Wednesday, September 15, 2010

KevinMD in the New York Times Magazine and When the Internet is Really Cool

This past weekend, in "The Heat of the Night," Lisa Sanders, MD wrote one of those mystery medical cases in the New York Times Magazine. She walked through the puzzling presentation of a man with fever and a liver mass. His physician friend was worried.

Schumann was worried, too. He lived nearly a thousand miles away — too far to come and see his friend. Besides, the patient was posting all his test results for his friends and family, so Schumann was following the case from a distance, and he still had no idea what was going on. If he was the second opinion, then the patient clearly needed a third. Suddenly Schumann had an idea. What if they opened the mystery of his symptoms to other doctors? What if they put his case on the Internet — on a blog read mostly by doctors — and let some new eyes and brains work on this problem? The patient was excited by the idea.

That afternoon Schumann put the case on a blog ( he was writing and contacted Kevin Pho, who has a popular medical blog (, who then posted it, too. Within hours, a dozen comments were posted in response. Several pointed to a series of reports similar to this very case: patients with large hemangiomas and persistent nightly fevers. In several cases, simply removing the tumor stopped the fevers.

So like, how cool is that?