Saturday, July 08, 2006

Blog conversations

I appreciate it very much when people include me in their blogroll. I'm even more honored when they mention me on their blog. When I do my "blog rounds," I try to leave witty and thoughtful comments. But, for the following two postings, I felt more than leaving comments, I'll talk about it here.

Dinah from Shrink Rap talked about her experience attending the social function of a patient. I really didn't get into my personal thought process when talking about Jen, so I'll talk about them here. (BTW, I forgot to add Shrink Rap to my blogroll, but I'll do it now).

Setting boundaries in your professional life (and personal life) is difficult. There is no magic recipe or book that you can read to find out how and when to do this. Our town measures 16 square miles and has about 16,000 people. This is significantly smaller than the city where I did my residency. So, I knew coming in that I would have to deal with being a small town doctor -- which for all purposes is a celebrity. People definitely know you, know where you live, and know what car you drive. This really disturbed me for the first months I was here, because I was used to riding underneath the radar all the way from high school, to college, to med school, to residency.

It's definitely been a learning process to me. If you met me, I'm a pretty introverted person. And, as you've seen in my blog, privacy and anonymity are important. When I first started working here, I tried to avoid going to big places like Walmart thinking that my patients may stop me, ask me about a medical problem, or ask me to refill their medication. But, a strange thing happened, I learned that for the most part, people in this town respect my privacy and when I'm not "on the clock" conversations have been social and actually pleasant. Of course, there are the few people out there who will take advantage of anyone at any time, but those are few and far between.

At this point, I've accepted the reality of being a doc in a small town and everything that comes with it. It's been a long road, but I've learned a lot about people and a lot about myself along the way.

The Tundra PA has a very delighful post from the "Way Back Machine" -- like from January of this year. The original post is from The Blog That Ate Manhattan and the title is simply "I Love My Blog." TTPA thought that those from Blogaholics Anonymous would enjoy this post, and I agree. Check it out, you'll like it!


Anonymous said...

That was a very interesting post ... and fit into the scheme of things quite well.

I have not one stat counter ... but four ... and more little gizmos and thingamajigs blinking and twinking than I can count. It's the only reason I haven't changed templates since I created the blog back in December ... the thought of copying off all of my goodies gives me an instant headache.

"Loving" one's own blog, though ... that's pretty basic! Being addicted to it ... that's pretty basic too. It's as much our 'alter ego' as anything could be.

About sorting boundaries ... Dr. Anon ... I don't envy you, being in a very small town. It can't be easy. What do you end up doing for a social life?

Also ... I'm having a hard time seeing you as an "introvert." You're full of "presence" ... sparkling with humor ... you've had me laughing out loud more than once - not an easy thing to do. You do seem to play your cards very close to your chest ... but that comes across as part of your need to be "anonymous" ...

Very interesting all around! You've filled out your persona quite nicely with this post! :o)

Anonymous said...

Darn it I got to move a little faster.. Everytime moof beats me to a blog she says everything I was going to say only like a hundred times better...


ClinkShrink said...

Thanks for the link and your thoughtful comments on Shrink Rap.

Boundaries and anonymity issues are interesting in my world; my prisoners know what time I come in, what time I leave, where I park and what car I drive. When I bought a new car I started an informal bet within my department on how long it would take before inmates started commenting on it. I bet two weeks. I was wrong. I started hearing about it within five days.

Cathy said...

I also can't really see you as an introvert. But, if we could place ourselves beside each other for one day, I wonder if any of us would be what people here perceive us to be?

jumpinginpuddles said...

even though we arent in the medical field, we live in a small town one of our children is quite ill and it has only recently been discovered, it seems no matter how you try and keep things private, they always seem in a small town to find their way into other peoples homes.
The setting boundaries is the hardest thing of all and even now we stumble and bumble around trying to do it, but we are getting better thank goodness.
Thanks for a good blog.

HP said...

It's been interesting to read your comments and those from the ShrinkRap blog about boundary setting. I've found one of the hardest things is learning how to deal with patients who cross the boundary, how to try and maintain it and yet be respectful of their feelings.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, don't have a hard time seeing you as an introvert.

Charisma in writing does not always translate to a person who is outgoing and extraverted. Introverted does not always mean depressed. It just means a person is more likely to be quiet and thinking about the exchange. That thinking may very well be positive.

The banter of conversation can go too fast for some, even if they love people and are deeply engaged in their life. They want to say something, but their thoughts can't quite keep up with the conversation. So they are more easily tired by having a lot of people around, or having a lot of conversation.

And they express their interesting and bright thoughts in writing rather than conversation.

Anonymous said...

Dr. A--Some patients don't like running into their doctor out and about either! ;o) I was unfortunate enough to even have my doctor's kids at the same private school as mine. We smiled and said "hi," but that's about it. Several times I even considered going to a doctor in the next town, one I wouldn't run into so often. It's just weird to run into someone who knows so many private things about you in a social setting. So, you aren't alone, it's uncomfortable for us too!

Dinah said...

oh I could ramble more...hard to imagine living in a town so small, especially as a psychiatrist, but even as a primary care doc...hmmm, do people like bumping into you while you're checking out the melons in the produce section and thinking, hey he palpated my prostate this morning?

Thanks for continuing the discussion across blogs, I'm enjoying it.