I got a mention in the mahslin blog today: http://mahslin.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/the-wind-in-our-sails/

I was a speaker at their annual meeting. They’re medical librarians and they are currently feeling under siege from cost-cutting measures. “Why should we bother having librarians when we have the internet?” is the corporate logic. It’s logic I would have pursued, too, before meeting them in person.

Librarians are information scientists. While doctors may do a little to keep up with current research, they’re primarily educated by pharma companies with a vested interest in presenting research and information that encourages doctors to prescribe drugs. While their intentions are no doubt good, there’s so much research about how unconscious bias controls our behavior that I just don’t believe the pharma reps are presenting unbiased health information to the doctors.

The librarians, however, are trained to seek out the latest information and understand the quality of that information. While doctors are busy seeing patients, librarians are busy learning the latest. In-hospital librarians then serve as a resource to medical teams to make sure they are aware of the latest and best information about treatments and research right when they need it.

Next time you’re in need of emergency medical care, make sure you have a competent, skillful doctor, nurse, EMT, or nurse practitioner helping you out. And so they can do their job better, ask for your medical librarian to lend their expertise.

When you’re sick, ask for … a libraria…

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