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Sunday, April 22, 2007


I was just sifting through my photos trying to find a new picture I could use for my blog which still preserve my anonymity. Something that shows part of who I am without giving away too much information.

I guess if my friends accidentally stumbled onto this blog, they will quite easily figure out my identity. The way that I write is exactly the same as how I talk - I do all my editing in my head - so if you think you know who I am, you are probably right.

The main reason that anonymity is important to me is because of the patients that I describe. I work very hard at keeping patient confidentiality because I have to respect the trust that my patients have in me. In my descriptions, I make caricatures instead of portraits - I do not include clinical details that would allow my patients to be identified. The emphasis of my writing is on my interaction with patients and their impact on me. In a sense, my readers should be able to look out through my eyes and see my patients. However, what they see is distorted by the kaleidescopic lenses of my mind.

I suppose if somebody knew my identity (and my employment history), that person could potentially identify every single patient I have been in contact with, just by looking through the clinical records of each hospital. So, I suppose that one could argue that patient confidentiality is at risk.

I doubt that any of my patients would be able to identify themselves just by reading my blog. This is because of the type of patient that I choose to describe - and I choose them very carefully. The patients that I write about can be found in any hospital in the UK, where there are thousands of hospitals and millions of patients. So if you think that I am writing about you or someone you know, then you are both right and wrong at the same time.

I suppose writing about my patients will get much harder if I decide to move to Singapore. Singapore is a small, small place. I will have to be even more careful. Or do you think I should stop the medical side of my bloggin altogether?

We shall see.

(Oh yes, and what do you think of my new photo?)


Blogger aliendoc said...

True, Singapore is a very small place. And when you're in the medical community, it becomes even smaller! There are some of us who blog anonymously, sometimes, about medical cases, sometimes about policies relating to healthcare. I think for the most part, we have managed to remain anonymous.

3:06 pm  
Anonymous Kim said...

Photo is nice. :)

3:22 pm  
Blogger little odd forest said...

i really like that photo (^__^) nice angle, colors and composite

now i have a slightly clearer vision of what you look like. ha.

3:52 pm  
Anonymous a l said...

nice photo =)

11:20 pm  
Blogger tscd said...

aliendoc: Singaporeans are very internet-savvy - I'm sure my identity will become less secure once I return. Do your colleagues know that you blog?

kim, a l: Thanks!

little odd forest: I'm glad you like it - MDH snapped it whilst I was busy building an empire out of beach pebbles.

2:31 pm  
Blogger aliendoc said...

Only 2 fellow doctors know who I am...& only because I told them about the blog. But then, most of the people I worked with are not blog readers anyway, & those who are, I am not acquainted with.
I think if you start a separate blog to just discuss medical cases or current issues without including any personal details about yourself, you could probably remain anonymous.

9:12 am  

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