Monday, October 29, 2007
keyhole on our world
medblog addict, in the opening of her blog says, and i quote, "It is as though someone has drilled peep holes into the walls of emergency rooms, operating rooms and doctors' offices. I can't look away." it is like er or gray's anatomy or dr house or (insert name of some medical drama here). to be honest one of the reasons i blog is because our world is so far removed from what is perceived as normality that just to talk about things that happen on a day to day basis makes for quite good entertainment.
but i know there are dangers. there has been talk of flea and butterfly and there are probably others who have fallen from the blogosphere. we as blogging doctors need to be careful. one aspect of this is to always ensure anonymity of our patients and other involved parties. hence dr rob started the ethical blogger initiative, which i think is brilliant.
but i think there is another slant to the whole thing. medblog addict sums it up when she concludes, "i can't look away". i think there is at least some onus upon the reader.
there is a paradox here. they read the blogs exactly because it is a window on a totally bizarre world, but this bizarre world may occasionally offend. the reader has to accept this.
i remember when i was in second year doing anatomy and dissecting cadavers. one of the groups named their cadaver stiffany (she was stiff). this is a type of black humour common to medical students and doctors, yet it probably seems sick or even inappropriate to the non medical blog reader. the question then is, how honest must we be as medical bloggers? too honest and we offend. not honest enough and it is not a true medical blog.
this point came home to me with two parallel events. the first was a rather harsh criticism of a comment on one of my posts, implying that a certain doctor was callous. i doubt he was. he saw the typical black humour of yet another bizarre occurrence that was described. typical medical reaction really. the other was a most entertaining and humorous post by mdod called musants. i really enjoyed it. i had a good laugh. then i thought about being one of those possible patients reading the blog. there will be a certain amount of offence taken every now and again at some of the things doctors say.
but that is why i'm making a call for understanding from both sides. doctors will have to be careful and moderate in what they blog. dr rob has taken great steps to ensure this. but medblog addicts must also understand that to have a keyhole on our world is in fact a keyhole on our world.
i invite comments.