Happy birthday to me!

Retroflexions is one year old!

(photo by ed g2s)

(credit: Ed g2s)

A year ago, when I decided to finally do this blog thing, I made a deal with myself to do it for at least two years. In my mind, two years was the bare minimum amount of time to become “established” on the net. Well, now that I am at the halfway point, I’m definitely nowhere near “established,” but the blog is picking up steam every week…

If you are new to the site, I have basically tried to write one short article per week about gastroenterology, medicine, doctoring, and other related topics. I have published a total of 47 articles so far…close enough to my goal. (I’ll take a week off here and there when life gets too busy to write.) It takes me about 1-3 hours to write most articles, with a good chunk of that time spent scrounging the web for free images I can use, scanning in endoscopy photos (all cases and endoscopy photos I show are my own), proofreading the article, and making sure everything is getting sent to social media, email, etc. I actually look forward to the process, which usually entails a few cups of coffee during the wee hours of a Saturday morning.

Writing a little something has been a rewarding exercise for me. It keeps me reading the journals like a good little doctor is supposed to. It forces me use a part of my mind that I don’t really use on a day-to-day basis (the English language part that we never really use when writing medical notes). But probably the most rewarding thing of all is just creating something: Even if it’s another silly little article about a colon polyp, it’s my silly little article!

Over the last year, a bunch of my articles were republished on KevinMD.com, medicine’s leading social media site with 2 million monthly pageviews and over 100,000 subscribers. This new exposure increased the Retroflexions fan base dramatically, and eventually led to an invitation to “guest blog” at Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, a print and online journal geared towards gastroenterologists, GI surgeons, and related practitioners with about 18,000 subscribers. I am happy with these opportunities after only one year of writing, and can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for the site!

I thought this would also be a good time to recap the top five most popular posts of the last year:

  1. The rectal bleeding rainbow
  2. Is anal sex harmful? Thoughts from a gastroenterologist…
  3. Occult gastrointestinal bleeding and the stool guaiac test
  4. A family member has just been diagnosed with C. diff. Now what?
  5. Intro to the gut microbiome and fecal microbiota transplantation

My biggest problem right now is that I have too many ideas for articles, and not enough time to write them! My running list of topics keeps growing longer and longer, while I check only one idea off the list per week. So there will be much more to come!

Oh, and since it’s my birthday, I have one simple request from you: If you like the kind of stuff I post around here, please share the site with friends using one of the many social media links on the main page or beneath each article. There is strange validation in numbers, and as the audience grows, the motivation to write better articles goes up, and the site gets bigger and better. So please share…and don’t be afraid to comment either! While I don’t allow comments on the main site (because that is what social media is for), I encourage you to leave some feedback on any of the social media sites. Compliments are great, but I also enjoy a friendly challenge, so fire away!

Thank you for reading this far, for this long! There is a bunch of new stuff planned for the future, so stay tuned! If you’re not already a fan of Retroflexions on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, then make sure to sign up to the email list to stay updated!

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P.S. If you’re ever lost, you can also go to fredgandolfo.com to find Retroflexions. Shhh, it’s a secret!

-Dr. G