Targeting Cancer

2018-03-10 16.03.54

I am pleased to be associated with Targeting Cancer team. I slowly became aware of the team in my Twitter timeline. I loved the infectious positivity as the innovative ways they got out to spread the word.

It was natural that I reached out to the team and a quick flurry of emails led me to exchange (and permission) to use their logo.

I have started using it in my public talks. I also got a cup printed out and took a selfie with it!

It was tweeted out today.

You can read more about Targeting Cancer here.

Here’s Dr Sandra Turner speaking about Radiation Therapy:

Doctor-Patient Relationship in the internet age

This blog post was motivated by an excellent article in NYT today. The Internet has skewed this doctor-patient relationship and is hurting more than anything else.

Part of the problem is related to the industrialisation of medicine- dominant for-profit hospitals (despite the moniker of “charitable/research” centres). It is true that hospitals want to make a profit. However, they also create employment in local areas. There are real people with families to support. Further, no one has been able to adequately define the actual costs of healthcare-which is mutually acceptable to all parties concerned.

Mainstream media has also fanned the negative perception about the medical profession. Human/administrative errors are reported with the same bellicosity as gun shootings. It causes opinions to be polarised; but for a few bad apples, the entire silent majority get vilified. No doctor would ever want harm to the patient; regulations be damned.

I agree with the author that terminal illness clouds judgement entirely. On a personal note, I had been diagnosed with Dengue fever; for me, that was scary enough to push me to despair. As a physician, it was hard not to imagine end-stage renal failure. Yet, I chose to rely on a fantastic physician who allayed my anxiety and suggested me measures to overcome the issues associated with it. I was back to work in less than a week.

The way out of this mess is to get more clinicians on the social media. More doctors have to write about their experiences and thoughts about recreating the trust between patients and doctors. Functional autonomy is desirable. However, physicians clinician judgement for the patient, remains paramount.

 

 

Just write!

This is an unstructured post. For the past few weeks, I have been able to discipline myself and just writing.

just-write

Writing makes a lot of things more apparent. It helps to focus. I have forced myself to unshackle from the constraints of modern technology. To shut down the constant din of notifications. To be better off than being distracted.

As usual, the continuous improvement in making Twitter work for me has helped. I invested a lot of time to make automation work. This has resulted in much cleaner timeline, a much better opportunity to follow colleagues, to find out what is being discussed and participate in more meaningful online discourse.

Writing is prompted by slow thinking as well.

For all academics out there. Just write. The dividends are very rewarding indeed.

Slow thinking: Pause and reflect

slowthinkingI was alerted to this remarkable piece of The Quartz today which helped me to reflect on it. It lists the virtues of “slow thinking“.

If we don’t come to a quick conclusion and choose a side, it can feel like we’re letting the proverbial bad guys—whoever they are in a given case—win. Thus, an opinion becomes a moral imperative, an act on behalf of humanity, or at least on behalf of whatever cause we support.

This is the familiar refrain on Twitter and various other “social media” websites. We need to be able to tame Twitter, use it more efficiently  (and using it for academics, as in my case).

Think. Pause. Reflect. Think some again.

Digital detoxification is essential.

Having no fixed position, which seems unthinkable on the internet, is actually a liberating way to navigate the world.

I think its the critical knowledge for all academics out there.

Word Press blogging platform

The standard wordpress.com blogging platform is decent enough. I had been using the self hosted version for pretty long time but the maintenance had been done by someone else. My job was to blog. And I did experiment around with various plugins.

Despite the “free option”, wordpress.com does have a decent advantage when you pay up for it. One of the biggest hassles with self hosting is the recurring cost for a single website; it doesn’t help that way. In addition, adding media to the blogposts quickly adds up to the allotted storage space. Although there are ways to circumvent it, honestly, I don’t have time and patience to have all this set up.

My biggest grouse is that standard wordpress.com doesn’t allow one to install plugins and requires most expensive tier. I have highlighted the same to the customer care but sadly, they aren’t able to help me to go around the limitations. Its being greedy and a stupid limitation but thats the best I have around me. Other alternatives have too fancy interfaces that doesn’t help to deliver the goods as effectively.

I really hope some sun shines and they at least move the installable plugins to the middle paid tier. I might reconsider then. Lets hope for the best!