Believe it or not, today the Regenexx blog reached a pretty incredible milestone, two thousand blog posts! Yikes! It’s difficult to believe that my first blog post was eight years ago. So I’ve decided to write a metablog, a behind the scenes look at how this all comes together.
My First Blog Post
On September 3, 2008, I sat down to write my first Regenexx blog. At that point, we had been performing culture-expanded and same-day stem cell treatments since 2005, and our website had been up a year. That post was a simple copy-and-paste of a press release about the results of treating neurosurgeon triathlete Joe Maroon of the University of Pittsburgh. My second blog post was on the research beginning to show that routine arthroscopic knee surgery was no better than a sham procedure. By then, I was on my way: I became a “blogger.”
Since then I have blogged 2,000 times. Given that each blog takes me about 90 minutes to write (give or take), that means I’ve spent about 3,000 hours writing. Put that into 40 hour work weeks, and you get 75 weeks. That’s almost 1.5 years of work, sitting down at my home computer sometime between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m. to write 2,000 times.
Why Do This?
While hiking this morning, I asked myself this same question. The single biggest answer is to bring about change. Orthopedic care is broken: its surgical and hyperspecialized focus often hurts patients more than it helps. While study after study continues to show how these invasive procedures aren’t effective, the practice continues. In fact, the only way that situation changes is through letting the world know about how more-invasive procedures aren’t working and how less-invasive alternatives are helping.
In addition to pushing the proverbial rock of change uphill, the blog also helps me in other ways. First, it forces me to stay up on the literature. Second, it provides an outlet for those days when the terrible injuries I see created by overly aggressive surgical care gets the best of me. Finally, it helps me educate patients, something I love to do. In fact, I’ll never forget one of my favorite authors while in residency, Rene Calliet, MD. If there was a master of the twentieth century of taking very complex concepts and making them incredibly simple, he was it. Also, he loved to create his own simple illustrations, which in many ways inspired me as a young resident.
How Does This Get Done (Almost) Every Day?
I have to acknowledge some of the key people who help get this blog “out the door” every morning. First, one of our New York/New Jersey network providers, Rob Kramberg, MD, is amazing. Rob sends me 3–6 great new research articles every day, many of which trigger topic ideas and highlight studies that make it to the blog. So a big heartfelt thanks goes out to Rob. I also now have two helpers, Carol and Karen. Carol can help with images, and Karen can help with writing and editing on those days where I just don’t have enough piss and vinegar to get it done. Huge thanks to both!
I’d also like to thank my loyal readers. In many ways they keep me going. They stop me in the office, even though they might be seeing one of my partners. They write encouraging e-mails and Tweets as well as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn posts. In essence, they often provide the fuel that fills up my inspirational tank.
The upshot? I’m the kind of guy who rarely takes the time to sit and look back and say, “Wow, I did that,” but I’m doing that this morning because 2,000 just sounds like the big number it really is—basically 1.5 years worth of 40-hours-a-week writing. Thank you to all who take the time to read what I write, and I look forward to hitting 3,000 likely sometime in 2019 or 2020!