The trick is what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.Carlos Castenda
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I am a family physician, practicing in central Maine, with a bit over 30 years of active practice on my odometer. I am happily and solidly married to a woman who knows me well enough to be skeptical and loves me enough to be willing to keep me honest. We have two grown (wonderful) kids and three magical grandchildren, two in Vermont and one in Montana. My interests include medicine (which has also been my career), genealogy, photography, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, medical informatics, and acoustic folk guitar. I love to be outdoors, hiking, canoeing and swimming in summer and nordic skiing in winter. If only there were time…
Initially I built myself a web site only to practice coding skills and learn web site design/maintenance to help me grow my webmaster skills, as I was managing sites for a couple volunteer organizations. It was, if you will, a sandbox in which I could play. Over time I found it useful to share files with people with whom I was collaborating, post photos, have discussions about ongoing projects, and collect web-related information such as bookmarks for favorite sites and blogs, or sources of programming information.
I decided this year I needed to build a legitimate site for myself. (I will continue to use my old sandbox for playing.) I have some specific – but limited – goals:
Genealogy. Make my genealogical information available to the genealogy community, and solicit help with genealogical projects of my own.
Writing. I have always enjoyed writing and have, over many years, accumulated a huge collection of anecdotes, snippets, story lines, characters and half baked ideas which I would like to start turning into actual writings. The site can serve simultaneously as motivator and publishing venue.
Advocacy. I am frequently passionate about things. ‘Things’ include events in my life, processes in the micro-environments of work and local organizations, and issues from the world I see. Speaking out at work, writing letters to politicians or newspapers, and venting to family, friends, and colleagues are all fine in their own way. I have always used writing to force myself to do research, organize my thoughts, test them for coherence and flaws, and help me remember. This site will be an outlet for my personal analyses and ideas. Publishing them will raise my expectations of myself and force me to be accountable in a way that writing only for myself cannot. Implicit in putting things here is a willingness to have them examined, criticized, corrected, even castigated or clobbered.
Medicine. I am very interested in systems, medical informatics, the changes in management demanded by information and social changes of the last 2+ decades, the role of disruptive innovation and collaborative systems in medical care delivery, and medical ethics. My work place has not been receptive to discussion of these issues on campus. (They have not been punitive – simply not interested.) This site will give me an opportunity to think and write out loud about these things.
Some things the site will NOT be:
A personal journal that attempts to replace personal contact or Facebook and its ilk.
High volume. I will post opinions or writings in my blog (mea sententia…) only when I am moved to write, and not based on any calendar, specific external content, or commitment to x postings/time unit. What I want, when I want.
Part of my medical care of patients. This site will definitely not be an official medical site or function as supplement to my practice or a medical resource for patients. It will not contain patient education materials, for example, or be a place where I discuss care with patients.
I have no map for this journey, but plan instead to go where time takes me. Not knowing my destination frees me up to start anywhere and travel down as many side roads as suits my fancy. You are welcome to come along for any part of my travels, either silently or by contributing feedback, suggestions, or content.
Now that the site is largely built and mostly functional, it is time to start adding content in order to test function. I expect that as I do so, I will find a steady stream of things I want to change, add or delete. I regard this as a sandbox, a work in progress. My regret at not having done this years ago is dwarfed by my excitement about the task at hand. The best time to plant a tree may have been 20 years ago, but the second best time is right now.
Peter Elias, MD
The information and opinions I offer here reflect these interests and activities. I do not claim to be right – only curious and passionate.
Submissions, comments, constructive feedback and suggestions are welcome.
Peter Elias, MD
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