Somewhat without my being aware of it, this blog has been pretty quiet for a while – indeed I have mainly been reblogging other people’s content or posts from my other blog .
There are a few reasons for this. Primarily, my involvement in the CCIO and specifically the Lighthouse Projects has obviously taken up more of my time.
Secondly, to a certain degree this blog’s original intention of being a personal archive of my more medically themed writing has reached a little bit of a stop – most of what I can easily access of my own writing has already been posted. There is still quite a bit of stuff I have written for the Irish Medical Times and Eurotimes which I have not full access to, but the interest of this may be limited. There are also some academic papers I have written. However most of the purely medical writing I have done which is readily accessible is now somewhere on this blog.
Thirdly, both this blog and my other one were intended as purely personal fora for working out ideas and to find common themes in my writing. With both, I have found a more public purpose also. On the Seamus Sweeney blog I have found myself exploring my interest in nature more and more, and dipping my toe in the world of nature blogging .In a way, the blog has helped me notice that this interest is more than an “interest” but something vital and key for me. Here, the blog has been a forum to discuss meetings I have been to and in particular my journey into CCIO land , as well as bookmarking paper that seem interesting (or just odd)
Finally (for now), I practice medicine as Séamus Mac Suibhne and for everything else, including non-medical writing, I am Séamus Sweeney. This developed not through any design on my part but simply because my birth cert is in Irish, therefore my degree, therefore my Medical Council registration and so on. However, one wouldn’t have to be any sort of psychotherapist to interpret this split in all sorts of interesting ways, some of which might even be correct. Of late I have noticed a bit of a convergence of interests between Séamus Mac and Séamus S, most evident here by the reblogging of pieces from one blog on the other. So perhaps this dichotomy may be closing.
I am hoping in the coming weeks to be able to blog a little bit more here. On the Lighthouse Projects in particular I hope to have some exciting announcements. I can also reveal that I have been given a copy of Helen Pearson’s Life Project to review.
Narcissistic as it is, I am thinking about this blog and its purpose. Originally, this was simply a personal curatorial project (as described in the original “Hello World” post WordPress helpfully sets up) to try and identify common threads in my writings about medicine. I didn’t really think of any readership or wider dissemination.
It has evolved to be something else. I have tended to use this to post on various meetings, papers, and books I have read, with a medical focus. In particular I have posted on meetings such as the AMEE Hackathon and the CCIO . My CCIO role has developed somewhat and it is possible my blogging here may reflect this.
Blogging has been a more positive experience for me than it was in the past – I have certainly found it a helpful medium to clarify my thoughts on various topics. It is also interesting that some posts have struck some kind of chord. I did not intend this blog initially to be what it has become. It will be interesting to see where things go.
This is a blog in which I am planning to collect and curate various writings of mine from 1996 onwards, which in some way relate to medicine or medical practice. “Some way relate” could be very broad. This arises from my inchoate desire to anthologise my writing, and the suggestion (from Simon Cutts and Erica van Horn) that blogging some of my past pieces may be a way to try and find a common thread.
I am a doctor. I have never let this define, or wanted to let this define me. In ways, my writing has always felt like something separate from medicine. I even practice under a different name. A relatively small percentage of what I have written is directly about medicine.
However, medicine is a thread through much of what I have written, even invisible, and all I have written as an adult has been as a medical student or a practising doctor. Some influence, to say the least, is inevitable both ways.
Furthermore, I am interested academically and personally in medical education, and particularly trying to capture the “hidden curriculum”, the processes of becoming that are not captured in any matrix of learning outcomes or assessment schedules. Systems have a life and existence entirely uncaptured by the organogram or the flow sheet.
My initial working hypothesis is to try and gather pieces that will in some way trace my own development within medicine, even tangentially. I intend to publish pieces from the past – some from a few months ago, some from nearly twenty years ago, some from peer reviewed journals, some from student magazines and various freesheets, some written to express a deeply felt perspective, some written for the money (not that many, really) – and see what happens.
(Jan 15th 2016 – I have some further thoughts about this blog, although I don’t intend to adjust this text)