Archive - Apr 2011

April 30th

Should Doctors and Patients be Friends Online?

As many of my regular readers know, I have been a long time advocate for social media and I over the winter, I took a position as Social Media Manager for The Community Health Center, Inc. headquartered in Middletown, CT.

With that, I’ve joined the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Recently, we’ve been having a discussion about whether doctors and patients should be friends online. It started around the blog post, Boundaries in all their shades of gray.

It seemed like much of the discussion was focused on the doctors, and not on the patients, so I thought I would try to get a sense of what everyone else is thinking. So, I posted a question on Facebook:

Would You Like Your Doctors to Follow you on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites?

So far, close to 70 people have responded. Over half have answered ‘no’, which I find quite interesting and I plan on writing more about this soon.

First, however, I need to note various problems. This is not a scientific survey. Anyone can change their vote at any time. The folks being surveyed are my friends on Facebook as well as any friends of friends or other people that might have stumbled across the survey. The current results are shown, which may influence responses, and there is not exploration into the demographics of who has responded and only a comment section where some people explain their reasoning.

There have been various comments that reflect some of the underlying thoughts.

“Don't see why would it matter. I mean, it's not like my doctor is the only one who gets to see me naked ;-)”

“my dr. has his hands full trying to get my blood pressure under control.”

“I'd like my doc to be my friend on facebook, with the caveat that insurance companies NOT be able to use any info on my FB page to block access to care.”

“there's far too many ways institutions can use 'raw data' as implications, wrongly I might add.”

“I don't imagine there's anything on my Facebook that could negatively affect my care or coverage, but you know? People have been unpleasantly surprised by things like this before.”

“I don't get the issue... If you're hiding things from your doctor, that's kinda short sighted isn't it?

If I've learned anything from House, it's that the thing you are lying about is the thing that is killing you!”

“I'll bet it's a generational thing ... When you're almost 50 you remember a time when every little thing about you was not instantaneous knowledge to everyone who's ever met you.”

So, what do you think? Please, consider adding your vote and your comments.

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April 29th

Reflections on The Royal Wedding

I must admit mixed feelings about ‘The Royal Wedding’. Many of my friends have shunned the whole event, much more concerned with the nuclear disaster in Japan, the fighting in Libya, Syria, and many other places, the devastation of the storms in the southern United States, and so on. They have commented about how the money could have been saved and given to the poor. (Ref Matthew 26:6-13). They have commented about whether royalty is still relevant and whether we should celebrate the British caste system.

Others remember the paparazzi at the time of Princess Diana’s death and shun anything smacking of spectacle. I’m not a big fan of spectacle either, although I do try to stay on topic of popular trends.

So, this morning, I awoke and watched some of the ceremony. I’m an Episcopalian, the U.S. version of an Anglican, and the wedding was a traditional Anglican wedding. It felt very familiar to me. I love the hymn ‘Guide Us O Thou Great Redeemer ‘. As I watched, I thought about various prayers from various services that all those witnessing the ceremony would have their vows strengthened. I thought the homily was great, that every wedding is a royal event and calling on all people to be transformed by allowing God’s love to flow through us.

Later, I saw tweets asking if we really need a countdown to the royal kiss. I thought about the song from the movie “A Mighty Wind”. Yes, it is a comic look at folk music, yet the iconic song from the movie seems somehow apt.

In tales of ancient glory,
Every knight and maiden fair,
Shall be joined when the quest is over,
And the kiss is the oath that they swear.

Oh, when the veil of dreams has lifted,
And the fairy tales have all been told.
There's a kiss at the end of the rainbow,
More precious than a pot of gold.

As the ceremonies end, I hope everyone takes a moment to think seriously about love and commitment, not as part of some spectacle, but as a sacred part of who we are.

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April 28th

Gov. Howard Dean and Fiona's Radio Show

November 8, 2003. Kim and I drove up to Burlington, VT for a campaign event for Howard Dean, who was running for President. Fiona had turned two the month before, and we ended up getting a picture of Gov. Dean and Fiona.

Fiona and Gov. Dean

After Gov. Dean ended his presidential bid, he encouraged his supporters to stay involved and to consider running for office. Kim ran for State Representative and Gov. Dean came to our house to do a fundraiser. Another picture of Fiona was taken and shared online.

Fiona and Howard

The following summer, we went down to DemocracyFest in Austin, TX. At the end of Gov. Dean’s speech, Fiona rushed up on the stage and there was another picture taken of her and the Governor.

Fiona at Demfest 2005

In October of that year and the following year, Gov. Dean returned to Connecticut and more pictures of Fiona were taken.

Fiona and Howard

Fiona and the Governor

It is hard to imagine, but this year, Fiona will turn ten. She has stayed involved with politics, including doing a mostly weekly radio show covering a wide variety of topics. She has had members of congress and candidates for state and local office as guests on her radio show.

This week, she will have a special guest, Gov. Howard Dean. It should be an interesting show and I hope you consider tuning in.

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April 27th

Wordless Wednesday

IMAG0007, originally uploaded by Aldon.

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April 26th

Sheehy, Massie, Trippi, and Alicea

Between my new job and this being a relatively quite period in electoral politics, I haven’t written much about candidates recently. However, there are a few different things that I should write about.

First, Woodbridge will be having Municipal elections next Monday. First Selectman Ed Sheehy is running for re-election, and If I wasn’t so busy, I’d be out working hard to get him re-elected. He’s done a good job for Woodbridge.

Then, there is the news about Bob Massie’s campaign for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I met Bob about thirty years ago, and I’m very excited about his campaign. Today, another exciting development happened. Joe Trippi joined Bob’s campaign. Also today, it was announce that Alan Khazei was making another bid for the seat. The little bit that I’ve read about Khazei sound very interesting and if Massie wasn’t running, I could imagine supporting him.

One final bit of Massachusetts politics: I received a call yesterday about Geraldo Alicea’s campaign for State Rep. in Massachusetts. He had run in November and tied his opponent. There is a rematch for May 10th and Democrats are hoping to get the Latino vote out, a vote they say was suppressed by conservatives talking about the need for a voter-id law in Massachusetts. Hopefully, some of my friends can help get the vote out for Rep. Alicea.

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