What Cardiologists Read on Medscape in 2018

Tricia Ward


February 06, 2019

Top Cardiology Perspectives

In 2018, the most-read cardio-themed perspective among our US cardiologist audience addressed the President's cardiac health: The commentary Donald Trump Has Coronary Calcium: Is That Helpful to Know? by John Mandrola prompted a rebuttal in defense of CAC scoring from a trio of preventive cardiologists led by MESA investigator Matthew Budoff.

Our international cardiology audience preferred a discussion between Michelle O'Donoghue and David Cohen on What COMPASS and RE-DUAL Mean for Aspirin and Triple Therapy.

What about US physicians who are not cardiologists? A feature asking, Is It Time to Stop Calling HDL-C the 'Good' Cholesterol? was their most widely read cardio-themed article; it was outside the top 50 for US cards but made the top 30 for their international counterparts. 

Top News and News Alerts 

A ProPublica exposé of cardiac surgeon O.H. "Bud" Frazier  was the most-read news article among US cardiologists, and some took to the comments section to defend their colleague.

The findings of the long-awaited CABANA trial comparing catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation versus drug therapy alone was the next most read. International cardiologists were also very interested in the CABANA news, but their top 2 news stories focused on angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: One addressed their association with lung cancer risk and the second asked if it's time to ditch the drugs and use angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) instead.

Beyond Cardiology: Top News and Perspectives

Outside the realm of cardiology, a commentary from Medscape's resident medical ethicist, Art Caplan, asking, Was Matt Lauer Too Naive About Patient-Doctor Confidentiality? proved most popular with US cardiologists. Perhaps their non-American peers were unfamiliar with the now-disgraced television host. as they favored a take from Anne Peters, MD on new type 2 diabetes guidelines .

A sad account of the suicides of a New York University medical student and resident within days of each other was the most-read non-cardiology news story among American cardiologists. Their international peers were intrigued by a WebMD story on a phase 1 trial that used stem cells to restore sight in two people with wet age-related macular degeneration.

Cardiologist Contributors

The most popular Bob Harrington Show podcast with cardiologists was a discussion with C. Michael Gibson on 7 Cardiology Trials to Look for in 2018. The pair correctly predicted that ODYSSEY, CABANA, and REDUCE-IT would be hot topics, but two of the trials they addressed were delayed, so keep an eye out for VOYAGER PAD and TWILIGHT in 2019.

US physicians in general were more intrigued by the Stanford chair of medicine's discussion with Deepak Bhatt on the public reporting of outcomes.

Melissa Walton-Shirley's lament on the poor state of echocardiography was her most-read Heartfelt column of 2018 among all cardiologists, closely followed by a poignant reflection about leaving full-time practice . Physicians in general were more drawn to a review of the death of a young patient who missed her epilepsy meds because of prior authorization red tape

The topic of plant-based diets featured in the most popular Heart-to-Heart video with US physicians, including cardiologists, for the second year in a row. This time, O'Donoghue was joined by illustrious physician-vegans Kim Williams and Caldwell Esselstyn. International cardiologists favored her discussion with Darren McGuire on what cardiologists need to know about diabetes drugs.

Ileana Piña's interview with Mayo's Barry Borlaug, MD, on the disappointing findings for nebulized nitrite in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, proved to be her most popular video blog with cardiologists. Other physicians gave a slight edge to her interview on iron therapy for HF.

Gun violence is a controversial topic that can draw the ire of readers, but Eric Topol's interview with the pioneer of #ThisIsOurLane was his most watched One-on-One interview in 2018 by cardiologists and US physicians in general. Overseas cardiologists preferred his interview with then–Geisinger CEO David Feinberg, who has since moved to Google Health.

Top Slideshows and Reference

As in previous years, slideshows on salaries drew the most eyeballs. The Medscape Cardiologist  and Young Physician's Compensation Reports were the top viewed by US cardiologists in 2018. The next most popular slideshow covered the sexual harassment of physicians by patients, and this took the top spot among international cardiologists.

Other Medscape Contributors

For those willing to stray from cardiology, we have contributors in other specialties who cover topics of interest to the broader medical community. Former JAMA editor George Lundberg pipped John Mandrola for the 2018 Eddie Award for best healthcare/medical column/blog. His commentary about the nonexistent autopsy for Mary Jo Kopechne was his most popular contribution in 2018 among US physicians.

This year, Medscape added F. Perry Wilson, MD, to its roster of contributors. The epidemiologist's weekly take on a major study crosses many subjects, but not surprisingly, it was Strike Three for Aspirin that resonated most with cardiologists.

Outspoken oncologist Vinay Prasad also joined Medscape's ranks in 2018. His critique of Twitter cheerleaders who overhype new drugs or trials was his most-read column among Medscape physicians.

If there are topics or voices you would like to see on theheart.org | Medscape in 2019, let us know in the comments section.

Editor's note: Rankings are for physicians registered on theheart.org | Medscape and are based on readership from December 1, 2017, through December 31, 2018, for articles posted between those dates.

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