Is the medical blog-o-sphere dying?
As I surf the internet these days, I wonder.
It seems to me that there are a few new blogs from time to time, and even some old, fun, stalwart ones, but the adoption of medical blogging by many has fallen on hard times, despite the best efforts of blogging enthusiasts. The reality is this: the adoption of blogging by physicians has either become flat, or waned. So some extent, there is a move toward micro-blogging services like Twitter, but even Twitter seems populated by most of the "same old-same" old group of voices, punctuated by a steady and ever-growing stream of marketers.
I believe it's because blogging takes time, passion, and commitment. And with all of the changes these past years, most of us are finding less and less time for social media as new pressures mount to produce. Oh sure, a few make real money at this endeavor, but most do not. The reality is that "google ads" just won't offset what a doctor's day job produces. And as doctors are pushed toward more production with more computer screen time than ever, something has to give.
Gone are the days of the annual "best" Medical Blog Awards. Gone are the most of the exceptional story tellers. Gone are many case studies as legal, HIPAA and corporate gag orders loom large over online medical content. Sure, some stay because they have something to say, some just like the to and fro interaction, and a few might have a mission or agenda, but the truth is, real clinical doctors with blogs are a dying breed. After all. how many social media meetings can one attend each year without compromising patient care? A dare say, very few.
I do not say this to tout my presence here, but rather to ponder my future. I still like to write, though I find I do it much less now. I feel the pressure to produce like never before - bogus MGMA benchmarks and dwindling RVUs have a way of doing that to you. So it is harder to be a cheerleader for social media when I see the mounting challenges real care-taking doctors and nurses are asked to face. After all, not only are we tasked with the responsibility of being care givers, we are also being tasked with negotiating minefields of codes, becoming typists, consulting as business efficiency experts, and serving as social psychologists, too. If we could just add another eight hours to every day...
So blogs go untended. Writing shortens. Or withers away.
I suppose this blog, too, survives now on caffeine, frustration, and a strange sense of duty to report what I'm seeing as health care evolves.
But I wonder, now more than ever, when the plug will have to be pulled here, too.