WikiProject Medicine: med students join in producing high quality Wikipedia articles. (You can, too.)
Significantly expanded, below the video, an hour after the first post.
Peter Frishauf, member of the editorial board of our journal, has brought what is to me the most exciting news for participatory medicine since the OpenNotes project. Importantly, this news may have broader implications – because it addresses one of the core challenges of patient engagement: the quality and freshness of medical articles.
Last fall, UCSF School of Medicine professor Amin Azzam started a course for fourth year medical students to become Wikipedia editors and apply their skills to Wikipedia articles that were important to them and were poor quality. It got big-name media attention (NY Times, The Atlantic), and it should – because as we’ve often written, one of the core challenges e-patients face (and doctors face!) is finding up to date, reliable information.
This is not a trivial question – you can’t just rely on the peer review process, because it too has flaws, and good luck ever getting mistakes fixed. The biggest example is the ongoing vaccine controversy caused by a massive failure of peer review in the top-tier journal Lancet, but there are many others. Another shortfall is what our movement’s founder “Doc Tom” Ferguson called “the lethal lag time” – the years of delay between a result being discovered and the time it reaches doctors.
Frishauf, who has often written about such shortcomings (see comment below), created this 14 minute interview. I have more I’ll say later, but what do you think? (If you can’t see the video, click here.)
You can find the links mentioned in the video below, at the end of this commentary,
Added an hour later (by Dave):