Tag Archives: youtube

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

Video of the Week: Substance Abuse Increases

Roughly 8.7% of Americans aged 12 years or older used illicit drugs in 2009. That’s up 0.7% from 2008, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The rise was largely driven by an increase in marijuana use.

Our Naseem Miller had the chance to talk with Dr. Westley Clark, director of SAMHSA‘s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment about the findings of the survey and how physicians can help stop the rise.

Physicans “can make sure that they screen for alcohol use and other drug use,” said Dr. Clark. In particular, he recommended becoming familiar with available screening tools, such as those that can be found at NIDAMed.

You can read Naseem’s story here.  Be sure to check out Internal Medicine News for the latest medical videos, updates and in-depth analysis.

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Filed under Family Medicine, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Primary care, Psychiatry, Video

FDA Keeps the Cough Syrup on the Shelf

Courtesy of Flickr user Editor B (CC)

Remember when you couldn’t get your kids to take cough syrup?  These days, they seem to be turning to it … to get high. Kids are stealing cough medicine off the drugstore shelves to get a very untasty high from the key ingredient dextromethorphan (DXM), prompting the Drug Enforcement Administration to ask the Food and Drug Administration to consider scheduling DXM-containing products under the Controlled Substances Act.

Yesterday, an FDA advisory committee voted against letting some bad apples make the rest of us get a prescription or have to sign a pharmacy-counter registry, in an effort to stop coughing when stricken with a cold. According to the National Survey on Drug Abuse, about 3.1 million young people aged 12-25 (5.3%) had ever used an OTC cough and cold medication to get high and nearly 1 million (1.7%) had done so in the past year.

Many panel members expressed concern that it is unclear how state law would play into access to the proposed schedule V status for DXM. While schedule V is the least restrictive category under the federal Controlled Substances Act, individual states could opt to require a prescription or pharmacy registries for these drugs—significantly limiting legitimate access to DXM-containing medications.

The recommended therapeutic adult dose of DXM is 10-30 mg every 4-8 hours.  Based on a quick YouTube search, a 4-oz bottle of Robitussin—hence the street term robotripping—seems to be the favored dosage for the average teen. Not that I participate in or condone substance abuse, but cough syrup seems like an unpleasant way to go about it…starting with taste.

Courtesy of Flickr user sniggitysnags (CC)

Humans have likely been looking to get high since, well, since before we were human. This made me wonder what other weird things have been used in the quest for a high…and this sounded like a job for the kids’ other favorite mind-altering substance, the Internet.

In no particular order, the Internet says that you can get high from nutmeg, inhalants (spray paint, nail polish remover, lighter fluid, glue, marking pens, etc.), digital drugs (“i-dosing” off of droning mp3 files), and choking.

Of course, just because the Internet says you *can* doesn’t mean you should.

—Kerri Wachter, @knwachter on Twitter

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Filed under Drug And Device Safety, Family Medicine, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Primary care

Video of the Week: Gastric Band Improves Metabolic Risk Factors in Obese Teens

Increasing rates of obesity — particularly in children and adolescents — have health professionals scrambling to find ways to fight growing waistlines.  Dr. Kirk Reichard talked with our reporter Diana Mahoney, at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, about how gastric band surgery could be a potential solution.  He presented data on significant improvements in metabolic measures in 17 morbidly obese teens who underwent the surgery using an investigational device.

While these kids really are sick, they benefit probably more greatly from the lap band — or from any bariatric procedure perhaps — even than adults.  We know that kids will go on to be obese adults, if they’re obese kids. They will go on to have cardiac problems.  So our bias is that the younger we fix these problems, the more healthy they’ll be later.

You can see more great medical news videos by checking out our new Internal Medicine News Web site.


Filed under Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Family Medicine, Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Primary care, Surgery, Video