Important Things from Class Last Night (To help me remember)

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”. 

Article Summary- Coleth, Margaret H. “Medical Subject Headings Used to Search the Biomedical Literature.”

            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.

Article Summary: “Investigating biomedical research literature in the blogosphere: a case study of diabetes and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c).”

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.

Learning Styles

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, 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?

Black Mambas and Paul Farmer

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? “Black Mambas” video

Clinic in a Can:

Global Impact Charity Parners

Improving the Quality of Care in developing countries

Partners in Health

Harvard’s biography of 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

Some Important Things I Remember from Class Last Night





To be able to pick books that our patrons will need and actually use, we actually have to get to know them. (Shocker, right?)

There are also lists that can help us, with suggested books. (But you can also look on Publisher websites and these publishers might tweet about new books.


I don’t think publishers are going to work together much though, to put their information about similar subjects together so that people could find it easily.

The website that Dr. MacCall showed us that let you see two different textbooks side by side was really cool.

How can we help people become more health literate, ’cause that’s important.

Article Summary – Dervin, Brenda. “Libraries reaching out with health information to vulnerable populations: guidance from research on information seeking and use.”

Dervin, Brenda. “Libraries reaching out with health information to vulnerable populations: guidance from research on information seeking and use.” Journal of the Medical Library Association 93.4 (2005) : S74-S80. Web. 2 June 2014.



Brenda Dervin, in this article, discusses similarities and differences between library science and communication. In the communication field, people study was to broadcast a message, to get others to pay attention to it, and hopefully persuade them to change their practices. Of course we have a message, but people don’t necessarily just passively listen and absorb the message, they might react. Library scientists, a bit more altruistically, on the other hand, examine people’s information needs, how they look for answers, and how information can best be ordered to find it again, as needed. With regards to communication, if the person composing or broadcasting the message is arrogant or condescending, people aren’t going to respond well. An important thing to look at then, for communicationists, is do messages actually get people to change how they behave, and what about a message actually gets people to do this (most effective practices). On page S76, she remarks that people are more likely to listen up and do something if they can see similarities between themselves and the recomendees (a listener might think why should I listen to this person? Does he or she actually understand and/or care about my life? Does what he or she is  talking about actually affect me at all?); and sometimes people broadcasting the message might make bad assumptions, and that can’t really help get a message across. Also, on page S76, Dervin notes that people  realize that something somebody with expertise might say today could be totally bashed by somebody else, and tend to distrust establishments more and more. She suggests, we should treat a message more as a dialog, than just thinking somebody passively will soak up a message. Dervin also notes that somebody without familiarity with a subject doesn’t have the same protection as sombody steeped in the necessary knowledge and understanding.  And sometimes people might need more than information, no matter its importance (Dervin, S77).