Jun 19

Please, tell me about yourself…

If you visit davidrothman.net routinely or subscribe to its feed and haven’t taken this survey yet, please take 20 seconds to do so now? Thanks for indulging my curiosity. 🙂

If you’re reading this in your feed aggregator, you may need to visit the site itself to answer this single-qustion survey.

davidrothman.net Reader Survey

If you subscribe to or regularly read davidrothman.net, please select the radio button below that best describes your profession.

Medical librarian
Medical library paraprofessional
Non-medical librarian
Non-Medical Library paraprofessional
LIS Student
LIS Professor/Administrator
Medical Student
Nursing student
NP or PA
Other allied health professional
Bioinformatics professional
IT Professional
None of the above


Jun 19

MedicSpeak: Another Social Network for Health Professionals [edited]

MedicSpeak appears to be the latest in the ever-growing ranks of social networks for health professionals

MedicSpeak is a powerful networking site for Physicians, Biomedical Researchers, Medical/Biomedical Students. The objective is to enhance communication, collaborations, exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge. Keep in touch with your mentors, colleagues and students. Create clubs and invite people who share your interests.Upload videos about your lab, surgical procedures etc. Have fun!

Check out the previous posts below for a rundown of all the other networks created for a similar user base.

If I come across as unenthusiastic, it’s only because I am. With all the players in this particular field, you’d think that one or two would seek to differentiate themselves by innovating new features and promoting them proudly. Instead, each seems more and more like a carbon-copy of the last. An analogy: If I was starting up a new fast-food hamburger brand, wouldn’t you expect that I’d work hard at marketing what makes my brand different from McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s? How could I possibly hope to have my brand survive if I didn’t? Would you invest in a cola startup that didn’t have a way of showing the world that it offered something Coke and Pepsi don’t?

How to differentiate?
Great example: I learned today that RelaxDoc social network for physicians (previously mentioned here) grants its registered users free access to EBSCO’s DynaMed. How cool is that? For that reason alone, I’ll encourage clinicians I know to join RelaxDoc.
EBSCO’s Kathleen McEvoy clarifies:

Yes, DynaMed is available as a member benefit at RelaxDoc.com however, DynaMed and other databases from EBSCO are subscription based resources. They are not intended to be readily available for free on the Web, or through a simple registration process. EBSCO’s agreements are designed to provide access only to users appropriately-affiliated with a given subscribing organization. In the instance of relaxdoc.com, EBSCO is currently in contact with the company to rectify this situation. We apologize for any confusion that this situation has caused.


Note to Sermo (recently selected as the official social network of the AMA): If you get your users free access to UpToDate, I’ll certainly spend a lot more time posting about Sermo.

Previous posts about Social Networks for Clinicians

Jun 18

Meredith Corporation Acquiring Healia

We knew that Microsoft was acquiring MedStory– today we learn that Healia is being acquired by the Meredith Corporation.

Details here.

Should we perhaps be expecting more acquisitions of healthcare information vortals? How will such acquisitions and the heating up of this particular market impact the quality of search available to healthcare consumers from such vortals?

Jun 18

MedLib Geek Wanted at Memorial Sloan-Kettering

I visited this library a few months ago and thought it looked like a great place to work. If the description below sounds like you, get your resume to them quickly. This library has an all-professional staff and they are actively expanding in non-traditional ways. If I could, I’d apply myself. It looks like the (substantial) geek skill requirements are much more important to them than a background in health sciences, so this would be a great way for a library geek to enter the world of medical libraries.

Technology Integration Manager

Are you curious about cutting edge technologies? See yourself as a trailblazer? Do your friends and loved ones refer to you as a geek librarian? Come fly with us as we create, innovate and integrate!

The Library at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) is accepting applications for a library technology position that will develop and maintain databases and applications, integrate current and future systems, and maintain and troubleshoot the technical components of the library’s web site and web applications.

As an applicant, you will exhibit traits of self-motivation, curiosity, out-of-the-box thinking and personal accountability, while possessing the ability to work in a results oriented work environment. You must play well with others – and enjoy playing with others – extroverts only need apply!

Minimum Requirements: Extensive experience with and knowledge of LAMP, Java, XML, xHTML, CSS. Must possess the writing skills necessary to document developed applications and should be committed to open source development. Should be comfortable working in both MAC and PC environments.

Preferred requirements: Experience with or knowledge of Perl, MS Access, the ExLibris suite of products, Macromedia Suite and JavaScript with AJAX. BA/BS in computer science, engineering, related field, or equivalent experience.

The strongest candidates will also have these requirements: Experience working in a team-oriented project management environment, MLIS/MLS, interest or education in the biological/medical sciences.

MSKCC is one of the world’s premier cancer centers, and is committed to exceptional patient care, leading-edge research, and superb educational programs. At the MSKCC Library, we are committed to outstanding service to our physicians, researchers, healthcare professionals and patients. Come join our team to create and implement innovative solutions for our customers.

Interested applicants should send a resume and contact information for references via email to Kimberly Hill (hillk1{AT}mskcc{DOT}org). Salary is very competitive and based on relevant experience and qualifications.

Readers: Would you welcome more posts like this in the future? Let me now.

Jun 18

Librarian (Server Side PDF Organizer)

Where Papers, iPapers, Sente and BibDesk are personal PDF managers, Librarian is a server-side application to allow groups of people to collectively build an annotate a shared PDF library that is managed from inside their Web browsers.

Librarian was designed to enable a small trusted group of researchers to create an annotated virtual library of articles in portable document format (PDF). All users may participate in the creation of the virtual library, and all users may then browse and search articles by words or phrases, much like at journal sites. The difference is that you have instant access to full text of the article, which you identified in seconds.

Metadata about each article is imported from PubMed and users can annotate articles. To get a better idea of how it works, check out the demo.

If this might be useful to you, check out the requirements, note the fact that it is free, open-source software (GPL) and give it a try.

If you try it, please be sure to let me know what you think– I may install this myself, if only because it looks neat and I’d love to start a little article-sharing database with a few friends.

Jun 16

Weekend Off-topic: Worst Children’s Book Ever

This awful thing was pointed out to me by my friend James Alexander, who has a remarkable ability to find and share entertainingly awful things. For your horror and amusement, we present LATAWNYA, the Naughty Horse, Learns to Say “No” to Drugs.

(Some language in the comments is not entirely suitable for some workplaces.)

Posted in Fun
Jun 15

davidrothman.net in the “Healthcare 100” (and a reader poll)

Well, this can’t be right.

According to eDrugSearch.com’s algorithm, this blog isn’t just in the Top 100 Healthcare Blogs, it is in the Top 10.

Some of my favorites are also in the top 100:

Medgadget.com – #1
Kevin MD – #2
Over my med body! – #10
Polite Dissent – #12
Science Roll – #37
Women’s Health News – #97 (Hurray for MedLib Blogs!)

Funny, I never set out to write a “healthcare blog.” Go figure. I sometimes wonder how the approximately 900 subscribers to this blog’s feed break out by profession. I’m curious what portion work in medical libraries, what portion work in libraries of other sorts or are library students, and what portion are clinical professionals/students of one sort or another. I strongly suspect that more subscribers are libraryfolk than medicalfolk.

In an attempt to find out, I’ve created the quick poll below. If you have 20 seconds to spare, I’d be grateful if you were to select the radio button next to the option that best describes you and click “Submit Vote.”

davidrothman.net Reader Survey

If you subscribe to or regularly read davidrothman.net, please select the radio button for below that best describes your profession.

Medical librarian
Medical library paraprofessional
Non-medical librarian
Non-Medical Library paraprofessional
LIS Student
LIS Professor/Administrator
Medical Student
Nursing student
NP or PA
Other allied health professional
Bioinformatics professional
IT Professional
None of the above


Thanks! I’ll leave the poll up for about a week and let you know what I learned from it.

(If you think none of these options properly describes your profession, let me know and I’ll add a new radio button.)

Jun 14

Gormangate II and disagreeing with T. Scott Again

Damn it. I was going to stay out of the discussion of Gormangate II (see this, this, this, this, and this, for examples) until I saw Scott’s post on the topic.

Scott appears to be bothered that bibliobloggers express their views that Gorman is irrational, an egotist or condescending and rude.

Among some legitimate examples of ad hominem attacks on Gorman, Scott lists the following:

“the latest Michael Gorman insanity,” “Gorman rambles…like a lost puppy…,” “rambling, nearly incoherent piece….”

This isn’t an ad hominem attack. This is an attack (accurate, in my view) on Gorman’s poor writing and weak rhetoric.

Scott, if you’re going to criticize those who question Gorman’s sincerity, civility or sanity, shouldn’t we examine Gorman’s own use of personal insults?

Google cofounder Sergey Brin has said that “the perfect search engine would be like the mind of God,” but most of us took that to be billionaire hyperventilating not blasphemy. Web 2.0: The Sleep of Reason, Part I

A blog is a species of interactive electronic diary by means of which the unpublishable, untrammeled by editors or the rules of grammar, can communicate their thoughts via the web.Revenge of the Blog People

It turns out that the Blog People (or their subclass who are interested in computers and the glorification of information) have a fanatical belief in the transforming power of digitization and a consequent horror of, and contempt for, heretics who do not share that belief.2

Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts.2

So…Gorman’s ad hominem cracks directed at others are okay, but it is wrong for others to put Gorman on the receiving end of such attacks? From here, Scott, this looks like you’re applying a double standard. Because I read your blog routinely, I think you won’t be at all bothered that I point out what I see as an illogical contradiction in your writing.

It isn’t just Gorman’s STANCE that is the problem. Scott writes that he doesn’t “…have any grounds for questioning [Gorman’s] sincerity or his passion for his beliefs.” (EDIT: See comment from T. Scott below clarifying what he meant by this) But he DOES. Any critical reading of Gorman’s writings on technology reveals hypocrisy, condescension, intellectually dishonest attacks on straw men and conflation of concepts. Gorman isn’t the same sort of rational, intellectually honest critic of technology that Neil Postman was- not by a long shot.

Like these others Scott links to, I find myself wondering: How does a man as well-educated as Gorman repeatedly manage to be so rude, so intellectually dishonest, and so sloppy in his writing and reasoning? I think it is a reasonable thing to wonder about, and there are only a couple of reasonable explanations for this behavior. One of the possible explanations, that Gorman is mentally or emotionally unwell, is the more charitable of the two.

Just to clarify: I find Gorman’s writings to be condescending, egotistical and filled with intellectual dishonesty. I love disagreeing with an honest critic (I enjoy reading and disagreeing with Scott, Walt, and Karen, for examples) but I can’t abide a liar and I don’t generally tolerate those in the habit of condescending. Gorman’s dishonesty and incivility are inexcusable, and Scott’s scolding of others for answering his dishonesty and incivility with some anger is an application of a double standard. If Scott is going to chastise them, he needs to chastise Gorman, too.

Jun 13

NHS Choices

The National Health Service (UK) is launching a new site for patients this summer called NHS Choices which can be previewed here.

Alan Fricker (past Chair, CILIP HLG) notes these highlights:

  • Linkages to information in the NLH Clinical Knowledge Summaries and Specialist Libraries.
  • New content around healthy lifestyles (videos and the like)
  • Ability to search for hospitals by the treatment you require
  • Moderated feedback option to allow patients to have their say about their hospital, gp practice etc.
Jun 12

Health, Science, & Libraries: End of a Blog

Jane Blumenthal, director of Health Sciences Libraries at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, is closing down her blog. 🙁


I’m closing the doors – I’ll continue to post to the HSL staff blog and to my personal blogs on wildlife and gardening, but in all the competition for my time and attention, this blog didn’t survive the cut.

It’s been fun.

I understand and appreciate the need to prioritize and absolutely recognize that blogging takes a serious time commitment, so I respect Jane’s decision- but I’m still bummed. There aren’t as many MedLib Blogs as I’d like there to be.

Jun 12

DoctorWorld.net (Digg for Medical Literature, Part VIII)

Via Dr. Karuturi, I learned today of yet another “Dig for Medical Literature,” DoctorWorld.net.

DoctorWorld.NET is a medical media democracy. It is all about user powered content. Everything is submitted and voted on by the DoctorWorld.NET community. It’s a place where people submit, discuss, comment, share, vote and promote medical stories and websites.

Not a lot to say about it, really. The functionality is very similar to that of other sites (see previous posts listed below). I wonder how many more of these we’ll see and how they’ll seek to differentiate themselves from those already available for use.

Related Posts

BioInfoBank Library (Digg for Medical Literature, Part VII)

More on JournalReview (Digg for Medical Literature, Part 6.5)

JournalReview: Digg for Medical Literature, Part VI

Onexamination.com (Digg for Medical Literature, Part V)

MediNews: Digg for Medical Literature, Part IV

Dissect Medicine: Spanish and German Editions

More notes on BioWizard (Digg for Medical Literature, Part 3.5)

BioWizard Enhancements: ‘Digg for Medical Literature’ Part III (Edited)

Dissect Medicine: ‘Digg for Medical Literature’, Part II

BioWizard: The start of ‘Digg for Medical Literature’?

Jun 11

VisualDxHealth MyDiseaseFinder (Online Dx Tool)

I’ve been rethinking my previous post on “symptom-based search”, and thinking that I’ve been sloppy with my language. Some of these tools include a search component (sometimes searching proprietary content, sometimes searching the Web, sometimes searching select Web sites), but I think categorizing them as “search” tools was a mistake. From now on, I’ll refer to these as online Dx tools.

Today’s addition to the list is the VisualDxHealth My Disease Finder

Select the patient’s age and gender:

Graphically select the part of the body:

…and click Go:

Photographs fitting the criteria are then displaid:

This appears to be most useful in identifying dermatological conditions.

Also interesting from VisualDxHealth, embeddable Widgets for iGoogle or for any Web page:

My Disease Finder

search visual diseases by body location

Previous posts about online diagnostic tools
Jun 09

Nursing Education 2.0: YouTube

Article by Diane J. Skiba from Nursing Education Perspectives: Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 100–102

PERHAPS WE CAN BLAME IT ON MY BEING SNOWED IN, but I recently discovered YouTubeTM and began to contemplate its potential impact on nursing education. There is a lot of controversy surrounding trash on YouTube, but this is a social phenomenon that cannot be ignored by educators. As you will see here and in future columns, my intention is to focus on Web 2.0 tools and how we can begin to use them to transform nursing education. I will build off five themes (Web 2.0 as a social networking medium, digital natives, Net generation, visual literacy, and thinking outside the box) and develop the notion of Nursing Education 2.0 — that is, emerging technologies that will transform the way nursing education is offered.

PubMed citation

Free full text: HTML | PDF

Jun 07

Dr. Wes Examines the iVillage Symptom Solver

I’ve previously offered a review of online tools that seek to help the user determine a diagnosis by entering symptoms. The best of such tools is limited, but Dr. Wes demonstrates this better than I possibly could as he takes the iVillage Symptom Solver for a test-drive.

Hat tip: Kevin, M.D.

Previous related post

Symptom-based Search (Hypochondria 2.0?)