Friday, May 18, 2007

The Medical Blogosphere

Hi, my name is Amanda, and I'm addicted to medical blogs.

It all started quite innocently. I was reading over at The Lactivist and clicked on a... midwifery blog, I think? Or maybe it was a link from a commenter on her blog. From there I found Fat Doctor, Emergiblog, and a host of other medical blogs I enjoy reading.

I sit here glued to the freaking computer, checking for updates from my favorite doctor, nurse, midwifery, and other healthcare field folks.

One reason is that I've always been fascinated by medicine. I first thought about being a nurse when I was little, but my parents kept saying, "No, no, you want to be a doctor!" No, no, wrong, I wanted to be a NURSE. But that wouldn't have made my parents happy so I pretty much dropped that.

Hey, I was five.

I considered nursing again as an adult, but ended up deciding against it for two reasons. Number one, I'm lousy in math and science. I mean, I can do them (in spite of my English degree I got A's in Calculus I and II, Physics I and II, and statistics), but the utter complete agony that is involved in pounding those many factoids through my brain is just not bearable.

As for number two? Well, I'd left teaching for many reasons, but one of the top reasons was that I was sick and tired of being a trained professional who was treated like a babysitter and likely paid worse. I was disgusted by having to adhere to mandates passed down by the state (with no funding, natch), that were determined by people who had never even set foot in a classroom. I was seriously burned out, and was able to remember that when the nursing school recruiter ran into me while I was studying for physics and tried to suck me in. I was tempted... oh, was I tempted! But then I remembered what I'd just left, and I knew I'd be walking into similar frustrations and burnout if I entered nursing... different atmosphere, same, "All stressed out and no one to choke" issues.

(Aside: so naturally, upon re-entering the workforce, I entered the field of legal secretary, specializing in the areas of criminal, family, and dependency law. I am obviously an idiot. But I'm much better now! Ah, relaxing, boring architecture, how I love you.)

But anyway, instead, I feed my medical addiction by reading medical blogs. And what happens? The big nasty adminstrative decisions whap out and smack me on my butt even here! I'd heard of Barbados Butterfly, a well-known medical blogger who had to quit blogging after the administration at her hospital identified her. Fears of "patient confidentiality violations," even though all details were changed. But surely that wouldn't happen to any of "my" blogs!

Right. This past Wednesday Fat Doctor (a marvelous famine resistant general practitioner who also happened to be a new-ish mother and a stroke survivor) closed her blog because a co-worker had found her blog, printed out the entire thing (someone had way too much time on his or her hands... asshat), and handed it to her boss. Her boss was fine with it, but fear of other repercussions led Fat Doctor to close her blog. ARRRGH! I will miss her. I will miss hearing about her son, about her practice, and I will miss how reading her blog reminded me that there are good doctors out there. She truly humanized the doctor side of medicine for me.

Which, when you consider the excuse I have to deal with for a GYN? Is saying something.

Then I found out Dr. Flea had also closed his blog. Now, the man's in the middle of a medmal trial and that might be why, but still... I'd only worked my way through maybe only 1/4 of his back entries. I wasn't done! He is a pediatrician and his posts were a hoot. Reading his blog helped me to remember to keep my head screwed on straight when I was panicking over my offspring. But now, his blog is also lost.

Rats, rats, rats, rats, and RATS.

So I continue to read medical blogs, like the ones I've listed, along with Femail Doc, Nurse Ratched's Place, ERNursey, gcgeorge, and a host of others. But I miss the ones I've lost.

Administrators suck. As do lawyers. Except this one, because she rocks.

And because misery loves company.


George said...

Thanks for the mention. Well, there is a way to find more medical blogs - one way is to go to the blogrounds which I have listed on my sidebar.

Amanda said...

George, you're welcome. Shoot, you stop by here and I do stop by your blog. It's the least I can do :) Loved your entry on assumptions, by the way.

I'll check out your sidebar more thoroughly. I know I have found some great bloggers through both Grand Rounds and Change of Shift. Thanks!

Mauigirl said...

Just found your blog via Addicted to Medblogs and am enjoying it! I'm a medical junkie too - both my parents were medical writers but I ended up in market research. To assuage my medical obsession (and because I am a hypochondriac) I read endlessly about diseases and have now started my own blog on medical subjects! Just linked you to my main blog, Mauigirl's Meanderings!

Amanda said...

Hi there, Mauigirl, and welcome! Thanks for the link. I'm going to have to get better at linking to sites I read. I'll be sticking yours up there as well.

MedJunkiesRUs. Heh. I try to keep from researching too many things as I tend to "self-diagnose" with every terrible disease I read about. Yeah, I can see me in medical or nursing school... I'd be convinced I had every disease in the book!

Anyway, nice to "meet" you :)

Mauigirl said...

Thanks Amanda! I totally do that, tend to imagine every symptom of any new disease I hear about. I've heard that happens to first year medical students too!