Below is part of the GMC guidance on the use of social media.
17 If you identify yourself as a doctor in publicly accessible social media, you should also identify
yourself by name.Any material written by authors who represent themselves as doctors is likely to be taken on trust and may reasonably be taken to represent the views of the profession more widely.
18 You should also be aware that content uploaded anonymously can, in many cases, be traced back to its point of origin.
This may be in part to stop people dispensing bad medical advice and hiding behind anonymity. It may also be an attempt to silence foul mouthed Facebook based pseudonym doctors. Either way it makes it pretty clear that I can't go on being anonymous (or trying to be) and presenting myself as a doctor. I've therefore taken two steps to rectify this to ensure my practise is up to date with good medical practice.
Firstly, I have deleted all past posts on my anonymous twitter feed pertaining to being a doctor so that it is just about a young man from the midlands moaning about football and politicians.
Secondly all posts from now on, on facebook, twitter or blogger will be in my real name. Be they complaining about the England team or my worries about the NHS under a Tory government post Francis report.
I am aware that a lot of posts are archived and I'm sure they are obtainable and traceable. It would however mean somebody really wants to find out about me, maybe a registrar interviewer. I've been looking through all my old posts recently and there is some content that I'm not happy with so will delete all of it. As far as I know I've never let confidentiality be breeched or said anything libellous or inciteful and would be mortified if I had.
It's a shame to delete it all, as there is about 68,000 words over 3 and a half years, but I feel I need to. 68,000 words, that's practically a PhD thesis! Albeit with more grammatical errors. I wonder if anyone would have paid money to print it. Never fear they are on an encrypted password protected drive for my own nostalgia, away from prying eyes. Not that I think I'm saying anything ground breaking or special.
So here goes, the unveiling. Drum roll.....
My name is Scott Mabbutt, I am a core surgical trainee at Northampton General Hospital. I'm married and have a child on the way. This blog might mention my job but will hopefully be about football and impending parenthood. In introducing myself I will paraphrase my very first post from 2009 as it is sort of a new beginning.
Now, why a blog? And why now? I have been meaning to write a journal or some reminder of my early Years, so when my grown up job interview comes around I will have an aide memoire to reflect upon and talk about.
I have chosen to start now, as this is the first evening that I have not been tired, occupied or working since May, when I intended to start a blog about my elective.
There is a plethora of medical blogging out there, which is equally scary, due to quality of it all, and comforting as there is safety in numbers. I don't aim to moan everyday, and I don't want to describe what I do like it is the most important thing in the world. I'll just try and give my spin on the days or weeks events at home and sometimes away.
I also will try not to get political. Soapboxes are not my forte, I get a bit of a headrush up there. There are plenty of blogs that are more knowledgeable and controvertial than I am! Also I find reading some blogs, to be a bit self-indulgent; well all blogs are self-indulgent, but some more than others.
It's funny how some of that might have gone out of the window!
Bear with me, if there is anything too important not to write about, hopefully you'll find it here. Not before I've done all the things the GMC advise me to do first. My wife has told me I write best when I'm not trying to, so will try to write about what I know. That is football, food and being a junior doctor. I may even post some old blog posts that I deemed publishable from the old days.
It might make the blog a bland place, but it means anything that appears here, I would be happy being read out at a GMC hearing.