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Contempo 1998
August 12, 1998

General Surgery

Author Affiliations

From the the University of California, Davis–East Bay, Oakland.


Edited by Ronna Henry Siegel, MD, Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 1998;280(6):495-496. doi:10.1001/jama.280.6.495

IMPORTANT recent developments in general surgery include modification of the approach to the management of severely injured patients. Outcome data have become available for some types of laparoscopic surgery, and medical and surgical resources on the Internet are increasing.

The discipline of surgery has rapidly accelerated onto the information superhighway, the Internet. Wang et al,1 describing the Internet as "one of the greatest developments in informational exchange this century," provided an overview of the Internet for physicians, including electronic mail, mailing lists, and the World Wide Web. Richards2,3 described, particularly for the surgeon, the origins of the Internet and the uses of the World Wide Web. Several major surgical societies, including the American College of Surgeons (http://www.facs.org), the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (http://www.aast.org), and the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (http://east.org) now have Web sites. These sites include informative articles, practice guidelines, case presentations, and real-time discussion groups. There are online bulletin boards where one can post a question about a case, instantly deliver it to practitioners worldwide, and receive responses within minutes. Numerous journals and listings of surgical residency programs and fellowships are also available online. To enable users to assess the quality of online medical information, core standards for online sources have been proposed.4 These standards include providing complete authorship information with institutional affiliation(s) and relevant credentials, documentation of all content sources, and full disclosure of financial sponsorship and interests.