EyeonFDA Blog: Why FDA Needs to Be Clear About Social Media

Posted in Social Media

Mark Senak, author of the EyeonFDA blog and a life sciences/healthcare social media enthusiast, wrote a fantastic piece yesterday that provides cogent ideas and insights into the need for FDA to expeditiously craft guidance on the use of social media in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

Here are the facts. First, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, social media has fundamentally changed the way in which we interact with one another and ushered in a new era of communication. Unlike the old, so-called “broadcast communication method”—information is continuously streamed from a static source, websites, television, radio etc, to perspective customers and stakeholders—the new paradigm requires that communications must be personal, portable and participatory for effective messaging. Second, the primary source of information sought by most persons who use the Internet is healthcare and medical information. While much of the content is accurate, some is not; which may put persons seeking medical information at great risk. In other words, social media is not just about marketing and medical education; it is also about preserving public health.

The agency has historically been unable to issue guidance on new forms of communication. For example, FDA held its first public meeting in 1996 on Internet use by life sciences and healthcare companies. Sadly, the agency has yet to issue any official guidance on this topic. In late 2009, FDA held another public meeting and promised that draft guidance on the internet and social media would be forthcoming by the end of 2010. Unfortunately the guidance did not materialize in 2010 and it has been delayed twice in 2011. Recently, the agency publicly reaffirmed its commitment to issuing the guidance but without a specific timetable for its release. Consequently, it is anyone’s guess when or if the guidance will be released.

Unlike many, I do not believe that FDA guidance on the Internet and social media is absolutely necessary. However, I will admit that issuance of said guidance will provide drug and healthcare companies with some of the assurances that they need in order to actively use social media to engage patients, physicians and other stakeholders. For this reason alone, FDA ought to issue the guidance (which is never perfect and always a work in progress) and end the social media stalemate that currently exists. Failure to do so may have serious consequences on the public health of many Americans.

Hat tip to Mark!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!

 

The 25 Best Biomedicine And Healthcare Informatics Blogs

Posted in BioEducation

William Hooper author of the HealthTechTopia blog which focuses on biomedicine and healthcare informatics compiled a top 25 list of the best biomedicine blogs on the web. 

While BioJobBlog failed to make the list, BioCrowd was listed at number 14. This is what the HealthTechTopia blog had to say about BioCrowd, the online networking site created by Vincent Racaniello and me.

“So where can you get blog entries from tons of biomedicine enthusiasts? With a stop here. The site was built to help bioscience professionals build relationships, exchange ideas, find jobs, and identify exciting new career opportunities.”

Best Blogs on Biomedicine by an Individual

These experts in biomedicine take it on at all angles.

  1. Biotech/ Biomedical
    Join Dr. Theresa Phillips as she uses her experience to provide her readers with tools, tips, strategies, and information about the industry. She has a broad background in a number of different areas of biotechnology and biomedical research, including having worked for two biotech companies in the environmental remediation industry. Must reads include a career in biotech and six approaches to phytoremediation.
  2. Terry Etherton Blog on Biotechnology
    Dr. Etherton is a Distinguished Professor of Animal Nutrition and Head of the Department of Dairy and Animal Science at Penn State University. His research specialty is the area of endocrine regulation of animal growth and nutrient metabolism. Genetically modified crops and cloned livestock are the latest blog topics.
  3. Eye on DNA
    Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei is a PhD-trained epidemiologist and biotech consultant, as well as a Stanford and JohnHopkinsUniversity graduate. One of her focuses is on how both genome and internet technology are going to change the world. Popular articles include DNA toys and “100 Facts About DNA.”
  4. Gary Rabin
    He is the Chairman of Advanced Cell Technology. They are a biotechnology company that specializes in the development of cellular therapies for the treatment of rare and common diseases that impact millions of people worldwide. The blog often lists their accomplishments as well as related items in biotech.
  5. Building Confidence
    Blogger Russ Altman is also a professor at StanfordUniversity. His writings are a way to share commentary on issues related to his professional expertise, which is biomedical informatics, genetics, medicine, and bioengineering. He also has a quick tutorial on the subject of bioinformatics.
  6. Gene Expression
    Razib Khan’s degrees are in biochemistry and biology. He has blogged about genetics since 2002, previously worked in software development, and is an Unz Foundation Junior Fellow. A standout choice for often integrating pop culture and news items into bio-learning.
  7. Biotech Blog
    Yali Friedman lives in Washington, DC and is the author of “Building Biotechnology” and other books. He is also the founder of DrugPatentWatch and chief editor of the “Journal of Commercial Biotechnology.” Check out his blog for thoughts and news on the commercial, legal, political, and scientific aspects of biotech.
  8. Expression Patterns
    Proving again that biomedicine isn’t just for men is Eva Amsen. She recently moved from research to editing and from biochemistry to developmental biology. In addition to science, she also blogs about the arts.
  9. Public Rambling
    What sounds like a blog for the latest commentary on the latest scandal is actually a scientific one. Pedro Beltrao stops here to write about what he thinks on bioinformatics, science, and technology. Omics was the topic of a recent post.
  10. Science Roll
    Bertalan Meskó graduated from the University of Debrecen, Medical School and Health Science Center in 2009 and started PhD studies in the field of personalized genomics. His blog is now a journey through genetics and medicine. Biomedicine in the news and his reaction are often the topic of posts.

Best Blogs on Biomedicine by a Group

Check out these groups and sites for a collective view of biomedicine and related areas.

  1. The Daily Scan
    Part of Genome Web, there are several blogs on biomedicine to choose from. They include entries on cancer and informatics. The main site has more for those interested in biomedicine such as news, careers, and a magazine.
  2. ISAAA
    Click here for the official blog from the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications. They have a newsfeed that is constantly updated and divided by crop biotech, biofuels supplement, and more. There are also other learning resources offered.
  3. Fierce Biotech
    Get just the news with a visit here. Several stories a day are on all the advancements and announcements in the field. You can also choose by biomarkers, events, whitepapers, and much more.
  4. BioCrowd
    So where can you get blog entries from tons of biomedicine enthusiasts? With a stop here. The site was built to help bioscience professionals build relationships, exchange ideas, find jobs, and identify exciting new career opportunities.
  5. Growers for Biotechnology
    Their mission is to promote and facilitate the research, development and acceptance of biotechnology in agriculture. The news stream has the latest in developments in biology for food. You can also get other biotech info such as why growers use biotech and reports.
  6. BMC Biotechnology
    This is an open access journal publishing original peer-reviewed articles on the manipulation of biological macromolecules or organisms. Use in experimental procedures, cellular, and tissue engineering, as well as in the pharmaceutical, agricultural biotechnology, and allied industries are also shared. Current featured articles are on glucosinolate engineering and cytokine inhibition.
  7. Biotechnology Journal
    Can’t make it to the library to read the latest issue or shell out a subscription fee? Then click here to get many issues offering free articles as a PDF. There are also other biomedicine items available.
  8. Colorado Bioscience Association
    The CBSA is a not-for-profit corporation providing services and support for Colorado’s growing biosciences industry. Their blog contains news releases, links to articles, and other related information of interest. Maggie Chamberlin Holben of their marketing department has more.
  9. Biomedicine on Display
    This is the blog of Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen. They focus on the display of visual and material culture in museums, laboratories, and clinics with a goal of promoting contemporary biomedicine. Materialism was the subject of the latest post.
  10. BioSpace
    Finally, stop here to get items on life, science, and the community with the biologist in mind. Top breaking news and featured stories are often included. You can also search by biotech, medical, clinical research, and academic entries.

Best Blogs on Specific Biomedicine

Learn more about a specific area of biomedicine below.

  1. The Spittoon
    Get the writings from the pro’s at 23 and Me here. They specialize in using saliva to analyze the nearly one million locations in a person’s genome. Readers of the blog are given a deeper understanding of DNA and related areas.
  2. Genetic Future
    So how will all this biomedicine and such affect us in the future? That is the very question that genome researcher Daniel MacArthur strives to answer. Part of Wired Blogs, he focuses on the fast moving world of human genetics and why companies will sell you info on your own DNA.
  3. OnBioVC
    But can all this biomedicine talk be used to turn a profit? With a visit to this blog, the answer can be “yes.” They specialize in reporting on bioscience venture capital data.
  4. Blog,Bioethics.net
    As with any science, ethics is going to come into play. Get a blog especially for the ethics surrounding biology here. The editors of “The American Journal of Bioethics” use it to inform and discuss more on the subject with the public.
  5. Bioethics Discussion Blog
    Because one view on anything ethical isn’t enough, click here. Dr. Maurice Bernstein is a physician and medical school teacher who moderates the discussion. With entries dating back to 2004, make time for tons of bioethics.

No matter if you are a student studying for a PhD or just a fan of science, there is loads to learn on the above 25 best blogs on biomedicine.

 

Using Social Media Tools to Improve Information Flow At Scientific and Medical Meetings

Posted in Social Media

Science and medical conference season is in full swing and tens of thousands of persons are attending scientific and medical meeting all over the US. While social media is no longer a new “thing” only a few scientific and medical societies understand its power and ways in which it may be harnessed to improve the experiences of their members who attend their national meetings. 

At most of the scientific conferences that I attend (usually four to fiver per year), people still lug around and are tethered to printed program guides. Further there is no easily accessible electronic repository (aside from the conference website) or guide that conference attendees can use to optimize time management and see “everything” that they want to at the meeting. Unfortunately, most scientific and medical conferences are still being run the same way that they have been for the past 30 years despite improvements to internet access and bandwidth, the advent of social media and the recent explosion of mobile devices and apps.

Finally, and perhaps most egregiously, rather than publicly disseminating what is being reported at these meetings, conference attendees and the lay public must rely on carefully orchestrated press releases (chosen in advance by the organizing committees of the meetings) for information and late-breaking news from the events. This is so web 1.0 that it is almost laughable.

Until last week, I thought that I was the only person who felt this way about social media and medical and scientific congresses. Imagine my surprise when no fewer than three others social media enthusiasts including Mark Senak, author of the EyeonFDA blog, Brian Reid, author of the WCG Common Sense Blog and Sally Church, author of the Pharma Strategy Blog, last week authored posts on the topic! It is always refreshing to find like-minded individuals to confirm that you are not alone!

Unfortunately, many scientific and medical societies like to tightly control information flow, limit access to it and, not surprisingly, are quite suspicious of social media. This is because the use of social media decreases the ability of these societies and their journals to control their messaging and content dissemination. With this in mind, is it any wonder why American scientific and medical literacy is pretty much in the “toilet?”  While the lay public may not be able to understand peer-reviewed scientific and medical publications, they have grown accustomed to gathering information on Facebook, Twitter and most importantly blogs. Why not use these vehicles to better inform the public about scientific or medical breakthroughs that have been validated and generally regarded as authentic?

Like it or not, social media is here to stay. And if leveraged correctly, it can be an extremely effective educational tool. I think that it is time for scientific and medical societies to consider using social media at their annual meetings. A failure to do so may have negative consequences for future membership in these societies and also reduce their effectiveness as purveyors of timely and accurate scientific and medical information!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Mobile HealthCare Applications Represent the Next Frontier in the Life Sciences Industry

Posted in Social Media

While the debate rages on over the use of social media in the life sciences industry, industry experts and insiders have largely ignored the growing importance of mobile healthcare and its use by healthcare professionals and patients. Consumers and professionals are increasingly using their mobile devices for healthcare information. They are also interacting with healthcare providers and colleagues on their mobile phones. 85% of US consumers have cell phones and growing vs. only 65% of Americans which have broadband access. Further, the divide between mobile use and broadband Internet access is increasing. According to a Manhattan Research report 70% of Physicians say PDAs/Smartphones are "essential" to their practice.

Because of the growing importance of mobile healthcare communications, the Manhattan-based Business Development Institute decided to organize a conference around this theme. The primary goal of the conference is to address the following questions:

  1. How do healthcare brands connect and interact with consumers via mobile strategies?
  2. How do healthcare brands connect and interact with healthcare professionals via mobile strategies?
  3. What are the leading technologies being used for mobile strategies?
  4. How do you deal with regulatory hurdles when implementing mobile campaigns?
  5. How do you integrate your mobile strategies into your enterprise-wide marketing, communications and social media platforms?
  6. What are the leading monitoring and measuring approaches/technologies being employed for mobile campaigns?

Person giving presentations at the meeting include:

Lance Hill, CEO, Within3
Ray Kerins, Vice President/Worldwide Communications, Pfizer Inc.
Marc Monseau, Director, Corporate Communications and Social Media, Johnson & Johnson
Todd Siesky, Public Relations Manager, Roche Diabetes Care
 
Date: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: The Graduate Center of The City University of NY; 365 Fifth Avenue; New York, New York 10016
Registration Fee: $195
Website:http://www.bdionline.com/mobilehealthcare.html

For more information, including registration, please click here to visit the event website. Use promo code BC for a discounted rate of $155.

Please contact Steve Etzler at setzler@bdionline.com or 212-765-8045 for additional information.

See you at the meeting!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!

 

Biotechnology and Related Health Sciences Jobs Rank Highest for College Graduates in 2010

Posted in BioJobBuzz

A recent study conducted by University of California San Diego Extension ranks careers in the health and life sciences fields at the top for recent college graduates. Sandy Bloom of GreatDegree.com recently wrote an article (see below) that provides insights and tips on how recent college graduate may be able to “snag” one of these up and coming hot jobs!

Hot Careers for College Graduates in 2010

By Sandy Bloom

For college graduates, landing a first job can be daunting, especially in hard economic times. But a recent report released by UC San Diego Extension, “Hot Careers for College Graduates in 2010,” shows that for certain career paths, finding a job may be easier than you think.

Nearly half of the top careers listed in the study stem from the health and bio fields, including the areas of health information technology and health law.

After earning a health degree or online biology degree, you can soon be working in one of these hot jobs, too.  Here’s how:

Health Information Technology

The report ranks careers in health information technology at the top because physicians and hospitals must update their medical records systems to be completely electronic in the coming years. Health information technicians are responsible for organizing these medical records, ensuring the records are accurate and complete, and updating the patients’ files electronically. According to the Department of Labor, employment of medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase by 20 percent over the next eight years.

Those looking to work in this high-demand profession should earn an associate’s degree with coursework in health information. Most employers prefer hiring credentialed medical record and health information technicians who have passed a credentialing exam. Experienced medical records and health information technicians advance their careers by earning bachelor’s or master’s degrees in biology, math, chemistry, health, and computer science.

Clinical Trials Design and Management For Oncology

The second ranked “hottest” career is clinical trial managers, specifically for cancer drugs. According to the report, “as the population ages, diseases are becoming more prevalent” and cures for those diseases are in demand. Clinical trial managers must oversee researchers who dedicate years to researching and testing before getting experimental drugs approved and brought to the market.

To become a clinical trial manager, you should earn a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, or another life science. Then, receive a post-baccalaureate certificate to be certified by the Academy of Clinical Research Professions. Those working toward this in-demand career should partake in observation study courses or internships to observe a clinical trial in progress. Lastly, sign up to take online computer science courses to become familiar with Clinical Trial Management Systems.

Geriatric Health Care

According to last census in 2000, some 14 million seniors ages 65 and older report some level of disability that needs extra care. That means there is a huge demand for elder care professionals such as nurses, doctors, and nursing care professionals specializing in geriatric health care. In addition, because of the increasing incidence of mental illness among the aging, there is also a high demand for psychology professionals trained to treat older patients.

Training to be a nurse, a doctor, or psychiatrist or psychologist requires a bachelor’s degree in science as well as completion of board exams and residencies.

Occupational Health and Safety

Occupational Health and Safety Specialists (OHSS) analyze work environments to prevent injury by studying trends or patterns of injury and illness. They then suggest policy changes and develop and implement programs to improve conditions or practices that are dangerous. Environmental health and safety officers, ergonomists, health physicists, and industrial hygienists all perform this type of work.

To become an occupational health and safety specialist, you should earn a bachelor’s degree in a science or engineering discipline or a Master’s degree in science or in public health. All specialists must be trained on the law and inspection procedures through classroom and on-the-job training.

Other careers to consider include synthetic biology, regenerative medicine, stem cell research and medical devices including molecular diagnostics.

Hat tip to GreatDegree.com

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!

 

Pharma and YouTube: An Update

Posted in Social Media

Earlier this week, Mark Senak who writes the EyeonFDA blog, offered his insights and analysis of pharma’s relationship with Twitter. Today, he tackled YouTube and Pharma. While YouTube has been around a lot longer than Twitter, pharma’s use (with the exception of Johnson and Johnson, Sanofi-Aventis and Tibotec) of the popular video-sharing site has been extremely limited despite the ability of the entity that posts the video to eliminate or regulate the ability of users to leave and share comments after viewing it. 

I suspect that the industry’s reluctance to use YouTube may be related to the lack of regulatory guidance for this medium. Nevertheless, I don’t completely understand why drug makers have chosen not to use the widely popular video site to increase patient awareness about certain medical conditions or to promote patient wellness. These types of videos would likely be appreciated by the public and quite possibly help to repair tarnished image of the pharmaceutical industry held by many consumers and stakeholders.

Hat tip to Mark!

Until next time….

Good Luck and Good Viewing!!!!!

 

Viagra: "The Next Generation"

Posted in BioBusiness

Pfizer was the first to bring us ED (erectile dysfunction) and now two companies—one large (Johnson and Johnson) and one small (Sciele Pharma)—are daring to boldly go where no MAN has gone before: to conquer PE aka premature ejaculation!

According to a brilliantly-crafted story by Natasha Singer published in this Sunday’s New York Times business section, JnJ developed a pill called Priligy which is intended for men who ejaculate before intercourse or within a few seconds after beginning. Priligy which is intended to help to prolong latency before orgasm is approved and sold in nine countries but hasn’t been approved for sale in the US. On the other hand (so to speak), little known, Atlanta, GA-based Sciele Pharma is planning to seek regulatory approval for a prescription aerosol-based product that is sprayed on the skin (in this case the penis) to prolong latency and forestall ejaculation. While the true incidence of PE is uncertain, the manufacturers of these medications want men (and women) to believe that the condition is more pervasive and prevalent than reported. 

Interestingly, the worldwide sales of Pfizer’s Viagra were approximately $1.93 billion last year. As previously noted on BioJobBlog, Viagra celebrated its 10th anniversary of marketing approval last March. If you do the math, almost $20 billion dollars worth of Viagra prescriptions were written over the past decade. This suggests that many millions of men must suffer from ED worldwide. However, for those of you who may not know, Viagra also works quite well for healthy, sexually active males who don’t suffer from ED. It is generally acknowledged that it is this segment of the male population that is responsible for the annual blockbuster sales of Viagra and related medications. Also, it is important to note that prior to the introduction of Viagra, ED wasn’t a recognized clinical indication (it was known as impotence) and there were very effective treatments for it. And while ED is a legitimate quality-of-life issue, it occurs in only a small percentage of sexually active males; mostly in older men with hypertension, cardiovascular conditions or those who have had their prostates removed.

Viagra, like Botox, Latisse and others, is classified as a so-called “lifestyle” drugs. Generally speaking, lifestyle drugs are developed to improve the quality of life of patients not treat potentially life threatening diseases or conditions. In her article, Ms. Singer takes the pharmaceutical industry to task about the development of  blockbuster lifestyle drugs.

“But creating a blockbuster quality-of-life drug like Viagra involves more than just being innovative or being first. Sometimes it requires a drug maker to create and market a whole new category of disease.

The template goes something like this: Start with a legitimate quality-of-life issue — like fitful sleep or shyness — that does not yet have its own prescription medication and is debilitating to a few people a lot of the time. Next, position the quality-of-life issue as a medical condition with symptoms so common it covers vast numbers of people who had previously not identified themselves as having a health problem, or who thought they were just experiencing an occasional and normal annoyance.

Articles in medical journals with high estimates on the prevalence of the issue help convince doctors and journalists of its scope. F.D.A. approval of the new drug legitimizes the condition as a problem with a medical solution.

While there is no doubt that some men are distressed about their inability to control their orgasms, there is little concrete evidence to suggest that there is an epidemic of premature ejaculation”

Although I have never used Viagra, I have a few “older male friends” who swear by it! And, while I have no doubt that Viagra and the new medications being developed to treat PE may benefit a few men, is it appropriate to elevate premature ejaculation to a bona fide clinical indication and spend billions to develop and market treatments for it? Don’t get me wrong; I am not trying to minimize the emotional distress and discomfort associated with PE. But, the last time I checked, PE didn’t make the top ten lists of the world’s most devastating and debilitating clinical indications or unmet medical needs!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!

 

Antibiotic Resistance and Healthcare: A Telling Statistic

Posted in Career Advice

I have refrained from commenting on healthcare reform until now because there wasn’t much I could add to the debate. That said, while reading an article in a local paper on bacterial antibiotic resistance and how to minimize it, the author—an infectious disease doc—offered a telling statistic that identified the root problem with our current healthcare system. According to the article, 65% of the time, physicians will prescribe antibiotics to patients suffering from upper respiratory tract infections who demand them, whether or not they are warranted. In marked contrast, 12% of patients with upper respiratory tract infections who don’t ask for antibiotics receive antibiotic prescriptions. The bottom line: physicians give patients the drugs and treatment they demand because they are afraid of losing them as customers knowing full well the patients will go to another physician who will give them what they want! After all, physicians are in business and to stay in business they need to make enough money to cover their overhead and make a profit. However, over prescribing antibiotics is one of the main reasons why we are in the midst of an epidemic of infections caused by multiple drug resistant bacteria. In my opinion, business outcomes should never supersede or trump medical or public health outcomes.

Don’t get me wrong, I am an entrepreneur and believe that people with good ideas ought to be rewarded for their efforts and make as much money as they can. However, in my opinion, for profit business practices and healthcare haven’t historically worked well for the American healthcare system. Removing profit incentives from healthcare would be an important first step to begin to repair our broken healthcare system. Can anybody say public option?

Until next time…

Good Luck and Support the Public Option!!!!

 

Religion, Infectious Diseases and Medical Care

Posted in Career Advice

It has been a long standing practice of mine to avoid co-mingling science and religious issues in any of the materials that I post online. I have refrained from doing this because I believe that enough tension already exists between religious advocates and scientists.   However, I was unable to control myself today after my wife pointed out two interesting articles in Wednesday’s New York Times.

The first article dealt with Pope Benedict XVI’s views on condom use and HIV transmission in Africa. Yesterday in Cameroon, he publicly said, for the first time, that condoms are not the answer to Africa’s fight against AIDS. Not only did this statement send a collective shiver down the spines of many HIV health workers, clergy working with AIDS patients are divided on the issue. The pope told reporters that “You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem.” Apparently, church dogma suggests that fidelity in marriage and abstinence from premarital sex are crucial weapons in the fight against AIDS. There are currently 22 million people in sub-Saharan Africa infected with HIV and three-quarters of all HIV/AIDS deaths occur in the region. Apparently, attempting to be faithful and just saying no doesn’t seem to work in Africa—or anywhere else! The pope’s statement prompted a representative from the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa to say “Instead, his opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him than the lives of Africans.” Ironically, Africa is the fastest-growing region for the Roman Catholic Church.

The second article reported the results of a study which showed that terminally ill cancer patients who drew comfort from religion were almost three-times as likely to seek aggressive, life-prolonging treatments as compared with less religious patents. Also, the most religious patients were much more likely to ask doctors to do ‘everything possible to keep them alive.’  Study results showed that patients who were devout were three times as likely as less religious patients to be put on a mechanical ventilator to maintain breathing during the last week of life, and they were less likely to do any advance care planning, like signing a do-not-resuscitate order or preparing a living will. The findings prompted one of the study’s authors—it will appear in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)—to say “People think that spiritual patients are more likely to say their lives are in God’s hands — ’Let what happens happen’ — but in fact we know they want more aggressive care.” To explain this apparent paradox, the author speculated “To religious people, life is sacred and sanctified and there’s a sense they feel it’s their duty and obligation to stay alive as long as possible.” Alternately, in my opinion it may be that religious people haven’t adequately dealt with the possibility of their demise and are hoping for miracles—medical or religious— to keep them alive because they are deathly (pun intended) afraid of dying? Regardless, aggressive life-prolonging care is expensive, Medicare spends about one-third of its budget on people who are in their last year of life and much of that is spent on patients at the very end of their lives. Moreover, researchers have found that aggressive end-of-live care for terminal patients frequently can lead to a more painful process of dying and greater shock and grief for family members.

One of the few places in the world where the nexus of religion and science is difficult to fathom is the US—one of the most scientifically advanced and religious nations in the world. Several years ago, I met a scientist at a FASBEB Career meeting who, for the first time, was able to successfully articulate to me how science and religion can co-exist in American society (she taught in the South). While I can’t recall her exact words, she said something like “Both science and religion have their purpose and place in society. However, they are belief systems that are not interchangeable. That is why I can believe in God and still fully endorse and embrace evolution. They serve different purposes for me and help me to live my life.” With this in mind, I don’t think that religious dogma should be invoked when it comes to treating patients or inhibiting advances in public health, science and medicine.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

BioCrowd Podcast: Web 2.0 and the Future of Medicine

Posted in Uncategorized

We were able to entice Berci Mesko —a Hungarian medical student who writes at ScienceRoll and is founder of Webicina —to chat with us about the transection of Web 2.0, science and medicine.

Berci, who only sleeps four hours each night, is a medical section editor at Wikipedia, runs courses in Second Life (and real life at his medical school) and can frequently be found on Twitter enlightening his followers on topics ranging from personalized RSS feeds for physicians to the latest breakthroughs in medical genetics. While this ought to be enough for most people, Berci told us that he always wanted to be a scientist and— to realize this dream— will be entering a PhD program next fall. He is a very bright, energetic and engaging fellow whose understanding of the relationships between physicians and patients are insightful and instructive.

Have a listen and also check out BioCrowd!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Listening!!!