Posts tagged ‘celebrities’
I had the pleasure to talk today to Mary Morgan, who is the widow of Dr. Benjamin Spock. She founded the Dr. Spock Company, which built drspock.com after his death. She told me that during “the dot com rage” she was approached by many people to do a Pediatric site which would emphasis child development and include a new section on OB/GYN. Ms. Morgan’s primary impetus was to provide a tool to help parents raise their children in conjunction with the newly revised Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care. The site offers an order of magnitude more information than the book, with different ways of delivery, including experts on child development, a feature that is not common on Pediatric sites.
Ms. Morgan is interested in building a new and updated Pediatric site in conjunction with these medical experts. Her goal is to have a site that is easier to revise and update and has the “oomph it needs”. She will be guest lecturing to my Online Health Communities class and, as one of their class projects, they will work on the design of the new site.
If you use the book or the site, what online features could help you be a better or more knowledgeable parent?
Sen. Ted Kennedy was diagnosed this week with a malignant tumor. I bet he is not online looking for answers right now. Why? Because the answers have been provided by some of the world’s experts. In fact, they are there for everyone to read in the Boston Globe and other newspapers, complete with graphics.
Some say health is the great equalizer. (Others call education, the internet, – you name it – the great equalizer.) Many studies have examined health disparities and looked at the impact of health insurance, ethnicity, gender, and other factors on the quality of health and health care.
Health disparities aside, anyone can become ill. Everyone’s hearts go out to Sen. Kennedy and his family at his diagnosis. But many people, given a devastating diagnosis – or even a minor one – turn to the internet for help.
Before the internet, people relied primarily on their doctors. Now they rely on their doctors and the internet. But do people use the internet because they want to or because they have to?
Most people do not have world-renowned experts chiming in on the best course of treatment. Even the graphics – I can only remember one time that a doctor drew a sketch for me.
My friend Maureen emailed me:
I certainly have used the internet for health information. Usually what I find scares the daylights out of me! Or it’s too general and simplistic- until I find the right sites. Since I’m such a worrier I always need to be careful in that regard because it can be addictive- just one more search!
Maureen, a physician’s daughter, uses the internet for herself and her family, as do many others, obsessively searching for answers. People like Maureen and me use the internet because we are not rich or famous enough to have teams of experts to treat us. Ultimately, no one wants to be ill and, if they are, they want the best expertise available.
Congratulations on finishing your bachelor’s degree at the University of Alabama! I wrote about your accomplishment in eLearn Magazine in a column about the impact of celebrities (you and Britney Spears) on hits. Please don’t feel exploited because I was genuinely delighted to read about your online degree. In fact, the purpose of this letter is to request your further insights: what was it like to be an online student? What are you going to do next – perhaps graduate school? Or start an outreach program to encourage other people who left school without their degree to return and complete it?
I look forward to hearing from you,