Yesterday came another of the tiresome ‘all doctors should blog using their own names, not anonymously’ blog posts, with the predictable reasons cited: nobody will take the anonymous blogger seriously, and because I’m a doctor and I said so. Never underestimate the Physicians’ belief that what they believe is correct, even (especially) if it’s out of their sphere of training.
If you’re a doc in private practice, trying to build a practice and make a name, use your name, and have fun. If you have a burning desire to change the world, and feel that you have deep points to make the need to be taken seriously, use you name. Embrace being googleable!
However if you’re a hospital-based doc, or you’re blogging to entertain yourself, you mom and 9 people with nothing to do, there’s no real reason to use your true identity, and several not to. Your hospital, contracting company or hospital might not like the idea you’re blogging, even if you never say anything bad about your colleagues or the joint.
I tell everyone who asks how to start blogging to start anonymously, as a) you’re going to be new to it and might type out something you’ll want to disown, and anonymity can help you avoid repercussions of the permanently-cached world, and most find they have 6 posts burning in their brain, get those done, get bored and quit. A pseudonymous blog is really easy to quit. (Allegedly, I have yet to try myself).
I fit paragraph 3 here, by the way, and have no pretensions to change how the world works, and absolutely never want anyone who reads this blog to think it’s medical advice (hint, it’s not). Also, you have to take my word for it I’m a doc, and it’s not all that important to me anyone think I am a doc when reading my posts. Am I a doc? Yes. Do I care to drop the pseudonym to prove it? No, why would I?
And the sadly obligatory: if you’re blogging pseudonymously to say bad words about your boss, denigrate your patients (beyond pointing out the usual irritations), because your mom didn’t love you and you need therapy, or you just love to type f-bombs, reconsider. There’s no such thing in the long run as anonymity on the internet, and you’ll be found out if there’s enough motivation.
So, there are many ways to be a doc, and many ways to blog. It’s not a one size fits all world. Just do it the way you want.