This blog is written to bring transparency to all things medical. So it’s nice when endeavors undertaken in the academic realm translate to the ‘real’ world, and vice versa.Blog1

A recent essay I wrote for an online medical ethics journal provides a good example of the confluence.

The journal’s editor created a scenario (fictional) that was like catnip to me:

A doctor/blogger had branched out into occasional radio commentary. When a school shooting occurred in her town, one of her patients was a victim (she’s a pediatrician). She became obsessed with the tragedy, seeking answers to the unexplainable. When invited to opine about the motives of the shooter on local radio, it seemed appropriate. Who better to serve as an ‘expert’ on the situation? She was professionally and personally affected.

She was surprised, then, when reaction to her radio appearance was quite mixed. Many of course welcomed her comments, but others expressed skepticism that she could be fair-minded in her appraisal of the accused. Moreover, her professional station and media platform could easily sway public opinion.vmlogo2

Was it right for her to broadcast her opinions? Should she have speculated on the motives of the alleged shooter or waited for him to have a fair trial?

Take a look and let me know what you think.

Special thanks to editor Laura Blinkhorn, MD.