Transition to Clinical Medicine for 3rd Year Students: Google and Wikipedia for clinical care?

Welcome to “Google and Wikipedia in clinical
care”. This brief video is designed for medical students entering their clinical rotations and it attempts to answer the question: Is it OK to use Google and Wikipedia in my clinical practice? The assumption is that clinical questions
arise frequently in clinical practice. In 2012, as part of a qualitative research project about preferences for information
sources, I asked a number of practicing physicians with varying years of experience this question:
Tell me about the last time you looked up information related to patient care—what
was your question, and where did you find the answer? This chart presents what they said. In all cases you’ll notice that the search for information was instigated by a clinical question that arose
within the last 24 hours of patient care. Also you’ll notice that where they went to find the information was in peer-reviewed sources including Google Scholar, which is unlike Google and presents only peer-reviewed articles. A recent study from 2014 took the top ten most costly medical conditions in the U.S.
and compared the information found on Wikipedia with the information found in UpToDate or
primary literature found in medical journals on the topic—these were on topics such as
concussion, major depressive disorder, COPD, etc.—and found that for every condition
except for concussion, there were statements of fact found in Wikipedia that directly conflicted
with those found in the peer-reviewed sources. So Wikipedia may contain information that conflicts with peer-reviewed sources.
Also, not only that, but Wikipedia might contain incomplete information. Wikipedia was not designed for clinicians. The information may be correct but it may not be detailed enough or relevant enough for the clinician’s information
need. Here is a quote from a 2011 study that looked at drug information in Wikipedia, and
found that there was a lack of information on drug interactions and contraindications—very important information
that
is readily available in information resources designed especially for clinicians, like Dynamed,
Micromedex, and Lexicomp. Other topics that have been researched found that Wikipedia articles contained incomplete information for osteosarcoma, hypothermia treatment, and topics such as gastroenterology and hepatology. incomplete information for osteosarcoma, hypothermia treatment, and topics such as gastroenterology and hepatology. incomplete information for osteosarcoma, hypothermia treatment, and topics such as gastroenterology and hepatology. incomplete information for osteosarcoma, hypothermia treatment, and topics such as gastroenterology and hepatology. incomplete information for osteosarcoma, hypothermia treatment, and topics such as gastroenterology and hepatology. incomplete information for osteosarcoma, hypothermia treatment, and topics such as gastroenterology and hepatology. Bottom line: for quick facts such as drug names, Wikipedia is quick and easy, but IT’S
USE IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CLINICAL CARE. Google is very fast search engine but it requires a lot of work from you, especially as an inexperienced clinician. You have to sort out the good from the bad. Physicians often use Google to find clinical information, but often use it to find information that they already know is of good quality.
this is to locate websites that they already For
example, if they want to find guidelines on the use of imaging in diagnosis, they might
know that the American College of Radiology has good guidelines on that, and they would
use Google to find them. But when you’re using Google you need time and experience to sort
out the good from the bad: good clinical information from information for consumers, marketing-influenced information
such as from pharmaceutical companies, and simply incorrect information that ANYONE can
put out there. Plus, given that most of the top results are from Wikipedia, and we’ve
already illustrated some of the potential pitfalls with that, much care needs to be
taken with Google when you’re using it for clinical information!
Use the tools of your profession when answering clinical questions. This takes practice, but
it’s time well spent These information sources are peer-reviewed and fact-checked and contain
information that clinicians think is important and necessary for patient care. They cannot
be easily edited, as can Wikipedia entries. They also are less susceptible to bias in
the form of pharmaceutical and other types of marketing than are many of the websites
that you will find in a Google search.

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