Grand Rounds Volume 6, Number 15

Welcome to Grand Rounds, the weekly collection of the best in medical blogging, featuring works from physicians, nurses, researchers, students, patients and healthcare professionals.

It's a new year and I'm very happy to be involved again in organizing this "carnival of the caregivers." Many thanks to Dr. Colin Son for his role in scheduling hosts, and for writing the Pre-Rounds column for over these past 18 months. Special thanks to Dr. Val Jones of Better Health who will continue to promote and plan GR.

This is the 327th edition of Grand Rounds, and navigating web is pretty different compared to when I first hosted. I've been stubbornly resisting social media to help spread the word about each week's location for Grand Rounds, figuring quality writing will find a way to reach interested readers. But when you consider that the Grand Rounds community of patients, providers and pundits is its own kind of social network, it only makes sense to adopt these new tools.

And so, this week, in addition to the RSS feed and Google Calendar, we're rolling out the @grandrounds twitter account, and a Grand Rounds fan page on Facebook.

These (still comically underdeveloped) resources are hardly groundbreaking innovations in 2010, but then again, the blog carnival concept wasn't new when Grand Rounds started in 2004. Your suggestions to keep Grand Rounds accessible and relevant are always welcome, and your continued participation -- as readers, contributors, and hosts -- is essential. Thank you for your involvement over the years, and be assured, even with this expanded social presence, the purpose of Grand Rounds will always be to showcase excellent writing from independent voices in the medical field. 

I've loosely organized bloggers' contributions in the categories below, but first wanted to take a moment to highlight my favorite post of the week:

Editor's Choice

Medical News and Reviews
  • What killed Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Dr. Ramona Bates sifts through the photos and reviews the evidence behind "FDR's Deadly Secret" over at Suture for a Living.
  • Smile! Inside Surgery looks at tetanus, part of the continuing series of concise summaries of commonly occurring medical conditions.
  • What just happened? Doc Gurley condenses all the medical news of the past year into a hilarious recap: Top 10 Health Lessons of 2009. Read it, lest you be doomed to repeat that bizarre year. 

Healthcare Policy Views
  • In the latest from his Careful What You Wish For series at InsureBlog, Henry Stern contrasts his wife's recent mammography scare in the US to shortcomings in the UK's NHS system.
  • In the US, electronic health record adoption is getting a boost from the government -- providers will receive incentives for "meaningful use" of EHRs. David Harlow of HealthBlawg thoughtfully reviews of the new definitions for meaningful use – a must read for those of us in health care informatics. 
  • You've heard about patients in Canada or the UK who endure long waits to see specialists -- but did you know that less-educated patients wait longer? Over at Colorado Health Insurance Insider, Louise looks at why socioeconomic status influences wait times
  • Dr. Val has a call to action for preventive health, asking readers to channel their frustrations over healthcare reform into staying fit and trim for the new year. That'll show 'em!

Case Reports / Notes from the Front Lines
  • What happens when a son tries to 'drop off' his father, and treats a hospital like the adult Humane Society? The Happy Hospitalist becomes unhappy, and is forced to explain hospital admissions.
  • Emergency Medicine blogger Chris Nickson at the Life in the Fast Lane blog writes about an unexpected ending to a family meeting about a dying patient, in his post: Bad News Broken.
  • In a very personal post, Todd C. Williams reflects on his wife’s medical care and draws comparisons to his own work in project management. 
  • At a blog called Own Your Health, medical journalist Roanne Weisman reflects on lifestyle choices and a family member's death, and concludes: she didn't have to die.

Good Medicine for the New Year 
  • A blogging therapist named Will Meek (prediction: large inheritance) reflects on some common blurred thinking from a psychotherapeutic perspective, and offers some simple checks to keep folks grounded.

Thank you for checking out this first Grand Rounds of 2010. Please visit DrRich at the Covert Rationing Blog for next Tuesday's edition!