Monday, April 25, 2011

Like a Hurricane

So, yeah. That, apparently, is my new nickname on Labor and Delivery. Hurricane Whoo. Because it is more than just a "black cloud." Because just about every time that I happen to be on call, it's bound to be a sh*t storm. It has gotten to the point, so I am told, that the entire nursing staff offers up a collective groan when they hear that I am the physician on call. Yikes. They hasten to add that they still love me, though. HA! Apparently babies and pregnant ladies love me, too. A lot. The last weekend that I was on call, I delivered 12 babies admitted 2 more in labor before I was finished. It makes the time fly by too quickly, and I hate to find myself wishing my life away. To say that work has been busy would be an understatement, add to that increasing children activities (soccer! Daisies! tumbling!), the arrival of warmer weather, and the presence of a pool at our ready disposal, and my blogging has languished in the corner for more than two months with hardly a glance in its direction! Sorry about that. It's not you, it's me.

If you have been reading for a while, then you may know that my blog started as a primarily anonymous outlet (and boy, have I used it to vent!), save for a few people (Mr. Whoo and one friend who also happened to have an anonymous blog). Well, it so happens that those few people told a few more people, then I told a couple of people, and made a couple of bloggy friends, who were then my face.book friends and boom! Not so super-anonymous any more. This was not a big deal, as it was still mostly amongst my circle of friends, from whom I lived far, far away, and trusted to know me as the person behind the words. Then I moved, and I was closer to some friends, and those friends knew friends, and friends of friends, who also went to the practice where I am working. This is where I keep running into an ethical dilemma. Some people reading this blog know who I am, where I live, and where I work, but are not my close personal friends (friends of friends of friends). Given the atmosphere surrounding the Internet, face.book, and social media with respect to physicians in general, this makes me a bit edgy. Let's face it, I'm not the type to mince a lot of words on this blog, and this is who I am when I am being me. (Because this is my blog, dammit!) My professional persona is not nearly as raw. In fact, if you asked most of my patients, I do believe the word "sweet" would come up more than once. (STOP LAUGHING!! It's totally true!)

At any rate, now I am unsure of my reading audience, and I find myself trending more and more toward self-censorship, which I hate. I just keep wondering if the patient sitting across from me is wondering if I am filing her experience for a blog post for another day. I don't want this to interfere with my relationships with my patients. It was never meant to be a blog that my patients, who knew me as a professional, would read. Maybe that is narcissistic. For all I know, my patients could care less about my ramblings in cyberspace. Patient confidentiality has always been, and will always be protected. Any clinical scenarios that I post are altered from actual occurrences, I imagine I will be posting less of these in the future, as well. So, this blog will be evolving as I try to navigate this slippery slope. Bear with me, readers, and thanks for sticking with me this far...

18 comments:

MiaSolo said...

Hi Dr. Whoo,

I am one of your newest readers. I am just starting on this long journey to becoming a doctor as I am starting med school beginning of August. Because I am starting when all these new ethical concerns are coming around with patient privacy on the web, I am a little worried about how to go about telling my tale of my experiences. I think that you have done a wonderful job of maintaining patient privacy. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I am a 30 something nursing school student living in PA eager to become pregnant and a mom. I like reading your blog b/c it gives me the physician's perspective both as a nurse and as a patient. Could you do a post on how many days inbetween periods one should wait before calling their OB/GYN? B/c I don't know if I am crazy or not!!! It was 64 days and negative HCPs, btw. So, sigh... I understand if you go anonymous. The world is too litigious.

Anonymous said...

Oooh! I'd love a period blog -- I have a crazy irregular cycle but have never mentioned it to any doctor because I didn't think it was a big deal.

Iowa Sunshine said...

Dr. Whoo -
How wonderful to be nicknamed after horrific weather and still be loved and welcomed! Thank you for all you do in your field of work.

I am a mental health therapist (primarily working with pregnant and post-partum women and families), which is how I originally found your blog. I like your style of writing, and we have common ground as mothers (2 kids, work/life balance, etc.) ..... and now I may be enjoying your blog for my own interest!

I've read all of your posts and I've admired and felt you are protective of your patients and their situations. I don't see venting as negative ... just expressive.

Thank you for continuing to blog!

Carrie Ann said...

I've been reading for a few years now. I found your blog through another blog that my friend suggested to me. I keep reading b/c I found it eased my fear of doctors. I'm 25 years old and I still have to bribe myself to go to a doctor. =P You have helped me see the human side of doctors.

Veronica said...

Commenting instead of lurking :-) I live on the other side of the world to you and enjoy your blog.

mamadoc said...

Have no idea who you are or where you live and wouldn't know you if we met on the street--but have really enjoyed reading you and hope you'll continue. Wishing you well.

AtYourCervix said...

I have always enjoyed reading your blog. It's refreshing to hear from the physician's perspective. I totally understand your concerns for privacy. I worry about it too with my blog. Sometimes, I have such a unique situation that I want to write about it, or get some thoughts on it from other professionals --- but I can't, because of the very uniqueness of the situation.

Sigh.

One of these days, I'm sure I'll be outed at work. I don't look forward to that day. That would be the day I would probably close my blog down.

Burnt Kapama & Mavro Karvouna said...

I have no idea who you are, please do not stop! I LOVE your blog!

ccinnkeeper said...

I found your blog through a link from another I used to read and I have been reading it for several years. I don't know you and have no idea where you live. I am not a mom, a medical professional/student or someone wishing to get pregnant, I simply like your honesty and your style of writing.

I thought perhaps you'd like to know that as a woman/patient I would have no objection to my medical experience winding up in a blog like yours. You are always careful to hide details and you clearly care about your patients and your profession. I hope this helps, and blog on!

Kyla said...

My mom found my blog, which isn't really the same...but I find myself keeping that in mind before I hit publish these days. I hope you stick it out and find a way to keep writing, I enjoy reading.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, don't know who you are but I hope you know that your words are needed and welcomed by your reading public. I am almost a 4th year med student planning to apply to OB/Gyn for residency and your blog has been so inspiring, funny, and creative. Please don't go but if you must, best of luck (or just make another blog and don't tell anyone).

Robert Michael said...

Dr. Whoo,

Your blog posts always make me laugh, Hurricane Whoo! LOL, 12 babies in one weekend is quite the shift!

Hysterectomy Frisco

Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

I say come on out of the coset, but keep on writing.

As long as you alter circumstances and protect privacy and have a disclamier stating the same, I would think you are safe.

I've written recently on this issue, if you are interested

http://www.tbtam.com/2011/04/doctors-social-media-patient-privacy.html

Best of luck in your decision.

Peggy

Peny@white scrubs said...

Hey dr. whoo?,

I don't know you personally doc, but I could say that your cool (and sweet too). Yeah, and I believe that together with your cool, you keep the principle of confidentiality attached to you. I love your blog and your posts and hope that whatever dilemma you are experiencing right now with your identity on the web will not hinder you to write inspiring, funny and informative posts, eh. Looking forward for more posts to come. :)

Anonymous said...

I can understand your dilemna. It is hard when different parts of your life intersect. Tonight I saw two of my clients at the pool..I do not like to talk in my bathing suit to people I will see in court :)
I do hope that you continue blogging. You always give me a good laugh -former office manager comes to mind!
Take care-
Amy in OH

Maria Dawn said...

I'm curious...do you have any rants or raves about the recent VBAC guidelines released by the ACOG? I'd love to get an OB/GYN's opinion on this...

MK said...

I've just found your blog (studying for Boards seems to get me *really interested* in any kind of procrastination), and I really enjoy it! If you do decide to close up shop for privacy reasons, please continue to blog under another name. Great inspiration for me as a future OB/GYN!