we can generate a little buzz by showing them the power of connection and interaction that we find in social media. Maybe we will get a few converts! Thanks.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Breast cancer links page

This blog post will be a work in progress, and I'll probably keep updating it. I was motivated to do this to try to put together a list of online references for my own breast cancer patients. I do regret I haven't really done this in quite a few years. I frequently refer patients to the Hopkins Breast Center web site or Cancer.Net, but obviously there are many other choices. I will generally only list institutional, non-profit, or governmental sites, and usually only those with which I am reasonably familiar. While there is much good content on commercial sites and social media sites, it is not my intent to focus on those here.

Curation of online content - in my humble opinion - is an important role for the 21st century physician. In a perfect world, I would spend part of every visit, or at least every new patient visit, pointing my patients to online references that complement what we covered during the visit and help them further understand their diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment options. The truth is, it is very challenging to find the time to do that. That is not likely to change until we have our EHR fully implemented at Hopkins next spring, with the patient portal in place and automated after-visit summary generated with each visit. I am optimistic that the technology will facilitate this type of educational offering.

I welcome recommendations of other web sites that my readers have found helpful. As mentioned, I intend to focus largely on reputable institutional sites, but I will read every suggestion. Please leave me a comment below or suggest a site to me on Twitter (@rsm2800).

And now the obligatory disclaimer stuff...

The links that I list below are from organizations that are reputable and have a history of producing high quality , credible patient-education information. If I approve a blog comment mentioning other sites/resources, I am sharing it but not necessarily endorsing it. Obviously, all of these sites are from third parties, and I do not control their content. And as I say in the disclaimer on my home page, this blog is not medical advice. Always consult your physician for specific medical questions about your condition.

General Breast Cancer Information

Cancer.Net - Cancer Types>>Breast Cancer

NCCN Guidelines for Patients - Breast Cancer

National Cancer Institute - Breast Cancer Home Page

American Cancer Society - Breast Cancer Overview

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center - Breast Cancer Program Home Page

Drug Information

Drug Index - British Columbia Cancer Agency

American Cancer Society - Guide to Cancer Drugs

National Cancer Institute - Cancer Drug Information

WebMD - Drug and Medication List

Clinical Trials

National Cancer Institute - Clinical Trials Search

American Cancer Society Clinical Trials Matching Service

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center Breast Cancer Program - Clinical Trials Page

Breast Cancer/General Oncology News Research News

MedPage Today - Oncology/Hematology Information Center

Oncolink - Cancer News

Coping/Supportive Care

National Cancer Institute - Coping with Cancer: Supportive and Palliative Care

Cancer.Net - Coping - For Patients and Survivors

Oncolink - Cancer Support and Coping with Cancer


Cancer.Net - Survivorship Page

LIVESTRONG - Cancer Transitions

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center - Breast Cancer Survivorship Care