"Doctors should blog with their real name." Agree or disagree?


From KevinMD:

"Martin Young still has "nagging doubts about doctors who post blogs or replies about healthcare issues without giving their names.

My blog as an extension of who I am as a doctor, putting a carefully considered face to the experience of caring for the sick, as a means of drawing attention to issues that do not get into medical journals. As do most other doctors who host their own blogs.

I often look at those replies to my postings that are anonymous and think, “Who are you? Why do you think the way you do? Why will you not put a name and face to your thoughts?” My personal belief is that the anonymous person may lack conviction, confidence or courage.

I would not accept a referral from an anonymous doctor, or give advice to one. In the same way, I may read anonymous replies to my postings, but they carry much lower weight."

Although I encourage physicians to blog under their own name, I do not think we should "force" them to do so. They should not feel obliged to host their own blog either if they can use such perfectly reasonable free services such as Blogger.com by Google and WordPress.

I assembled a short list of suggestion for medical bloggers several years ago. Here it is:

Tips for Medical Bloggers

- Write as if your boss and your patients are reading your blog every day
- Comply with HIPAA
- Consider using your name and credentials on your blog and other social media accounts
- If your blog is work-related, it is probably better to let your employer know.
- Inquire if there are any employee blogging guidelines. If there are, comply with them strictly.
- Use a disclaimer, e.g. "All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice."
- Get your blog accredited by the Heath on the Net Foundation

References:

As A Busy Physician, Why Do I Even Bother Blogging? http://goo.gl/fSF3 - Excellent summary.
Image source: public domain.

Twitter comments:

@DrJenGunter (Jennifer Gunter): depends on blogging agenda.

@DoctorNatasha (Natasha Burgert): I blog and tweet with my real name because it keeps me accountable to my work, honest with my patients, and real with my intent.

@DrElizabethLee: I sign my name to anything I write.

@DrVes: Doctors need to understand the basics, and address the irrational fear of using social media.

7 comments:

  1. They must why not?They must give their opinion and chat with the ones who want to know about a scope in medicine.

    ReplyDelete
  2. While being a doctor (physician) is a prestigious
    profession, they are only human. Therefore, if they don't want to blog, then they shouldn't have too. Also, physicians/surgeons are given an opportunity to be professors while they practice medicine, however many choose not too, does that mean they are not competent, absolutely not.


    Becky

    ReplyDelete
  3. Being a board certified plastic surgeon, doctors should blog with whatever name they want!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think they should have a choice. But if you're using your real name, you MUST use social media professionally. And even if you're doing it anonymously, you must be mindful there is always a chance you can get bitten on the bum...so to speak.

    ReplyDelete
  5. the twitter comments are great.

    I also love this:

    I often look at those replies to my postings that are anonymous and think, “Who are you? Why do you think the way you do? Why will you not put a name and face to your thoughts?” My personal belief is that the anonymous person may lack conviction, confidence or courage.

    I would not accept a referral from an anonymous doctor, or give advice to one. In the same way, I may read anonymous replies to my postings, but they carry much lower weight."

    ReplyDelete
  6. A script requires your signature, your treatment to a diagnosis.

    Why on earth wouldn't your comments include your signature?

    You discredit your education, your experience and your profession.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You discredit your education and your years of experience with your anonymity.

    Stand tall in your perspective!

    ReplyDelete

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