Wikipedia and public health

Fascinating piece on Wikipedia emerging as trusted source on Ebola – and the health professionals who are working to keep it accurate and up-to-date in today’s New York Times.

My eye was caught particularly with this line down near the bottom – that one medical course even includes training in how to edit Wikipedia…

That well-schooled contributor pool is only going to get bigger starting on Monday, when the University of California, San Francisco, begins an elective class for fourth-year medical students that focuses on Wikipedia editing.

The teacher, Dr. Amin Azzam, a health sciences associate clinical professor at the medical school, said 17 students had enrolled, a large increase from the five who took the introductory version of the class in December.

He said he was not certain whether any of his students would work on the Ebola article, but that it was possible they would urge other students concentrating on infectious diseases to contribute to it.

“I now believe it should be our professional duty to contribute to Wikipedia — one of the fastest ways we can improve the health of our entire planet!” he wrote by email.

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