Other important things to keep in mind from class:
May have already mentioned this, but can’t hurt to repeat it
So, our (medical librarians’) job is to facilitate future doctor’s medical education by giving them the books – and other materials like online journals- e.g. the information they need – while they are learning: during the first two years of med school, during their clinical rotations, internship, and residency too, making sure it’s well organized so that it can be found easily and quickly, and keep doing the same for them even after they become full fledged doctors. (But that brings up the point of continuing education because doctors should be refreshing their knowledge and constantly learning.) So, to make a long ramble short, what we do is support doctors and other health professionals.
Esparza, Julia M., et al. “The effect of a clinical medical librarian on in-patient care outcomes” Journal of the Medical Library Association 101.3 (2013): 185-191. Web. 13 June 2014.
It took seven pages to say: inconclusive findings! Aghhhhh!!!
Esparza et al. undertook an in-depth study of LSU Health Shreveport in Louisiana, spanning many years to see what effect a heal services librarian (what they call a “CML”) had on patient care; were patients more likely to have to come back? What was the morbidity rate like? As two groups of doctors, residents, internists, and med students went on rounds, they were divided into two groups. One group would work with a CML; one wouldn’t. What they saw was that as the groups got divvied up, the fully-fledged doctors were the most likely to confer with the CML, and the doctors were more likely to go to them with the difficult cases. I thought it was interesting that the CMLs had access to the patient’s PubMed was the “go-to” resource (though sometimes doctors might ask for a particular resource (the one mentioned in the article was The New England Journal of Medicine.) Mostly, what Esparza et al. found out was that they couldn’t really determine any particular effect that CML’s had on patient care. When you work with people, there are lots of factors that can complicate a study (for example, how a group of people interact.) My thoughts were that this was a really neat study, but the language was kind of hard to get through, especially the charts and mathspeak; but that might just be me.) It would be nice to see though, that health services librarians do help, and are needed, and a respected member of the team though; we could have some evidence and say, “Look at what we were able to help accomplish.”) Knowing as much as you can about technology, especially applied to medicine, and just knowing the medical field, and foster good relationships with your team would be my advice.
Medline searches- you don’t want to get too many results; you can use filters. Start with the medline databases.
There are aspects that you can click on, to further specify your main heading.
Make sure that you are at the right hierarchical level in the medical subject headings. Too specific? Too not specific enough?
Oooh, somebody mentioned aerospace medicine. Yay!
I feel like I got stuck in a time warp, and ended up back in LS 500!
Look at the MeSH heading treetops! There’s A, B, and C.
Then when you click on those, you tunnel down,
The further sections are divided up logically, to represent medical knowledge: they’re divided up similar to texbook styles, and based on Flexner’s medical education model.
If you’re talking about something like “e coli”, you can usually specify by saying “e coli infections”, so that takes you to “diseases” instead of “organisms”.
Coleth, Margaret H. “Medical Subject Headings Used to Search the Biomedical Literature.” Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 8.4 (2001): 317-323. Web. 9 June 2014.
M. Coleth discusses the history of Medline searching and Medical Subject headings (MeSHes). She starts this history during the Civil War time period with John Shaw Billings; he was studying epilepsy, and had to travel to multiple states to get the information that he needed. Eventually, he would go and work with the Surgeon General, and would start the Index Medicus, which would index medical articles. Then, she goes on to talk about Frank Bradway Billings, during World War II, who would be one of the first professionally trained librarians to hold the post that he did. The 60’s saw more of a push for automating tasks. And in order to make medical information in articles easier to find, medical subject headings were innovated. The articles would be assigned medical subject headings, so that people could look them up. For the print Index Medicus articles, you are only able to look them up by four or so main MeSHes, not really the secondary MeSHes, considered more peripheral. Like Professor Carlito mentioned last fall in LS 501, when connecting to databases was very expensive, librarians would have to come up with their search, make sure they had a plan, before going online. Later, when this wasn’t such an issue, people could use the database searching to redefine their searches, letting the computer do some of the work. At MeSHes’s beginnings, people had to go and have specialty training, and sometimes searchers would not get their results for weeks, when what they needed to look up might be a moot issue. But MeSHes are definitely awesome, because they help us find good information; they can adapt as needed, and have lasted. One of the interesting questions is do MeSHes work with a search engine like Google? We could look at that.
Gruzd, Anatoliy, et al. “Investigating biomedical research literature in the blogosphere: a case study of diabetes and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c).” Journal of the Medical Library Association 100.1 (2012): 34-42. Web. 7 June 2014.
Gruzd, Black et al. undertake a study of blogs about diabetes. They want to see if blog writers reference medical literature. Are the blogs that do reference medical articles those that are read often? Which blogs link to each other? To answer these questions, they got three datasets of articles. The first set included articles about diabetes from Medline. The other two datasets were blogs that they got from Google, and 2 other search engines. Basically, what they saw was that there was a group that did reference medical articles, but it seemed like most blogs did not. So people who read blogs might not necessarily be looking for information about a disease from their blog, they may just be looking for support, and to find people in similar situations. Most people who referenced medical articles were doctors. There were blogs that analyzed articles and those that just announced them. Are people getting the information that they need if blogs aren’t very well connected (If there are little blog cliques)? People could be made aware of new medical information easily (They would probably want this information, but would they want it in blog form? And if they don’t want to read about new medical information on blogs, where do they want to get it from?) Since we can figure out the blogs, can comment on them, and we post about new articles on our blogs too (or on Twitter), and break down the articles in easy to understand language. But we should also encourage people to discuss what they read with their doctors, because that’s their turf.
For me, learning tough material is easier if it’s put in a small, catchy unit with music, a.k.a. a song.
So my possibly fantastic idea that I had a few years ago is Singingmedschool.com, with songs to help you remember important material from lectures.
As for podcasts, my brother listens to them, and tried to get me started on them; they aren’t bad, it’s just I’m lazy, and I wouldn’t want to sit and stare at a computer screen or stay by the computer to listen to them. I would want to put them on my phone, so I could go for a walk, move. Maybe I could download Juice (the podcast manager he recommended for my phone. But then, when I use my phone alot, the battery wears down very quickly. Ahhhhh, technology. Maybe if there was a stand for laptops that you could use with a treadmill
P.S. random thought, but i was talking with an MD today, and she mentioned interfaces. Is there anyone studying interfaces of med journals and other such resources that doctors and med students use, to make sure that these interfaces are a joy to work with, not a pain?
P.S.S.S. I don’t know about you, but I dislike having to stare at a computer screen for hours at a time. Anybody have any tips or advice about how to deal with eye strain?
Another of my varied medically related interests includes bringing top-notch quality medical services wherever they are needed.
Paul Farmer is a medical anthropologist who is working on making better medical care available in Haiti, and I saw this neat episode of PBS’s Nature. How can we get antivenins where they are needed?
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/black-mamba/introduction/5260/ “Black Mambas” video
Clinic in a Can: http://www.clinicinacan.org/
Global Impact Charity Parners
Improving the Quality of Care in developing countries http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11790/
Partners in Health http://www.pih.org/
Harvard’s biography of Paul Farmer http://ghsm.hms.harvard.edu/people/faculty/paul-farmer
So what do you think? What suggestions do you have for improving medical services realistically and economically?
P.S.S.S. What do you think medical records will look like in just a few years from now?
I can imagine doctors using their phones and tablets more and more, because that’s just been the trend in the general population.
P.S.S.S.S. Do you think people will have more electronic access to their health records? My mom used to have a little book where she kept our shot records