The content on this blog may seem like a random collection of stuff. It is a collection, however it’s not random, but an honest collection of things that interest me. I feel a little bit weird about blogging. Maybe I’m too close to the X end of Gen Y for it to feel like a natural thing to do, or maybe, like many people, I’m not convinced anyone will be that interested in what I write. Despite this slightly weird feeling, I decided to go ahead and start a blog because my reasons for starting it are not focused on necessarily developing a following, but rather that I have a few interests and pursuits that I think it would be helpful (definitely for me and maybe for others) to write about and collate, and a blog seemed like a good way to do that.
The catalyst for creating this blog was my Churchill Fellowship. I’m travelling around the world to research ways to enrich and inform paediatric clinical ethics services and thought a blog would be a good way to document my experience, and also to post about ethics issues more generally. After the Churchill Fellowship, I’ll be studying for my ICU fellowship exam, and I’d like to share some of my notes/podcasts. Throughout my medical career, I’ve been exquisitely grateful for blogs such as Deranged Physiology and Anaesthesia MCQ, but I’ve noticed there is a little gap in online information available that is specific to paediatric ICU, and so I thought if I posted up some of my study stuff, it might be helpful to others. I’m also planning to post about travel and, in particular, wine. I haven’t been on a holiday to a place without a wine region either at the destination or en route to it in about a decade. Writing about wine will help me remember what wineries I’ve been to, what wines I liked, and might even be useful to refer to for future WSET study. You’ll also eventually find posts reflecting on the human experience of illness and caregiving. I’ve always been drawn to the arts, and have been writing poems and stories my whole life. I think reflective writing and interaction with the medical humanities can add immeasurably to the practice of medicine.
Lots of people told me I should have lots of separate blogs. One for wine, one for poetry, one for ICU, and one for ethics. Some people said to combine ethics and ICU into one (my ‘professional’ blog) and put the other ‘fun’ things in another blog. I was warned about the need for a ‘professional profile’ quite separate to my ‘personal life’. To craft a ‘wine persona’ and an ‘ICU persona’ and an ‘arts persona’.
I listened to all this advice and then chose not to take it. The first reason is pragmatic – there is no chance I will have time to run more than one blog in any meaningful way. The second is that it felt disingenuous to create different blogs with their accompanying “personas”. I am only one person. I do not become a different person when I leave my home and arrive at work, nor when I leave at the conclusion of a medical journal club to go to a poetry workshop. Like most people, I behave in different ways depending on what is appropriate to the setting, but I am not a different person. I don’t have separate personae for each activity that I do. Occasionally, maybe a parent of a child I have cared for in ICU will stumble across my blog. Maybe future employers will find it. I have no problem with them knowing I am interested in ethics, wine, travel and the arts as well as intensive care medicine. None of these things make me less of a committed and professional doctor. All of them make me a fun dinner party guest
I can’t promise I’ll be posting at a particular frequency – it’s likely I’ll post in fits and starts depending on a host of factors. As my content increases, I’ll arrange things under headings so that people can find what they are interested in. Comments are welcome, particularly on factual content related to ICU stuff – the closer we can get to peer review the better! However, I will moderate comments, and some may not be published. I love robust discussion but not all of my posts will be intended for this purpose.
If you’d like to contact me directly, details are on the blog front page.