Resources of the Physician and Advanced Practice staffing

It’s easy to get the latest healthcare news from newspapers and magazines online, but sometimes it can be refreshing to read what actual doctors have to say. Here are five of our favorite blogs, all written and managed by physicians:

  1. KevinMD.com — When Kevin Pho created KevinMD back in 2004, he had no idea how popular the site would become. KevinMD now has more than 1,000 regular contributors (including primary care doctors, nurses and surgeons) and receives more than 1 million monthly page views. The site includes resources for both doctors and patients and includes a wide variety of topics, including policy, technology, social media, medication and education.
  2. 33Charts.com — Want to learn more about how social media affects medicine? Check out 33Charts, a blog by Dr. Bryan Vartabedian, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Vartabedian writes brief posts almost daily about how the role of doctors is changing, along with his thoughts on current events in the medical field.RELATED: Tips for Staying HIPAA-Compliant on Social Media
  3. Dr. Shock MD, PhD — Dutch psychiatrist Dr. Walter van den Broek has more than 20 years of clinical experience and posts frequently about neurostimulation as a treatment for depression, as well as other current events in psychiatry and medical education. He also shares healthcare-related videos and articles and maintains an active presence on Twitter.
  4. Academic Life in Emergency Medicine — Edited by Dr. Michelle Lin, an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of California San Francisco, this blog includes posts from doctors, residents and other healthcare providers and provides educational pieces about best practices in emergency medicine and medical education in general. Lin also frequently promotes FOAM (Free Open Access ‘Meducation’).
  5. Better Health Blog — Dr. Val Jones became famous for her blog “Dr. Val and the Voice of Reason” and now anchors the Better Health blog with other frequent contributors. reform, research, science and patient care, the Better Health blog is a resource for healthcare bloggers and patients alike. Dr. Jones also has experience as a medical cartoonist and frequently shares her latest drawings on the blog. She currently travels across the country working as a locum tenens physician with various agencies.While the devastating neurologic effects of Parkinson disease are well understood, startling disparities remain in the data when it comes to who is affected by this condition. It’s a knowledge gap that Allison Willis, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology and Director of the Translational Center of Excellence for Neuroepidemiology and Neurology Outcomes Research, is working to overcome. By capturing data on underrepresented segments of the population, Dr. Willis is hoping to flip the narrative on Parkinson disease so that all patients receive better care and improved outcomes.

    Multiple studies have demonstrated that being male is an independent risk factor for Parkinson disease. “The sex difference is thought to be based on a biological component that is still undefined,” explains Dr. Willis. “Women appear to have a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s unless they have their ovaries removed before menopause. In that case, their risk is similar to men. Gender-based differences in occupational exposure to potential neurotoxicants, such as pesticides, may also play a role.”

    However, age is the strongest risk factor for developing Parkinson’s, and since older women outnumber older men in the U.S., the actual number of women diagnosed with this disease is close to the number of men. Yet, most Parkinson’s research is based on the experiences of college or graduate-school-educated white men.

    Dr. Willis received funding from the NIH to lead a research program focused on understanding how Americans with Parkinson disease were receiving care. She found that women, minorities, and rural-dwelling Parkinson’s patients were overwhelmingly less likely to be treated by a neurologist or participate in research.

    This disparity directly affects outcomes. People not treated by a neurologist were more likely to be hospitalized for adverse drug events or Parkinson disease-related conditions, more likely to suffer hip fractures, more likely to spend time in a long-term care facility and had lower survival rates.

    “It’s clear that more research is needed to understand the drivers of these disparities,” Dr. Willis says. Partnering with the Parkinson Disease Foundation, Dr. Willis was the physician-scientist leader of a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute-funded effort to develop a national research network of academic centers focused on understanding the barriers to women in receiving Parkinson’s care and participating in research. As part of this national effort, women nationwide were asked about their experiences accessing Parkinson’s care and research.”

    Women reported multiple barriers, including competing demands as a care giver for children, grandchildren, parents and spouses/partner, difficulty accessing transportation, and less social support. Another shocking piece of data revealed that women reported they simply weren’t asked to participate in research.

    “Patients overwhelmingly stated that, if they had been asked, they would have said yes,” says Dr. Willis.

    Dr. Willis and her colleagues now have a better understanding of the driving factors behind the gender disparity and are creating ways to deliver equal care and opportunity to this half of the Parkinson’s population.

    We’ve identified a number of meaningful targets for intervention,” Dr. Willis says. “We are standardizing our methods of approaching patients to participate in research, finding ways to perform this research in patient homes via telehealth, and considering ways to support the ability of general practitioners to initiate guideline-adherent care for neurological conditions.”

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