When You Need an Article or Citation Right Now!

Guest Author: Jackie Gonzales, JMG Clinical Communications, Inc  Jackie is a Texas Tech alumni with nearly two decades of experience as a medical writer. She lives outside of San Antonio, TX, with her husband, two teen daughters, and four Nigerian dwarf goats. Jackie may be reached at jmgclincominc@gmail.com

Sure you can draft that clinical protocol, investigator’s drug brochure, or promotional slide deck, but you will often need to seek sources of information to supplement what is (hopefully) provided by the sponsor/project team. And of course, everybody wants everything done yesterday, so time is of the essence. In the ‘old days’ (as I tell my 16 year old daughter), you would have to go to the local library or, if you were lucky and lived close to a university with a medical library, you could physically make a trek there and photocopy pertinent information. Thankfully, we now live in the age of the Internet and have a plethora of information available—literally—at our fingertips. The medical landscape in constantly in flux with new drugs being approved, front-line treatment modalities being challenged and/or changed, and regulatory agencies instituting updated guidelines. It is important that our enduring materials are built around the latest and greatest clinical information available and one of the easiest ways to access cutting edge medical findings that have been reported and vetted through peer-reviews is via PubMed .

PubMed is a free search engine maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health. Per WikiPedia, “as of 5 January 2017, PubMed has more than 26.8 million records going back to 1966, selectively to the year 1865, and very selectively to 1809; about 500,000 new records are added each year. As of the same date, 13.1 million of PubMed’s records are listed with their abstracts, and 14.2 million articles have links to full-text (of which 3.8 million articles are available, full-text for free for any user)”. There are also a host of other subcategories in PubMed in which you can narrow your searches, ie, bioassays, chemical compounds, genomes, etc. But what if you only see the abstract available for an article that you need full-text access to? You can do one of two things: (1) Set up an account with Loansome Doc, a service that permits you to order biomedical literature from a library of your choosing; or (2) Purchase the PDF of the article through the Full Text link provided. While Loansome Doc can often provide access at a discounted rate, this may come at the cost of speed of delivery, particularly when your chosen library does not have the requested journal in house. But, if you are under the gun and ‘aint got time for dat’, you can purchase and download the PDF (and hopefully, pass that cost on to your client or employer) for about $35 USD.

*Disclaimer: I was not compensated for my review.* I simply ‘heart’ PubMed. I use it almost every day. And while there is the occasional article I will need from a journal that is not indexed, much like Spanx under a cocktail dress, PubMed rarely lets me down.

Is Your ID Real Enough to Get You on a Plane??

If you live in one of 30 states or U.S. territories your ID may not be real – more precisely it may not be compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005. The deadline for ID’s to be compliant is 2020 so it is important to be aware of this requirement going forward. Among other things, the REAL ID Act modified federal law pertaining to security, authentication, and issuance procedures for the state driver’s licenses. Since U.S. driver’s licenses (DLs) are issued by the states, not by the federal government, there are differences state by state with DL’s becoming compliant with the act. These differences and the hesitancy of several states to comply with the act have resulted in several extensions of the compliance deadline, originally 2008, now the final deadline is 2020. If this topic is not on your radar it likely should be. Once the final deadline occurs, driver’s licenses from non-compliant states will not be accepted as valid ID by TSA for boarding aircraft.
Implementation of the act is divided into four phases with phase 4 being the one that sets the final deadline for DL’s to be compliant. According to the US Dept. of Homeland Security, as of March 2017, 26 states and territories have been certified as sufficiently compliant or making sufficient progress toward compliance, another 26 have been granted extensions to work toward compliance, and 4 have not been certified as sufficiently compliant or received extensions. That makes 30 states that have work to do before the final deadline. The following states and territories have been granted extensions: Alaska, American Samoa, California, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, United States Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington. The following states have not met the criteria for certification: Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana.
There are varied opinions about the constitutionality of the act and the potential impact regarding security of individual information, cost and benefit. Many state legislatures, groups and individuals are opposing the implementation of the act. Thus, the debate continues. The good news is there are other federally recognized forms of ID that are compliant such as passports, DHS trusted traveler cards, U.S. military IDs, permanent resident cards, Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo IDs and several others found on the TSA website at this link. For additional information, the Department of Homeland Security has a useful FAQ page at this link.

Stepping Up Your Game | iPhone Photography

The new iPhone has a great camera that will take amazing photos. Even the most amateur photographer can use the “portrait” option to take great photos of family, friends and close-range objects. With a little more homework on how to get the most from your iPhone camera, you’ll be able to make all your photos share-worthy and well-suited to your personal and business use. The great thing about using your iPhone is that it’s small, convenient and always with you. Unless you are a professional photographer or really into cameras, tips for taking photos, camera settings and editing photos with your phone will likely step up your game to an optimal level for you.

There are great photo opportunities everywhere, moments we want to remember with family and friends, and images we need to capture and utilize for business.  Most of us don’t have time to take a photography course but we can utilize online resources to learn about the tools within our iPhone camera and how to control them. These web sites often include coaching on how to think like a photographer and compose photos from that viewpoint as well as example galleries.

To learn more, check out these resources:

Emil Pakarklis iPhone Photography School –This course is $97

There are several sample videos on social media so you can preview Emil Pakarklis’ teaching style & content.

15 Amazing iPhoneography Tutorials to Learn iPhone Photography

National Geographic | Tips for Better iPhone Photography

20 Great iPhone Photography Tips via Apple


Is There an Equivalent to the National Weather Service for Infectious Disease?

We’re all accustomed to pulling up various apps on our phones and tailoring our travel, activities and plans in accordance with the weather forecast. Additionally, stock market, political, crop, sales forecasts are all part of our daily lives. With all that forecasting, one wonders, is there a forecast for infectious disease outbreaks? Yes, there is. In fact, the Nevada Center for Infectious Disease Forecasting (NCIDF) under the direction of Dr. James Wilson is in the business of doing just that.

Driven by data and scientific forecasting methods worthy of the most riveting sci-fi movie, the NCIDF research and work includes forecast and warning of infectious disease events, crises, and disasters. As part of the University of Nevada, Reno’s Division of Health Sciences and School of Community Health Sciences, Wilson has been developing a forecasting center to track the spread of infectious diseases in Nevada. The goal is to accurately forecast the growth of such conditions so that preventative measures may be put in place early on to avoid overloading the health care system and putting a strain on precious resources as physicians and health care institutions strive to catch up following an outbreak.  “We took a page from the science of weather forecasting to do the same for diseases ranging from foot-and-mouth disease to strep throat to plantar warts,” Wilson explained. “Using the same processes, we can forecast a variety of medical conditions.”  Wilson has served as an infectious-disease advisor to many organizations including the Department of Homeland Security and National Biosurveillance Integration Center, World Health Organization and NASA.

To learn a bit more check out the following:

TEDxReno | Infectious Disease Forecasting… For the World | James Wilson M.D., FAAP

Picking a Planner – The Struggle is Real

If you’re the kind of person who prefers a paper, hold-it-in-your hand calendar/planner there are certainly lots of choices out there with features and layouts to fit any organizational style. Whether you use a book in addition to your phone/computer or instead of it, the first thing you have to do is wade through a sea of choices. Some planners have recently spawned cottage industries with dedicated product lines, Face Book groups, You Tube videos and web sites designed for the folks who use them. Others have remained more streamlined and true to their traditional layouts and functionality. Here’s a look at just a few of the options:

We all know the tried and true At-a-Glance calendars with streamlined pages that cover the basics. They are inexpensive, edited to include the essentials and sure to please the minimalist though they do offer a version with a more decorative feel. Another classic is the Day-Timer which offers options to customize your planner including loose leaf and spiral versions, detailed daily/weekly/monthly layout options and a variety of covers. They also offer storage boxes to archive completed planners for those who use their planner as a record of events or transactions.

There are also many options that are specifically designed to enhance productivity, goal setting and a variety of other purposes. For example, the Productivity Planner from Paper Source and the BTP planner for direct sales consultants.

Offering a “custom lifeplanner” with fashionable covers and lots of bells & whistles is the Erin Condren planner. These planners enjoy a cult following of mainly women who love them. Though they are very pretty and fashionable, don’t be fooled by the appearance. They are also well organized, offer layout options, two sizes, spiral and hardbound versions and tons of accessories and companion products to tailor them to the user’s needs. If you have a teacher or nurse in your life, you really need to know Erin Condren.

Disc-bound planners are also popular and offer ultimate flexibility for designing the contents of your planner. There are options within the disc-bound planners that offer streamlined business functionality as well as more decorative personal planner versions. There are several sources and a wide variety of page formats & sizes, covers, special purpose pages, pockets etc. Discs come in different sizes to customize the page capacity of your book. Levenger, Martha Stewart, TUL and Arc are all in this category available via their own web sites or in some cases Office Depot or Staples. There are also paper punches (like a 3-hole punch) which make any piece of paper disc compatible and thus you can insert virtually anything into your disc-bound notebook. Rearranging, adding and deleting pages is easy and one of the most desirable features of a disc-bound planner. There are also files available to download from Etsy allowing you to print your own disc-bound planner and special pages.


More information and Resources:


Day Timer

Productivity Planner

Beyond the Party Planner

Erin Condren LifePlanner

Levenger Circa Disc-Bound Planners and Notebooks

Martha Stewart Disc-Bound at Staples

TUL Disc-bound Planner at Office Depot

Disc-bound pages and accessories on Etsy



We’re pleased you’ve landed here and hope you’ll enjoy the content included in our blog. Divided into four content streams, our blog covers a diverse range of topics. Some topics are specific to our work and related experiences, while other topics are more “extracurricular” in nature. All the blog posts are written by our staff and collaborating guest authors covering topics that fall within four broad areas, as follows:

  • Need to Know featuring useful Tech and IT topics, apps, software, hardware etc.
  • Fly-by Tourist featuring short reviews of destinations CMM staff have visited with notes on things to see and places of interest.
  • Meeting Matters featuring everything from planning logistics, green meetings, venue selection, engaging the audience, power point pointers, content evaluation and more.
  • The Good Life featuring articles of interest to professionals who value being highly organized, seek to optimize their home office, enjoy great sources for wine and other life essentials, and like new ideas for dealing with the challenges of travel, busy schedules and attaining work-life balance.

Stay tuned for posts that offer great information in concise posts designed to give you the bottom line, and a resource link or two, allowing you to read further when desired. We hope you’ll find our blog informative, smart, and useful.

Cheers from the CMM Team!