Are you ready to friend your doctor on Facebook?

When we talk about the next generation of health care, we tend to focus on the issues being bandied about in Washington right now. Will coverage be universal and deliver good care to the poor, the rich, and those in the middle? Will it be publicly funded, privatized or some combination of the two? Will all our doctors have access to digitized versions of our medical records?

But there’s another aspect of medical care that people don’t talk about too much — how can patients get their doctors to be better communicators?

I’m lucky. I don’t have that problem. My internist is an old friend, which means that I have his email address, his cell phone and even his home number. I don’t abuse these things, but I do use them. And it has completely transformed the way I manage my health. I often email him with a quick question that doesn’t require a face-to-face visit.  I don’t use his receptionist for appointments because we usually just make them by email. I save time. And I feel spoiled.

Jay Parkinson, a doctor-turned-health care entrepreneur, wants to deliver the kind of relationship I have with my doctor to anyone who wants it. And he wants to take it a step further, giving patients access to an entire team of doctors all available for online visits and chats, specialist referrals, second opinions. {Read the rest at Yahoo!}

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Are your work habits making you look old?

A new book, “How Not to Act Old,” by Pamela Redmond Satran is climbing the ranks of the Amazon humor section. I’ve read it and like most humor, there’s a lot of truth behind its snarky advice and tips for middled aged folks who are starting to feel like they “just don’t get those young people.” Satran dissects and contrasts the habits of the old (basically, anyone over 40) with those of their children (or those young enough to be their children) decoding everything from the way different groups use technology (old people leave voicemails; young people assume people will see a missed call and return it), to the way they use language (old people smoke pot; young people call it weed); and even attitudes towards bikini waxing (fodder for a whole mini chapter).

As someone who has been working long enough to remember wearing pantyhose to my first two jobs as a lawyer (yes, I’m that old) and who now wonders whether I can get away with wearing leggings to a professional event, I appreciated Satran’s take on how not to act old at work.

I asked her for some customized tips for readers who want to appear a little younger in their use of technology in their careers. Here’s what she had to say: {Read the rest at Yahoo!}

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How to improve your email etiquette

Recently, I started using an old family friend as a travel agent. Before then, we’d never had occasion to email one another. From the start, I was shocked to find that she regularly wrote her emails exclusively in all uppercase letters. I politely mentioned that using all caps in an email is the equivalent of screaming in voice conversations and she said she appreciated the tip. Still, I couldn’t help wondering how a professional could get by today without mastering one of the most basic tenets of email manners.

And that’s not the only email etiquette breach that makes me scratch my head. Every time I have to scroll through 50 email addresses before reading a message from a colleague who used the cc rather than bcc function, I find myself wishing that some kind of licensing or training were required before people were allowed to get on email.

Since that’s never going to happen, here are a few ways to ensure that your email style makes you look as smart as possible and doesn’t annoy those on the receiving end of your messages. {Read the rest at Yahoo!}

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How to look like you’re working when you’re unemployed

There is a natural tendency to want to hire someone who is already working, but in this economy, how do you convince those who you want to hire you that you are already doing what they want you to do?

When I decided I wanted to be a writing coach, I did two simple things. I added a “slash” to my business card (writer/speaker/writing coach) and to the signature line of my email address. Before I had even figured out the details of my coaching business — what I’d charge, where I’d meet with clients — people started asking me about my services. Within a couple of months, my coaching practice was off the ground.

The business card and email signature work well if you’re consulting or freelancing, but if you are looking for a full-time job, you’ll need to use different techniques. Here are some other ideas: {Read the rest at Yahoo!}

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5 steps to an empty email inbox

Email management is like dieting. You know what you’re supposed to do, but you need a refresher now and then. And headlines promising “Three Ways To Tame Your Inbox,” are as irresistible as those offering, “Five Foods That Will Change Your Life.”

Still, eating right is easier for me than getting email under control which is why I’ve sampled every program around, from those offered by experts like David Allen , Gina Trapani and Merlin Mann to those by anyone else who claims to have the cure.

If you’re wondering why I’m qualified to give advice on this, it’s because my inbox has held less than 20 messages for close to two weeks. That’s like shedding two dress sizes.

Full disclosure: like with dieting advice, there is nothing new here. I’m just delivering it in a new wrapper. But here’s what’s working for me now: {Read the rest at Yahoo!}

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7 Deadly Sins of Networking, And How to Avoid Them

At a time when nearly all of us are scrambling for opportunities and helping others to do the same, people are in networking overdrive. Not a day goes by that I don’t get a few emails from friends seeking introductions to other friends. All that connecting carries a huge risk of mistakes and missteps. Here’s just a sampling of the many ways that well-intentioned attempts at networking can go wrong, and some simple ways to do better.

1.  Asking for an introduction when you are too busy to properly follow up. We’ve all been there. You learn that someone you know knows someone you want to know and you are champing at the bit. You shoot off an email without much deliberation, the person replies promptly (since you have a mutual contact), and because you’re completely swamped, you find it impossible to make time to meet.

Solution:
Next time you learn that one of your contacts knows someone you want to know, file that information away and tell your friend you might ask for an intro when you’re less busy. {Read the rest at Yahoo!}

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3 Easy Ways Email Can Jumpstart a Career

In addition to my usual career-related activities, I have been working overtime lately talking with friends, family members and colleagues who have recently lost their jobs or are concerned about where the job market and economy are going. I’ve decided to share some of the things I’m telling them with you, so that we can all join in on spreading good career karma.

We all love bitching about email, but when it comes to simple and free tools that can jumpstart a career, nothing beats it. Here’s three easy things you can do with email to help your career, or the career of someone you care about.
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5 Time-Management Tricks

Five tips for getting ahead of yourself at work.

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