After a wonderful year of medical blogging, with so much quality writing in so many fields of medicine, it’s time to announce the winners of The 2005 Medical Weblog Awards!
These awards were chosen by you, the readers — and boy, did you keep it interesting. We thank you for your opinions and are grateful for your continued patronage of these fine medical blogs. Readers are integral to blogging in a way not found in the mainstream media — you challenge us, inspire us, and keep us honest, and for that we dedicated these awards to you.
Without further ado, the winner of Best Medical Blog is…
Random Acts of Reality, by Tom Reynolds of the London Ambulance Service. He captures the thrills, heartbreak and frustrations of medicine in a way that resonates with readers around the world. Congratulations, Tom!
The winner of Best New Medical Blog is…
Nee Naw, by Mark Myers, dispatcher for the London Ambulance Service, a blog named for the sound ambulances make as they pass others in the dust (at this point, some of you might begin to notice a trend in the way the voting transpired.)
The winner of Best Literary Medical Blog is…
Random Acts of Reality, by Tom Reynolds. (If this was a real awards show, in an auditorium in LA, the people sitting next to the London EMT bloggers would be smiling bravely in front of all the traffic.)
The winner of Best Health Policies/Ethics Weblog is…
blog.bioethics.net. This was our narrowest race, with Hospital Impact losing the top spot by just eight votes. In response, we expect a post from Arthur Caplan on the ethical superiority of pure majority rule (note to medical bloggers thinking about next year: you better hope the London Ambulance Service does not start an online ethics journal).
The winner of Best Clinical Weblog is…
Sumer’s Radiology Site. Anyone could plainly see how this guy would win the Clinical category. Sumer’s writing probes the murky aspects of radiology, illuminating the most obscure facets of this often impenetrable field. We’re sure he’s glowing from all the praise you’ve bestowed on him. Congratulations!
The winner of Best Medical Technologies/Informatics Weblog is…
HISTalk, a blog about health information services, whose author “talks” to leaders in the field of health IT, much the way computerized health networks “talk” to each other using packets of hexadecimal code (but Mr. HIStalk is much more fun, and usually easier to understand).
The winners each enjoy the amazing book by Alexander Tsiaras and Barry Werthof The Architecture and Design of Man and Woman : The Marvel of the Human Body, Revealed.
In addition, the winner of Best Medical Blog receives a copy of Best American Nature and Science Writing, 2005. We note with some embarrassment that the author of the Best Medical Blog is, in fact, from the UK. In fact, Americans did very poorly in the Medical Weblog awards this year, taking only two of the six categories (last year, they swept…)
Also, the author of the Best Literary Blog receives an anthology of Doctor Stories by William Carlos Williams, as well as a bio of the famed physician-writer. This gift also goes to… Tom Reynolds of Random Acts of Reality. Well, we offered the prize before we knew how much he’d dominate the awards, and we chose to look at it this way: now he’s got a lot of books to read, even as his own book plans move forward.
Some observations on the awards process: This year we saw a surge in interest in a previously unsung field of medicine: health information technology. Like the aforementioned London Ambulance Service blogs, Health IT blogs did very well in many categories. As the medical blogosphere grows and diversifies, we look forward to seeing more healthcare professions represented through blogs.
Along this line of thought, it was interesting to note the uneven voter turnout between categories. Best New Medical Blog category received a combined 2115 votes–far more than any other division, and fivefold more than the smallest category (the Best Literary Medical Blog, which was also the one with the fewest nominees). The New Category featured many blogs not included elsewhere in the polls–leading us to wonder if these voters dutifully cast ballots for their favorite blogs, but had no opinion on the other medical bloggers in different categories.
If so, the growing diversity of medical blogs is already leading to the balkanization of our blogosphere. Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen–peruse the full list of bloggers that were nominated for awards, and visit their sites. You’ll be doing yourself a favor, widening your horizons and ensuring a closer, stronger medical blogging community (also, we suspect this practice will give us more hits, which we consider a fair price to pay for sitting out these awards).
Congratulations again to Tom Reynolds, and the other winners today. Also our warm regards and best wishes to all the other blogs that participated in this awards process. You’ve all got such interesting things to say, as unique voices in this noblest profession. So keep up the excellent medical blogging, and we’ll see you next year!
NOTE: The voting results are available here:
Best Medical Weblog: poll #1, poll #2
Best New Medical Weblog: poll #1, poll #2
Best Literary Medical Weblog: poll
Best Clinical Sciences Weblog: poll
Best Health Policies/Ethics Weblog: poll
Best Medical Technologies/Informatics Weblog: poll