Information In Practice


BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 31 January 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:367
  1. Mark Pallen (m.pallen{at}

    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: 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 ( 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 ( provides an excellent gateway to online information about consumer health and human services. Britain's OMNI site (Organising Medical Networked Information) at 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 (

    Circumcision online

    • 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

    Gulf war illness research

    • The Gulf War Illness Research Unit at King's College Medical School is recruiting, via its website, 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

    Ethnic medicine

    • The Ethnomed Ethnic Medicine Guide ( 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.

    Paediatrics online

    • The PEDINFO website ( 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

    Medical mnemonics

    • 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:/

    Buying and selling, catching trains, and reading teletext

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