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November 20, 1996

The Web, UnpluggedHardware, Software, and Connections

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass (Dr Peters; e-mail: rhp@solvig.med.harvard.edu); and the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md (Dr Sikorski; e-mail: rss@nchgr.nih.gov).

JAMA. 1996;276(19):1607-1608. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540190079040

A healthy 25-year-old patient who hikes regularly calls her physician to ask about a new drug recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of poison ivy rash. The busy physician says he hasn't heard of the drug. Later, a colleague tells the physician that she read about the drug, bentoquatam, while browsing the FDA's World Wide Web site over lunch.

This is not the first time the physician's colleague has mentioned gaining some clinical or research insight from the Internet. Sensing that he is missing something that will benefit his practice and professional development, the physician decides the time has come to join in this new world of communication and information.