The L.A. Times on medblogging
Why no Respectful Insolence?
Oh, well. Maybe next time...
One statement from the article did immediately catch my attention, though:
Why "curiously"? It's not "curious" at all why doctors who blog usually don't tell their patients about it.And yet, curiously, most of the doctors don't tell their patients about their blogs. As Dr. Charles, a 30-year-old family medicine physician in Philadelphia who asks that his name not be used, says: "We have to maintain an air of professionalism in the office. But on the Internet we are much more candid about what we are thinking about healthcare and patient care."
When I first started blogging, as someone who straddles the line between medblogging, science blogging, and occasionally just plain political blogging, I noticed immediately that, in notable contrast to most scientists who blog, most doctors with blogs use a pseudonym. It makes perfect sense. Whenever anyone asks me why I use a pseudonym rather than my real name, my answer is really simple. These days, patients often Google physicians and surgeons they are scheduled to see. I don't want my blog to be the first thing that comes up on such searches; I want my university and medical group web pages to be the first things that come up. After all, I doubt most patients would understand why a doctor might want to adopt a pseudonym based on a cranky computer from an old BBC science fiction series, mix it up with alties and pseudsocience advocates, and pseudohistorians, while adopting a very strange mascot for his blog. Some might understand. But most won't. Also, unlike many medbloggers, I'm not in private practice. I work at a relatively large medical school. Consequently, I need to make it clear that my online meanderings have nothing whatsoever to do with the official policies and positions of my employer, and a pseudonym is one additional way to do that, other than my disclaimer. If Dr. Charles, whose excellent blog doesn't delve into the strangeness that Orac regularly likes to mine, admits to being hesitant to tell his patients about his blog, well, then, tell me, what should Orac do?
Come on, admit it, regular readers. There are times when you wonder if this Orac character isn't just a little bit off his rocker, aren't there? Sure there are.
Hmmm. Maybe the writer for the L.A. Times actually did see Respectful Insolence after all, and it was all of the above that scared her away. (EneMan sometimes has that effect on people.)
Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket...