Time to Zip It

I’ve certainly gotten the point: SHUT UP about the fired resident already!

Numerous comments have come in, some from fellow medical bloggers whom I respect as “attendings” in the cyber-world due to their longer time in the games of both blogging and medicine (thanks shadowfax and Kevin).  Graciously, they weighed in on this topic with advice, support and commentary.

But the overwhelming message, both publicly and by email, is to shut my trap especially now that I’m genuinely involved in the proceedings of this situation.

I should point out that I agree with everyone who points out that nothing is anonymous, truly anonymous, in the blogosphere.  In fact, I started this blog assuming that anyone who wanted to figure out my identity, could do it with about 5 mouse clicks and give or take a modicum of human reasoning.  By comparison to, say, public school janitors (who I bet could write some pretty interesting blogs), there just aren’t that many doctors around.  Give even a few details about yourself (as I do) and you can figure out who a doc is with little effort.

So, I write this blog with the assumption that you know who I am.  The name of the blog is more of an expression of personality than any sort of attempt at identity obfuscation.  Thus, my comments thus far on the resident recently fired from my program have been made with every belief that they are available and visible to anyone involved with this situation, including the resident himself.  I’ve tried to just give my honest opinion; one that I would give any patient or the local barber – just hit it with a #1, please, and yeah that resident was a pretty good guy…most of us were surprised he got the boot.

That said, now I’m getting a bit antsy.  Maybe I’ve already said too much.  Maybe I shouldn’t have even mentioned this.  Maybe I shouldn’t blog at all.  Maybe I should sew up my lips like that ’80’s horror movie and never say another word as long as I live.  ‘Course, the problem here is more of a typing thing, so along with my lips maybe I should sew my fingers together so I have one wide “probe” extending from each arm.  That’ll teach me.

Anyway, publicly or privately, I await any opinions about whether or not I should pull down the blogs I’ve already written about this topic.  I understand that in cyberspace, once written, a blog is effectively permanent.  Judging by the traffic I’ve received these past few days, I’m sure those posts have settled into the web page loam of the internet and can be recalled from somewhere even if they’re gone from here.  But it would be harder to do.  It would be one more layer of insulation between me and what is almost sure to go from our country bumpkin appeals process into full-blown legal action.

Irrespective of the previous posts, I can say that this is the last you’ll hear about this topic (until possibly some careful recap when everything is over).  I can say it would be quite fun to report on the proceedings ‘from the front-line’, but I understand quite clearly how un-fun that little experiement could likely turn out.

7 thoughts on “Time to Zip It

  1. Like you said, it would make it a little harder to find them should someone come searching. Frankly, the second post is what worries me because it could conceivably be twisted to say anything somebody wants.

    If the decision stands, some idiot will say “But Secretwave was on the resident’s side from day one. He was biased. He even implied it would be great if he could help the resident.”

    If the decision is reversed, another idiot will say “But Secretwave publicized a close proceeding. He was swayed by people on the internet.” They could even go as far as saying “Secretwave all but admitted he’s incompetent. He was a bad choice to sit on the appeals board.”

    None of this statements are true but they they don’t have to be. With enough effort someone can cast doubt and that’s all they need. Your own words were: “Lawsuits, also, seem almost inevitable these days given the average American’s refusal to put up with anything that isn’t to their liking.”

    It’s just not worth it. Delete them all and hope the whole thing disappears.


  2. As you wrote, and as you know, it will always be “out there.” I see nothing wrong with your posts on the subject, but I am not a medico, ergo I am relatively unconcerned about things legal. I am, however, well familiar with the academy and its intestinal rumblings. If you have regrets, don’t take liberties with a colleague’s identity again. As for your own identity, and the deductions that might stem from its realization, more hipaa-esque caution is in order — if you care.

    By the way, google “fired resident.”

    Best of luck. My selfish hope, as a reader, is that you won’t… fold.


  3. been there

    When I was appointed to serve on a similar committee, I was notified by certified letter with instructions to keep the matter confidential.

    I may be paranoid but perhaps you should consult an attorney, your malpractice carrier may be able to suggest someone.

    How likely is it that the resident involved and program director will become aware of your blog ?


  4. secretwave101

    My PD has known about the blog for awhile. I’m also linked to our residency network as a “resident who writes a blog” for interested medical students. So, basically everybody knows about the blog. And everybody knows about the firing, the appeal, and the committee who will hear the appeal, and the committee’s membership. None of that is confidential in any way. Everything from here on out will be, I’m sure, but thus far the information has been widely available. Our program is advertising the newly open spot, too.

    Can’t see how I’ve “broken” any news here.


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