Blogging about Blogs: What makes a great #MedEd Blog?

(Welcome to the ICE blog Anthony Llewellyn – that’s a lot of “L’s”.  Anthony is leading a blog series on blogs. HT to MC Escher-Jonathan (@sherbino))

By Anthony Llewellyn (@hetimeddir)

The rise and rise of blogs in #MedEd over the last decade or so is well noted, as is the concept of #FOAM, free open access medical education.[1]  In 2014, a different group of CEs met at ICRE to determine quality indicators for various social media platforms, including blogs.[2]

The features (and especially the mechanics, i.e. day-to-day operations) of a great MedEd blog were again debated by a keen group of Clinician Educators during a workshop run by Teresa Chan at the 2015 International Conference on Residency Education.

The question before the 16 workshop participants was: What are the factors that contribute to good MedEd blogging?  The participants ranged in expertise from interested, about-to-be bloggers, to the recently started, and finally to seasoned expert bloggers.  In many cases participants were attending because other parties had asked them to set up a blog (i.e. their local residency program, academic division, etc..).

For the purpose of the workshop, we considered both single person blogs as well as group blogs.  Participants moved through 3 rapid-fire white board sessions in mixed teams. This led to the development of a number of key questions.

Questions generated included:

  • How do you actually set up a good blog?;
  • How do you generate and sustain content?;
  • Do you protect your blogging content? If so how?;
  • How do you get appropriate recognition and support for blogging; and
  • Exactly how free is FOAM anyway?

Now in this series of “blogs about blogs”, we attempt to answer these key questions by interviewing recognised #MedEd bloggers, at the same time showcasing some of the best #MedEd blogs currently out there.

In the meantime, share your favourite MedEd blog or blogger.  We may profile their work.


[1] Cadogan M, Thoma B, Chan T, Lin M. Free Open Access Meducation (FOAM): the rise of emergency medicine and critical care blogs and podcasts (2002-2013). Emergency Medicine Journal. 2014;31(e1):e76-e77. doi:10.1136/emermed-2013-203502.

[2] Sherbino J, Arora V, Van Melle E, Rogers R, Frank J, Holmboe E. Criteria for social media-based scholarship in health professions education. Postgraduate Medical Journal. 2015:postgradmedj-2015-133300. doi:10.1136/postgradmedj-2015-133300.

Image by Stuart Miles. via