There are many questions that people ask when they find out that I am engaged in social media. They seem incredulous that I would spend my time blogging or tweeting instead of ....what? For me, blogging and tweeting are part of the activities I do when I am NOT engaged in every day medical work. In other words, I am not doing this instead of seeing a patient. I am writing when I am either in my academic office or at home, or maybe while I am traveling. Many folks don't seem to understand some of the things that might motivate a physician to spend "free" time in this way. Why bother?
Well, first and foremost, I enjoy connecting with people, but I tend to be a bit shy when I am in a large group. So I can meet more new folks on Twitter more easily, strike up a conversation and eventually get to be friends with them in real life, than I could by starting out with the real-life interaction.
Secondly, I blog because of my interest in what I would call societal medicine. More than the specific one-to-one interactions that I have with patients, by blogging I can share information and ideas that are not necessarily related to any current patients or their diseases. But I can use life-long lessons learned about patients, their families, their diseases to help others understand numerous factors that affect the doctor-patient relationship.
Of course, I blog and Tweet to be able to express my thoughts about the health of children, and the best ways to teach others about that huge area of incredible importance to me.
I also blog because I think it might be the only way a prospective patient, family member, or prospective trainee or faculty member might have to get to know me. Why should they need that? Well, personally I feel that if folks in the community can get to know me and end up trusting me, they will feel more comfortable if their child ever ends up admitted to the hospital.
I also blog because I am able to learn so much from the comments of my readers.
Help me learn some more about you. Tell me why you blog, or why you read this blog and others. With so many possible ways to spend your time, you must have some great reasons for spending time in this way.