August’s blog is by Dr Holly Chun. Holly is an MRI technologist at the University Health Network in Toronto, Ontario. She has kindly provided us with an update on her original 2017 research (this month’s discussion article).
A blog is a collection of posts published on the web. The posts are usually organized chronologically, with the newest at the top. Many blogs are open to comments. Blogs can be about anything. Ownership and authorship can range from corporations to individuals (Chun, Skinner, & Rosewall, 2019).
Blogging fosters reflection, collaboration, peer learning, and knowledge dissemination (Chun et al., 2019). Blogging as an education tool is commonplace in the medical and nursing professions. However, it is less common among medical radiation science professionals (Chun et al., 2019).
It’s a perfect time to update from 2017, when the research for The Educational Utility of Blogging for MRI Technologists (Chun et al., 2019) took place. Due to the time constraint, my search was by no means exhaustive. Here are my observations:
Blogging is blooming
On the contrary to a belief that blogging is dead, blogging is booming, thanks to Google. Individuals now search Google habitually for answers to nearly every question, and the search results frequently return blog posts. This phenomenon leads to a rise in blog readership.
Social media augments blogs. While most bloggers promote their works on social media, they anchor their work in blogs. Blogger Helena Woods shared reasons why recording her work on a blog was important to her, the impermanence of social media, and the benefits of ownership. In my opinion, a blog provides a foothold to its blogger. While the appearance in most social media is brief, a link points to the full-length blog post, where complete content resides.
Establishment of blogging as an educational tool
Recent research ascertained blogging as an accepted tool for medical education (Carley et al., 2018; Lin et al., 2016; Lovasik, Rutledge, Lawson, Maithel, & Delman, 2020). There was evidence of growing participation (Carley et al., 2018).
Increased access to MRI blogs
I did a quick search and found more open-access blogs than before. It is a welcomed change since fellow MRI technologists can benefit from free access to resources.
Still lack of authorship by MRI technologists
According to the research (Chun et al., 2019), we could not find any technologists actively blogging about MRI (at that time, some bloggers moved from blogs to other social media). Of course, technologists blog about other areas, such as education, other medical imaging modalities, or personal experiences. I used to blog, but none of the posts I wrote were about MRI. The researchers hoped that more MRI techs participate in blogging, not only as readers but also as authors (Chun et al., 2019).
Blogging is recognized as an educational tool in the medical and healthcare professions, and participation is on the rise. However, there is no evidence that the change has expanded to medical imaging technologists.
This blog post is endorsed by May Skinner and Tara Rosewall, coauthors of the article The Educational Utility of Blogging for MRI Technologists.
Carley, S., Beardsell, I., May, N., Crowe, L., Baombe, J., Grayson, A., … Body, R. (2018). Social-media-enabled learning in emergency medicine: A case study of the growth, engagement and impact of a free open access medical education blog. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 94(1108), 92–96. https://doi.org/10.1136/postgradmedj-2017-135104
Chun, H. C. P., Skinner, S.-M., & Rosewall, T. (2019). The Educational Utility of Blogging for MRI Technologists. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, 50(1), 129–135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmir.2018.09.005
Lin, M., Joshi, N., Grock, A., Swaminathan, A., Morley, E. J., Branzetti, J., … Yarris, L. M. (2016). Approved Instructional Resources Series: A National Initiative to Identify Quality Emergency Medicine Blog and Podcast Content for Resident Education. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 8(2), 219–225. https://doi.org/10.4300/JGME-D-15-00388.1
Lovasik, B. P., Rutledge, H., Lawson, E., Maithel, S. K., & Delman, K. A. (2020). Development of a Surgical Evidence Blog at Morbidity and Mortality Conferences: Integrating Clinical Librarians to Enhance Resident Education. In Journal of Surgical Education. Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsurg.2020.03.024