Thursday, 7 October 2010


A simple question has led to some soul-searching. Again. The question?

"You're the guy that writes InsomniacMedic, right?"

This from a new paramedic student who I've only just met.

It would seem that this anonymous blog isn't quite as anonymous as I'd thought.

Many of my colleagues know who I am. Several other bloggers too.

But I've never officially linked me and my blog.

Now to rethink making it official.

My only fear - the same as any EMS bloggers out there.

The Management.

I try to portray my profession through positive eyes - some might even call it rose-tinted glasses, so no worries there.

I don't tend to criticise the establishment or anyone in particular. So no worries there.

And I adhere strictly to a self-imposed policy of protecting patients' confidentiality. No worries there either.

And still, there is an institutionalised fear of social media in the upper echelons, so admitting my identity in public is still a risky move.

Once again - I ask for your opinion.

Yes, or no?

Should the InsomniacMedic reveal his true identity?


Fee said...

I'd have to say no.

Normally, I'm a "take them on regardless and hope I win" kind of lass, but in today's climate of fear and job-losses, I'm rapidly becoming more cautious.

Anonymous said...

Nope, don't do it. If someone takes it upon themselves to grass you up, then deal with it at that point - why draw attention to yourself. LAS has made itself way overstaffed with all the new SPs, why risk being someone they feel is causing problems...

Percy The Black Cat said...

Nope-no way-no how.

If you make your ID official, then your brass will have an official meeting. And who knows where that could lead. I'm sure it would be a lot of posturing about department image and protecting the service and yadda yadda yadda. It'll be another political game, and they will try to control it.

For this and other emergency type blogs I read, I don't need to know exactly WHO you are, and WHERE you are, I am reading to learn, understand, relate etc to the POINT of your post.

I'll get off my soap box now.. :)

Anonymous said...

Nope, and I won't identify myself as your sibling either.

Anonymous said...

I'd err on the side of caution: unless you can think of a concrete advantage to shedding your relative anonymity, I can't think that making yourself obvious to management as a blogger is a particularly good idea.

molliemallone said...

I'm sure everyone on the planet knows who you are... Josh from Casualty right?!!?

Just Me said...

Hmm... I would say no. If they come to find out you can always deal with it then. But until then, I'd probably be inclined to leave it alone.

Anonymous said...

I would most definitely not. Anyone who wants to can find it out by putting in a little effort, and then you're still not throwing yourself out there for any trouble that might come from it.

Michael said...

It's an interesting question... I think if you have satisfied your own questions in the post, then do you really need to fear it... would you benefit from releasing your identity?

I would like to know who you are personally :-)

I suppose Brian Kellett would be the one to ask...

Eileen said...

Or Mark at medic999. After all, he's been there and done the I'm me and got the bosses on side - at last.

chaosandcontrol said...

No. Once revealed, you can never get your anonymity back again.

Anonymous said...

I'm Spartacus!

A resolute no. What would you stand to gain by officially outing yourself?

Don't be conspicuous; it draws fire.

Steve'nLubbock said...

Anonymity is everything! So what if some figure out your ID? Denial keeps you at a 'respectable distance' in answering to authority, so keep it anon.

Anonymous said...

No, absolutely not. The anonymity, however small it actually is, is something to use to an advantage. Once you reveal yourself, as others have said, who knows what your bosses might do? 'A true magician never reveals his tricks' :) Dr Abuse

Dan said...

I'd say no as well - and I never comment, just read ;)

I've seen several Paramedic/EMS type blogs reveal themselves only to vanish, or change how they blog in general (ie, conforming to standards set, not writing what they actually want).

Good luck with your decision :)

oneunder said...

A definite NO!

It is one thing for people to speculate and believe but totally different for it to be official.
As many people have already said there is a lot of fear in the service at the moment, I would hate for you to become another statistic or notch on a managers belt.

Even if people unofficially know who you are they are able to turn an official eye away from you but as soon as you place your name at the top of this blog they will have to take notice, be that for ill or not.

Stig said...

No, no, no.

Anonymous said...

Don't write anything that would get you in trouble if 'the management' made the connection. But don't make the connection explicit either. What possible good can come of it?

medic blog said...

Funny you should be writing this, I stopped blogging a while ago due to this very same question, but as yet haven't made my mind up.

The problem that I have is that I have taken up a new post within the Ambulance Service and it would be only too easy for them to use my blog against me despite not saying who I am....

....I would be interested to see what you decide.

medic999 said...

Right then, where to start.

As everyone else has said, what are the benefits to be had by losing your anonimity?

The only one I can think of is to be known and associated with a top class blog. Being able to represent your service as a high class, professional health care professional (even if they dont want to be associated with you!). If you are annonymous, you cannot do some of the other more visual types of media that may come your way.

As far as i can tell, you have only ever wrote one or two posts which may be frowned on by your service and even those were not deflamatory to the service, just providing an opinion.

Ultimately its up to you. As others have said, even though some may know who you are, you can still protect yourself by saying you never intended the wider public to find out. And lets not forget that you have one thing that I didnt have....Your service have allowed Random Acts of Reality to exist for years even though they know who writes it and how out spoken Tom can be times. A precident has been set and it would be very interesting if they tried to stop you when they never stopped Tom.

I dont think that has helped, but there you are.

Whatever you decide, we will all still be here.

P,s remember that the only person you NEED to listen to is Mrs Insomniac Medic, right?

Anonymous said...

Not worth the risk!

The Skipper

woody8 said...

I think its awful that people such as yourself have to be concerned about getting screwed over by management for reflecting on your experiences and letting people into the world of our very bizarre job. It's also pretty hypocritical considering from the moment we enter training school, it is drummed into us that writing reflective assignments is the most worthwhile self study we can do.
I enjoy knowing who you are as I can picture you at the jobs you talk about. However if the big reveal to everyone else ends your blog, then I only have six words. DON'T DO IT! We need you!

Joe said...

I'm not sure, I'm leaning towards a "no" really.
At the moment, the junior managers all have plausible deniability.

"We have no idea who InsomniacMedic is!".

Once your identity is out there, as another poster said, they're forced into having a meeting about it and discussing it at length.
That's not necessarily a bad thing, and they mey well approach it the same way as Random Acts, but at the same time, there's every chance that they could just tell you to shut it down, or worse!

You have little to gain, apart from associating your name with the blog, which will get you some free press, perhaps enable you to speak at some conferences as "Yourself, The Insomniac Medic". It depends if that matters to you!

Wayne Conrad said...

Don't ask, don't tell. So to speak.

Unlimited-Unscheduled Hours said...

No, No, NO! It is honorable to consider, but those who will assail you have no honor.

Tom said...

I'm inclined to agree with Unlimited-Unscheduled Hours.

In short, No!

oneunder said...

Unlimited-Unscheduled Hours raises an interesting point with honor.

Is there more honor in standing up and taking ownership of what you have said, for good or ill. Or to remain anonymous with greater freedom to educate and help those who read your blog?

I know you to be someone who is willing to take 'the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune'and I suspect you feel slightly dis-honorable by not reviling yourself.

Sometimes I believe there is more honor in doing something good from the shadows. You will know that any criticism is aimed at you and will treat it with due consideration, irrespective of whether it is aimed at Insomniac or your name.

Whatever you decide you should take pride in what you are doing with this blog. It is excellent.

Jamrock said...


I am not EMS/999 but I know who you are, what you look like, etc through the power of connected friends. I guess you are never totally anonymous if any one single person knows the name you write under.

I think the ambiguity is probably better for many reasons.

Dave said...

This is a tough decision, and not one to be take lightly.

One of the things that makes the blogosphere so powerful is the potential for anonymity. It can free people to express how they truly feel about topics without worrying about repercussions. Of course, there are those who see that as a bad thing and there are abusers out there, but I tend to think the majority of anonymous bloggers are actually just doing that as opposed to having ill intentions.

Revealing your true identity can also be quite freeing if having an alias, and keeping it secret, suddenly becomes an obsession. It also provides you with the opportunity to benefit from your blogging activities through professional recognition and occasionally maybe you'll write something that will inspire someone, and you'll get a free cup of tea and a crumpet.

I do disagree with a few other comments made, such as once you lose your anonymity you lose it forever. That's entirely not true. Should you decide go public there are two ways of doing it, either reveal yourself as Insomniac Medic or create a whole new blog under your real name... a fresh start so to speak as you. Sure with the second option you lose the Insomniac Medic branding, but you can always revert back to it if real name blogging becomes too intense. Or, for that matter, you can just create a new blog and a new identity. There are options.

The one thing I do totally agree with though is that the only person you NEED to listen to is Mrs. Insomniac Medic... and of course yourself.

The Explorer said...

I would take it from a different perspective than most people seem to be writing about.

If a number of colleagues know who it is and, by what you've said about the newbie "spotting" you, it's likely that others do too, and that may already include some of management.

Instead of waiting to be outed, why not pre-empt by having a meeting with management and saying "this is me, but I won't be making it official unless forced to, but just to make you aware". Or something along those lines?

123rsteel said...

Lets weigh up the pros and cons of revealing your identity - start with the pros.....................................

oh, there are none.

Problem sorted.

nathan trent said...

As an Asst Practitioner just starting out on the rocky road of blogdom, I would answer your question with a question.

Can you be 100% certain, that if you told the management your real identity, they would ALL be behind you?

If YES................go for it!

If NO..........keep on blogging!

Good luck with your decision


RapidResponseDoc said...

Wow!! 32 comments, and now the 33rd. I'm impressed!!

As an "anonymous" blogger, whose identity is well known by most, I feel a certain kinship to IM. Everyone knows who we are, so sod it, let's just come clean. Well, althoughthey all know who RRD is, all know who IM is, we don't actually acknowledge any of it. We both change details to protect the innocent patient whom we serve, and yet, the information is still out there, however garbled and corrupted by our storytelling it has become. It's all just too risky. Not just from Management, but from patients as well. If I reveal, publicly and officially, who I am, then I am opening the door to revealing the identity of one of my patients. And that's far more important to me than anything else.

Do, if someone asks me if I am RRD, I just smile.

Keep up the good work, IM, both here and out there!

Michael Morse said...

The truth will set you free!

You are what you write, why be anonymous? Being a bit of a ham and self described egomaniac with an inferiority complex, I can't imagine not taking credit for something I wrote, even if it's not very good.

But seriously, you have a gift. It's just not right that you have to stay anonymous. I've read this blog for a while, nothing but great things.

Eytan said...

Wait until you leave the service. Not a moment before.

Anonymous said...

No. Not even worth the risk.