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August 27, 1997

Quality of Medical Information on the Internet

Author Affiliations

VirSci Corporation Levittown, Pa

JAMA. 1997;278(8):632. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550080042024

To the Editor.  —I applaud the recognition by JAMA of the problem facing patients and medical professionals alike when assessing the quality of medical information on the Internet (Net).1 As a moderator of several e-mail medical discussion groups, I have firsthand knowledge of the good, the bad, and the ugly that is medical publishing on the Net. It is not always easy, even for professionals, to know what is credible medical information on the Net and what is not. Of course, physicians could access only the mainstream publications and government sites, but the information may not be fresh, considering the lengthy peer review and political processes that may be involved. After all, one of the main reasons to use the Internet is to find other sources of up-to-date information. For example, physicians might like to get independent reviews of presentations made at medical meetings the same day as the

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