Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I know I said I was taking a break, but I wanted to tell all of you about something that just happened. As I have been enjoying the accolades of a successful, Grand Rounds, I received the following e-mail below about an hour ago...

I am contacting you as the editor of [insurance company program] Newsletter. We are an international provider of medical and managed care insurance. Our clients consist of health plans, managed care organizations and health insurance companies within the US and Canada. [Our company] is the nations foremost insurance based managed care consulting programs. We have been in operation since the 1980's.

[Our program] is designed to partner with our customers to control risk, reduce cost and more importantly support quality healthcare outcomes. Although, we offer a variety of services, one important component of our program is to provide research and educational opportunities. [Our newsletter] is one avenue in which we provide clients of [our company] with information on a wide variety of topics related to catastrophic medical case management. Case histories, facility highlights and similar articles are intended to serve general information not endorsements of facilities, programs or products of any kind.

In addition to submissions from each of our [company] physician consultants, I plan to include specialty clinical related articles from outside sources i.e. [our company's] consultant's or vendors that we may have a relationship with. It is my goal to rotate topics to meet the needs of our broad audience.

I am contacting you to request permission to include something from your blog entries. Something for variety for our clients. Although, I am not familiar with "blogging" after review of your blog entries, I am intrigued.

If this is something of interest to you, please let me know. In addition, if you have any specific topics or ideas for an article, I welcome your suggestions.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing back from you and have a Terrific Thanksgiving!

XYZ company
Now, I probably blew my whole deal with broadcasting this on my blog. But, I was curious to see what all of you thought. How does this letter read to you? Is this a potential venture that you personally would consider?

Personally, for me, I'm leaning no, at this point. Probably, they would want me to reveal all kinds of personal information (like my name, etc). How credible would their newsletter be if there was a quote from a "Doctor Anonymous" - probably not much. I'm not ready to come "from behind the curtain" yet (Wizard of Oz reference).

People have e-mailed me that they are curious about the relationship that I have with my readers. This is probably one of the reasons why. I'm curious what you think, no matter what it is....


Dr. Deb said...

I'd say "No" as well. Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

I'd say request more info. Why say no before you have your questions answered?

Dr. A said...

Hmmmm... Interesting.

Janet said...

Say "No". It smacks of commercialism to me and I think you would have to compromise your anonymity.

NeoNurseChic said...

I recently got an invitation to join Blogburst which would place some of my articles on sites where people view major newspapers, but I haven't decided just yet. I never replied to the woman who was looking to include my story about my neurologist and what I thought about doctors making apologies because I didn't want my doctors to read it on the website and then get angry with me for any negative things I said. I haven't decided on this blogburst thing yet, though! The person writing the email to me addressed it as "Dear Lizz" and while my email is LizzPiano, I think anyone who truly reads my blog knows that my name is Carrie, so I'm not sure if that means the guy just randomly hit on my blog and emailed me or if he actually read it and just had a mental slip when addressing me as Lizz. I love to go by the name Lizz and all of its forms, but still, I don't hide that my proper name is Carrie.

I think I'd just check around and maybe google the company a bit. The other day I was looking into taking an online typing job, and when I googled the company, I found out it was all a scam! Lucky I did that otherwise I would have been taken for a real ride!

Carrie :)

P.S. Yesterday I had over 300 hits to my blog, and most of them were from your site. Someone also posted the link to my submission on some other website, so I got a few hits from there as well. This morning when I checked, I had already over 100 hits - almost all from you! Thanks!! I know 300 is nothing compared to your 1000+, but it's more than I've ever had!!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog courtesy of your Medscape interview. I should probably read more of it before just jumping right in and posting but I'm all about immediate gratification and lack of impulse control at the moment.

I would not respond to this. I used to co-moderate a support board/group of fora for mental illnesses, meds etc... and I won't go into the details but we received trolls like this.

Also, it just sort of screamed, "Let us pimp you out!"...and such a cheery (form) letter from an insurance company? Yeah.

If you wish to get published, go for something a little more reputable.

Oh, and I just picked this name in quick, rather unoriginal random fashion so if someone else already has it, apologies--I'll change it.

Thanks and I look forward to reading more here.

Dr. A said...

Although, I am not familiar with "blogging" after review of your blog entries, I am intrigued.

This was my favorite line. That's like saying, "I'm looking to score some points at the next staff meeting. So, I'm going to take our newsletter (old media) into the 21st century by introducing our company into blogging (new media)."

I love old media vs. new media discussions. But, that's a post/rant for another day.

HP said...

I guess it depends what your goals are, Dr. A. but this would almost definitely see you lose your anonymity. Maybe a book instead? :)

Dr. A said...

Actually, that's kind of funny that you say that because when I was first researching my "blog name," I typed in "anonymous." The blog name "anonymous lawyer" popped up and the blogger actually wrote a book called Anonymous Lawyer. So, maybe a book is not out of the question for me. Hehe.

Anonymous said...

Dr. A,

That line to which you refer...yeah, it's just so bogus. I don't know the actual company since you (respectfully for them) blacked their name out but...I'm sorry...what crap.

If they were serious/legit., they would know exactly what blogging was and how to extrapolate content properly for their own "publication."

ipanema said...

People have e-mailed me that they are curious about the relationship that I have with my readers.

That's my very first comment here, so I read your blog. You take time to answer your readers so they feel warm in here. They feel welcome. :)

That curiosity was even mentioned in your Medscape interview if I'm not mistaken. That's my answer to that curiosity, as one of the readers.

Anyway, my advert for GR had my blogfriends asking if it's really you and I'm so envious. When I posted it, you had the most number of comments in 24 hours...hahaha.

Wait, I'm supposed to answer something. I'd say "NO" too. I agree with others that it's going to be commercialised. And you're right, you're going to be UNMASKED! No more Dr. Anonymous. :)

Dr. A said...

Patient Anonymous, Do you have a blog? If not, then you should really start one! You have a lot to say and a lot of great thoughts on things.

Plus, I could interview you. "Today, Doctor Anonymous interviews Patient Anonymous. Stay tuned..." HA!

Ipanema, I'm sorry. I couldn't remember who asked me that question. But, as you could see, it had an impact on me. Thanks so much. I'm glad your readers had fun with that post :)

Mother Jones RN said...

I would look at what they are offering. Let them know up front that you do not want your named published. This might be a golden opportunity for you to become a freelance writer. You have talent.

Neonursechic: I got the same offer. It's a scam. Don't sign on to their service. They will own your work and chances are you will never see any money.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm jaded but I wouldn't trust an insurance company as far as I could throw it. I think of insurance companies the same way I do used car salesmen (no offense to any here.) In fact, if I think about insurance companies too long I need an extra Toprol...

Anonymous said...

That just seems a bit shady to me.

Anonymous said...

i maybe the oddball here, but i will speak from my experience. i have had a post published in one newsletter in minessota, and one on the way on a newsletter from ohio. i did get a copy of the paper from the first one, and requested a copy from that in ohio if it will push through. one of the things i asked is just to put the name of my website, and the name i use in it, but not my real name, which they know because they had to mail me a copy of the paper.

it did not increase traffic to my site, (because as you may already know, people who read paper based information rarely go and check the listed website) but if you are like me, who certainly gets a little kick in seeing my words published in any kind of paper, i say go for it, as long as you make sure they will not publish your real name.

Anonymous said...

"I love old media vs. new media discussions. But, that's a post/rant for another day."

My favorite thing in the whole universe is when old thinks it works like new (or tries to be what it thinks new is): the best example is when my local TV news broadcast (well, okay, CNN has done this, too) shows video of WEB SITES. On TV. Like you can read it. Or like I'd want to turn on the TV to have some moron plaster a web page on screen.

Sorry, tangent.

Don't your professional regulations address when / how you can write articles? Wouldn’t that shoot the whole anonymous thing down, and like you wondered, require you to disclose personal info? Regardless, sounds sketchy.

My cent’s worth.

B. Freret

Anonymous said...

personally i say go for the book... ;) Thats where you'll have the real fun

just me said...

also voting for you to go for the book...

Susan Miller said...

Okay, I'll vote for the book, also. My reasoning is that I think your intentions with this blog are pure. By pure I mean that you are providing a service without the intent of financial gain or notarity. In my opinion, if we stick with this - the purity of what I feel is simply sharing our stories and knowledge - then what we receive will be much greater than we could have ever desired.

Having written that my intention was to tell you Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing, Dr. A.

Anonymous said...

Dr. A,

Wow! Thank you...I am most flattered.

No I do not have a blog as I've always thought that no one would ever want to bother reading it. There are so many out there that I felt I'd be basically talking to myself. Which is fine but I don't really require a computer to do that.

If I did (have a blog) however, it would largely consist of my wonderful multiple diagnoses and adventures from the neck up plus random musings of craziness.

And I guess my puny life. Which brings me back to the first point in paragraph #2.

When in (hypo)manic states I used to write like a fiend but now that I am medicated that has severely waned. No, more than that: I do not write at all.

I had dreams of being published somewhere...(?) or writing some grand novel--and no, I don't think this was grandiosity although in clearer moments looking back on some of what I wrote, it was pure garbage. But a lot of it was really good.

I keep thinking of lots of things I'd like to pursue but I feel my ADD keeps holding me back. I'm working on that...maybe stims would help. That's the next psych./neuro. issue on the table.

But maybe if we get to know each other better an interview may not be completely out of the question and hey, a blog of my own may not be completely without the realm of possibility either.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Oh dammit! Now you've got me thinking about becoming a blogger and I'm seriously looking into it!

Did I neglect to mention that I have a highly suggestible (and slightly obsessive) personality?

Argh. Now my concentration is shot with this new *idea*...

I gotta try and get some work done.

Mimi Lenox said... careful. Once you've given the information, It's gone and you can't get it back. I am fiercely protective of my own blog and the anonymity of my readers, too. That's my two cents.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you evaluation but you never know, at least ask what info they want you to provide. A fellow Doc who is inspired by your story. God Bless, Doc E

Anonymous said...

Alrighty, Dr. A. I'm all yours--blogophoically speaking. I did it.
I started a blog. It's measly and tiny and still a work in progress but it's up and running.

I would be so privileged to be added to your blogroll.

So tell me, is your bedside manner this good with all your patients or is it just me.


Maggie Rosethorn said...

Hi, Doctor A. Thanks for your note on my blog. I do enjoy reading yours.

As for the opportunity...well, I do work for "the dark side of the force" and you would be surprised at how many intelligent, educated, computer literate persons who work there who have no clue what the blogosphere is like. They think of blogs only as for kids, and have no idea of all the medical blogs (to name only one type) there are.

Having said that, I guess I would, like starrlight, request more information, see if they will allow you to remain anonymous if you wish to do so, and consider it. Our company's newsletter often has articles about good and bad service from the company, doctors, hospitals, etc. I think some of your blog articles would be great reading. Of course, I may be prejudiced because I do enjoy your blog so much...