Skip navigation

Web watch

Finding good medical information electronically is fraught, as anyone who has surfed the Internet for a few minutes will know. Typing in some key words into a search engine like AltaVista produces hundreds or thousands of hits, but the quality of what is on offer is usually derisory. The power of the medium is degraded. What we need are gateways to information, knowledge and wisdom that can guarantee finding something of value. A number of these exist.

TRIP Database

One of Bandolier 's favourites is the TRIP Database maintained by Jon Brassey in Gwent. This has been expanded to allow a search of 25 separate sites, through Bandolier to Cochrane, DARE and through to the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network. You might not like all the evidence you find, but it's a simple way in to evidence and information.

Doctors Net is a medically-led, ethical company formed to facilitate improved patient care through modern medical communication and education. It is run by practising NHS doctors whose vision was to create a portal to medical resources on the Internet. It has been developed with the co-operation of every medical school in the UK, Medical Colleges, the Department of Health, the NHS and the various committees responsible for continuing medical education in the UK. Quality of information is a core principle and an educational/ethical committee has been formed to ensure the standards of information included in the site. gives every GMC registered doctor with a high-quality, professional Internet service as well as a free email address for life, personal web page, forums and discussion groups, a library and probably the cheapest bookshop on the web. To register - there is no charge - go to (you will need your GMC details). Try it out for a month or so using Name: visitor and Password: December (both case-sensitive).

Key components of the service are:

Doctors desk

Another interesting site is doctors desk. Simon de Lusignan and his colleagues have created a place which gives some useful information. Worth watching as it grows.

previous story in this issue