Why Psychiatrists Should Enter the Blogosphere

A few weeks ago Shrinkrap Dinah posted Why Shrinks Don't Blog, quoting my earlier comment:

"The fact is, though you claim your blog is for psychiatrists, my impression is that few of us participate in any blog. What stops them? Snobbery? Hubris? Ignorance? Apathy? Fear?"

Despite a lively conversation I'm not sure we ever answered the question, but it occurs to me, now that I've been doing this since August 2009, to put the hard sell on my colleagues who have not yet jumped in.

Doctor, you are in control. You do not have to start your own blog and post to it every day. Just read someone else's when you get the urge. Read a few comments, too. Most of us isolate ourselves pretty completely. We put together a pretty narrow view of psychiatry. Reading blogs will not provide a complete psychiatry world view, but it will expand your horizons.

You will discover how some of your colleagues think and practice. Once in a while you may incorporate some of these ideas in your own approach. Better yet you will discover what some of our patients think about us, especially what they may not feel free to discuss during a visit. You will become more sensitive to their concerns.

Enter the fray by posting a comment. Most blogs allow you to post anonymously, so you need not worry that your patients or colleagues will discover your innermost secrets and opinions. Your opinion matters to the rest of us, and we want to learn from your experience. You can influence psychiatric thinking. Test your own ideas by provoking disagreement from others. It is not so terrible to discover that you were wrong. I know from experience.

Starting you own blog may be easier than you thought. Decide whether you want to remain anonymous or  use your blog as a vehicle to increase exposure for your professional identity, even to market your practice. You can make a commitment or not. Write as little or as much as you want. You will not spend every waking moment screening comments.

To paraphrase, "Doctor, blog thyself." You will make psychiatry better.

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