Can Wikipedia Ever Be a Definitive Medical Text?

“Every time I panic unreasonably over some minor bodily abnormality—which is often—I take to the Internet. I’m far from the only one—72 percent of Internet users have looked online for health information in the past year, according to Pew Research. And though as a responsible health editor, I should of course say that if you really think something’s wrong, you should go to the doctor, I know that even if you do go to the doctor, chances are you’ll Google whatever she tells you anyway. Wikipedia being the sixth-largest site on the whole wide Internet, these people searching for medical information online are often going to end up there. Whether or not they should be doing it, they are. I am. Patients are, and so are doctors. Which is why efforts to improve the quality of Wikipedia’s medical information are important—if you can’t lead people away from the fountain of crowd-sourced knowledge, you can at least try to unmuddy the waters.” (via The Atlantic)

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