This is my last post on Controversies. I’ve been writing online since 2000, first with residency and fellowship friends on qfever.com and then on various medical sites to pay off school debt and buy some non-futon furniture. In 2009, Dan and Mike were kind enough to invite me to join this blog and I’ve greatly enjoyed the camaraderie and experience. I could write a book about what I’ve learned and unlearned and the tremendous colleagues and science journalists that I’ve met.
Back in 2009, Mike, Dan and I were all at different institutions. For me, this blog was a place to try out ideas. I didn’t have any expectation to be perfect – only our families were reading. In fact, the blog name Dan/Mike selected was great – they acknowledged the imperfection of infection control science and that we needed a place to work through ideas, to be wrong - to fail. And I greatly appreciated the feedback on my posts. Failure is how we learn.
But in 2018, we three are all at Iowa and even though we’ve added tremendous new talent to the blog, we are still seen as an Iowa blog. Now, when I write deeply questioning posts about hand hygiene, I’m seen as writing with an institution behind me and I have to be more careful or safer. And it’s not just Iowa. As SHEA treasurer, I had to worry about how my posts would be viewed. I direct a VA HSR&D Center of Innovation and sometimes I worried about how my posts would reflect on the 70 people in our Center. I now have positions with ICPIC, the Decennial, and as ID Editor for JAMA Network Open. Too many filters, too much noise.
Finally, it needs to be acknowledged that our readers and our field are amazingly generous. You have been incredibly forgiving when I’ve tried and failed. I'm incredibly grateful for your generosity.
I will miss this blog and our readers. Thank you. The title of my first post in 2009 was “The end of the beginning.” I think that’s right.