Surrogate Platforms for Doctors


I’ve always suggested that doctors should make things.  They should write things that people read and record things that people view.  I’ve even gone so far as to suggest this as a moral imperative for docs.

I’ve talked to a few doctors recently who want to make stuff but who don’t care so much about hosting a WordPress blog or even going through the motions of setting up a Blogger account.  They want to be heard but don’t see the need to create their own blog with an audience.  They want to create but without the perceived risk and responsibility of a site.  A rigorous platform is less important that just having a place where they can be heard every so often.  A following isn’t on their bucket list.  They lack the stomach for the requisite social promotion critical for digital publications.

So where do these doctors fit in?

Take a peek at KevinMD where the pitch is ‘be heard on social media’s leading physician voice.’  Doctors write, Kevin Pho brings the eyeballs.  Writers get seen, Kevin sees traffic.  Everybody’s happy.

And it’s happening at hospitals.  Medicine, Milestones and Miracles at Texas Children’s Hospital has an effective open door policy for its staff.  Colleagues of mine who would never think of branding a blog of their own have a place to publish along with the benefit of Google juice and light copyediting.  Cook Children’s in Fort Worth is actively recruiting its medical staff under a common blog.  In academic medicine, Wing of Zock, is an AAMC-derived zone for those looking to voice ideas about transformation in medical education.  From what I understand they’re not hurting for submissions.  There are many more examples.

It’s as if these are surrogate platforms for doctors.  And they make perfect sense.  You get the benefit of helping fashion your digital footprint without all the fuss and muss.  These are a type of modern day publication without all the editorial judgment.

Doctors are warming to the idea of public dialog.  And I’m certain that doctors want to create and be heard if the barrier to entry is low enough.  Most see the value if they can muscle through the excuses.

If I were a doctor with an idea that I wanted to move, I might start with a surrogate platform.  And if I were an institution or hospital I would be sure that I created the space, the personnel, and the culture for my medical staff’s ideas to flourish.