16Sep/10

To blog or not to blog

For various reasons, it took me a while to start this blog.  There are after all, many reasons why I can get into trouble for this.  Dr. Baerlocher & Dr. Detsky discuss why doctors shouldn’t blog in this article – “Online medical blogging: don’t do it!” CMAJ 2008;179(3):292. The authors point out three issues: professionalism, freedom of speech and self-protectionism.

Professionalism. Don’t tell personal stories about patients as you risk eroding public trust not only in yourself but the institution and the people you work with.

Freedom of speech. While exercising this freedom, protect patient confidentiality by removing patient identifiers. It should be so that not only others but the patient himself, is unable to identify the person in the narrative.

Self-protectionism. No matter how harmless it may seem today, don’t write anything that you may regret in the future.

This post is a NOTE TO SELF to avoid these pitfalls. It is also a gentle reminder to others like myself who have taken the plunge in the blogosphere.