Drs. Baerlocher and Detsky have made an interesting observation, but they have titled it poorly. I suspect that they have not spent much time reading medical blogs.
As blogger for over 6 years, I have never had an entry that resembles their example. Rather my blog focuses on the big ideas in medicine –
what is quality?
what is professionalism?
how does our
payment system impact health care delivery?
what is the impact of residency
I do sometimes include patient stories, but only for the purpose of discussing diagnostic issues.
The world of blogging is quite diverse. I agree with the authors that the type of blog in which one vents about problem patients, with enough information that one could identify the situation, is unprofessional. However, I strongly believe that the best medical blogs represent the 21st century version of Hyde Park, in which we explore ideas and present our opinions on the issues of the day.
I would echo those sentiments. Before I started blogging over 3 years ago there were at least a couple hundred active medical blogs. Many of them were the kind of on line diaries mentioned in the article. I wanted to do something different, and after thinking long and hard decided that clinically focused blogging, which I thought I would enjoy, was an under represented niche. While I’ve maintained that focus for the most part I can’t resist occasionally weighing in on certain hot button issues such as medicine’s New McCarthyism concerning Pharma and doctors and the egregious incorporation of quackery in mainstream medical education.
H/T to Clinical Cases and Images.