Last updated 18 January 2011
About the Author
PalMD is a pseudonym used by an internist practicing in the Great Lakes region of the U.S. The author is not anonymous, and writes in a number of venues, but finds pseudonymity to be a useful internet convention. In addition to being internet custom, a pseudonym allows for a consistent internet identity across venues while allowing some control over how you are represented in internet searches. PalMD is a real doctor, but he is not your doctor.
I am a board-certified internist. How do you know that? You don't, really. Any personal medical issues the reader may have should be referred to the reader's physician. If the reader freely chooses to use some random anonymous blog to make medical decisions, well, that would be just foolish.
About the Blog
White Coat Underground is a blog about a lot of things, but whose tagline is "musings on the intersection of science, medicine, and culture." If you want to get a better idea of what we're about here, come on in and take a look around. The blog began in May of 2007, went on hiatus while I wrote for denialism blog at scienceblogs.com, and was re-born on scienceblogs.com. Certain editorial decisions led me to join up with several colleagues here at Scientopia. My writing has continued without significant interruption since May 2007.
My posts represent my own opinions, thoughts, etc. and no one else's. Neither my hospital, partners, university, nor anyone else has approved of anything I write. The information in my posts is intended for discussion purposes and not as recommendations on how to diagnose or treat illnesses.
My blog contains a great deal of medical information, most of which is sourced and can be easily looked up and verified. Anyone using this space to advance their own pet medical ideas or to advocate wildly non-standard medical ideas will be warned and possibly banned. If you make wildly bizarre health claims, be prepared to back them up. It is not my responsibility to disprove every wild claim that comes my way.
I write all of the posts on this blog unless otherwise noted. As commenting is an essential part of the dialog encouraged by blogging I will allow commenters great leeway in posting content. I stand by the accuracy of the medical information I present in my posts, but not what is contained in the comments. The appearance of a comment should in no way be confused for an endorsement. I rarely delete or censor comments (the exception being when I feel they have outright dangerous or hateful content). Commenting is an integral part of a weblog, and I will always allow it here, but none of the comments should be contrued as offering valid medical advice.
Confidentiality and Privacy
Confidentiality is more important than any other principle in medical writing. I always change significant data about clinical cases, which can include gender, place, temporal relationships, and other potentially identifying data. Cases are often amalgams of different patients' stories.
Please remember that any information you submit through comments or email are inherently un-secure. If you wouldn't shout it from the rooftops, don't send it to me or post it in a comment. That being said, I will never intentionally divulge personal information or contact information of our visitors, with the following exception: if you make threatening comments, or use the comment thread to try to sell something, I will, at my discretion, reveal whatever I wish.
The following is a good guide to commenting on blogs: type whatever you will, but your email or comment may become the subject of a new post, and that isn't always a good thing for the commenter.
Advertising, funding, and compensation
I do not currently accept advertising or compensation for this blog. I do frequently receive press releases by email, and if I use them as a source, I note it specifically (more often, I use press releases as examples of how not to source a story). From time to time, I may receive a book from a publisher. If I review a book I received for free, I note it in the post.
I can be reached by email here.
I do not answer medical questions by mail. Ever.