Dr. Val Promotes Better Health on the Internet

Colin T. Son


September 23, 2008

This week marks the fifth-year anniversary of Grand Rounds, the weekly collection of blog posts from doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and others in the healthcare arena. Grand Rounds has evolved significantly since Dr. Nick Genes founded it 5 years ago. Now, Dr. Genes is passing the torch to Dr. Val Jones, who will help organize and promote the weekly blog collection.

"Dr. Val" is a well-known figure in the online medical community. She is branching out into online medical business ventures and recently started her own personal blog. She took the time to talk recently.

Colin Son: So you've started a new blog. Tell us about it.

Dr. Val: I'm truly excited to announce the launch of my new blogging Web site, Getting Better with Dr. Val. It's been a long time in the making, and it feels great to be my own boss. The Web site is devoted to elevating awareness of Grand Rounds, the medical blogging community, and my own brand, Better Health.


Dr. Val Jones hosts Grand Rounds
September 23, 2008

Colin Son: What is Better Health?

Dr. Val: Better Health is the parent company for a suite of products and services designed to help people make informed health decisions. The Internet is full of exaggerated health claims, false advertising, and misinformation. Better Health is a safe zone for people looking for medically accurate information. At launch, Better Health will include the Getting Better blog (a continuation of Dr. Val and the Voice of Reason, my blog devoted to interviews, true stories, and medical news), Getting Better TV (a television talk show that will feature interviews with people like blogger Paul Levy, Governor Mike Huckabee, TV host Bob Schieffer, and AMA President Nancy Nielsen), and Getting Better Cartoons (laughter is the best medicine). Later this year, we hope to launch the Getting Better Store where people can find exceptional deals on medical products and services.

Colin Son: It sounds like you are busy, and that may be an understatement. What do you do with your free time?

Dr. Val: Well, I'm in the final stages of becoming credentialed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I intend to volunteer my services (through the Red Cross) to help our troops recover from traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and other orthopaedic and rehabilitation-type issues. Otherwise, much of my "free time" will be spent cartooning, preparing TV segments at the National Press Club studios, and doing all I can to promote Grand Rounds. The medical blogosphere has a vibrant and growing voice in medicine, and health policymakers should take note. Being in Washington gives me a great opportunity to promote medical bloggers.

Oh, and I almost forgot -- I've committed to becoming a regular blog contributor to both Science-Based Medicine and Medpolitics.com.

Colin Son: You've been a big part of the medical blogging community and have spent considerable effort promoting online provider-patient communication. Why are blogs and blogging carnivals, like Grand Rounds, important? What do you think the future holds for the online medical community?

Dr. Val: When I first found Grand Rounds a couple of years ago, I recognized immediately how important it was for the medical blogging community. Nick Genes had a stroke of genius when he created this democratic way to enhance cross-linkage and awareness of medical blogs. I began submitting blog posts each week to Grand Rounds, I hosted a couple of times, and Nick eventually asked if I could help to carry the torch for him as he was under a lot of pressure during his chief year in emergency medicine.

My current goal is to enhance awareness of Grand Rounds and market it successfully.

I really do think that medical blogs will become more and more influential in informing health policy and educating people about their diseases and conditions. Every healthcare professional can have a voice in the medical blogosphere, and great ideas naturally rise to the top. We can learn so much from one another -- and the healthcare community can communicate through blogging like never before. There's no better place to become acquainted with the best of the medical blogosphere than through Grand Rounds. I hope we'll get a lot of great submissions for our fifth-year anniversary edition!

Colin Son: On September 23, 2008, Dr. Val hosts Grand Rounds. Help celebrate the fifth-year anniversary edition of Grand Rounds by heading over and taking a look at the best blog posts submitted by physicians, nurses, students, patients, and others.



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