This is not a good bye. I will be writing here at Balloon Juice until either y’all run me off or I get bored writing about health policy for a broad public audience.
I am starting my doctoral program at the Duke University Department of Population Health Sciences at the end of the month. I’ll be on the Health Services Research track with a focus on policy implementation. I, as you can all guess, am utterly fascinated by the ACA and will likely be writing about that a whole lot more for my eventual dissertation.
I’ve written a lot. Since September 2013, I have written 2,213 health policy posts and 550 posts on other topics. This averages out to be slightly more than one health policy post per work day for eight years straight. In addition to Balloon Juice, I’ve had an active research and public dissemination role. I have had over twenty peer review articles published or accepted and I’ve been actively writing public facing commentary in a half dozen forums including the New York Times, The Conversation and Health Affairs Blog.
Researchers routinely estimate that most people have the capacity to do three to four hours of intense cognitive work per day. A Balloon Juice post consumes some of my daily high quality attention. I am and have been over-committed for the past two years. I have another dozen peer reviewable manuscripts somewhere in pipeline. They range from an R&R I need to finish by Labor Day to a second, non-shitty draft that I owe a co-author by the end of the month. Between the peer review pipeline that I had committed to before I was accepted into my doctoral program and actually studying and writing for my doctorate, I need to be more deliberate when and where I allocate my limited high quality attention.
I am not sure what this actually means beyond I don’t expect to be writing four or five health policy and research dissemination posts per work week which has been my typical pace.
I know two things.
First, Balloon Juice has been an amazing community and environment for me to grow. I truly appreciate all of the Jackals. Secondly, I still find tremendous value in writing here as it allows me to grapple with ideas through the act of writing and explaining. If I can not explain things well, I don’t understand what is being argued. This is an incredible place where I can go deep into the weeds and wrassle with weird and useful things. I think having a place where I can continue to do that will be something that I will continue to deeply value. And I hope that my public struggling with policy relevant details is valuable to at least some of you every time that I write.
I am not sure how often I’ll be writing or in what form I will be writing at Balloon Juice once I start my classes. I’m taking the next couple of weeks off to go hammer-throw my kids and nieces into a lake and then heading off to orientation. When I am in the middle of nowhere, I will hopefully figure out what I’ll be doing here at Balloon Juice even as I’m beginning my journey through a doctoral program in population health.