Monday, December 12, 2005


Via Kevin, MD:

Dr. Lei believes that medical bloggers should be held to high standards. She has questions. Here are my answers:

1. Who runs this site?
I do! I'm a psychiatrist in Eugene, Oregon. I don't post my name, because I have concerns about confidentiality. I wish I had chosen a different name for this blog! (One commenter says it sounds like "an inept laundromat.") We must think of a better one...
2. Who pays for the site?
Blogspot blogs are free. I have no ads.
3. What is the purpose of the site?
There's no simple answer. It's commentary. It's an online diary. It's ego, it's an escape, it's a a game. It's a wish to connect with others. Why shouldn't doctors join the fun of blogging?

Truthfully, it's not that different from what I've always done. I've been writing since I was very young. I also took writing and journalism courses (before and during pre-med). I chased news stories. I wrote features, interviews, and puzzles for school papers. I wrote fake horoscopes that told readers where to park, what to wear, and to "circle B on all multiple-choice tests today." (One year, I gave the editor so many ramblings that he got fed up. He said, "Look, why don't you get your own magazine?")
4. Where does the information come from?
I look for specific stories: patients and doctors talking about their experiences, trying to communicate. Readers send "blog fodder." I link to mainstream media, to other blogs (see blogroll), and to anything that looks interesting.
5. What is the basis of the information?
It should be clear from the links. Or, it should be clear that it's my own voice. But no medical advice is given on this blog! (Except "talk to your doctor" and "take a CPR class.")
6. How is the information selected?
Ah, the creative process! If it's not in the headlines (or in another blog), then it's something that might have occurred to me at home or on the job.
7. How current is the information?
This should be clear from the links. Note: when I say, "I saw this at work today," you can be sure that it was, actually, a totally different day. (Confidentiality!)
8. How does the site choose links to other sites?
See above. I also have a mental representation of what is "appropriate." This involves some combination of: (a) Can colleagues and superiors read this? (b) Will a patient read this and say, "hey, that's me?" and (c) Can mom read this?
9. What information about you does the site collect, and why?
Sitemeter tells us a little about who's visiting and what they're reading. But we can't really identify anyone. (I am fairly sure, however, that the hits from the Chinese coast are from my husband.)
10. How does the site manage interactions with visitors?
Comments are welcome! I haven't had to delete a comment in a long, long time. If a comment doesn't meet criteria a, b, and c (above), out it goes.
There you have it. Any more questions?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doh, thanks, I thought you were a midget groupie.

5:55 AM  
Blogger aafan said...

Anonymous: Er...I am, actually. But that's usually not the point of this blog.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Rita - Supporting Safer Healthcare said...

And here I thought you were a diet guru!

12:18 PM  
Blogger Medicoglia, RN said...

Wait...YOU run this site? And you are a PSYCHIATRIST? Dang...I thought I had been reading Arnie's public school budget site..."Shrinkit"...but now I see it's actually "ShrinkETTE"! ;)

I DO have question to add though...why haven't you stopped by my site? Just kidding...I'm sure you are busy beyond belief :P

4:46 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

If we're going to make gratuitous begs, drop by my site!

Loved your responses to this. While I am open about my illness, I respect that others have good reasons to remain anonymous. Especially physicians and soldiers in Iraq.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Medicoglia, RN said...

I too love your answers, although my own personal blog doesn't meet your criteria C. But that's a whole different story. It is true though...I am a lot more free to say whatever, however I want. Physician's and psychologists and therapists etc...have much more stringent guidelines they have to follow.


2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for joining in the fun! Rita at MSSPNexus told me that you'd also answered the 10 questions. I've added you to the honor roll at Genetics and Health.

5:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Doc,

Shrinkette--hmmm...I'm visualizing a psychiatrist in very short tight skirt, not pretty if you are a man--well maybe if you have good legs.
Doc, I have a question. I am a 20 year veteran RN..working now with dual diagnosis clients. What, in your opinion , is the most effective (theraputic) client-counselor communication technique with this population (inpt./detox)--the direct bluntness of a Simon Cowell ? The never flinchingly bland reassurance of Fred Rodgers? The silly slap- happy I -may -be nuttier -than you , can I make you smile attitude of an Eric Idle? I had yet another patient test my forty something patience yesterday with a rude, loud , thinly veiled threatening outburst. I'm looking to nip the behavior at once without escalating the situation and getting my head knocked off...most difficult class of patients to deal with, in my opinion. Thank you for any pointers. EM

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS. I want to pass on something you are sure to enjoy in your down time. Positively fascinating mind bending (but enjoyable) reading. (maybe you have already heard of him????) Dr. Fred A Wolf Phd “The Timing Of Conscious Experience: A Causality-Violating, Two-Valued, Transactional Interpretation Of Subjective Antedating And Spatial-Temporal Projection” Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 12, No. 4. pp. 511-542. Winter, 1998. PDF article (492 KB) download.
(focus physics and conciousness)....and his books are even better! Just when you think you have it figured out....

1:29 PM  

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