Thursday, April 26, 2007

5 reasons

I've been tagged with "5 reasons I blog" by Medstudentitis, so here goes.

1. I started this blog to tell stories. At the time it began, I was discovering that even the most indulgent of friends and family tire of graphic descriptions of hospital life. This was a great way to share.

2. In many ways, sharing the odd and amazing stories that form life in a hospital can seem like showing off. It certainly is an enthralling lifestyle at times, and that exultation can be wearisome to those who do not share it. Here, since I know only the smallest fraction of my readers personally, they cannot think less of me for exulting. And most of you know exactly what I mean anyway.

3. Working in a psychiatry ward, as I was back when this started, can make anyone feel they ought to be a storyteller. However, telling the same story fifty times can be trying, and this was a great way to let all my interested friends get the story without exhausting the teller.

4. As I progressed in blogging, I decided to work through some more difficult issues for me, as a developing physician, through this medium. I certainly learned a lot through writing here, especially the three posts "in sickness and in health," "as long as you both shall live" and "Parenthood" which are linked in the sidebar under "Key Posts". Probably others were just as good, but those are the ones that come to mind.

5. Less of a reason why I blog, and more of what's been going through my mind lately: I've been away from the hospital, in the legendary lull of fourth year medical students, cramming what enjoyment they can into the last few weeks of freedom before we all start actually working for a living, and so I haven't been blogging a whole lot in the last month. I've questioned whether I will start again once residency begins July 1, and if I do, what shape that will take. A commenter here a while ago took exception with one of my posts, believing that I was laughing at a patient's expense. Though I wasn't, it caused me to more closely consider the Hippocratic Oath, specifically the line "All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal." I'm not sure how much of what I do, and how much physicians do in general, "ought not be spread abroad." Certainly, there is a rather considerable precedent for blogging about the hospital, but precedent does not make ethics. If there are any medical bloggers out there who have actually made it this far, I would truly appreciate your input on the subject. I'm not worried about HIPAA, as I've very clearly stated multiple times that all names here are invented, but I do think law is a poor substitute for societal moral pressure, and I'm trying to determine where that lies here.


Alice said...

I know what you're talking about. I've never been a great hand at writing fiction, and there's only so much protective adaptation you can do before the story changes so much you have to make up key parts. I don't think my anonymity is very deep cover, and I wonder how much longer it will survive. Also, blogging takes time for me - maybe half an hour a day. And when, in July, I only have an hour or two a day for doing housework and studying, that may not be the best use of time anymore.

Selfishly, I hope you do keep blogging, because you write well and enjoyably, and it's clear that you've thought deeply before writing.

Nathan said...

I'm with you. Even a short post takes at least a half hour for me, usually longer. So we'll see how long scheduling allows it.

Thank you though, for your vote of confidence and your readership.