The 2010 HAL Medical Blog Awards



A search for “medical blog” in Google will get you more than 175 million results.

But of those 175 million results, which should you actually read?

The 2010 HAL Medical Blog Awards, which highlight the very best blogs in health and medicine, aims to answer that question.  To do so, we first opened ourselves to nominations.

We heard from people sharing their favorite reads to the makers of The Golden Globe awards.  Then we compiled the list of blogs to consider and whittled it down to the top ten in each of the five categories by various criteria.

All winners on this list can include the award badge on their blog.

The #1 best blog of the 2010 HAL Medical Blog Award is Hematopoiesis, winning $200 from Apredica, which provides contract research services.

And here are the rest.

The Halls of Research – Best Blog Award

This award recognizes the top blogs run by academic institutions that make medical issues accessible to the general public.

These universities and schools show their commitment to making medical topics accessible to a general audience – to teaching – through their blogs.

#1 SCOPE – medical blog – Stanford University School of Medicine

Scope is a quite excellent and authoritative blog from Stanford University that covers a wide variety of medical topics. It’s great science and a great blog.

#2 Science Life Blog « University of Chicago Medical Center

This blog features top experts in the medical field, weighting in on important issues.  It is unusually well written, comprehensive and valuable.

#3 Clinical Correlations

This blog from the NYU school of internal medicine is dedicated to reminding physicians that the field of medicine is much more than just a job.  Posts are a charming combination of lively spunk and scientific analysis.  Easily a top blog.

#4 Knight Science Journalism Tracker

Variety and colorful selection of topics characterize the posts on this blog from MIT.  It tends to focus on controversial or highly debated issues, which makes it that much more of an enjoyable read.

#5 Science in Society Blog

Friendly, down to earth, and overall quite good, this blog from Northwestern is an outreach program to make science accessible to a general public.

#6 Life in a Medical Center — The official blog of the University of Maryland Medical Center

The stories and experiences shared on this blog are simply breathtaking.  A recent one was of a surgeon who rappelled down 25 stories.

Beyond the “wow” factor, this blog also provides excellent medical perspectives.

#7 Health Law and Policy Blog

This blog from Saint Louis University acts as an online forum to promote discussion and analysis of health law and policy.  For those interested in those areas, a great read.

#8 Dr. Buttery’s Public Health BLOG

The concise delivery of useful information makes this blog from Virginia Commonwealth University a delight to read.  It provides brief snapshots of important news items in public health.

#9 Biomedical Library Blog – UCSD Libraries

Finding information is not easy.  This blog from the University of California, San Diego, does a great job in helping readers figure out better ways to access data and information to be better informed.

#10 Health Disparities Blog | Information and Research on the topic of Health Disparities

This blog from Case Western University provides a discriminating selection of links to top news items in health and medicine.  Its focus is to raise awareness of disparities in treatment.

Future Leaders of Biomed – Best Blog Award

This award recognizes the top blogs covering biology and medical issues that are by graduate students with exceptional promise.

These bloggers exemplify the hard-work, dedication and skill it takes to make a difference in the areas of biology and medicine.

#1 Hematopoiesis

This blog provides breathtakingly detailed and informative coverage of blood stem cell topics.  The astonishing depth of its writing makes it a winner, and our number one choice overall.

#2 Bayblab

A collection of graduate students provide the insightful and often humorous posts on biomedical topics that characterize this excellent blog.  Bayblab is also well known as the home of the Cancer Research Blog Carnival.

#3 Psycotherapy Brownbag

Reading this blog by Michael and Joyce is an education in some current perspectives on psychotherapy.  Posts are typically packed with interesting information that leaves you thinking.

#4 MolBio Research Highlights

Excellent selection of important news items relating to molecular bio on this blog by grad students Alejandro and Francisco.  Detailed, in-depth, and very high quality.

#5 Disgruntled Julie: A Ph.D. in Progress

You gotta love disgruntled Julie, a Ph.D. student in oncology, who spends hours in the lab pipetting, wearing heels and pearls.  Fun to read because the author is fun.

#6 ScienceRoll

Extremely valuable discussions from a Doctor pursuing a Ph.D. in genetics.  Reading ScienceRoll is like a crash course on many of the hottest topics in health and medicine taught by an expert.

#7 Thoughtomics

In depth coverage of many different and exciting areas of science research, but particularly focused on those relating to evolution. Readers are often baffled, amazed and even offended by what the author, Lucas, writes.

#8 Old MD Girl

At the ancient age of 29, the author of this blog decided to become an MD/Ph.D.  Her posts are clever and somewhat captivating and give you a good picture of what life is like pursuing such a difficult goal.

#9 mudphudder

You get the real deal from this blog, detailing what life is like as an MD/Ph.D. student.  A post can end with the author going to treat 45 patients, several of which are really sick.  Engaging and thoughtful.

#10 Ambivalent Academic

Hilariously offensive, this blog details the very many frustrating things about pursuing a graduate degree.  But beyond the frustration, you get the sense of a hard-working researcher with great potential.  Not for those who are offended by blunt language.

Must Read Medical Blog Award

This award recognizes the top blogs in the areas of health and medicine that are particularly well written or interesting, that are must reads.  These blogs are of great interest and are must reads.

#1 The Human Factors Blog

This blog is a fascinating discussion of the human factor and how it manifests in many aspects of life.  It’s truly a look into the deeper aspects of human behavior and thought and is a blog well worth keeping up on.

#2 Beaker

The Beaker blog from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute provides a seasoned look into many current topics in health and medicine like obesity research.

The institute is dedicated to finding the molecular causes of diseases, and posts on the blog are like a guided tour through their research and work.  Thorough and rigorous while maintaining a sense of good spirit and optimism.

#3 Running a Hospital

Have you ever wondered what is it like to run a hospital?  Now you can find out.  This blog by Paul Levy, the President and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is fun and informative.

It gives you an inside look into the workings of a hospital, a perspective you might not otherwise get.

#4 Drug and Device Law

This blog presents high quality legal and sometimes philosophical analyses of various issues relating to drugs and device law.  Dry, perhaps? Check it out! You’ll likely notice the high quality writing which really brings the material to life.

#5 DermMatters

An intriguing look into the modern issues facing the field of dermatology.  Published by James Gormley, who is highly respected in the field of dermatology, Drm Matters provides thorough and informative analyses – a typical post cites 5 or more sources.

Excellent science, high quality blog.

#6 purple medical blog

Purple medical blog is an interesting experience and one that you can only understand by visiting.  Provocative and entertaining.

#7 Suture for a Living

This blog is written by a plastic surgeon.  What makes it so very, very cool is that the author also uses his surgical techniques to sew and quilt.

The karmic balance and coolness of that idea – combined with the high quality of posts, make this blog a winner.

#8 Emergiblog // The Life & Times of an ER Nurse

A nurse tells it how it is in this intimate, personal, and yet professional blog.  The author, Kim McAllister, decided to become a nurse at age 9 – that dedication and passion shows through.

#9 All About Brain Cancer

Not enough people know about this blog, which is a shame.  All About Brain Cancer is a leader in providing information and analysis of news relating to brain cancer.  It is not a fun subject, but this blog does an excellent job with the material.

#10 Beyond Meds

Beyond Meds is not always an easy to read blog.  But what makes it a winner is how it grabs you by the throat and gets your attention.  And once it gets your attention, Beyond Meds teaches you something.

Sometimes controversial, a visit to Beyond Meds certainly wakes you up.

The Voice of Experience – Best Blog Award

This award recognizes bloggers who confront their health condition and share what they’ve learned to make a difference.

#1 Six Until Me

Kerri started this blog to change the lack of information about diabetes on the web, to make it so that people who have it aren’t scared and know you can live happily despite it.

She’s done a great job.

Spend some time on this site and your heart will be touched – plus you’ll learn something about life with type 1 diabetes.

#2 Facing arthritis

This blog by Judith Lautner is a look at what life with arthritis is like.  At times, it provides an interesting blend of scientific discussion of arthritis in addition to sharing her personal experience with the condition.

Personal, revealing and intimate.

#3 Life with these Lungs!

Inspirational perhaps the word to describe this blog, which is written by a woman with asthma who is determined to persevere and become a runner.  Personal, fun and motivational.

#4 Deb’s Fibromyalgia Blog

Debbie shares the details of her struggles with fibromyalgia in this warm-hearted blog.  Her optimistic spirit is exemplified in her determination to get as much good as she can from her condition, using it to appreciate her blessings more.

#5 My ADD Blog

Tara shares her experiences with ADHD and how to overcome it on this revealing and informative blog.  Sweet and light-hearted, it is a great read, while including useful advice for overcoming ADD/ADHD.

#6 Brokenclay

This blog by Katja proves that disability of the flesh does not mean disability of the spirit.  Positive, focused, and instructive, your heart goes out to her as she struggles with the many issues that can arise from needing to use a wheelchair.

#7 Fighting the Darkness

A blog about depression is not easy reading, but Jamie is determined to share what she’s learned from fighting it for so long.  One of many lessons that could be learned from the blog: “I’ll just tough it out because I know I can.”

#8 Pulse of the Patient | Patients Empowering Patients

Pulse of the Patient attempts to provide a perspective that empowers patients, particularly in the realm of cancer treatments.  The blog provides excellent discussions of technical details relating to treatments.  It is humanizing, fun and informative.

#9 Brass and Ivory: Life with Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lisa is a positive, go-getter, who takes pride in giving back and being a part of the MS community.  Her blog is cheerful and engaging.

#10 Beth Morgan Multiple Myeloma Treatment Blog

Beth is a community organizer who does not let her condition define her but does what she can to raise awareness.  What makes this blog so great is that it showcases what the goal of treatment is – to have a normal life, while accepting the reality of multiple myeloma.

The Health Muckraker – Best Blog Award

This award recognizes the top blogs that are modern day health muckrakers, in the tradition of The Ladies Home Journal and Sinclair’s The Jungle, whose investigative journalism led to the formation of the FDA.

#1 Neuroskeptic

The first of our two neurological skeptics, Neuroskeptic took number one on our list last year for good reason and holds onto that position this year.

What makes it so great a read is that it is several things at once – very well written, scientifically accurate, and thought provoking.

#2 Pharmagossip

Visiting Pharma Gossip is like going to a pub full of pharmaceutical employees who have had a few and are letting loose on what their companies are really up to.

It is a blog that teaches you a lot about current issues in Big Pharma while possibly changing how you view the world.

Just don’t read before going to sleep.

#3 Neurologica

NeuroLogica is a gem well worth appreciating.  It provides balanced, carefully worded analyses that help readers understand neurological issues, but ventures into larger topics.  Dr. Novella, its author, has great tact to his skepticism.

NeuroLogica is like running through a sprinkler on a hot day for the mind.  You might get a little wet, but you’ll learn something.

#4 Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look

This blog provides investigative and thorough analysis of issues in psychology and psychiatry.  The author delves deeply into research and papers to prove his usually quite accurate, thought-provoking points.

Reading this blog makes you wonder how much genuine, scientific thought has gone into certain aspects of the field of psychiatry today – and how much marketing and hype.

#5 Before you Take that

This blog tries to get readers to really think about what is going on in the field of medicine.  Despite being a doctor, or because he is one, Doug Bremmer is unafraid to say that things aren’t quite right when they aren’t.

His posts investigate areas of health and medicine – and what makes them enjoyable to read is that they are well written with a sense of humor but based off good science.

The only condition we have is that if he is to accept this award, he has to dance with a sweaty person.

#6 Hooked: Ethics, Medicine, and Pharma

This blog is an investigative and thorough blog that discusses many important topics like continuing medical education, psychiatric drugs, and illicit promotion.

It is well written and put together in a way that is cohesive and helps readers understand things.

#7 The Placebo Journal

The Placebo journal exists as an extension to the print magazine Placebo Journal and the excellent Placebo Television show.  If you are unable to access those resources, the blog version provides you with excellent analysis of irregularities and unpleasant oddities in the area of health and medicine.

Truly medical humor with a purpose.

#8 Alison Bass

Written by a former Boston Globe columnist, Alison Bass is a great blog that provides a fresh look at many important issues in health and medicine.  Her reporter’s training shows through in the high caliber of her posts.

Unlike many who write about health and medicine for a general audience, she takes pride in trying (and doing a pretty good job of understanding the underlying science.  This is all-too rare.

#9 Mental Dimensions

Mental Dimensions posts going back as far as 2001.  The blog has a long history of quality investigative writing that makes it a winner.  A sharp sense of humor and insight characterize its posts – we just wish its main author Andy posted more often!

#10 FuriousSeasons

We had to include Furious Seasons which has a reputation for being one of the very best blogs for investigation and health muckraking, even though it has not been updated since the end of February.  The year is not over, and we still hope it will resume.

These awards were brought to you in part by Apredica.

Apredica provides pharmacokinetic and drug toxicity studies.  They are recognized for providing ADME, toxicity, and pharmacokinetic as well as other preclinical testing services that aid in the drug-discovery process.

4 thoughts on “The 2010 HAL Medical Blog Awards

  1. hi
    i submit my own blog for your consideration of awards, This blog discusses anaesthesiology,intensive care and some general medical diseases of interest. interns and trainees in the field of anaesthesia may find this site very useful for their professional needs


  2. Pingback: Medgina's Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *