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Medical Research Journals-The Rise and Fall(?) Part 1

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation spends $4billion a year supporting scientific endeavors, much of it on medical research. But you won’t be reading about any of their breakthroughs in JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, or The Lancet. No, as of last week the Foundation is doing an end-run around medical journals, requiring that all research findings be freely available in an online repository.

This move reflects the Foundation’s – and many others’ – frustration with medical research journal publishers’ controlling of access to studies and the resulting slow dissemination of research findings.…Read More »

Medical Research Journals-The Rise and Fall(?) Part 2

In part 1 of this post, I talked about how medical research journals rose to become the standard-bearers for disseminating new research findings. In this post I will focus on how medical research journals slow down – way down – the spread of research, and speculate on the growing role of social media.

“I’ll do a Medline search.”
“I found an article.”
“My research was published in [insert medical research journal].”
“According to the [insert medical research journal]. . .”

…Read More »

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It’s Time to Change the MOC Process

Everyone knows the problems with the maintenance of certification testing. The tests, no matter what specialty, ask arcane details of obscure issues in medicine, information that easily could be – and is — looked up. It doesn’t test most physicians’ stock-in-trade: decision-making. The score has little to do with performance in practice.

However, to totally forgo ongoing assessment and certification turns the quality control of medical practice over to payers, including the government. In addition to it affecting our income, do we really want our abilities to be represented by how well we check off boxes in the electronic health record?…Read More »