Grand Rounds Vol 8:No 15 – The Twitter Edition


Before Facebook and Twitter and Google+, and long before the word “social media” became religion, something called the Medical Blogging made its appearance on the world-wide web.

In those days, there was a small, close-knit community of medical bloggers, who read and commented on one another’s blogs, held long discussions in the comments sections and embedded links to one another’s posts in order to send a message – “I’m reading you and this is what I think about what you wrote”.  In this group, there was no one with a product or a book to sell, no one with ads on their pages, and no one aggregating other blogger’s content (although Kevin was very busy linking away – he was always way ahead of the rest of us at this game).


At the forefront of this little group of bloggers was Nick Genes, who one day said “Let’s do a medical blog carnival!” For those of you too internet-young to know what a blog carnival is, it is a compilation of posts on a given topic submitted by bloggers and curated by a rotating series of volunteers who post that week’s compilation on their own site. Nick cleverly called his carnival “Grand Rounds” and the rest, as they say, is history.

When Grand Rounds started in September 2004, it was the highlight of the week for all of us. We hung out on our computers on Tuesday mornings with a cup of coffee, checking out the best of what the medical blogsphere had produced that week, linking to it on our own blogs and leaving lots of comments for the host. Hosting and having your blog post cited in Grand Rounds evolved to be a great honor and was the best way to introduce yourself to your fellow medical bloggers and to jumpstart your presence in the online medical community. It was our little home on the internet, and we loved it.


Which in internet time is like an entire generation. Since then, the number of doctors engaged in social media has skyrocketed as has the volume and quality of the conversation about healthcare on the internet. Mainstream media healthcare journalists, some of whom are doctors, are creating fabulous content that truthfully is outshining what many of us docs with a busy day job (including myself) can produce on a regular basis. Aggregator sites like Kevin MD, Better Health and even Huff Post are republishing the best of what many bloggers are writing.  More importantly, the concept of the individual blog has been augmented and in some cases, overshadowed by Twitter and to a lesser extent, Facebook, whose continual unending stream demands our constant attention, lest we miss something important that someone said (or re-said, as is mostly the case).

In truth, Grand Rounds has dropped a bit off all of our radars. Many, if not most of us have abandoned the old RSS feed to hang out on Twitter, where our online community has grown from a few dozen bloggers to feeds and followers in the hundreds and even thousands. Which begs the question –


It’s a topic that has garnered much discussion in the past few weeks, as Nick and current Grand Rounds curator Val Jones surveyed the medical blogging community about what they thought Grand Rounds should be.  

I expect Dr Vartebedian, our rapid-rising social media guru, will have something interesting to say and do on the topic next week when he hosts Grand Rounds. And so, I will leave my edition of Grand Rounds more as prelude to his than the definitive word on what the New Grand Rounds format will be.


Think of this edition more as a little experiment to see if Grand Rounds can make it in the era of the short communiqué (which already this post has far, far exceeded, making me an official blogging dinosaur).

I’ve culled 12 posts well worth your read from submitted links and my wanderings around the internet. Every post is summarized and commented on in 140 characters or less. I’m posting at 7 am and tweeting both the entire set and each post individually throughout the morning, and ask that you re-tweet if you feel about a post the same way I do. If you submitted a post and it wasn’t listed, please don’t be offended – and do submit again next week! 

I actually found the curating a shorter list of posts made hosting a much less laborious and more enjoyable process than previously, and while composing tweets is ever challenging, it’s always fun. 

Perhaps the echo chamber will not only revive but rejuvenate this old dinosaur, so that it will reverberate throughout and beyond our not so little anymore blogging community. Whether or not that happens, dear reader, is up to you.

So Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!


Dan Muro at

  • Healthcare Stats for 2012.  Some will astound, some frighten, some anger you (esp no. 11). @GrandRounds

Shara Yurkowitz at Plosblogs –

  • This may hurt a bit” Why some docs fail to live up to their title in a patient’s eyes (and ears). @GrandRounds

Dr Michael Korlwchak at Wired Medical Practice

  • Deep Thoughts from the Meaningful Use Mountaintop. The harsh realities of EMR in practice. @GrandRounds

Dr.Bertalan Meskó at Science Roll

  • 12 predictions for HIT, Tech & Innovation in 2012. (He got most of 2011 right.) @GrandRounds

Beth L Gainer at Calling the Shots.

  • “Five years ago today, I had to get something off my chest. It was my breasts.” Brutally honest. @GrandRounds

RL Bates, MD at Suture for a Living

  • @RLBates – Top Eleven of 2011. The years’s best from one of medicine’s best bloggers. @GrandRounds

Jamie Rauscherat Health Jam

Michele R Berman, MD at Celebrity Diagnosis

  • Celebrity Health – 2011. Shamelessly taking advantage of Rich & Famous to teach rest of us about health. @CelebrityDx.

Dr Elaine Schattnerat Medical Lessons

  • @MedicalLessons – IOM report on environment & breast cancer – great summary of an important report. @GrandRounds

Dr Mike Sevilla at Family Medicine Rocks

  • @drmikesevilla – Open Letter to Congress – I Will Stop Taking Medicare. (Cuts delayed – Go Mike!) @GrandRounds

Richard Winters, MD at Beyond the Clinical

  • @drwinters. How I lost credibility in 5 mins – Investigating MD Incident Reports.Docs & admins must-read @GrandRounds

William Dale, MD at WilliamDaleMd

  • A Personal Journey Down the Rabbit Hole – Doc tries to get son’s med record. Powerful. @WilliamDale_md @GrandRounds

15 Responses to Grand Rounds Vol 8:No 15 – The Twitter Edition

  1. Very interesting concept with this week’s Grand Rounds, though I suppose that I too am among the blogging dinosaurs since I enjoy reading and writing in longer format. Super short “posts” seem a waste of a click to me. I dislike a catchy title slapped on a post devoid of the writer’s own thoughts and substance. If that makes me old-fashioned, so be it. Thanks for hosting this week, and I look forward to reading the selected posts.

  2. Hi Peggy,

    Thanks for kicking things off in 2012. I love the idea of incorporating Twitter as a way to give Grand Rounds a fresh look. Thanks also for including my post.

    Jamie Rauscher

  3. Thanks for linking to my first blog post! Enjoying the other interesting posts here and will be visiting regularly.

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