Dec 20

I’ve been nominated

THIS is absolutely the last thing I’ll post in 2007. I’m not kidding around here.

I just now discovered that Rachel nominated this blog in the Best Medical Technologies/Informatics Weblog category of the 2007 Medical Weblog Awards.

I don’t stand a snowball’s chance, but that was awfully nice of her. 🙂

If you have a couple of minutes, please consider heading over to the Blogger’s Choice Awards to vote for Rachel’s excellent blog.

Dec 19

More on MLA 2008 Planning (and Need Your Help!)

(Okay, okay…THIS will be my last post of 2007)

So, among the things I get to do at MLA 2008 is present with Patricia Anderson (whose stuff online is simply wonderful but whom I’ve never met and won’t meet until just before we present) about the application of “Web 2.0” technologies and “social software” in medical libraries and by medical libraryfolk (that’s who I was talking about in this previous post).

Patricia had the great idea to use social technologies to gather ideas from others on how to make our presentation really good and is, at the moment, working on potential audience participation activities. We’d love it if you’d go check out what she has so far and offer your opinions (there or here- whatever suits you).


Dec 18

Name That Disease

Okay …THIS is the last post of 2007. will rank you based on a quiz about well-known diseases. Some of the clues may just be trivia…but I still thought it was fun- and I scored “Hawkeye Pierce.” (Woohoo!)

Given that, I can’t imagine that a physician would score lower than Doogie Howser.


Thanks to my brother Andrew for the heads-up!

Dec 17

Health Libraries and Web 2.0 Survey: Aussie Edition

Last post of 2007. Really.

A survey was undertaken in 2007 in the US by the MLA Social Networking Software Task Force investigating use of collaborative/social networking tools and services. Results from the original survey of MLA members are reported at the Task Force on Social Networking Software blog.

Libraries Using Evidence – and NSW Health, with the support of Health Libraries Australia, extended this survey to the Australian context. Staff in health libraries across Australia (hospital, academic, special etc) were invited to participate.

The Australian data will be used to generate a snapshot of the use of and attitudes towards collaborative/social networking tools and services. Results will provide librarians with evidence to assist in influencing policy and practice at their workplace. Results will be reported in the first instance on the Health LIS 2.0 and Libraries Using Evidence blogs.


Preliminary results: [PDF]


Dec 17

Merry RamaChanuKwanSolstiFestiMas!

It seems to me that every time I say that I’m going to take a break from (or reduce the frequency of) my blogging, I make myself a liar shortly thereafter. This time I’ll choose my words more carefully:

I have a lot to do between now and January 2nd and need to focus on those projects when I’m not working at the hospital or meeting holiday obligations.

I don’t plan to post anything between now and January 2, 2008. However, I reserve the right to amend my plans if I am moved by news of events to do so.

So there.

Thanks for reading in 2007- See you in 2008!

Dec 14

TV Librarians (YouTube fun)

A YouTube user going by the handle of “TVLibrarian” is collecting and posting short clips of librarians and libraries from popular television programs. Neat!

I love this one:

Although I’ve never heard of of a public library volunteer being called a “docent”…

Want to be informed when TVLibrarian posts new videos? Subscribe to this feed.

Dec 13

MedLib Blog Badge at Staying Well. Connected.

The librarians at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio have recently rolled out a new blog called Staying Well. Connected.

This blog is a project of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Library. Its purpose is to foster the exchange of community health information in South Texas and US-Mexico border communities.

Why is David always on about this badgey stuff? Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!

Previously, I’ve noted the following blogs that display the MedLib Blog badge in their sidebars:

These blogs are:

  1. about medical / health / health sciences / biomedical librarianship;
  2. written by (a) medical librarian(s) or medical library paraprofessional(s);
  3. maintained by a medical library; or
  4. maintained by professional association of medical librarians and/or medical library paraprofessionals.

Hey! My blog has the MedLib Blog badge and you haven’t featured it here!

Sorry! I do try for omniscience, but frequently fall short of this goal. If I’ve missed the badge on your blog or if you’ve just added it, please let me know so I can link to it from here.

Why would I want to add the badge to my blog?

The badge links back to the masterlist of MedLib blogs to indicate the blog’s membership in the growing community (and sense of community) of MedLib blogs(/bloggers). (This should serve also as a reminder to add your blog to this masterlist, if appropriate.)

To add this badge to your own blog, just copy and paste this code:

<a href="">
<img src=""></a>

Not sure how to do this with your particular blogging software? Email me at david[DOT]rothman[AT]gmail[DOT]com and we’ll figure it out together. :)

Dec 12

Medical Library Search Engine in your iGoogle …or Any Web Page

In reference to the medical library search engine, Martha Hardy wrote:

Hi David-

Thanks for putting together this useful custom search engine. Is it available as a Google gadget? It would be handy to add this to an iGoogle page.


Here y’go, Martha. Just click on this Add to Google thingee:

Want to add it to some other Web page? You can get the code here.

It’ll look something like this:

Dec 11

Clinical Trial Search Tools

Michelle Nguyen over at HippocraTech posted about a couple of places online to search for info about clinical trials: and CenterWatch. Below are a few additional online resources.

Dec 09

Going to MLA 2008: Your advice, please?


I get to go to the MLA 2008 Annual Meeting and I’m awfully excited about it.

More details later, but right now I’m looking for advice from you. I’d especially looking for thoughts from those who plan to attend, but I’d also love to hear from physicians and other health care professionals.

I’m going to be participating in a few sessions- all involve the use of Web geekery in medical libraries. In one session I’m giving a talk (with a co-presenter whose work I really admire but whom I’ve never met) about the use of social technologies in medical libraries (and /or by medical libraryfolk). Here’s stuff I’m looking for your thoughts on:

  • What technologies or trends should we talk about? Which ones have you heard enough about and which ones do you need to know more about?
  • What issues should we talk about?
  • What are the obstacles to use that we should address?
  • What do you think are the most important things to emphasize? What’re the things that you’re worried might NOT be emphasized?

All opinions and ideas are welcome from all quarters and all comers.

Thank you!

Dec 09

Web Geekery in the Recent Literature – 12/9/2007

  • This article points us to, a consumer-oriented site for information about radiology.

    J Am Coll Radiol. 2007 Nov;4(11):809-15.
    RadiologyInfo: reaching out to touch patients.
    Ellenbogen PH, Tashjian JH.

    RadiologyInfo is a public information Web site created and maintained as an unprecedented joint collaborative effort of the Radiological Society of North America and the American College of Radiology. Conceived in 1997 and operating since 2000, the site has grown to become a leading medical information site, currently with more than 100 radiologic examinations and treatments described. Each month, well over half a million visitors connect to RadiologyInfo (660,000 visits in March 2007). The information is now also available in Spanish and French. New procedures, current topics, and additional images are added on an ongoing basis.

  • Haven’t gotten my hands on a copy of this one yet. Emphases in abstract below are mine:

    Postgrad Med J. 2007 Dec;83(986):759-62.
    Web 2.0 technologies for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education: an online survey.
    Sandars J, Schroter S.

    OBJECTIVES: To identify the current familiarity and use of Web 2.0 technologies by medical students and qualified medical practitioners, and to identify the barriers to its use for medical education. METHODS: A semi-structured online questionnaire survey of 3000 medical students and 3000 qualified medical practitioners (consultants, general practitioners and doctors in training) on the British Medical Association’s membership database. RESULTS: All groups had high familiarity, but low use, of podcasts. Ownership of digital media players was higher among medical students. There was high familiarity, but low use, of other Web 2.0 technologies except for high use of instant messaging and social networking by medical students. All groups stated that they were interested in using Web 2.0 technologies for education but there was lack of knowledge and skills in how to use these new technologies. CONCLUSIONS: There is an overall high awareness of a range of new Web 2.0 technologies by both medical students and qualified medical practitioners and high interest in its use for medical education. However, the potential of Web 2.0 technologies for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education will only be achieved if there is increased training in how to use this new approach.

    Hmm…who could be providing the expertise, the knowledge and the skills to help medical students and practitioners use these tools?

  • This one mentions several tools I’ve posted about, like Healthmap, BioWizard and WhoIsSick.

    Nurs Educ Perspect. 2007 Sep-Oct;28(5):286-8.Links
    Nursing education 2.0: are Mashups useful for nursing education?
    Skiba DJ.
    Free full text: [PDF] [HTML]
Dec 06

“Health 2.0” on Television (Scrubs)

I’m NOT obsessed with television just because I wrote about House MD, the writers strike, and now Scrubs. I’m not. Really.

…Oh, shut up and give me the remote.

The TV show Scrubs mentioned tonight both online rating of physicians and patients who rely on health information from Wikipedia.

Dr. Cox: So you’re declining chemo because Wikipedia says that a Raw Food diet reverses the effects of Bone Cancer…? Well, hey- any info you have that I can pass on to my other patients would just be super… and by-the-by…while you’re on your computer perhaps you could jump over to a little site called…?

…a few minutes later…

Patient: There. I gave you five stars.

Dr. Cox: Thank you! And now, I have to take your laptop from you as I’ve deemed you just too darn stupid to use it. See, those bell peppers that you’re munching? They aren’t going to do a truckload of jack against the cancer raging inside of your body. Of course, I’ve only been a doctor for some TWENTY YEARS and the person who wrote that Wikipedia entry also authored the Battlestar Galactica Episode Guide…so what the heck do I know…? But… if you feel like living? Page me.

Hah! NBC actually made a Web site for!

And I did get a result when I searched for a Wikipedia article on Raw Food that mentioned it as a cancer treatment. See screen capture below:

Mattering only if you share my tastes in music: The soundtrack to the episode featured a track by one of my all-time favorite bands- Jump, Little Children, most of whom I met in 1992 at NCSA. If you can, get yourself copies of the Licorice Tea Demos and Buzz. Or order The Early Years. Good guys, great music. I went to see them live every chance I had.

Dec 06

I haven’t decided yet if this third party PubMed tool will prove to be of any practical use to me, but I had fun playing with it.

In the screen capture below, you can see where I asked the tool to count up all the records in PubMed containing the string “internet” and compare the counts by year from 1999 through 2006.

Click this image to see the full-size results

Click here for other posts in the ‘Third-Party PubMed/MEDLINE Tools’ category

Dec 05

How to: Find Instructional Materials with the Medical Library CSE

A few days ago I made a Google Custom Search Engine for searching the Web sites of medical libraries.

Connie Schardt pointed out that it could be useful for finding handouts, tutorials and other teaching materials. Here are some ideas on how this might be done.

Your turn: What other searches would be useful?