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Physicians launch medical version of Wikipedia

Physician Practice Advisor, April 4, 2007

Four physicians at Cleveland Clinic have launched a collaborative online collection of medical information, modeled after Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia that allows users to upload and edit content.

The site, AskDrWiki.com, allows physicians to publish "clinical notes, pearls, EKGs, X-ray images, and coronary angiograms and venograms." The founders' goals were to change the way physicians teach and study medicine by providing a central resource for information that is often difficult to remember, according to a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

However, the project is not without critics. David Rothman, author of a Web log for medical librarians, said the feature put patients at risk of being treated on the basis of bogus advice, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer article. "Medical information is used to make potentially life-changing decisions," he wrote. "The consequences of inaccurate information could be extremely harmful."

Click here to read the Cleveland Plain Dealer report.

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