What is the oldest medical blog?

Medical Blog Anniversaries

Dr. Rob explained why he had been blogging for 4 years http://goo.gl/seKp. He went on a hiatus in 2010 but then he came back in 2012. Dr. Bates has been blogging for 3 years, leading to over 1,000 posts and many new friends http://goo.gl/eB1e

I have maintained medical blogs since 2004 but never thought about blog anniversaries - blogging seems such a mundane task of daily life.

What is the "life expectancy" of a medical blog?

The studies are ongoing but the current record is around 8-10 years... http://goo.gl/5LRx

In the medical blogging world, the physician bloggers who produce high volume of original content often quit after 1-2 years. There is too much to handle. Medical blogging is a difficult task that requires a lot of time and mental energy (scientific accuracy, HIPAA compliance, ethics, etc.), and the financial rewards are nonexistent or negligible.

What is the oldest medical blog?

As pointed out in the comments, the "oldest" medical blog probably is Family Medicine Notes, followed by GruntDoc.

Related reading:

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

Twitter comments:

@gruntdoc (GruntDoc): That's why I'm pacing myself - @DrVes: You know it best - you were there at the beginning and the only one still blogging... :)

@Doctor_V (Bryan Vartabedian): Would love to see post from @gruntdoc (one of the oldest medblogs) on longevity. He's seen lots. Seen patterns.

@giustini (Dean Giustini): Moving to microplatforms Twitter & Facebook (from blogs) in medicine is trendy but they tend to cut off discussion & cause an exodus - @DrVes: Agree, but this is different. High-volume medbloggers used to quit after 1-2 years even before FB/Twitter... :)

@DrOttematic (Jessica Otte, MD): I only do a few posts a month unless spectacularly inspired. It's natural and not too demanding that way. I can't imagine how the high-outputters even last a year at it - @DrVes: Doctors are dedicated people. If you want to know "How Doctors Think", don't read books - read their blogs.

@giustini (Dean Giustini): Physicians are good at 'pattern recognition' after observing - daily blogposts are onerous / intellectually unsatisfying. I find that time & effort in blogging does not equal reward/recognition systems in medicine; partly true in my field too - @DrVes: True. Only printed publications count in academic promotion as of 2010... :) -

@giustini (Dean Giustini): This is why I think your blog is a standout. Has your publishing output decreased since starting your blog? what about presentations? - @DrVes: I publish more blogs than ever before (medicine, allergy, peds, etc.). Fewer presentations and conferences.

@giustini (Dean Giustini): Have you considered writing a book like "Medical pioneers in the web 2.0 era"? A review of blogging/ experiences; quotes from others? -- @DrVes: I have considered some book ideas (not this one in particular) but unfortunately have little time to do it. May be later, in 2012 - @giustini (Dean Giustini): We should write it sooner. The end of 2010 marks a natural demarcation line between web 2.0 and web 3.0.

@erinrbreedlove (Erin Breedlove): I'm an undergrad student and "baby" med blogger but hope to make your list someday. So rewarding. :) - @DrVes: I don't have a list. If you have a reflection of your blogging anniversary, I will reference it in the blog post... :) - @erinrbreedlove (Erin Breedlove): I knew that...no anniversary yet! May! Have a neat series I think you'd like, though. Working on it now. http://bit.ly/dFNkP2

@geeners (Gina Rybolt): I think I am the oldest nursing blog :) Just turned 8 in December 2010 - @rlbates: Impressive! Glad you're still active.

@DrVes: Why blogs are "better" than Twitter - it's difficult to have a discussion on Twitter but it works as a commenting system. Check the comments above, for example.

@gruntdoc: Your comments here prove the value of blogs. Twitter immediate & ephemeral.

Dr John Weiner @AllergyNet: Hi Ves. Until proved otherwise, AllergyNet Australia claims the title of oldest medical blog in Australia. Nov 1997

Related reading

Diagnostic Accuracy in Pharyngitis http://goo.gl/OFnyP - Do you know who devised Centor score? Medical blogger Robert Centor at medrants.com.

12 years of blogging about medicine, technology and their intersection. DocNotes, 2011. Including a 6-year break.


  1. Grunt Doc has been around for 8 yrs!

  2. Anybody older than that?

    There was an aggregator of medical blog feeds - I think its author had the oldest medical blogs - probably 10 years by now...

    Chris Rangel's blog has been around for a long time but it's not active anymore.

  3. I feel like a 'blip' in the medical blogosphere reading about the amazing longevity of these blogs...but I also feel a sense of comfort and camaraderie reading the writings of esteemed colleagues who have persisted through the years to make the medical blogosphere what it is today.
    I raise a blogging glass and toast their blogiversaries

  4. You're not a "blip", Mike, your blog is more like a shining star in the sky of the medical blogosphere ... :)

  5. I had an electronic medical "blog" on the university system before they were called blogs - back in 1998. Shared over the local network (not that anyone read it!)and I kept it up throughout my course and then uploaded it onto my home PC when I graduated. Doesn't really count does it!

  6. Dr. Alan Greene has been online since 1995. His early stuff isn't in blog software, but he engaged with his readers from the very beginning. Even before blog software he accepted comments on all his work via forum software. I think that counts :)