Dear Doctor – here’s why we need you on social media

by Carolyn Thomas   @HeartSisters

Dear Doctor,

Several years ago, when the British Medical Association openly warned U.K. docs and med students NOT to make “personal or derogatory comments” online about their patients (guidelines mercifully updated since then), I became even more alarmed than I had been. Why, I wondered at the time, was it even necessary to issue this warning to intelligent, educated brainiacs who practice medicine? And are there some physicians who should simply not be allowed on social media?

Lately, I’ve been rethinking my former alarm. And the reason for the rethink is this: I’ve noticed that many of you physicians might be in danger of abdicating your traditional role as our medical educators.     .      . Continue reading “Dear Doctor – here’s why we need you on social media”

Deprescribing: fewer drugs, better health outcomes?

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

We all know about prescribing. It’s what our docs do when they pull out the prescription pad so we can start or keep taking a specific drug for a specific medical reason.

But what about deprescribing?

Basically, deprescribing happens when a health care professional decides to taper or stop recommending one or more prescription drugs for any given patient. The practice is aimed at minimizing what’s known as polypharmacy (that’s when patients are taking multiple medications at the same time) while at the same time improving patient outcomes.

What’s the problem with polypharmacy? Plenty, as it turns out.
Continue reading “Deprescribing: fewer drugs, better health outcomes?”

Yet another cardiac risk calculator? My response in the British Medical Journal

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

I was contacted by Juliet Dobson at the British Medical Journal recently, who asked me for a heart patient’s perspective on a new cardiovascular risk calculator.  It’s been launched by the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS), and claims that it can tell you your real heart age. Here’s what I wrote . . .   Continue reading “Yet another cardiac risk calculator? My response in the British Medical Journal”