By Kevin O'Keefe

Doctors blog for the same reasons as lawyers

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Turns out that doctors blog for the same reasons as lawyers blog – to share expertise, build relationships, make connections with patients (clients with lawyers) and correct the misinformation online.

From a piece in The Medical Bag, an online resource for health care professionals:

Blogging has become a powerful tool for physicians to share their expertise, build better relationships with their patients, and make connections online. Many also turn to blogging as a way to combat the deluge of online medical misinformation.

With the Internet having turned into a giant billboard of professionals attempting to grab attention and web traffic, it’s refreshing to see doctors looking to make connections with people in a real and authentic fashion. Better yet, to help people where they are today — online.

As with the law, there’s a boat load of medical misinformation online. Comes from people shooting from the hip across social networks as well as web and SEO marketing companies, who with no medical expertise, kick out marginal content, like legal marketers, to get attention and web traffic.

Doctors need to blog to fight off the misinformation,  per Linda Girgis,  a board-certified family physician in South River, New  Jersey and a professor at Rutgers University Medical School, who blogs at Dr. Linda.

There’s so much health and medical information being written these days, and much of it is not being written by medical experts. It’s important that more doctors start blogging and sharing information so we can combat all the fake news and pseudoscience out there.

Like lawyers, blogging gets doctors outside their comfort zone. May be as simple as getting comfortable networking with people online or picking up new skills associated with blogging — assuming a doctor wants to get into the tech side of things.

From Patricia Salber, MD, a board-certified internist and emergency physician, who has been blogging at The Doctor Weighs since 2005:

I have had to gain many skills completely separate from medicine and medical writing in order to grow the business, [such as] HTML, WordPress, search engine optimization…and more. I am now doing technical things on the site that I never dreamed would be part of my day-to-day life, including troubleshooting complex technical issues and trying to learn a bit of web design. I have learned the joy of continuing to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and learn new skills far different from the ones acquired in medical training.

Medical blogging is not without its challenges, per Girgis. Time management and calendaring for blogging is one. And there are the trolls, that are better left ignored.

I write about many controversial topics and welcome debate and disagreement. But I have been shocked many times when people just come out hurling insults because they don’t like what I say. While it is tempting to reply back, often it is best just to ignore them and move on.

I am sure it’s a small minority of doctors who blog. The connections, relationships, helping people, sharing expertise, and making a difference are all there, but most doctors simply won’t feel comfortable giving of themselves online. Others won’t put in the time it takes.

It’s the same with lawyers.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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