Link City today…

Tara Smith, rocking the pseudonyms vs. real names debate (which, as far as I’m concerned, is no debate at all …):

I blog under my own name (obviously), but if I were starting out now, I probably wouldn’t make that choice again. There are a lot of things I would love to write about on here, but can’t–or won’t–for a variety of reasons.

Personally, I have no illusions that a somewhat motivated, highly computer savvy person could probably figure out who I am, what medical school I go to, etc. It’s probably so easy that it wouldn’t even be an enjoyable challenge. I try to temper what I write since the internet has its own twisted memory, and since someday someone I work for / with / on will stumble across this blog. I think first and foremost I keep any identifying patient information out of the blog, changing all patient encounter details so that no story is truely about any patient. Secondly, I anonymize the identities of my co-workers and work settings as best I can without compromising the integrity of what I write. Lastly, I try to re-read what I’ve written, at least every so often, because I know that I’m bad at self censorship.

Ultimately, though, there’s no point in blogging if I can’t express my feelings and views at a particular moment in time. My writing isn’t the greatest, probably too “just the facts, ma’am” without a lot of heart and soul, because it’s hard for me to re-imagine those details without inadvertently compromising privacy. I’m working on writing better, and writing better fiction, although I doubt that much of this is any good … it’s very useful for me … and hopefully it is useful for someone else down the line.

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3 Responses to Link City today…

  1. Allison says:

    I have the same thoughts as you about this, but I’m blogging with my real name (minus the last name) and it’s WAY too easy to figure out which med school I’m in. Makes me a bit nervous sometimes. Also, I would have chosen wordpress. Ah, hindsight.

    By the way, may I ask why you thought rheumatology was interesting (or, to quote your sidebar, “hanging on by a thread”)? I think I’ll be having an appointment with a rheumatologist soon, so I’m just a bit curious 🙂

    • I think the mix of procedures with cognitive tasks is what draws me to rheumatology – plus the fact that in rheum, when you address someone’s (single organ-system) problem, you can change their entire life. And the diseases are multi-system, complicated, and there’s a lot of opportunity for research. Haven’t spent any time in the rheum clinic and I hope to do so as an elective during the late 4th year if possible.

      Have you read about the epi-ren story? LizDitz has a quick roundup here … think about it …

      • Allison says:

        Whoa that post is eye-opening… I may rethink some tactics.

        I’m looking forward to hearing about your experiences in rheumatology when it happens!

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