Oct 22

Got my H1N1 Vaccination

I got my 2009 H1N1 live, attenuated (nasal spray) vaccine today.

I continue to be surprised by how many otherwise rational people (including health professionals) are frightened by the prospect.

For the record: If New York State law did not require me to get both the seasonal and the H1N1 vaccine, I would get both anyway.

I’ve avoided commenting on the media coverage of Swine Flu. Why bother when Jon Stewart does it better?

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Snoutbreak ’09 – The Last 100 Days
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
The Last 100 Days
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis
Oct 09

Harvard Medical School’s HMS Mobile | iPhone Apps for Public Health

Harvard Medical School Presents HMS Mobile and Announces Plans to Launch iPhone Applications Aimed at Promoting Public Health

Boston, MA, October 09, 2009 –(PR.com)– The Harvard Health Publications Division of Harvard Medical School announced today that it will launch a new program called HMS Mobile to deliver a series of iPhone Applications aimed at promoting public health. The first such application will focus on the H1N1 flu pandemic and is scheduled for release to the public in early October. These applications will leverage Harvard Medical School’s extensive knowledge along with its long-standing expertise in publishing health information for the general public. The School’s goal is to provide the public with the best available information on public health-related issues, including practical advice on how to reduce risks and how to respond in the event of a public health threat.

No indication of the anticipated price to download such apps…?

Oct 06

New PubMed Handouts from the NNLM

Oh, thank goodness.

I’ve been fretting about how my library’s patrons will react to the PubMed redesign, so I’m grateful for the revised tri-fold handouts from the NNLM- they’ll probably help ease a few concerns.

The new handouts are available in .doc and .pdf formats and include:

  • Full Text and PubMed
  • PubMed Basics
  • PubMed My NCBI
  • Searching PubMed with MeSH

[via The Cornflower]

If you’ve prepared any materials to help your patrons (or your staff) use the new PubMed and you’d like to share them with others, please let me know in the comments?

Oct 01


In a recent comment, Creaky (Kathleen Crea) made me aware of LigerCat, a 3rd-Party PubMed/MEDLINE tool that is new to me. I’m really enjoying working with it.Just a reminder that I don’t consider myself an expert searcher. I figure I’m basically competent, but sometimes need to get advice from more experienced searchers (right, Melissa?) for help on more challenging literature searches- so any tool that helps me do more (or miss less) is gold to me.

I’m sure that more experienced Medical Libraryfolk don’t have to do this, but as I start putting together a lit search, I often start by going to the MeSH Browser http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/MBrowser.html to begin working out what MeSH terms I might be working with. Alternately, I might go to Novo|Seek or GoPubMed with a few key words to get a frequency analysis of MeSH terms. In these examples, I’m doing some preliminary searching on Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis.

LigerCat isn’t necessarily *better* at this, but its presentation is simpler. Rather than putting the frequency analysis of MeSH terms in a left sidebar, it gives a cloud of MeSH terms:

Seeing the biggest, most obvious tag item in the cloud (see above) is delightful. If one clicks on the tags in the MeSH cloud, they’re added to the search. When you’re done adding terms, you can click “Go to PubMed” to run the search there.

In this example, the query run in PubMed is:
(“encephalomyelitis, acute disseminated”[MeSH Terms] OR (“encephalomyelitis”[All Fields] AND “acute”[All Fields] AND “disseminated”[All Fields]) OR “acute disseminated encephalomyelitis”[All Fields] OR (“acute”[All Fields] AND “disseminated”[All Fields] AND “encephalomyelitis”[All Fields])) AND (“Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated”[mh] AND “Humans”[mh] AND “Treatment Outcome”[mh])

…and the results aren’t bad.

If I was caught up in Google Reader (I’m not, and haven’t been for about 15 months), I would have noticed Creaky’s post on LigerCat a couple of days ago. This reminds me to move Kathleen’s feed into my “High Priorities” folder. You may want to do the same.