Friday, June 01, 2007

On Being Dumb...

Over the past few months, a number of high-profile "medbloggers" (we'll come back to that) have left the building. About a month ago, I observed that "doc's often use their blogs as sounding-boards, and this can be a problem;" privacy issues, of course, were paramount, but there are others.

It never occurred to me that a fellow medblogger could have his own posts almost literally bite him in the tush. The term "medblogger," by the way, refers to physicians, of course, but also nurses, folks in health IT positions, consultants, even those who write about health care financing (such as, oh, say, insurance).

So why the rather blunt title of this post?

Earlier this year, Dr Flea (an anonymous blogger whose dayjob was pediatrician) won the coveted "Best New Medical Blog" award. A few weeks ago, his blog went, well, blank. There was some speculation as to why that occurred; he was in the middle of "some litigation," and it was posited that he shut himself down. Which, as it turns out, he apparently did.

For a very good reason (h/t Hugh "Blogfather" Hewitt):

" As Ivy League-educated pediatrician Robert P. Lindeman sat on the stand in Suffolk Superior Court this month, defending himself in a malpractice suit involving the death of a 12-year-old patient, the opposing counsel startled him with a question.

Was Lindeman Flea? "

Turns out, he was. And he wasn't doing himself (or his cause) any favors blogging on his own trial:

"In his blog, Flea had ridiculed the plaintiff's case and the plaintiff's lawyer. He had revealed the defense strategy. He had accused members of the jury of dozing."


There are times when, having written a particularly passionate (or critical, or snarky) post, I'll hit the "Save" button, instead of "Publish." A post that's never, um, posted isn't cached in 'Wayback, and can't come back to bite me. But once I hit that publish button, all bets are off.

Now, that isn't to say that I always go back and delete those posts (d'uh! Just do a search here for Stoopid Client or Carrier Tricks). And, as I mentioned in that previous post, very little of what we write actually names names (and when we do, there's a very good, and documentable, reason for it). But as this wonderful world of blogs continues to evolve, we may see a creeping reticence emerge.

Maybe that's a good thing.
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