Friday, July 1, 2011

The Common Sense Family Doctor speaks

Since I began blogging at Common Sense Family Doctor in July 2009, its posts have been featured in widely read blogs such as and Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview, as well as the websites of major national newspapers such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Boston Globe. I have also written the consumer health blog Healthcare Headaches for U.S. News and World Report since August 2010.

Like the vast majority of physicians who blog, I write in my spare time. I have never accepted advertising or paid web links on Common Sense Family Doctor, and the choices of topics for posts are my own and not influenced by financial or other conflicts of interest. In order to support the time I devote to blogging, and to encourage high-quality medical writing and clinical practice, I give lectures and workshops to medical and non-medical audiences on a variety of topics. These include the uses of social media tools in medicine and education, developing and implementing medical guidelines, and the evidence supporting specific prevention recommendations. If you or your organization would like to invite me to speak about any of these topics, please e-mail me at or

Upcoming events:

Overdiagnosed and Over-Prevented: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health
- William J. Bicknell Lecture (panelist)
- Boston University School of Public Health
October 28, 2011

Past events:

Don't Do It! Preventive Health Services That Harm More Than They Help
- District of Columbia Academy of Family Physicians

Using the Medical Literature to Make Decisions About Preventive Health Services
- Medical Librarians Association

Medical Blogging and Other Professional Uses of Social Media
- Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center

Spilling Ink: An Expert's Guide to Getting Your Work Published
- Society of Teachers of Family Medicine

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Clinical and Community Settings
- Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

The Value of Preventive Health Services
- Employees of MetLife

COPD Update: A Prevention Perspective
- Maryland Academy of Family Physicians


  1. Hi Dr. Linn: Since you work at Georgetown Univrsity Hospital, can you tell me why the doctors there (who took care of my daughter) could not agree with one another and they were not on the same page with one another. The gastroenterologists and the resident doctors (internists) and even the young internists were all on different pages. I always thought thet Georgetown Hospital was suppose to be a great hospital; however, we found out differently. The experience there (not a good one) made us appreciate the smaller hospitals like Inova Loudoun Hospital a lot more than we ever had. However, almost all the nurses, the concierge, valet and others were all great. It was only the doctors that really upset us. So when I needed knee surgery, I drove 3 hours away to the University of Pennsylvania just to have it done; even though, I could have gone to Georgetown. Can you please give us some feedback on that question.

  2. Dear Anonymous - Thank you for your comments. I'm sorry that you and your daughter had a poor experience at GUH. I'm afraid that I can't explain why it happened, as I haven't actually worked at the hospital since 2006. However, I am afraid that Georgetown is hardly the only high-profile medical center to experience problems with coordination of care. Johns Hopkins, where I also have a faculty appointment, has had several terrible medical errors result from failures in communication, more than once leading to tragedy (see the Josie King Foundation at for the full story).

    Your observation that the nurses there did much to improve your experience is one reason why there is a movement in medicine to empower nurses and other "allied health professionals" to prevent doctors from injuring patients by omitting simple infection-control procedures such as washing their hands. Working in teams where not only all the doctors, but everyone else involved in patient care, is on the "same page" is the ultimate goal of these efforts, though they still fall short far too often.

  3. Congratulations, Kenny. Excellent contributions.