ramen and pickles

science, technology, and medicine served up with some tasty noodles

Monthly Archives: November 2011

Role Reversal in Healthcare Privacy: Patient sues dentist over gag order

Patient sues dentist over gag order, gets Medical Justice to backtrack

“A patient has filed a class-action lawsuit against his New York dentist over her attempts to use copyright law to gag the patient’s online reviews of her services. Robert Lee, who recently moved to Maryland, has asked a New York federal court to declare that his comments are protected under copyright’s fair use doctrine, that the dentist’s attempts to gag him breach dental ethics, and that the “privacy agreement” the patient was forced to sign is invalid and illegal under New York law.”





The Epidemic of Mental Illness & The Illusions of Psychiatry

These two pieces came up in the internal medicine grand rounds at Stanford this morning (Phiip Pizzo, the dean of the medical school brought them up), and they are very interesting!  They are about the strong ties of academic/research psychiatrists  with the pharmaceutical industry, problems with disease mongering if the face of vague diagnostic definitions, and the validity of many trials when biologically active placebos often do as well as the medications.




Part 1:



Part 2:


A very lively discussion (i.e. very contentious):


Marcia Angell is a pathologist, with her own biases, so for example it’s easy for her to say “I believe doctors should be prohibited from prescribing psychoactive drugs off-label, just as companies are prohibited from marketing them off-label” when she doesn’t’ see patients.  On the other hand, she is famous in her own right, and is an un-conflicted but knowledgeable party able to comment externally on the field of psychopharmacology, and I think they are very interesting and thought provoking reviews.


One of the responders makes a funny and good point: “Surely anyone who’s ever had a drink knows that there must be a biological substrate to mental states”.




How Khan Academy is using Machine Learning to Assess Student Mastery | David Hu



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