- Mark Pallen ()http://www.qmw.ac.uk/~rhbm001/mpallen.html
Office of Alternative Medicine
Many conventional doctors are sceptical of alternative medicine, so it is perhaps surprising to see that the American government's National Institutes of Health host an Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) with an associated website: http://altmed.od.nih.gov/. However, the site is excellently designed and provides evidence for the efficacy of some alternative treatments, details of research funded by the OAM, and advice for patients on how to find and evaluate practitioners of alternative medicine. There is even encouragement for patients to search Medline for information on alternative therapies.
Cancer genome anatomy project
The US National Cancer Institute has recently announced the establishment of an interdisciplinary cancer genome anatomy project (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ncicgap/) involving research teams at the National Cancer Institute, at academic centres and within the private sector, with the overall goal of achieving a comprehensive molecular characterisation of normal, precancerous, and malignant cells.
More of the medical establishment on the web
Healthfinder and CME via OMNI
The American government's Healthfinder website (http://www.healthfinder.gov/) provides an excellent gateway to online information about consumer health and human services. Britain's OMNI site (Organising Medical Networked Information) at http://www.omni.ac.uk/ not only provides a database of online medical resources but, with the Royal College of Physicians, has just launched a database of courses approved for continuing medical education (CME), complete with details on how to obtain CME approval (http://omni.ac.uk/cme/).
Circumcision is one of those subjects that crops up repeatedly in online medical discussion forums. For useful online information on the subject visit the circumcision information resource on http://www.cirp.org/CIRP/.
Gulf war illness research
The Gulf War Illness Research Unit at King's College Medical School is recruiting, via its website http://www.smd.kcl.ac.uk/kcsmd/gulfwar/index.htm, servicemen who fought in the Gulf war for inclusion in a large epidemiological study to try to identify the long term health effects of the war on soldiers.
NHS white paper The New NHS
The full text of the Labour government's white paper for the NHS is available online from the Stationery Office on http://www.official-documents.co.uk/document/doh/newnhs/newnhs.htm, with an executive summary on http://www.open.gov.uk/doh/newnhs.htm.
The Ethnomed Ethnic Medicine Guide (http://www.hslib.washington.edu/clinical/ethnomed/) has been produced by the University of Washington to help doctors cope with the needs of ethnic minority groups. Although addressed to the local problems of Seattle, it contains information of use to anyone treating patients from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tigré, Somalia, Vietnam, or Cambodia.
The PEDINFO website (http://www.uab.edu/pedinfo/) at the University of Alabama provides an exhaustive list of online paediatrics resources and even includes its own mailing list and an internet relay chat channel for paediatricians and other child health professionals. There is a European mirror on http://www.nice.it/pedinfo.
Remember all those bizarre mnemonics you tried to master as a student to get you through exams? Shaun Holt has collected them together on his website at http:/home.clara.net/sholt/.
Buying and selling, catching trains, and reading teletext
The internet is not just there for academic pursuits but can also help you with day to day living. If you need a British business telephone number try the Electronic Yellow Pages on (http://www.eyp.co.uk/). If you want to buy or sell something visit LOOT on http://www.loot.co.uk/. If you want to know the times and routes of rail services visit Railtrack on http://www.railtrack.co.uk/travel/. And you can access Teletext over the web on http://www.teletext.co.uk/.