Behind the Scenes of Medical Blogs: Over My Med Body!
As I promised, I’m going to present about a dozen of famous medical bloggers to you this month. My aim is to get my readers closer to these quality blogs and the bloggers as well. I’d like to convince more and more health professionals/people interested in medicine to create their own blogs by providing interesting “behind-the-scenes” interviews. I start my series with Graham Walker, a medical student and the blogger of Over My Med Body!.
- How do you find information for your blog? You certainly read other blogs, journals but do you use RSS reader? How many blogs do you track?
Oh boy. Yeah, I use bloglines–otherwise I’d have no way to keep up.
My main sources for my blog:
1) My own thoughts/issues/ideas that come up while in the process of seeing patients or discussing their care;
2) Discussions with classmates about being a doctor/caring for patients
3) Other medical blogs
4) The New York Times
5) Medical Journals and other magazines
6) Other blogs that happen to post health-related stories
I track probably about 20ish medical blogs, but then also read many, many more in other areas: web design/development, humor/weird internet stuff, news sites.
- You’re a medical student just like me. I know how hard it is to find time to maintain your blog. How can you handle it?
It’s actually often therapeutic for me–releasing all the thoughts I’ve had built up for a while–often this is why I’ll go for a week or two without posting much, and then write a ton all at once. On busy rotations, I will often have a TON to post about but just not the time to do so–or I have so much reading to do and things to learn about that I don’t get to it, either.
- You’re in your third year, so you surely know what kind of medical specialty you’re most interested in. Tell us please!
I’m actually in my 5th year (I need to update that about me page!) of med school. At Stanford we’re kind of weird in that most of us take an extra year to do research. So I’m in my final clinical year–and I’m going into Emergency Medicine. Currently preparing my residency application.
- Why don’t you publish your name on your blog?
I’ve posted it on occasion–and it was printed in the US News article, so I’m not particularly anonymous. If you google my name, my site is usually the first or 2nd link–so it’s no secret where I am or who I am–it just takes a little more work, I guess.
- You have a unique Single-payer tutorial/description on your blog. Did you create it yourself?
Yeah, I put that together summer after my first year of medical school.
- Do your fellow medstudents know about your blog? I’m often asked whether my professors like my blog. I always say I’m pretty sure they don’t even know about it. So do your professors appreciate the work you’ve done through your blog?
My classmates will read from time to time, and mention a particular post in passing. I’m sure an attending or two has seen my blog, but I don’t really know what they thought of it. The usual reaction is just a fairly passive, “Oh, interesting.”
- In Second Life, in the Ann Myers Medical Center, a medical student can participate in training exercises, case presentations. Would you be interested to learn from physicians and with medical students from around the world? Do you think it can have an impact on the future of medical education?
I don’t know–I’m not as excited as others may be–I could see it perhaps being useful for clinicians around the world to communicate or interact, but I have so much learning and knowledge to acquire in the real world (and I personally acquire it much better with actual patients than with case presentations) that I wouldn’t be too interested. But for other students that don’t have as much access to quality teaching and education, I can see how it might be very useful!
- At last, what are your future plans with your blog?
That’s a great question. Residency is going to suck, and be super time-consuming, so we’ll just have to see what happens. And I’ll officially be a hospital employee, instead of a medical student, so I’m not sure what my future residency director will think. For right now, I’m thinking that it may disappear, or at least go into hibernation–I may start focusing more of the site on my photography. Who knows.
Thank you, Graham, for the kind answers! Check out his blog for more!