As all the madness around getting a job and thinking about the future has been going on recently, I have also been thinking quite a lot about the future of my blog whilst I'm a doctor.
As you probably know, doctors have to be very professional and also very careful about what they put online. They are obviously not allowed to release any details about patients online, but they also have to make sure that they come across as professional (for example, it wouldn't look great if you typed in a doctor's name and loads of photos of them drunk came up!).
On my blog I never mention anything about patients, and I don't ever post photos that would look indecent, or write anything that I believe could offend anyone. However, I do post quite a lot of personal information about myself, including about my mental health. I know that I am well enough to be a doctor, but I would not want a patient to search for me and for them to complain that I am not fit to practice because of my past mental health struggles (even though they have never affected my degree). I'm not ashamed of my mental health and don't regret writing about it for everyone to read, but it would be inappropriate for a patient to know about it.
The other thing that I'm worried about is that it may blur the boundaries between myself and my patients. If patients found my blog and read it, they may feel that I am more of a friend than a doctor as they can find out a lot about me, and that could complicate me treating them.
I'm not really sure about the protocol around blogging and being a doctor, so I think I need to do a bit more research and possibly ask the medical school for advice about it. It's such a new concept that I don't think the NHS or GMC have ever published any guidance about blogging. However I don't want to stop blogging as it is my creative outlet outside of medicine, and I enjoy it so much. I've had so many amazing opportunities through my blog, and I really do believe that it is one of the things that really helped me overcome my depression.
I guess I can probably continue to blog, but I may need to not be as personal, and I may need to delete some of my more sensitive posts from the past. I'm not really sure, but I definitely don't want my job to stop me from doing something that I really do love!
Be thankful for the struggles you go through. They make you stronger, wiser and humble. Don't let them break you. Let them make you.