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Going Online: Sports Medicine and More


You say you don't have time to search online for lively sports medicine debate and helpful medical resources. But you have Internet access at the clinic or at home, and you find yourself craving some high-tech professional connectedness. How you access the different areas of the Internet will depend on the type of connection you have, but once you're on-line, here's a quick tour of the Net to get you started.

World Wide Web. A good starting point on the Web is Yahoo, a hip and definitive directory of some of the best sites indexed by subject. Yahoo offers hundreds of links under the health category. Another site is the highly acclaimed Virtual Hospital, a digital health sciences library administered by the University of Iowa. You'll find patient simulations, journals, clinical practice guidelines, multimedia textbooks, and teaching files.

To get a quick handle on the medical journals and newsletters available online, visit MedWeb: Electronic Newsletters and Journals, a directory that provides many direct links to journals' tables of contents and, in some cases, abstracts and full-text articles.

Medical Matrix: Guide to Internet Clinical Medicine Resources is a project of the American Medical Informatics Association's Internet Working Group. In addition to being rich in links to other sites, Medical Matrix provides an over-view of existing Internet medical resources and news on resources in development.

Finding epidemiologic information is a whole lot easier now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a Web site for the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The site features full-text retrieval, and users can search past issues by topic—no more thumbing through that prolific stack of skinny reports. The National Library of Medicine's HyperDOC Home Page is the place to go for links to the institution's vast collection of clinical resources.

A must-visit stop on your Web rounds is Dr Bil's Cool Medical Site of the Week. William C. Donlon, DDS, exhaustively searches the Web's medical sites and crowns his pick of the week. Visitors are also asked to submit their suggestions.

Gopher servers. Even though the Web is getting the lion's share of the attention these days, there are also many valuable resources on Gopher servers. The University of Southern California offers links to medicine-related Gopher servers all over the world.

News groups. News groups are discussion groups devoted to specific topics; they are similar to bulletin board systems found on commercial online services or private dial-up services. There are hundreds of topics to choose from. To get a thumbnail sketch of what other physicians are doing with their technology tools, consider browsing through It's a convenient source of medical software reviews, an announcement board for other online medical resources, and a sounding board for physicians' experiences with clinical information systems.

E-mail lists. Like news groups, electronic mailing lists provide an exchange of information among users interested in a particular topic. Subscribers receive the discussion directly to their e-mailbox through e-mail postings from other members of the group. The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine's AMSSMNet is available to its members and other interested parties. To subscribe, AMSSM members can send an e-mail message to [email protected]. In the first line of the body of your message type: SUBSCRIBE AMSSMNet Your Name. Nonmembers can request e-mail information about joining AMSSMNet from Dave Jenkinson, DO, or Randy Pearson, MD.

The ATHTRN-L e-mail list contains topics in sports medicine along with discussions on the roles and certification of athletic trainers. To subscribe, send an e-mail to [email protected]. In the first line of the body of your message type: Subscribe ATHTRN-L Your Name.

A vital source for family medicine practitioners is Fam-Med, an e-mail list that focuses on use of computer and telecommunication technology in the teaching and practice of family medicine. Fam-Med also offers a resource area that includes access to file archives, a Gopher server, and a Web index, and instructions for subscribing to the discussion group.

Ann Harste