Blogging is not dead. Most people today google their health problems. Unfortunately, not all information Doctor Google throws at us is correct. Sometimes online information is downright misleading.
As I argued in an earlier blog post, providing accurate information through blogs and social media platforms is the best way to respond to incorrect online health messages.
Doctors are in a unique position to educate the public. By sharing their knowledge online the public, the health care system and the doctor, will all benefit.
The 2 main reasons why doctors should be blogging are:
- Debunking myths: Clarifying the common misunderstandings about health issues.
- Leading the way: Sharing information about health, disease and its management.
The advantages of blogging
UK GP Dr Anne Marie Cunningham has a great blog called Wishful thinking in medical education. In a recent post she mentioned two things she enjoys about blogging:
- To learn from others via the comments she receives on her blog.
- To help develop her thought process and “get some way to understanding what has been perplexing me”.
US cardiac electrophysiologist Dr John Mandrola gives another six reasons in his blog:
- Doctors are passionate about what they do and blogging is a way of sharing this.
- To educate; both the student and the teacher can learn from a blog.
- To help others help themselves.
- To give a look behind the medical scene.
- To archive useful thoughts and notes.
- To show that doctors are humans too. He writes: “Though doctors seek perfection, we tire, become frustrated, make mistakes, and harbor regrets. We are you. We are human.”
If you can email you can blog
A common question patients ask me is whether the influenza vaccine can bring on an infection with the viral disease – so I wrote this post: why the flu shot cannot cause flu. I refer patients actively to my blog. This gives people the opportunity to read about what we have discussed in the consulting room and think things over.
Most doctors are experts in discussing health concerns and educating their patients in a one-on-one situation. There are many health messages doctors share with their patients day-in-day-out. All that is needed is to write these down, just like writing an email, and post the information on the web in blog format.
Setting up a blog takes 20 minutes. Not sure how to start? Here’s an easy guide. Need inspiration? Here are some suggestions.
What do you think are the pros and cons of blogging for doctors?
Originally posted by Dr Edwin Kruys at Doctor’s Bag