MANITOWANING – Dr. Mike Bedard has started a blog on the Assiginack Family Health Team website, offering regular commentary that shares his views on global COVID-19 developments, science and the health care industry as a whole.
“I’ve wanted to do this for a while; it seems like the way the world is going where if you want to find something out, you go online,” said Dr. Bedard, author of ‘Waiting Room Diaries.’ “It’s just another method of reaching folks.”
The blog is hosted at the left side of the health team’s homepage and also on its Facebook page, where readers can leave comments and feedback about the posts.
COVID-19-related operational changes at the health team in Manitowaning pushed Dr. Bedard to write his first blog post earlier this year to explain how people could still address their health care needs virtually, and to explain the health and safety protocol in place at the office.
He called on Jaustin Dufour, a pre-med student who did some work for the clinic, to help post the blog entries on the website on a freelance basis.
From the initial information about changes to the clinic, Dr. Bedard has used his blog as a way to illustrate up-and-coming issues in the health and science worlds.
“It’s pretty much mood-driven for what topics I write about at the time,” said Dr. Bedard.
Further entries have included tips for staying healthy, a scathing criticism of how this virus has become a political issue in many circles which, he wrote, has cost lives, and an entertaining explanation of the scientific method and why many doctors seem to contradict each other or change their opinions as time passes.
“It’s focused at patients who might not necessarily be trained in these methods. If I am working in my practice and there’s things I find myself repeating over and over, it’ll likely appear on the blog,” he said, adding that blood pressure questions were a persistent question and he planned to write an entry on that topic as a way of “demystifying what we’re doing and why.”
At the present time, Dr. Bedard plans to run his blog through March and possibly ongoing, as he felt it was a good way to reach his patients.
“I do enjoy teaching, and a lot of the information is somewhat repetitive so it’s nice to have a stored collection that I can show people,” he said, adding that he has done plenty of self-directed online learning during the pandemic.
Dr. Bedard said the scientific method was an important topic, considering it can be confusing for the general public to see opposing physician views in the news media. Some such physicians have taken combative stances against opposing views, something Dr. Bedard said was harmful for the public’s perception of health care.
“Turning on each other is absolutely nuts, and for the profession it’s no good. It’s good to be open and transparent but not slamming each other. The answer is science; in time, the data will clarify the situation,” said Dr. Bedard.
He invited the public to comment on his posts, share their opinions and offer suggestions for topics he should explore.
“I want it to be peer-reviewed, so let me know if I miss the boat. More talk is always better than less, but you need that same transparency,” said Dr. Bedard.
Speaking publicly on important topics is somewhat new for the self-described “country GP” who has taken on a lead communication role for the Island’s COVID-19 efforts. However, he said he would keep writing despite the newness of that responsibility.
“I’m a little nervous with my voice but this is all I’ve got so it’s what I’m going to do,” he said. “I hope it’s useful to folks. And if not, it’s just my opinions so you can take them or leave them.”
To read Dr. Bedard’s blog posts, visit AssiginackFamilyHealth.com or visit @AssiginackFamilyHealth on Facebook.