This post, these very words, mark Scope's 10,000th post. Dating back to 2009, we've published 10,000 articles that offered an inside look at life at Stanford Medicine, discussed the latest biomedical and health findings and, most importantly, featured great stories.
Ten years ago, blogs were rare -- and they certainly weren't found in academic medical centers. But as traditional media coverage of medicine and science dwindled, my forward-thinking predecessors saw a need to deliver research advances and other great news straight to readers.
"Our decision was to become a content producer and curator for a general audience, not just a source for media outlets," Scope co-founder Michelle Brandt said in a 2014 interview with the National Association of Science Writers.
Admittedly, Brandt and colleagues didn't completely know what they were doing. No one had done just what they were attempting, after all. But they were guided by the belief that with a perch inside Stanford Medicine, they could help define the future of academic medical communication.
They embraced a few tenets, which have proven key to our success:
- The more authors, the merrier: A mix of voices offers a variety of views -- a reflection of the rich community that comprises Stanford Medicine itself. We've had about 260 writers over our history.
- Post and post again: Readers value a dependable outlet. At Scope we've worked to maintain a high volume of stories, without compromising quality.
- First-person? Sure!: When our writers have a story to tell from their perspective, we welcome it. These pieces contribute to Scope's casual, candid tone.
- Embrace experimentation: Originally, Scope both produced and curated content. We wrote about interesting research from other institutions and added our own twist to essays from favorite online outlets as well as sharing Stanford-based work. Increasingly, we're focusing on things happening closer to home; our research, educational and clinical enterprises are teeming with great stories and we're choosing to concentrate our resources primarily here.
One of Scope's most successful features is the Stanford Medicine Unplugged series. Introduced five years ago by Brandt and Hamsika Chandrasekar, MD, a former medical student who is now a pediatrics resident at Boston Children's Hospital, the weekly series features first-person essays from a small team of medical students. It allows readers to peek into classrooms and clinics and experience the nerves of test preparation, the grief of patient loss, and the elation of first sutures. Stay tuned: It'll start back up in the early fall.
Another much younger series is In the Spotlight, a fun-spirited biweekly Q&A that highlights the work, and interests, of students, trainees and junior faculty members.
As you hopefully already know, Scope has so much more to share. We write stories on original research, highlight podcasts, profile physicians and researchers, share the latest on health and wellness, and, well, I'll stop. Another Scope tenet: We try to keep it short.
To celebrate 10,000 posts, we have a fun celebration -- Scope@10,000 -- in the works. Over the coming months, we plan to share original narrative essays from a variety of writers, physicians and thinkers (including Chandrasekar), and we'll kick off with a piece from Stanford physician and author extraordinaire Abraham Verghese, MD.
Thank you to our readers, new and old, who have joined us on this exciting journey. Here's to another 10,000...
Image courtesy of Stanford Medicine