An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases,
November 23rd, 2023
Giving Thanks — This Time to You, Readers of This Thing
Most years around this time I post some ID-related things to be grateful for — a research advance, a nice shift in epidemiology showing fewer people are sick and more are living longer, a new drug approval we’ve been eagerly awaiting. That kind of thing.
Last year, for example, it was gratitude that mpox had come under control (fingers crossed). That dolutegravir and bictegravir were holding up just fine. That Covid-19 finally seemed to be trending toward true endemicity (second pair of fingers crossed). And a quick comment about a certain social media site that remained a “wonderful and entertaining place to learn”, chaos at the top notwithstanding (yeesh, still holding out hope).
This year, I’m doing something different.
I’m going to thank you, whoever’s out there reading this thing, for sticking with it all these years. I’m truly grateful for your emails, your comments, your feedback, our chats at professional meetings, but most especially, for your eyes just reading this. Face it, if no one were reading these posts, I highly doubt the fine people at NEJM Journal Watch would continue supporting it. So thank you so much, and keep reading!
(Actually, if no one were reading it, I’d probably be writing something somewhere anyway — that’s how I’m wired — but you know what I mean.)
At this year’s IDWeek, at the Medical Education Community of Practice meeting, I met Dr. Priya Kodiyanplakkal, an ID doctor from New York. In the pre-meeting chat, she gave me the greatest compliment I could imagine about this blog, one she later kindly posted in this convention center lobby photo:
What she said is exactly what I’m trying to do — to convey what it’s like practicing clinical ID, the “everyday realities of being an ID physician” for all of us out there doing it.
And while I can’t know exactly who the readers are, I know from the numbers that it’s not just ID docs — it’s a much larger group of healthcare providers, people who find ID interesting, or enjoy my takes on broader issues of clinical practice (e.g., rants against fax machines, ABIM recertification, CME requirements), or just want to see the latest photo of Louie.
(My wife Carolyn purchased those dessert plates from a store which had them on sale in a remainder bin. Can you believe it?)
But whoever you are, I do know that we’ve built a remarkably nice, smart, and civil community. At one of our editor’s excellent suggestions, we have a moderated comments section, meaning we review the comments before posting. With few exceptions most of them are thoughtful and not at all nasty — it’s uncommon that we have to ding one for breaking the site’s rules. A rarity for internet communication!
Speaking of the editors, thank you also to the three of them, who take turns reviewing each post before it appears, scanning for typos, unclear prose, and unauthorized material. They’ll probably not be happy with me that this one went up without their approval, but this is a national holiday, after all — don’t want to bother them. Plus, I can guarantee that I hold all the rights to that photo at the top.
So after starting writing here in 2008, and 877 posts later, I’m still at it — thanks to all of you readers.
Hey — you can still buy these plates on eBay, in case you’re wondering. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!