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(Quartz)   Med school professor cuts out the middleman, has his students update Dr. Wikipedia   (qz.com) divider line 16
    More: Interesting, Dr. Wikipedia, Azzam, health information  
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4966 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Jan 2014 at 10:42 AM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



16 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-01-29 10:51:27 AM  
Quote from article: "but don't fret. More and more of that information will be coming straight from doctors. "

Translation: Finally, a very small portion of the medical information will come from actual MDs.
 
2014-01-29 10:59:02 AM  

beefoe: Quote from article: "but don't fret. More and more of that information will be coming straight from doctors. "

Translation: Finally, a very small portion of the medical information will come from actual MDs.



As if Marylanders know anything.
 
2014-01-29 11:00:10 AM  

beefoe: Quote from article: "but don't fret. More and more of that information will be coming straight from doctors. "

Translation: Finally, a very small portion of the medical information will come from actual MDs.


Actually if you had just 100 medical students across the US doing this at any one time you could probably keep most of the medical articles fairly up to date and accurate, even accounting for random inaccurate edits later. If they each did one article a day for five days a week that's 26,000 articles a year.
 
2014-01-29 11:10:20 AM  
Don't worry folks. I have zero medical training but I'll make sure I revert ALL of their changes until they get pissed off and leave Wikipedia alone.
 
2014-01-29 11:15:36 AM  
How are these doctors able to get their edits past the fascist armchair experts who patrol any changes that get made to the site's content?
 
2014-01-29 11:17:51 AM  

Russ1642: Don't worry folks. I have zero medical training but I'll make sure I revert ALL of their changes until they get pissed off and leave Wikipedia alone.


images1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-01-29 11:18:29 AM  
Why bother with Wikipedia when everything you could possibly want to know is already on Medscape, which is free, and professionally written and edited?

Editing Wikipedia is kind of a waste of time for MDs (unless you do it badly), because it takes quite a bit of effort to source everything so that it's complete and accurate.  By the time you're done with a good Wikipedia article, you're halfway to a publication-quality review article or book chapter that could be part of your CV.
 
2014-01-29 11:18:47 AM  
Wiki is honestly not terrible for a quick reference to jog my memory, but it does have some errors. Granted, even industry standard sources have errors since it's so hard to keep up with the bleeding edge of medicine.
 
2014-01-29 11:32:46 AM  

Blahdenoma: Why bother with Wikipedia when everything you could possibly want to know is already on Medscape, which is free, and professionally written and edited?

Editing Wikipedia is kind of a waste of time for MDs (unless you do it badly), because it takes quite a bit of effort to source everything so that it's complete and accurate.  By the time you're done with a good Wikipedia article, you're halfway to a publication-quality review article or book chapter that could be part of your CV.


They should bother because Wikipedia is a reflexive destination for anyone who has a question, and because Medscape is mostly unknown and unadvertised.  It doesn't help that it looks like any of the hundreds of bogus "medical advice" websites that are all over the Internet.  Unless Medscape receives a serious PR overhaul, spending any great amount of time contributing to it will amount to very little while the majority continue to visit Wikipedia for their answers.
 
2014-01-29 12:02:43 PM  
I wonder how much money the professor is getting paid to teach that course.
 
2014-01-29 12:10:55 PM  
Lesson #2: They can't put it on the internet if it isn't true ..
 
2014-01-29 12:26:08 PM  

MaritimeGirl: I wonder how much money the professor is getting paid to teach that course.


I did this with one class, and it was a biatch, way harder than term papers or exams.  I had to find a list of course topics that weren't covered (or poorly covered) on Wikipedia.  Then I had the (undergrad) students write a draft article that they submitted to me in print, and I marked and corrected that.  Then I had them implement it online and I marked that too.

It was fun to see Wikipedia improve in my subject area, and the students liked the feeling that they had 'contributed'.  But I won't be doing that again any time soon.
 
2014-01-29 12:39:13 PM  
On the internet nobody knows you're a Doctor dog.
 
2014-01-29 01:07:08 PM  
Wikipedia is a good encyclopedia but you should be getting medical information from up-to-date, reliable experts, not encylopedias, especially volunteer-staffed encyclopedias. A source of information you can't sue probably has 1) no money and 2) no credibility. A judge would laugh you out of court if you tried to sue Wikipedia, so see a damn doctor, stupid. They have malpractice insurance at least, even if they don't have divine omnipotence, omniscience and infallibility.

I try to get my medical information from reputable sources despite the confusing variety of potential sources.

Here is some advice on finding suitable sources and using them properly:

1. Avoid any site with a product, device or service to sell. You can weed out a lot of cranks and quacks if you seek sources that have nothing to sell. Avoid fear-mongering and panaceas.

2. One doctor sites, especially if they are about a controversial procedure, disease, medicine or product, should be avoided also. The medical community are generally reliable, but individual doctors may be quacks as much as non-doctors. Also, individual doctors may not be up-to-date, informed or totally reliable. It is fairly easy to pretend to be an MD or expert but this is harder if your work is peer-reviewed and has the imprimatur of a major journal or institution.

3. Learn to detect the signs of the quack or crank. Any person who claims to be a genius but considers all the experts in the field ignorant and malicious is flaky.

4. Consult more than one source. Even if the information is right, it is not likely to be complete or entirely easy to understand. The more you know, the better you judge the quality and completeness of information.

5. Realize that doctors don't know everything and that some of the newer diseases have been named but are not really understand.

6. Realize that sometimes it seems that every disease has the same symptoms and that every symptom points toward every disease. Diagnosis should be left to doctors. It is hard. But you can't be sure the doctors will always get it right. It is hard for doctors too and they have various flaws or blind spots which may make them hard of hearing and of understanding when you tell them your problems. They are human and leap to conclusions sometimes. It may take some time to find out what is really wrong with you and what you should do about it.

7. Be prepared when you see a doctor. Write things down, such as your medications, you concerns, a brief description of things you want to discuss. Learn how to interview a doctor while he is interviewing you. Neither of you can fix things you don't know about.

8. Don't go to a doctor with a shopping list of drugs you have seen advertised. You'll end up over-medicated and that's a bad thing--especially if your doctor ends up prescribing drugs to treat the symptoms of your drugs and so on. Advertising works. It will work on you sometimes. It isn't good medicine, though.

9. Prescribing is complicated. You have to weigh things off against each other--costs, side-effects, speed, reliability, safety. Learn what you can and be sure to communicate clearly with doctors, nurses and pharmacists. Communicate with your doctor about your willingness or unwillingness to spend a lot of money on the best or latest thing as well as your problems taking pills or doing exercises. It's better to negotiate than it is to quit.

10. A good nurse or pharmacist can cover for a lot of mistakes and thus safe you a lot of pain, misery, ill health and even pre-mature death. Respect them and be thankful for their own special experience and skills.

11. Don't shop around. But do shop around. It's paradoxical but true.You should have the right doctor for you, not a dozen doctors on a string who don't know you're seeing other people behind their backs. You shouldn't be shopping for drug prescriptions or wasting the time of a lot of doctors. Resources are limited and you probably don't know best all of the time, especially if you are a hypochondriac.

12. If you are a hypochondriac, try to get a disease that is guaranteed to kill you. That's the best and possibly the only cure for hypochondria. Knowing what you are going to die of clarifies the mind wonderfully and as much as the knowledge that you are to be hanged in the morning.
 
2014-01-29 04:18:43 PM  

MaritimeGirl: I wonder how much money the professor is getting paid to teach that course.


As a medical school professor (but not that one) I can tell you that my salary is exactly the same whether I teach 5 classes or zero. That's not how professors pay is determined.
 
2014-01-30 01:36:26 AM  

ricewater_stool: MaritimeGirl: I wonder how much money the professor is getting paid to teach that course.

As a medical school professor (but not that one) I can tell you that my salary is exactly the same whether I teach 5 classes or zero. That's not how professors pay is determined.


At your establishment, anyway.
 
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