Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Medical Blog Surfing

I'm sitting here on call, with nothing going on, so I decided to explore the world of medical blogs. I am new to blogging so it is fascinating to see all the conversations that are out there. First of all, there are LOTS of medical blogs. After reading for a few hours, it seems like there is a preponderence of blogs by surgeons and emergency physicians. There are surprisingly few blogs by anesthesiologists. Is that in keeping with the OR dictum that anesthesiologists are best seen and not heard? Or is it surgeons just enjoy bloviating, like in the OR?

Medical blogging seems to be a temporary hobby for physicians. Looking at the archives, many blogs start exuberantly, logging dozens of entries in the beginning. Then it tapers off. After a few months (or years for the tenacious), the entries dwindle. It gets to the point where new subjects are written only every few months. And there is a distressing number of blog links that have broken. Not going to happen to me. No Sir. There are exceptions of course. Some of the more astonishing examples I've found include the Dr. Wes blog. He is a cardiologist/cardiac electrophysiologist who logs in dozens of entries a month and hundreds per year. Impressive. There is also the Happy Hospitalist. There are already almost 1000 entries for this year alone.

The subject of most blogs is predictable; they are about what they know--medicine. There are case reports, discussions about the latest health care debates, complaints about medical inefficiencies. Some talk about their favorite hobbies, like photography or music. Many are made by physicians in the armed forces, active or retired. One in particular caught my eye: White Coat's Call Room. It is a blog composed of several emergency physicians. One of the docs details the agony of a malpractice trial he suffered through a few years ago. It is a multi-part series and goes into great detail about all the aspects of the trial, including the psychological exhaustion it caused. Great stuff.

I've found the best way to find these blogs is to look at blog links on established and well-read blogs. Some that I've used liberally for this include Anesthesioboist, Surgeonsblog, and Aggravated DocSurg. But this is by no means comprehensive. I couldn't possibly read all the hundreds of medical blogs out there. But as a way to pass the time, to me it is more interesting and thought provoking than watching another YouTube video.

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