Tag Archives: Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic Takes on Facebook

On the same day that a Wall St. Journal article speculated that Facebook could be worth $100 billion by the time it goes public early next year (as has been rumored), the Mayo Clinic announced that it has launched its own online social networking community.

Via Koreshky at Wikimedia Commons

And it may be the first medical provider to do so. The Clinic says it knows of no other health system that has a social network.

The week-old community doesn’t have a catchy name, but it is populated with all the features of Mayo Clinic’s already robust online presence. The Clinic says it has the “most popular medical provider channel on YouTube, nearly 200,000 followers on Twitter and more than 53,000 connections on Facebook.”  It also has a library of condition-specific podcasts and a blog highlighting medical news from the Clinic.

The networking site will be “a place for community members to share information, support and understanding,” the Clinic says.

Essentially, the network aggregates all the Clinic videos, podcasts, and news and allows for interactive discussions on topics ranging from arthritis to travel to the various clinic sites. Just like on Facebook, users can “like” a topic or add their own comments to a post.

With so many chat rooms and discussion boards out there–not to mention that advocacy groups and individuals use Facebook to solicit and give advice on health conditions and share experiences–will the Mayo network attract many users?  The Clinic says that some 1,000 people have joined in the first week of operation. It’s open to any and all comers, not just Mayo patients or their families.

Presumably, the ultimate number of users won’t be of great importance to the Clinic, although it is potentially a great marketing tool. The Clinic also doesn’t have to worry about satisfying venture capitalists or stockholders.

But maybe Facebook should be worried.

—Alicia Ault (on Twitter @aliciaault)

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Filed under Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Blognosis, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Practice Trends

The Art of Medicine

There’s a great deal of art in the practice of medicine. It just doesn’t usually find its way into medical meetings.

Lilly Oncology On Canvas©

 Yet, there in the poster hall at the Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology, amongst all the talk of TKI resistance and MEK inhibitors, were easels full of art including a pastel of mischievous fairies dancing among daisies and a painting of a bald woman smiling out from behind a pair of rose-colored spectacles beside the words, “Life is full of surprises.”  

The pieces are part of the Lilly Oncology On Canvas project, an art competition and exhibition launched in 2004 with the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship as a way for those affected by cancer to express themselves and provide inspiration to others. The competition is open to patients, family members, friends, and caregivers and, surprisingly, health care providers.

"Best of Exhibition" 2010 Lilly Oncology On Canvas©

More than 600 entries were received for the 2010 competition, with Annette Zalewski , a nurse of nearly 30 years, earning three awards including “Best of Exhibition” for her determination to continue weaving together a beautiful life that was “cut up, rearranged” by lung cancer.
 
 This past year, previous winning pieces toured no less than 285 cancer centers, hospitals and cancer advocacy events from San Francisco and D.C. to such tiny towns as Opelousas, La., and Yankton, S.D. Some of the art and remains behind, with cancer charities also receiving up to $10,000 donated in the name of the winners.
RxArt project founder Diane Brown has decided to take the art concept one step further after a frightening CT exam left the former gallery owner and curator wishing for a diversion. Ms. Brown now coordinates with artists to place original installations in exam rooms and even splashes them across pricey diagnostic equipment. The result blows the typical hospital lobby floral landscape out of the water.
Even the stoic Scots have launched the Art in Hospitals project, which coordinates art exhibitions from the dialysis room to the psychiatric ward and offers workshops where patients can experiment creating their own art.
I can’t help but think all of this would please the 56-year-old retired physician turned pastel artist detailed in a case report just two aisles over in the poster hall from the Lilly Oncology On Canvas display.
The artist was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, an uncommon pathology in a never-smoker. After four cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy, physicians at Mayo Clinic Arizona found no evidence of disease on her latest CT.
The authors note, however, that lung cancer in never-smoking women is the fastest growing subset of patients with lung cancer. Hopefully, these women’s journeys through cancer will be enriched with healthy doses of both medicine and art.

Patrice Wendling (on Twitter @pwendl)

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Filed under Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Hematology, Hospice and Palliative Care, Hospital and Critical Care Medicine, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Oncology