EMedicine

eMedicine.com, Incorporated is an online clinical medical knowledge base founded in 1996 by two medical doctors, Scott Plantz and Jonathan Adler, and by Jeffrey Berezin, a computer engineer. The fundamental concept was to create a large repository of professional level medical content that could be both updated and accessed continuously to assist in clinical care and physician education. The eMedicine website consists of approximately 6,800 medical topic review articles, each of which is associated with one of 62 clinical subspecialty "textbooks". Pediatrics, for example, has 1,050 articles organized into 14 subspecialty "textbooks" (Pediatric endocrinology, genetics, cardiology, pulmonology, etc.); the emergency medicine volume has 630 articles and internal medicine is near 1,400. The knowledge base includes about 25,000 clinically relevant images. Each article is authored by board certified specialists in the subspecialty to which the article belongs and undergoes three levels of physician peer-review, plus review by a Doctor of Pharmacy. The article's authors are identified with their current faculty appointments. Each article is updated yearly, or more frequently as changes in practice occur, and the date is published on the article. [1] eMedicine.com was sold to WebMD in January, 2006 and is available as the Medscape Reference [2].

History

Dr. Plantz, Dr. Adler and Mr. Berezin evolved the concept for eMedicine.com in 1996 and deployed the initial site via Boston Medical Publishing, Inc., a corporation in which Plantz and Adler were principals. Over a period of 1.5 years the Group Publishing System was developed that allowed large numbers of contributors to collaborate simultaneously. That system was first used to create a knowledge base in Emergency Medicine with 600 contributing MDs creating over 630 chapters in just over a year. In 1997 eMedicine.com, Inc. was legally spun off from Boston Medical Publishing. Several key individuals made investments in the company, including Richard Lavely, MD, JD who led recruitment and execution for the Internal Medicine volume, Julie Bohlen who ran editorial operations for many years and became a board member, and others. In that year the decision was made to broaden the scope of eMedicine to effectively all specialties.

Several years were then spent creating the tables of contents, recruiting expert physicians and in the creation of the additional 6,170 medical articles. Operation were based out of a main office in Omaha, NE and the company was operated "virtually" with key staff in multiple sections of the US.

eMedicine.com became widely trafficked. In 2005, eMedicine entered into discussions for acquisition. The board of directors at the time of sale, consisting of Jonathan Adler, Jeffrey Berezin, Craig Burson, Lilian Shackelford Murray and Michael P. Tierney, unanimously recommended approval for sale of the company to WebMD. The sale was completed in January 2006 and the content is available via WebMD's Medscape site.

Content now includes allergy and immunology, cardiology, clinical procedures, critical care, dermatology, emergency medicine, endocrinology, gastroenterology. genomic medicine, hematology, infectious diseases, nephrology, neurology, obstetrics/gynecology, oncology, pathology, perioperative care, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, pulmonology, radiology, rheumatology, and sports medicine. Surgical subspecialties include neurosurgery, ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, (ENT) and facial plastic surgery, plastic surgery, thoracic surgery, transplantation, Trauma, urology, and vascular surgery. [1]

The site is free to use, requiring only registration. More than 10,000 physician contributors from several countries participated in the creation of the articles. Novel at the time, eMedicine content could also be accessed as an e-book, and could be downloaded into a palm top device. [3]

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