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The Stethoscope
Wiki Project Med Foundation
A Wiki Project Med Foundation Newsletter

Issue 2, June 2014 (past issues)

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Our mission: Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all medical knowledge. That is what we're doing. We help make clear, reliable, comprehensive, up-to-date educational resources and information in the biomedical and related social sciences freely available to all people in the language of their choice.

What's new



See also article alerts

In future editions, articles, lists or media promoted to "good" or "featured" status will be listed here. Currently, eight articles are awaiting nomination. For editors who are unaware, any editor can review a nomination instructions are provided here. For editors who are considering writing an article, the criteria that all good articles must meet can be found here.

Creation of medical video for new editors in health

Welcome to Wikipedia and Wikiproject Medicine

Ian Furst, a Wikipedian video director and voice actor who is a dentist in his free time, released a polished version of a 3-minute video to welcome new editors after collecting feedback from the WikiProject Medicine community.


See also Research Publications
  • Researchers compare Wikipedia's health content to academic literature of their choice find Wikipedia's content is of lower quality than what an expert would choose to read. [1]
  • In places with a disease outbreak, people visit Wikipedia articles for information about that medical condition. Because Wikipedia's traffic data is public it is theorized that traffic to Wikipedia can be a signal giving information about the state of large community health problems. This paper was discussed on WikiProject Medicine in "Poor Paper on Wikipedia and both the paper and the discussion on Wikipedia were reviewed in The Atlantic in "Can Wikipedia Ever Be a Definitive Medical Text?"[2]

What's happening


WikiConference USA in New York City


In the United States Wikimedia New York City and Wikimedia DC hosted WikiConference USA Friday 30 May - Sunday 1 June. The conference included two scheduled talks on medicine, "Wikipedia, Medicine, and Language" and the "Medicine Panel".

Hiring of two new Wikipedians in Residence in health


Two additional W:EN:Wikipedians in Residence have been hired! A Wikipedian in Residence is a person hired to act as a liaison between an organization and the Wikipedia community for the purpose of establishing collaboration. FloNight was hired by the Cochrane Collaboration as a deepening of their engagement after making subscriptions to the Cochrane Library free to Wikipedians, and JohnBod was hired by Cancer Research UK after at least two years of that organization hosting Wikipedia events and trainings.


  • Wiki Project Med Foundation member, James Heilman visited Tehran, Iran in April of 2014 to meet with local Wikipedians and speak at a medical school about the importance of Wikipedia and Medicine.
  • On May 23rd and 26th of 2014, James Heilman was invited by the Italian chapter of the W:EN:Cochrane collaboration to speak at their conference about the place of Wikipedia in knowledge translation in Milan and Rome, Italy.
  • Jake Orlowitz (Ocaasi) gave a talk at Stanford University as part of their Open Everything speaker series. He spoke about Wiki Project Med Foundation's efforts to an audience of Standford Medical school professors and students.
  • Jake Orlowitz was asked to serve on the steering committee for a Cochrane Collaboration gamechangers grant initiative which will allocate 2.5 million dollars to improve the quality and dissemination of Cochrane's systematic reviews.
  • Jake Orlowitz participated as 'Wiki-advisor' in a May planning meeting in Quebec for a new wiki geared towards collaboratively creating medical protocols, treatment guides, decision aids, and patient pamphlets. The initiative is called WikiTrauma, as it is initially focused on emergency medicine.




a wordcloud of a discussion about Wikipedia

Monthly focus: arranging the newsletter


Some changes have been made since the last newsletter, as a result of lessons learned during that process. We will try to make newsletters shorter. We will send newsletters more often (every 2 months at least) so we do not have to cram everything in each quarter. We will also provide a topical focus and move coverage of local initiatives. Through this, we will create a piece on a topic that is relevant to editors or this project. There are numerous topics that we have planned, including What is WP:MED? History of WP:MED, Use of reliable sources, Creating a medical GA, Dispute resolution, Drafting an RfC, The relationship between WP:MED and Meta:WP MED, Our associated Wikiprojects, and many others--We have our work cut out!

For our first topic, however, we will be discussing this newsletter. This newsletter is an important and useful tool for communicating set topics. Through this newsletter, we aim to:

  • Increase editor engagement
  • Disseminate relevant information
  • Involve editors in whats going on
  • 'Crystallize' information that can be referred to and read by other editors
  • Act as a historical milestone to track our progress

Please let us know what you think here. We'd like to know what you think about this newsletter, and if you have any ideas for topics or items that should or should not be covered; whether you think the newsletter is too frequent; whether you like or don't like the formatting or name; and whether you'd like to be involved in its creation. We would love to hear and collaborate with any interested editors, as we intend for this newsletter to be one of the pillars of WP:MED.


  1. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2014.035. ISSN: 0098-6151
  2. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003581.