Jan 1, 2010

The Year In Review (Friday Links)

Doctor D will take this first day of 2010 to reflect on this last year...

In May of 2009 a young physician decided to name his alter ego "Doctor D" and become a medblogger.

He hadn't even read medbloggers before, but he really wanted to frankly discuss health and medicine so he opened a blog and put up some random post asking people to send in questions to some anonymous MD who was willing to spill the beans.

Doctor D just ignored the blog for 3 months, expecting a readerless blog to magically generate interesting questions his email box.

In August Doctor D finally decided he really wanted to do this, so he started posting answers to random questions that popped into his head.

Thankfully, a blogger named Magda stumbled across Ask An MD and asked the first question: about finding a new doctor. D was so thrilled he answered it in a 4-part series.

Since then the questions have been rolling in!

Along the way Doctor D has met some really amazing people on the web. The first person to show D the medblogging ropes was WarmSocks. She blogs about her experience as a patient and she explained to Doctor D how to make a blog like this helpful to people navagating the healthcare system. Later D met other cool patient-bloggers like Neo-Conduit, Queen, Wren, Helen, who really are must-reads for medical folk who want to understand the suffering and strength of a lot of the patients we care for every day.

Doctor D also wants to thank the inspiring patients he has met over email. Many readers don't have blogs, but have shared their experiences with him. D wishes the whole world could hear your stories.

Nurse K was the first and still the awesomest medical-worker blogger to welcome Doctor D to the net! Even though her ER blog is now on hiatus K has always been D's webcrush and he still reads her twitter religiously. Ask An MD has also been visited by such great medical bloggers as Nurse Maha, Nurse Lee, Doctor Rob, Ell the med student, and the hilarious Dr. Grumpy.

So Doctor D has met some very cool people, answered a lot of questions, and had a lot of fun. Ask An MD is getting hundreds of visitors each day and it's really only a few months old. Keep those questions coming!

Thank you all for a great 2009!
So what do you think? What have you liked and disliked about the blog this year? What direction do you think Doctor D should take the blog in 2010? What sorts of questions do you think Doctor D should be selecting from the mail bag in 2010?


A Doc 2 Be said...

Bah humvirus. Not a mention of a wanna-be-non-trad-premed.

Doctor D said...

Sorry Doc 2 Be. I have corrected my oversight and added you to the "Med Student Bloggers" section. I do enjoy your blog. Hopefully it won't be too long before you are blogging about being in med school and not just getting in.

Nurse K said...

Doc 2 Be = Better to be a NP if you want to do rural family medicine. Do you really want to live like a hobo for the next 10 years and be $200,000 in debt in order to make about what a NP makes? Just sayin'. Not sure how old you are, but, in theory, you may not even pay off those student loans before you retire!

Doctor D said...

Seriously Doc 2 Be, listen to Nurse K. Don't be a crazy rural family med doc like Doctor D!

Truth be told, there is a lot of difference between practicing rural medicine as an MD and a NP. Doctor D loves being a rural MD. If this is your dream then go for it!

But Nurse K is right, there isn't much financial reward in your chosen path. That's okay. There's more to life than money. As long as you go in with your eyes open.

Maha said...

Loving your blog as well Dr. D!
I've learned so much from reading your posts so keep on blogging! A very happy new year to you and your loved ones.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

You're a good writer. Glad to have you out there.

Anonymous said...

I've really enjoyed reading your blog, Dr. D. It's informative, interesting and best of all, sometimes humorous and always empathetic and humane. I have a couple of questions for you to answer in 2010:
1. How do you feel about having a health insurance provider limit the number of minutes you can spend with any one patient? It frustrates me to have my doctor rush through my appt. as if he's unable (or unwilling) to spend a little time with me. I understand that most doctors have a very busy schedule, but when the limited time is compelled by an outside force (such as an insurance provider), it's aggravating and demeaning.

2. Do you cringe when patients bring a list of questions? I've started doing this when I see my rheumatologist (once a quarter) so I don't forget things. But I feel a little uncomfortable with it, because he typically sees 25 patients that day.

3. This is related: When patients have questions, would you be willing to respond via email? I receive my health care from the VA; it's almost impossible to reach my rheumatologist by phone or to get an appointment outside the usual once every quarter. But sometimes I do have questions. It's frustrating to have to wait forever for answers ...

Thanks for sharing your expertise and passion for medicine with us. Happy New Year!

Albinoblackbear said...

Most med bloggers have a major aversion to answering med related questions on their blog or via email. I think what you are doing is useful (even brave maybe?) and helpful to the people out there seeking medical advice but not knowing where to turn.

I found your post on whistleblowing interesting. I've seen incompetent doctors and nurses doing scary things over and over again. Many times I've looked the other way but there have been three times I've been forced to do something--including resigning once as Nurse Manager of an ED because the health authority refused to back a decision I made about a nurse who was coming to work stoned with monotonous regularity. Every time I acted I was the person who suffered the consequences.

Yet another area of healthcare in need of more discussion and change!

Great blog-



Helen said...

Happy New Year, Doctor D, and thank you for your informative, funny and compassionate posts. I've learned a lot from your blog and look forward to learning more as you continue to write. (I've got more questions to ask you!)

I hope you had a warm and wonderful holiday with your family.

MLee said...

I have to say warmsock was also the first person to give me a warm welcome, then you became the first to follow and share some blogger love and help:) Happy New Year

As for the NP verse MD, I am bias, I start NP school this year and plan on emergency rural health, I pick NP over MD due to age (33) and money to go verse medical school. NP won all around and only 18 months left:)

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