Almost two years ago I started writing more regularly- reflections on being a new mom, thoughts on my changing perspective as a pediatrician. I kept a notebook that quickly filled with thoughts that occurred to me during clinic, questions parents asked, things that came up with my son. I started reading more- both on-line and off. I realized that friends who were parents had the same kinds of questions I did. They too were googling questions and looking for credible sources of information. So, one year ago I started sharing the things I was writing about. My Two Hats was born. What I didn’t know then was that this little blog would open a new world to me. That it would start to shift the way I think about medicine and make me a better doctor. Here’s how.
- I write more. I have written, on average, a post a week. All of this writing has made me a better doctor, and mom, in many ways. If a parent asks a question on a topic I’ve recently researched and written about I can direct them to useful resources without a moment’s hesitation. And, writing makes me read more too. If I haven’t written about something, I now have a set of go-to sources that I know will provide me and my patients with quality child health information.
- I think more. Writing makes me think. Insightful comments from readers make me think. Listening to the amazing on-line community of patients makes me think. My point of view is challenged. My mind is opened. I am a better doctor.
- I make more connections. After I started blogging I joined Twitter. I thought it might be a good way to share my work. But, I’ve found that, for me, that’s not really what Twitter is all about. For me, Twitter is about the thoughtful, generous, intelligent community of people that I follow. Every day, they bring me the latest information in medicine, child health, parenting, and general news. They enable me to say to my patients’ parents, yes I did read that study on sleep that just came out, and here are some thoughts. Or, there are some new car seat regulations and here’s what you need to know.
- I am a more effective child advocate. I’m more aware of the current policy issues affecting kids and can help spread the word.
- I’ve started to become more “digitally literate.” Since this is where health care is going, it’s good to be in the thick of it.
- I have more hope for health care. Thanks to social media I have met- both on-line and in real life- people who are working every day to make health care better. People with amazing ideas and incredible drive who I am excited to join. People who give me hope that, with the help of new technology and hard work, we will improve this broken health care system of ours.
So, My Two Hats has brought me a lot. And, I’m still learning. During the next year I will keep writing and perhaps make a video blog or two. I’m starting to think about how I could make the blog bilingual. I’ll definitely keep learning (especially about health literacy and how I can use new mediums to advocate for under-served kids) and keep building connections. Hope you’ll be along for the ride.
- Top 5 posts from this year
As always, thanks so much for reading. Have topics you’d like me to write about? Let me know here or at mytwohats[at]gmail.com. I love to hear your thoughts.
*Credit to Dr. Finalle for coining “tweetiatrician.” 🙂