Looking for the information you need on the Internet is like taking a trip down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland—it is too dark to see anything, you want to believe the ride will end soon, but the further down you go the darker it gets.
When I go to the Web, I seek out like-minded people or people who have something interesting to say. There is so much “digital flab” on the Web — clickable sales pitches and other interactive distractions — that finding signs of intelligent life “out there” in the online universe is getting tougher.
Medical professionals have practically no time available to them to find online journals, blogs written by colleagues, and other online pursuits. To counteract the effects of “link fatigue,” here is a short list of Web sites that might — at the end of a long day — offer you food for thought. Although I stick close to aesthetic surgery-centric sites in my daily Internet travels, I digress for a moment to offer bread trails to a range of useful medical-related sites. In no particular order:
Reflections in a Head Mirror is about as intellectually stimulating as blogs get these days. Its author, Bruce Campbell, MD, an otolaryngologist, talks about daily life in a university medical center.
For a different kind of insight, Medgadget is always entertaining and informative as it covers the latest gear and forecasts the “next big thing” in medical technology. You can go directly to its coverage of the newest aesthetic surgery devices at www.medgadget.com/plastic_surgery. html.
If you are tired of reading about product-related information, try a few of the top-notch discussion (or social networking) forums. For example, Medpolitics.com is a social network and a blogging platform for and by US-based physicians. The Medical Spa MD site is another valuable forum. With its emphasis on patient-physician and physician-physician interaction, the discussions can get very emotional.
Another type of forum, PLoS, is a peer-reviewed journal that incorporates the software industry’s open-source development concept in a medical journal format. Its studies and articles consistently cover late-breaking research and development.
Returning to the blogosphere, Hooked: Ethics, Medicine, and Pharma is a well-written dissection of the news of the day, hosted by Howard Brody, MD, PhD.
Brain Blogger — subtitled “Topics from Multidimensional BioPsychoSocial Perspectives” — features some truly inspired subject matter. Topic headings include “The Anti-Psychiatry Movement,” “Should Doctors Have Guns?” and “Extremist Muslim Doctors Do More Than Heal.”
There is no end to the number of Web sites that critique the news and issues that affect medical practitioners, but the Junkfood Science blog is one of my favorites. In a similar vein, The Health Care Blog lives up to its billing — ”everything you wanted to know about the health care system, but were afraid to ask.”
Sliding deeper into the rabbit hole, Quackwatch debunks medical myths and zooms in on health care fraud. Finally, Health News Review succeeds admirably in its unique mission: to evaluate the quality of reporting in medical news articles that appear in the mainstream media, including newspapers and cable television.