Views & Reviews From the Frontline

New kids on the blog: new media and medicine

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c2145 (Published 21 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2145
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}yahoo.co.uk

    In the past clinical entries were short and illegible, because doctors’ handwriting is notoriously poor. This was explained by their being pressed for time, but for me it is because I could spell only the first three letters of most medical conditions so blurred the rest. Fountain pens were given as presents, adjustment made with whitening fluid, and final copies sent by post. But in the 1990s came word processors with spellcheckers, cut and paste, and infinite redrafting. This allowed me to start journalistic writing. And in 1995 I licked four envelopes to the leading magazines for general practitioners and posted my article idea—“Let me through”—of vaguely rude parodies of doctors (see box). By return of post I received four rude but amusing rebuffs. But I kept on writing because writing is therapy, and with the advent of email I could send the same article to multiple publications for rejection.

    But the media are …

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