VMDiva means blogging veterinarians gain more ground
VMDiva.com. I love everything about my new BFF's blog except for the fact that I didn't come up with the title myself. Dr. Jennifer Koehl is a Pennslvania vet who graduated from Penn's vet school 5 years after I did. Which means she probably got the blogging itch at roughly the same time I did (9-10 years post-graduation).
Here's a brief interview with her so you can hopefully get to know a fellow blogger better––and bookmark her blog, of course:
1. Why'd you start blogging?
I began blogging in 2009, in part, because I love educating people about veterinary medicine. I find most aspects of veterinary medicine fascinating and want to share the wealth. The other reason I blog is because I am opinionated and blogging is the perfect vehicle to write down my ideas. Blogging is an intellectual challenge because you really need to know what you believe and why. It also requires you to research current events.
2. What made you think you'd be good at it? (because you are)
At first I wasn't sure if I was any good at it (and some days I'm still not so sure). I didn't know if I wanted to keep it strictly medical or branch out into opinion and veterinary politics. Some of my earlier posts were very "vanilla" and I was afraid of stepping on too many toes. Now I've grown into my blog a bit more and am not as afraid of mixing it up. My husband has been telling me all along that this blog has potential and he's really the reason I stuck with it.
I also think the veterinary profession is so interesting the blog reinforces itself. The photos of cases on my blog get the most traffic because of people's curiosity. There aren't many folks out there who don't succumb to the allure of graphic photos. Animals, in my completely biased veterinary opinion, are far more interesting than humans because they have no voice. I don't think I'd be any good writing a blog about pipe fitting.
3. What's been the most frustrating thing? (for me it's the kooks that send me hate emails even after I've taken the time to answer their questions honestly)
Early on, it was writing articles and having no viewership. I felt like it was more of a secret diary than a blog. As the blog grows, I think finding the time to write a quality article has been difficult. There are many nights I am writing an article at 10pm when I'd rather be decompressing from a 10 hour workday. The technological aspect of running a blog can be challenging but thankfully my husband is an IT professional. When I struggle (which is often), several key strokes from his deft fingers and BAM! problems are fixed.
4. Where would you like blogging to take you?
I would like blogging to open doorways to writing for bigger audiences whether that be online with various veterinary organizations or through newspapers. Perhaps a book? How about appearing on a cable news program? World tours, cheering crowds, my own sitcom, Oprah?!? I'm open to any avenue as long as I don't stagnate.
5. What do you think of the vets currently in the media? What about them inspires you? What's lacking and what would you like to add to the mix?
There are vets in the media? Seriously, though, there are so few. We're generally not a group who likes to be in the spotlight. Aside from the cast of Emergency Vets, I can't think of many who are constant voices. I would like to see regular veterinary consultants on cable news programs discussing important pet topics and educating the owners. The internet is a well utilized tool with some very good and very not so good information. We need a voice of clarification!
6. What's the most significant thing you've already achieved with your blog?
Getting this blog off of the ground is the biggest achievement thus far, aside from this interview! It would have been easy for me to say "I don't have time for this." My husband, again, kept encouraging to get my voice out there. It's been a year and instead of fizzling out, VMDiva.com is snowballing!
AMEN to snowballing, Dr. K!