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Advances in Anatomic Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAP.0b013e3181a9cf57
Pathology and the Internet

A New Collaborative Online Medical Encyclopedia

Moore, Brian E. MD

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Author Information

Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, IL

An answer to the growing concern that medical professionals and patients have become too dependent on Wikipedia.com for quick answers about medical topics, Medpedia.com was launched this past February. Now if you need to look up a particular disease or syndrome, Medpedia is available as an authoritative online reference written by approved professionals. Only physicians and PhDs in a biomedical/health field can edit the Medpedia database. Over time, Medpedia will be a repository of up-to-date medical information contributed and maintained by health experts around the world and freely available to everyone. Medpedia trumps Wikipedia with regard to authoritative reliability, as content in Wikipedia is authored by anyone in cyberspace who wants to contribute. And Medpedia comes onto the scene with considerable authoritative weight behind it: Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and U Michigan are chief backers of the project.

Medpedia offers more than just a reliable online medical encyclopedia, the site also includes a Professional Network and Directory (for health professionals and organizations) and Communities of Interest, in which medical professionals and nonprofessionals can share information about conditions, treatments, and lifestyle choices, etc.

Nancy Brown, CEO of The American Heart Association said: “This platform provides new opportunities for our physician audience to network and share knowledge with other medical professionals around the world who are not a part of the American Heart Association. And, Medpedia's medical encyclopedia provides the public with convenient access to credible health information, with varying perspectives and resources included.”

As of the announcement of the Medpedia Project in July 2008, more than 110 organizations have contributed or pledged more than 7000 pages of content to the knowledgebase, and thousands of people have become a part of the community. I am one of the volunteer editors on Medpedia and have already contributed some photomicrographs and articles to the Medpedia medical encyclopedia. I encourage my colleagues to get involved with the project so that pathologists have a presence on what may turn out to be the biggest and best source of medical information on the web.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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