Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Why Should Medical Students Blog?

As a medical student, you probably have a very busy calendar. Blogging might seem like just another responsibility to jam into your schedule. And yet, it doesn't have to be like that. You could always devote a little bit of time once a week to the blog. And despite your trouble, you would actually be creating a very useful tool, both for yourself and for others. Here are a few reasons why you should consider blogging about your experiences in medical school.

To Build Community

Blogging about your education is a great way to extend your learning community beyond the physical boundaries of your particular medical school. As you write about your medical-related interests, new things you have learned, and your troubles, other students can read and react to your thoughts. Then you can react in turn, thus continuing the conversation. You essentially expand your community to include not only the students with whom you study, but also students in other programs around the world. By joining this community, ideally you can strengthen it with your own ideas and interactions with others. Through the transfer of knowledge and experiences, the community can improve as a whole.

To Reflect on Your Experiences

Another important aspect of learning is the act of self-reflection. Through self-reflection, students evaluate their learning process, their successes and failures, and their plans to move forward. Self-reflection is a professional tool as well, and many highly successful organizations use it to figure out how they could do a better job next time: aviation crews, athletic teams, and military units often debrief after they experience significant events. So reflecting upon your day's work and education will help you tackle the next challenge.

To Create a Guidebook

To a certain set of readers, your blog could work as a guidebook to medical school. Prospective students, new students, and those who have just begun considering a career in medicine all could benefit from reading the thoughts, opinions, and worries of a current medical student working through the program. Such a blog might implicitly help prospective students prepare for the rigorous work of medical school. Through your experiences, others can learn what to expect.

Of course, you can adjust the focus of your blog however you like. You can mix and match these purposes, or you can limit your writing to just one. The goal is that the blog be useful in some way, and not become busywork, something you feel like you have to do. If that happens, eventually you'll neglect the blog, and it will no longer be worthwhile to yourself and to other readers. So think carefully about whether or not blogging while you're in school is right for you. If you think you can somehow balance your own education with writing a blog that benefits you and your readers, then maybe blogging will be perfect for you.

By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Tim Handorf, who writes on the topics of online colleges and universities. He welcomes your comments at his email Id: tim.handorf.20@googlemail.com.