Friday, October 12, 2007

Blog or blot

Well, the end is in sight -- it's time to begin searching for hospitalist positions for next year. Apparently, it's a doctor's market; the day after I registered an online profile with Locum Tenens, I was bombarded with phone calls from physician recruiters, and a week later I'm still receiving multiple phone calls daily. I'm currently brushing the dust off my resume, preparing it for the market, but I've realized that I have a bit of a dilemma on my hands. Namely, Foggy Bottom Lantern. Should I include it in my resume?

My blog is, after all, one of the most interesting and original things that I do, and outside of work, it is the project into which I invest the most time and energy. A few months ago, perhaps in a moment of daring after a particularly satisfying post, I tagged it on to my resume. Creator and author, I called myself, and listed it under Community and Extracurricular Service, figuring that several of my posts have been informational and possibly of service to the world online community. Now, though, that I'm actually distributing my resume to potential employers, I'm not sure that was such a good idea. At least in the medical community, I'm afraid, blogger is a title more associated with trouble than anything else.

Oddly, when I first started my blog, my hope was that if it became successful, it might be a boon to my program and to my university. That it might become some tidbit of trivia on program tours, that potential residency candidates might hear something like, "Our residents have a variety of interests and hobbies. . . one of them runs the blog Foggy Bottom Lantern, which maybe you've heard of. . ." I wanted to make my program director proud. I saw all of this potential upside and thought that if done carefully, the downside could be reasonably well controlled. Now, though, like everyone else in the medical blogging community, I'm just afraid.

I've kept Foggy Bottom Lantern professional, and I do believe that if a potential employer actually read my blog, his or her impression would be favorable. There's been some talk on the blogosphere of blogs eventually replacing resumes. Simply listed, though, a blog raises concerns without having any power to overcome them. On a first and blind paper date, that's not what I want to do. Thus, Foggy Bottom Lantern is off of the resume for now. In a more open and sensible future world, perhaps it will reclaim its rightful place.