Sunday, January 02, 2011

Why Shrinks Don't Blog

Moviedoc writes:
The fact is, though you claim your blog is for psychiatrists, my impression is that few of us participate in any blog. What stops them? Snobbery? Hubris? Ignorance? Apathy? Fear?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and make a guess as to the top reasons why shrinks don't blog. But before I start my countdown, let me say that when I started Shrink Rap, 4 years and 7 months ago, I thought I wanted a blog for psychiatrists--- and suddenly lots of people came along for the ride-- other mental health professionals, other non-mental health professionals, and plenty of patients, as well as some random interested parties. We've Loved having Everyone. The funny thing is, we've learned a ton from our patient readers, and I wouldn't change a thing. A blog by psychiatrists for anyone who wants to listen to us.

So why don't all Shrinks have Blogs???

10. Many shrinks are busy struggling to earn a living and keep up with their family obligations. As the ABPN implements expensive and time-consuming re-certification requirements, this promises to make shrinks more busy. And as more and more agencies expect their psychiatrists to see 20-50 patients a day, shrinks may be even busier. Educational debts in the realm of $200K or higher are not helping.

9. Some shrinks like to spend their free time thinking about something other than work. The three of us don't seem to be in that category of peoples.

8. Psychiatrists have traditionally been taught that part of their work entails some secrecy about their personal lives and that the details of their lives should not be shared with patients. This creates some hesitation about blogs and Facebook and social networking.

7. Psychiatrist may fear being stalked by dangerous patients.

6. During Medical Board investigations, information about the psychiatrist that is easily located on the internet may be used as evidence that a psychiatrist is impaired or inappropriate. Has this happened? I've no idea.

5. Medical blogging is still seen by some as being on the fringe and not as valid a form of communication as peer-reviewed journals.

4. Remember Flea [link to Nov 2010 interview on Science Roll]? The perception is that people who blog set themselves up for bad things. Flea was a pediatrician who blogged about his malpractice case--he ended up settling the case and having his story appear on the front page of the Boston Globe.

3. Psychiatrists worry that patients won't like that they blog.

2. Blogging doesn't pay. While Roy has monetized our blog with Google Ads, we're talking about something along the lines of $100-$200/year.

1. Psychiatry is a profession that centers around intimacy, privacy, and confidentiality and a blog is a very public thing where boundaries might be breached (this from my non-shrink husband).

If you're a shrink and you don't want your own blog, you're always welcome here at Shrink Rap as one of our many anons. We're happy to have you.