September 18, 2010

As A Busy Physician, Why Do I Even Bother Blogging?

As a busy ENT surgeon in private solo practice (read about me), there are several reasons why I blog (FauquierENT) even though I am already quite busy in my medical practice. As some of my readers have pointed out, it is not unusual to see blogs posted by me at all hours of the night and more commonly, early in the morning on weekends. So what motivates me?

To stay up to date. There are two aspects to this statement. The first is that I am always reading journals and enjoy sharing interesting research/findings that may be of interest to the lay reader. The second is that patients are researching their symptoms on the Internet and bringing the results of their research to their appointment. By being an active blogger, I often read the same stuff patients are and am already familiar with the sources and content even BEFORE they approach me about it. If interesting enough, I myself will write a blog article to either lend further support or to actively dismiss it.

Marketing. The more I write, the more "webpages" there are with my practice affiliation. The more webpages there are, the better the search rankings when people search for information. It is as simple as that. Oh yeah... and it's free unlike yellow pages listing, newspaper ads, etc.

Internet medical reliability. Let's face it. There is a lot of garbage on the Internet when it comes to medical information. By writing what I hope are accurate information on medically interesting subjects (at least on ENT topics) that is understandable AND useful for the lay public, I feel I am doing what small part I can to combat the garbage out there. I've also been very disappointed with information disseminated by reliable sources including WebMD, eMedicine, etc. In these websites, the information is sometimes so nebulous and non-specific to the point of being useless. As such, I try to include information that lay-readers may want to know, specifically details that may be lacking elsewhere.

I like to write. It used to be journal articles and book chapters... But now blogging is so much more gratifying. And to tell the truth, the audience is so much larger than anything achievable through traditional academic publications. It's a nice creative outlet as well.

It is a big time commitment to stay updated. I probably spend several hours a week reading news articles, tweets, blog articles, etc. followed by another few hours writing my own tweets and blog articles. More recently, I've started to make a few ENT videos I've uploaded onto YouTube.
I am not the first, nor the last I hope. Perhaps the most influential medical blogger that has been a role model for me is Dr. Ves Dimov at his CasesBlog site. Check his blog out! Very nice blog with a more general medicine view than my blog. KevinMD is also another popular general medicine blog I follow.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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