Does Blogging Affect Physicians’ Employment Prospects?
After having munched down yet another tasty lunch provided by the evil drug companies (yeah, that’s right, I’m still eating ‘em), I had some time to contemplate what impact my blogging has on my future ability to get or keep a job as a physician.
Unfortunately, twenty seconds later I had to start seeing patients. On the drive home, I started to think about it again. Of course then I got home and the kids wanted to play, then I needed to make a dent in my journal stack, juggle in some wifey time over dinner, get the kids showered, changed and put to bed, review an update to my employment contract, and try to sneak in half an episode of Top Gear before the 2 year old would wake up again.
Finally in the quietude that comes with laying in bed at 11pm, whilst staring at the ceiling with the distant sound of a dog barking over the buzzing of a neighbor’s air conditioner, I wondered briefly about all the legalese that I had just read. I figure I understand enough about what I just read to be comfortable enough not to have to take it to a lawyer (I haven’t done that yet).
But then a thought struck me; I wonder what an employer would think about hiring a physician blogger? I currently work for a small collegial group practice, I neither advertise nor hide my blogging, a few people know that I blog, and I doubt that anyone in my current job would care or mind, given that I don’t disparage others in my blog.
I don’t have any absolute rules when it comes to writing, but I do have some general principles: I don’t write about patient encounters (unless of course they involve one incident from my training days that was particularly memorable) I don’t write about anything that a patient could read and identify that encounter as their own. I don’t disparage co-workers, I don’t wash dirty laundry.
I feel that having my name on every post is important, too. It leads me to be more responsible in my writing and forces me to hold my blogging to a higher standard. While I do think there’s a place for those who blog anonymously, I always approach their opinions with some degree of skepticism. But I’m digressing from my point. My ramblings today were inspired by this question: How might a future employer look on my blogging? As I said, currently it’s really not an issue. But what if I was interviewing for a new job, would I openly state that I have a blog? Is this something I would write on my c.v.? Since this blog is a personal venture, I think my answer to the first question is no. As to the second question; honestly, I have yet to update my c.v. since starting this blog (i know, i know. . .), I suppose I would list it under hobbies and interests.
Another question would be: Would a prospective employer (especially those who might be particularly sensitive to litigation) consider a physician blog a liability? Given 2 similar applicants, one who blogs and one who doesn’t, would an employer be less apt to take a risk on the applicant who blogs? In general, my guess would be no.
However, given that the medical community as a whole is technologically handicapped, and that some physician recruiters may be fickle in their selection of c.v.’s I suspect that there will be instances where a physician blogger’s resume will get filed in the big round floor cabinet, regardless of whether someone laid eyes on the posts or not.
I know somewhere out there in the ether there are both physicians and recruiters reading this, what are your thoughts are on this question?