Medpedia

Probably should add this to the List of Medical Wikis…but perhaps I’ll hold off until it is out of private beta.

The mission of The Medpedia Project is to build and support a community of volunteers to organize — and make understandable — the world’s best information about medicine, health, and the body and to make it freely available through the website Medpedia.com.

The Medpedia.com website is currently in private beta. If you would like to join The Medpedia Project, apply to be a Contributor.

Contributors seek to compile the very best search results for 10,000’s of health related terms, as well as establish a neutral point of view in all the content on the site. Contributors know that Quality and Comprehensiveness on Medpedia.com is an ongoing work. Older pages tend to be more comprehensive and balanced, while newer pages tend to be shorter, and may temporarily contain misinformation or vandalism. Search results on Medpedia.com are continually edited and improved by Contributors, generally resulting in an upward trend of quality.

Medpedia.com is maintained by Medpedia.com Inc., a part of Ooga Labs, a technology greenhouse in San Francisco, and runs on Mediawiki, an open source software project which runs many wikis including Wikipedia. Like Wikipedia, the content created on Medpedia.com is freely licensable under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL).

Medpedia Board of Advisors

* Joseph B. Martin, MD, PhD — Former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard University
* Linda Hawes Clever, MD, MACP — Clinical Professor, University of California San Francisco Medical School
* Gilbert S. Omenn, MD, PhD — Professor, University of Michigan Medical School

I’m interested to see the application to become an contributor…

…but I’m puzzled to see no critieria for the acceptance of applications.

As a way of building community, Medpedia is also starting up a blog network:

The Medpedia Blog Network is made up of Medpedia Contributors who are also high-quality bloggers that cover medicine and health. The Blog Network helps Contributors find new readers, and helps Medpedia users find other sites with relevant content.

Interesting to see another take on how to administer a medical wiki and it’ll be fun to see how it evolves.

4 thoughts on “Medpedia

  1. David,

    Thanks for the post about Medpedia. Your point about applications is a good one.

    Anyone with medical and health knowledge is encouraged to apply to become a Contributor. It is not a requirement that you have medical credentials; however, it is important that you are passionate and knowledgeable about at least one topic related to medicine, health and the body. In order for your application to be accepted, you need to thoroughly fill out all the profile fields, and provide a photo of yourself.

    We added this to the FAQs, and we will make it more prominent on the site.

    Thanks again,
    Angela

  2. Hi Angela-

    So does Medpedia seek to be a resource for healthcare consumers or for healthcare professionals?

    Are you confident that passion is a sufficient qualification to offer healthcare advice to others?

    Thanks!

    -David

  3. Initially, Medpedia will be a resource for the general public. Over time, with 1000’s of clinicians and researchers on the site, discussing what should be on the main pages, Medpedia will also become a resource for medical professionals, health educators, and medical schools. We are confident that a large number of passionate people — some with medical credentials and some without credentials — can collaborate to produce something of very high quality. We also believe that the result of their work will do a better job of answering the general public’s questions than the most popular medical websites of today.

    To increase quality over other wiki efforts, we approve each Contributor application, which provides a first round of quality management. Second, we built the site so that if the community comes to realize that a particular Contributor is of poor quality, we can easily delete most of their contributions and flag for review all their contributions that we can’t easily delete. And as Wikipedia has shown, the quality of articles generally increases with the number of contributors and readers. Given enough people looking at the content, errors will be shallow and quickly corrected.

    After watching Google, Wikipedia, and Facebook succeed with their bottoms-up, wisdom of the crowds approach, we have faith in distributed communities of people working together and solving complex problems. We will use all those approaches as we understand them today, and learn together as we go, making improvements day after day, year after year. In 5 years, we hope to have created a resource used by millions of people in ways we can’t imagine today.

    For any of your readers interested in helping, we hope you’ll join us at Medpedia.com.