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Latest comment: 15 years ago by Mdshephe in topic Voices of support

An alternative for article development


As proposed on the mailing list, another way to develop articles is via the main namespace. Once the article there is "completed," the article can be protected from editing. Messedrocker 15:40, 17 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

An article is in most cases never complete. Especially here! Patio 05:10, 24 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Exactly, and neither is our medical knowledge. If a little-known breakthrough is discovered, one should be able to submit it and have the knowledge spread. Scepia 00:04, 28 June 2006 (UTC)Reply



What about WikiMedical? GangstaEB (W) 13:14, 22 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

Too ambitious. At the most you can call it wikimedsource to show that as in wikisource you retell existing articles, but I see no added value compared to MedScape so why inventing the wheel for the umpteenth time? Patio 05:10, 24 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Wouldn't just WikiMed work? It sounds simple enough that way, I think. Robinson0120
WikiMed sounds good. And Patio, what's so special and different about this idea is that this is the copyleft alternative — Wikipedia is technically the umpteenth time the wheel is invented (because Encarta and crew already existed), however Wikipedia is special because it's copyleft and collaborative. As would be this wiki. Messedrocker 05:55, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
I like this one, too. Someoneinmyheadbutit'snotme 21:19, 5 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
How about MedWiki? I know all WikiMedia projects have it the other way around, but I think it's better that way. Or Dr.Wiki. 11:37, 1 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
I like Medical Wiktionary. Or Wikimedicine. Someoneinmyheadbutit'snotme 21:19, 5 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
MediWiki! You see, because it's a portmaneau of two words which both have two syllables and are sound-alikes... MediWiki... oh forget it. -- 20:28, 6 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
What about Medipedia? There is only a holding page at Medipedia so maybe they would give up the domain?

Iatric words


A medical dictionary is actually easier than the proposal suggests. There are some very old medical dictionaries in the public domain that can serve as a backbone. Starting with common copyrighted works like Dorland's and Steadman's, something reasonably comprehensive could rather rapidly be assembled, without copyright violations. A medical encyclopedia, however, is out of the question (I am not a doctor, and I will never pretend to be one).

A cyclopedic dictionary might be possible (I forget the title), however, cribbing all the way from the Merck Manual (or whatever its successor is). Exclusive use of one source is a copyvio; using multiple sources is research.

This'd be a fun project. You'd also mine copyvio-free versions of Gray's Anatomy for all those glorious anatomical words (and illustrations!). There are many thousands of delightfully obscure medical words that would entice word-lovers onto the project. I leave one here: skiagram, a synonym for 'radiograph', 'x-ray'.--Allamakee Democrat 02:17, 25 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

PS: the United States Pharamacopia is copyright free; we would not duplicate it, but it is a source. Nomina anatomica is official medicalese, set by pretty much the same persons who define picograms, and thus pretty much copyright free. (Just remembered: Tabor's Cyclopedia, or something like that.) I'm already plannning the thing in my head, for Medicine's sake. We can sack the National Institute of Health sites for cites. We'd need a bureaucrat/steward at the head of the project, tho', with the medical bona fides to keep the whole thing accurate. Go with it! We can construct a several-thousand word dictionary just out of public domain stuff!--Allamakee Democrat 02:49, 25 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Awesome to see that we have very interested people like yourself! Messedrocker 05:55, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply



What about med.en.wikibooks.org , med.fr.wikibooks.org ... ? That way, it's part of an existing project, but it can still have its own structure and hierarchy. -- Zanimum 18:53, 26 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

It's possible. Messedrocker 05:55, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Then Shouldnt there be species.xx.wikibookx.org then?

Wikimedia probably rejects this


Based on the impression given by the mailing list, as well as a private conversation I had, this will probably be turned down by the Board for being that damn risky. Chances are, I will start this on my own (with very strict rules, but open enough). If I decide to start this wiki, I'll keep you updated. If you want to advise me against it, speak now or forever hold your peace. Messedrocker 05:55, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

I see why this is so risky, as people will start to get lazy and let factual inaccuracies pass through the filter, but still it is a good idea. Scepia 00:08, 28 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
The proposal sounds more like a medical encyclopedia, and less like a medical dictionary. I work in a medical office and use medical dictionaries on occassion (doing transcription), and most of the definitions are rather simple, usually just a few sentences, with no information on etiology, etc. Doing it that way, it might be easier to make it a subset of wiktionary. -- 18:49, 28 June 2006 (UTC) Wikipedia user BaristaReply
I made the mistake of calling it a medical dictionary, because I've actually never read one. (That doesn't mean I like the idea of it, though.) You could call it an encyclopedia, or a dictionary, but really it's a class of its own. Messedrocker 20:45, 30 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Starting it on your own? On your own server? A very heavily moderated medical dictionary is possible, but I already forsee problems, if only with the wiki software and the serious difficulties in administration. Every last article would have to be vetted by someone genuinely competent, and expecting to find someone with those skills to work as a volunteer seems quixotic at best. A project on wiktionary could function as a trial run to see what happens. Just getting all the anatomical parts together accurately is itself is a worthy project. Start small, and see if getting big is worthwhile. --Allamakee Democrat 00:35, 29 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

Not desired, IMHO


There is no need for this project. We have Wiktionary already, so just add terms in there, Wiktionary accepts medical terms (even the most obscure ones you only find in medical journals).

I concur. We should never make content forks - new projects should always bring something completely new to the table. This is a content fork and it is unnecessary. Wikipedia and Wiktionary already serve the purposes of this projects. --Oldak Quill 15:14, 30 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
This project is not quite Wikipedia, and it's not quite Wiktionary. They won't be quite encyclopedia articles, nor like dictionary entries, but more like an index of diseases (and how to handle them (background information, of course)). Messedrocker 20:44, 30 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
This project is not quite anything. It's like saying there's no need for Wikispecies (but there IS a need.) w:en:User:Ccool2ax 11:41, 1 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
Of course there isn't a need. The sooner Wikispecies gets delisted as a Wikimedia project, the better. Oldak Quill 02:29, 4 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
I suspect wikitionary is adequate for any deifinition of terms and conditions are best left as wikipedia articles. A "how-to-guide" of actually treating people seems inappropriate to me - its a fork of infomation, who has time to edit twice the number of articles, how are the credentials of editors to be verified , even some acredited doctors have non-mainstream views (who will act as judge). Hmmm highly problematic, let alone legal implications. w:en:User:Davidruben talk 17:43, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Wiktionary's limitations.


Wiktionary is subject to vandalism (right now, in fact, as I write). I have also noted, in my highly non-expert opinion, some serious errors of fact vis-a-vis medical terms and conditions; doubtless, I have introduced a few of my own. See my edits on "obtunded" and my revision of the ancient contrib "diabetes" (look in the Hx)

What is needed (for a medical dictionary ONLY) is essentially admin-level editors, a wiki venue so exclusive you have to be invited in, with dictatorial bureaucrats and tyrannical stewards.

A cyclopedic medical dictionary is not out of the question, and such a work would be clearly distinct from wiktionary. I think I can argue for a wiki that is distinct from wikipedia and wiktionary, and also the usefulness of such a work. It would to a degree resemble wikispecies (itself controversial). Everything would have to be documented and cross referenced. Unreferenced, uncheckable statements would be deleted.

Wiktionary does not currently do Nomina Anatomica. Nor does it do the various diagnostic manuals. Nor pharmaceuticals in any systematic way. We're up towards 100,000 entries so far. These desiderata ALONE constitute a major project, notwithstanding any idea that the work would actually give (horror of horrors) medical advice.

Under no circumstances could the work give medical advice. It could only summarize what other sources state, and even then, with massive disclaimers. --Allamakee Democrat 03:21, 9 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

We shouldn't require that people have to be invited into the site, because that's against the concept of open editing. Pardon me for whipping this horse repeatedly, but I'd support the idea of protected mainspaces (the presented content) connected with freely-editable draft pages (the planning areas). And yes, we wouldn't be giving medical advice, we'd be retelling the advice from legitimate sources. Messedrocker 23:02, 9 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
Protecting every article would still require an army of admins (not too many at first), but at a certain point, you'd have to have tag-teams of admins to do the drudge work, which means you'd be pretty fast and loose at handing out admin privs. --Allamakee Democrat 22:27, 11 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

Example entry


I was thinking of making an example entry here at Meta (on a real topic) so we can agree on what a typical page would be like. But before I create it, I'd like some feedback. Messedrocker 07:52, 10 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

As I've said, I support your proposal, at least in theory. It would be quite diffferent from wiktionary and wikipedia, and to a degree, resemble wikispecies. And yes, not just one but several mockup articles are very much in order to show just how it would differ from WP and Wtionary. A place to start would be a couple of pharmaceuticals, some anatomic parts (English and N.A.) and a disease or two.
And almost incidentally, I'm of the opinion Wikipedia proper should probably be broken up into separate works, with WP essentially being the redirecting index; the point of this is that different topics require different rules for editors, and keeping everything under one roof makes it impossible to impose and police such rules: this might be a start towards such a process.--Allamakee Democrat 22:27, 11 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
I have started a test wiki at editthis.info. Let's work on articles, and establish our policies and our self-identity. I will be keeping a close watch on all the edits on that wiki in the meantime. Messedrocker 07:56, 12 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganfyd --Steven Fruitsmaak (Talk) 20:55, 11 December 2006 (UTC)Reply



I love the idea and I think if you would spend some time promoting it the project will do well and will have a chance of becomming a wikimedia project. Peace:) --La gloria è a dio 19:45, 17 March 2007 (UTC)Reply

Voices of support


Add your name to the list of supporters for an official count

  • Iamnotanorange 19:03, 4 July 2006 (UTC) WOW ok, great idea. I really love it, but Doctors barely have time for the sick. They don't have the time to edit open source medical encyclopedias. So you might have some problems with the credentials of those editting, unless you are just looking for wikidermatology. Otherwise I think this is a great idea. Is there some way of uploading PDF's? I'm not sure if this is possible now, but there are a lot of copyrighted medical papers that I'd like to cite as a source. Perhaps a way for PDF's to only be seen by administrators? Just to ensure the veracity of the medical content.Reply
    • Retired doctors could help. How can you assume that all doctors (or at least the ones with computers/internet) are constantly busy? Ccool2ax 15:37, 9 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
    • Of course there is no one better with computers than the elderly, but there are lots of people with some medical knowledge. I would suggest some way of uploading the PDF of a medical article. Getting around the legality of this may be difficult; perhaps by using just the title and authors with the rest whited out? Remember, this is the profession where many advocated mercury to sterilize wounds... popular opinion can easily dwarf poorly publicized facts. Iamnotanorange 01:21, 15 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

Voices of opposition

  • The Doc already exist wiktionary for terms an books for books on medicine, the latter is more indicated if we want give skills (i really don't know how a dictionary could...) 18:34, 1 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
  • Davidruben terms can be defined (without legal risk) in wikitionary, and conditions & treatments are well covered by wikipedia (NPOV, requirements to cite in order to verify and 'no original reseach' covers legal risks). To start advocating a specific line of therapy (i.e. excluding alternative and non-gold standard conventional treatments) has legal risks, seems like a fork (duplication of info), requires double the number of edits/contributions by editors. Who is to vet the credentials of editors being doctors (would anyone know if I made up a Maldives medical certificate and posted it to a wiki administrator in the US ?), some acredited doctors have very unconventional ideas - who acts as judge of acceptable info being added by a real Dr X whose hidden agenda is to promote a FlavourOfMonthicillin drug on behalf of the company they work for ? 17:51, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Some Wikipedia editors have hiiden (and not-so-hidden) agendas to promote their sites. It's exactly the same as Wikipedia: the revert tool was made for vandalism like this. Ccool2ax 15:39, 9 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
  • We don't need a Medical dictionary.--Nick1915 10:38, 11 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
  • Even with precautions taken such as a statement that releases wiki from liability, the legal risk is too high. Lawyers can find holes and work around a release. We are not just providing information, but information that could effect a person's life if used incorrectly, misunderstood, misinterpreted, or is wrong in the first place. Yes, others can edit the information as in all wikis, but there could be a lag time for deadly, even fatal errors, to be corrected. Just look at the current debate over punitive damages and how often doctors are sued. I don't think there should be involvement in a project that can possibly affect a peron's physical health in a negative way.
  • El Tony *"information that could effect a person's life if used incorrectly, misunderstood, misinterpreted, or is wrong in the first place" this would go for all pieces of *info*,e.g. political science, weapons, drugs,poisonous plants, poisonous jellyfish, bombs, chemicals, etc., not only medical. These can, if misused(in the best belief possible), "affect a persons physical health in a negative way". I don`t really understand this argument, is scientific research bad because it brought up the atomic bomb and biological warfare? Should we ban all information on molecular biology and nuclear physics?
  • El TonyI think myself that general info on medical topics for the general public is well enough covered in the medical articles in wikipedia, it is growing, and there is no need to separate it from other areas of knowledge.
  • What I would myself like to propose, as a medical student, is to develop a Medical diagnostical manual for the medical professional, developed by professionals; e.g. MDs, Physiotherapists, bioengineers, medical biologists, senior nurses etc. using standard latin nomenclature and with links to national guideline sites. The information provided ofcourse will be used and evaluated by professionals, without any liability on wikimedia`s part.
  • All diagnostical manuals that exist are shittily expensive, and none of them complete, especially when it comes to rare and "imported" diseases. The wiki-format a good platform to develop a global database on such info.
  • That your GP seldom has time to see you doesn`t mean that there aren`t thousands of medical professors and University Hospital Dr.s out there that would love to contribute a few hours to this project.
  • Oppose as per Davidruben. Duplication of done work!--I'll bring the food 06:45, 31 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
  • Providing medical information in a reliable manner is within Wikipedia's goals. “how to treat/cure the illness” is business of medical doctors and related professions, it’s not placeable within the possibilities of a wiki. It’s not just about providing information but also about individual differences, anamnesis, the whole complexity of being ill and applying medical treatment. --Polarlys 10:43, 8 January 2007 (UTC)Reply
  • Sorry, but that's an awful idea for several reasons: 1. Wrong information could be contained within it. As you said, there will be a verification processes, but still, mistakes can always happen, and then who is responsible if those mistakes actually lead to someone being wrongly treated and being hurt or even worse, dying? And I'm not only talking about legal responsibility, but also moral. 2. Medical information can be embedded into wikipedia, and there presented in its context providing aditional background information (e.g. anatomy, physiology, genetics, whatever). Creating a medical dictionary would just create redundancies. 3. Treating a disease isn't like cooking, where you follow a recipe, but it involves the direct interaction with patients, experience and many other things that can't be replicated using just text. Textbooks are important, but if they were sufficient we wouldn't need medical schools. 4. Why should we reinvent the wheel? There's plenty of medical textbooks out there, and this project would just lead to using 4 others to make a fifth (albeit a free version, but still). Lennert B 21:49, 8 January 2007 (UTC)Reply
  • Full ack to David, Polarlys, Lennert. Greetings -- Andreas Werle 21:55, 8 January 2007 (UTC)Reply