Online medical wiki encyclopedias

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A number of online medical wiki encyclopedias exist such as Ask Dr Wiki, Ganfyd, Medcyclopaedia, Medicalopedia, Radiopaedia, WikiDoc, WikEM and WikiSurgery. Wikipedia itself has often complimentary content. In 2013, it seems clear that many of these projects are on hiatus or have not been updated in many months. WikiDoc (anyone can edit) has the most content, followed by Ganfyd (editing restricted to professionals) and Radiopaedia (anyone can edit).


Web address
Commercial? No
Type of site
Expert medical wiki project
Registration Required with credentialing
Owner Open Access Medical Informatics Group
Created by Kenny Civello, Brian Jefferson
Launched August 2006
Current status November 2013: Had 2,111 pages and 1,408 content pages is an online medical wiki encyclopedia created by Cleveland Clinic Cardiology Fellows Kenny Civello and Brian Jefferson. The project was started as a response to the lack of free online medical information found in several community hospitals and was created to form a repository of cardiovascular information that could be readily accessed for reference. With the assistance of other cardiovascular fellows Dr. Mike McWilliams and Dr. Shane Bailey, the site became a useful resource for commonly accessed medical information for other cardiologist and fellows in training. AskDrWiki's earliest article was August 21, 2006. The site now serves as a place to publish medical review articles, clinical notes, pearls, and medical images. The wiki allows anyone with a medical background to contribute or edit medical articles of which there are just over 1000 as of 2010.


In December 2006, AskDrWiki was referenced in Dean Giustini's British Medical Journal article How Web 2.0 is Changing Medicine[1] as one of the early adopters of using Video Hosting sites such as YouTube and Google video to host medical videos. AskDrWiki was then discussed in a Nature Medicine article discussing medical wikis.[2] Since then AskDrWiki has been featured in other media including The Plain Dealer,[3] Medical Economics[4] and The American Medical Association News.[5]

The purpose of the site is to provide reliable and easily accessed health information for the medical community including physicians, nurses, and medical students. The information published on the site is not meant to supersede medical training but to serve as a repository of medical review articles to give medical professionals an online source where they can review medical topics. The website is similar to Wikipedia because it runs on MediaWiki software allowing users to add and edit articles, but differs from Wikipedia because all users must be credentialed based on their medical training before they are allowed to publish. Its goal is not to compete with Wikipedia regarding consumer heath related topics, but to serve as an expert medical wiki and provide a source of up to date medical information for healthcare providers.


Main article: Ganfyd
Web address
Commercial? No
Type of site
Registration Required
Available in English
Launched November 2005
Revenue nil
Current status November 2013: Had 17,293 pages and 8,374 content pages

Ganfyd is a medical wiki community and online medical wiki encyclopedia,[6] created in November 2005 by a group of doctors working in the United Kingdom. Only registered medical practitioners or persons working under their direction, and a small number of invited non-medical specialists, may edit ganfyd articles. The intention was to make the material reliable enough for professional medical use. As of 2013 it has over 8000 content pages.


Main article: Medcyclopaedia

The Encyclopaedia of Medical Imaging[7] was an online medical wiki encyclopedia of medical imaging used in radiology and radiography.[8] Its online version is called Medcyclopaedia.[9] As of December 2012, the site no longer exists.

The encyclopedia was the result of a collaboration of the Nycomed Amersham Intercontinental Continuing Education in Radiology Institute (NICER Institute), Sweden, Department of Radiology, Lund University, Sweden, and Amersham Health, Oslo, Norway. It provided and copyrighted by the healthcare unit of General Electric corporation. Retrieval of images (other than thumbnails) required registration.

The website contained 3,600 pages.


Web address
Commercial? Yes
Type of site
Registration Required
Available in English
Owner Medpedia Inc., Ooga Labs
Launched 17 February 2009
Revenue Lost money
Alexa rank
positive decrease 2,211,327 (April 2014)[10]
Current status Closed January 2013

Medpedia was a collaborative project launched on 17 February 2009. Its aim was to create an open access online medical wiki encyclopedia[11] in association with Harvard Medical School, Stanford School of Medicine, Berkeley School of Public Health, University of Michigan Medical School, the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS)[12] as well as other contributors.[13] Content was licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) license and ran on modified MediaWiki software. Harvard Medical School did not have a role in, nor is it responsible for, the content that appeared in the “wiki” section of Medpedia.

Anyone with medical knowledge was welcome to become part of Medpedia's community. However, to qualify to edit or contribute to the main content, approved editors must have an M.D., D.O., or Ph.D. in a biomedical field. Such editorial control policies appear to have been relatively successful in earlier established medical wikis directed towards a more technical audience such as Ganfyd. Others can contribute by writing in suggestions for changes to the site using the "Make a suggestion" link at the top of each page. An approved editor will review and potentially add submitted suggestions.[14]

Medpedia was composed of three primary components:

  1. A collaborative encyclopedia (also referred to as the "knowledge base")
  2. A Network & Directory for health professionals and organizations
  3. Communities of Interest where medical professionals and non-professionals come together to discuss topics of interest.

A 2012 literature review of 50 academic journal articles about the use of social media by clinicians[15] remarked that Medpedia had "launched in 2009 with substantial institutional backing" but that the authors "did not find articles reporting success metrics" for it.

About January 2013 the site abruptly closed with apparently very little attention. Medpedia’s founder James Currier acknowledged this was permanent in a Medical blog in July 2013[16]

Medpedia is now closed. Their facebook and twitter feeds may be still open but they have not been updated in a few years. Their webpage now goes to a spam site.


Main article: Radiopaedia
Radiopaedia org logo small.jpg
Web address
Commercial? No
Type of site
Registration Required
Available in English
Owner UBM medica network
Launched December 2005
Current status November 2013: Had 6187 articles with 13522 images

Radiopaedia is a bespoke wiki-based rapidly growing international collaborative radiology educational resource with reference articles, radiology images, and patient cases.[17] It also contains a radiology encyclopedia. It is aimed at both registrars, residents and consultant radiology staff.[18] An iPhone/iPad application was released in 2009.

Similarly to Wikipedia, users of the site are free to add and edit content as well as to maintain their own case library. In an attempt to reduce vandalism and peer-review content, a panel of section editors are appointed time to time to review changes and ensure that the presented material is accurate and relevant as possible.


Web address
Commercial? No
Type of site
Registration Yes
Owner WikiDoc Foundation
Created by C. Michael Gibson
Launched December 2005
Current status November 2013: Had 205,019 pages and 109,199 content pages.

WikiDoc (alternatively spelled Wiki Doc) is an online medical wiki encyclopedia[6] where contributors are not required to have credentials in a biomedical field (see for comparison Medpedia). WikiDoc was started in December 2005 by C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D., of Harvard Medical School.[19][20] The original content came from Dr. Gibson's chief residency notes, board review notes, and content from a variety of copyleft sources including The National Library of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control, Wikipedia and Ask Dr Wiki.[21] WikiDoc differs from Wikipedia in the following ways:[22] it is oriented more to medical professionals, has medical news, has expanded images and videos, has greatly expanded differential diagnoses in a list format and a differential diagnosis project, has toolbar to search internet on the right hand side to gather articles, guidelines and slides, has toolbar on left to see what page most people looked at next, has a board review course (in Beta testing), has editors who watch over the content.

There is bidirectional flow of content between WikiDoc and Wikipedia.


Web address
Commercial? No
Type of site
Registration No
Available in English
Owner WikEM Foundation
Created by Ross Donaldson
Launched 2009
Current status Septembber 2014: Had 4,354 pages

WikEM, The Global Emergency Medicine Wiki is wiki-based website and point-of-care phone application for emergency medicine clinicians.[23] WikEM initially started as a database created from notes and checklists passed from resident class to subsequent resident class at the Harbor-UCLA emergency medicine residency program.[24][25] In 2009, WikEM was launched as a free wiki-based website and phone application that was universally available to all residency programs and global practitioners.[26]


Screenshot of
Web address
Commercial? No
Type of site
Wiki for medical students
Available in English, Czech
Owner Medical Faculties Network
Current status November 2013: Had 5,830 pages and 702 content pages

WikiLectures are a collaborative project focused on creating and storing medical study materials. It's being developed by students and teachers of all Czech and Slovak medical faculties. WikiLectures are part of the project MEFANET – network linking medical schools in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.[27]

Editors of WikiLectures take care of promoting the authors, editorial process contributions, technical support, WikiLectures structure and ensure the safety of the project. WikiLectures contain articles, notes, prepared exam topics, guides for practitioners, and study books. WikiLectures are constantly growing.[28] The articles are written by medical students, faculty professionals and doctors. The administration and security is provided by the editorial board. Articles in WikiLectures are regularly checked by editors and experts in various branches of medicine. Articles checked by teachers are always marked by a special sign.


Further information: WikiSurgery
Main article: Radiopaedia
Commercial? No
Type of site
Available in English
Owner International Journal of Surgery
Launched September 2006
Current status November 2013: Not operating

WikiSurgery is a collaboratively built online encyclopedia hosted by the International Journal of Surgery. The website was not operating in November 2013 but this appears to be a technical fault as the server is functioning.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "How Web 2.0 is Changing Medicine"
  2. ^ Keim, B (Mar 2007). "WikiMedia.". Nature Medicine 13 (3): 231–3. doi:10.1038/nm0307-231. PMID 17342106. 
  3. ^ A Wikipedia-style site for Medical Information
  4. ^ Wiki for Physicians Gains Foothold
  5. ^ Physician Wikis:Do-it-Yourself Textbooks
  6. ^ a b Ginn S (August 2010). "Evidence based mental health and Web 2.0". Evid Based Ment Health 13 (3): 69–72. doi:10.1136/ebmh.13.3.69. PMID 20682812. 
  7. ^ The Encyclopaedia of Medical Imaging. 8 vols, Lund, Sweden: NICER Institute/ISIS Medical Media, 2001. ISBN 82-91942-00-5. Hardcover
  8. ^ Book review: "The Encyclopaedia of Medical Imaging. 8 vols", doi:10.1148/radiol.2272032510
  9. ^ Medcyclopaedia - Medcyclopaedia 2007/08
  10. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  11. ^ "Medpedia Launches Giant Wikipedia-Like Medical And Health Encyclopedia". 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  12. ^ Cross, Michael (2008-07-24). "NHS Choices will need to justify its £80m price tag". London: Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  13. ^ Moore, Matthew (2008-07-23). "Medpedia, the medical Wikipedia, allows patients to diagnose themselves". London: Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  14. ^ Nye, Calley (2008-07-22). "MedPedia Is Wikifying the Medical Search Space". Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  15. ^ von Muhlen, M., & Ohno-Machado, L. (2012). Reviewing social media use by clinicians. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA, 19(5), 777–81. doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2012-000990 open access publication - free to read
  16. ^ "Medpedia, the Medical Wikipedia, is Dead. And we Missed its Funeral… Laika's MedLibLog 12 July 2013". 
  17. ^ ", the wiki-based collaborative Radiology resource". 
  18. ^ "Radiopaedia: a wiki for radiology « ScienceRoll". 
  19. ^ WikiDoc Editorial Board
  20. ^ Daniel S. Mojon; Melissa L. Rethlefsen; Rothman, David J. (2008). Internet Cool Tools for Physicians. Berlin: Springer. p. 114. ISBN 3-540-76381-3. 
  21. ^ Acknowledgement and Attribution Regarding Sources of Content
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ "WikEM". OpenEM Foundation. April 29, 2014. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  24. ^ Castro, Harvey (April 2010). "Wikipedia and the iPhone". Emergency Medicine News (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.). Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  25. ^ Lewis, Tom (January 10, 2013). "WikEM app brings free emergency medicine notes to all". iMedicalApps. iMedicalApps. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  26. ^ Castro, Harvey (April 2010). "Wikipedia and the iPhone". Emergency Medicine News (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.). Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  27. ^
  28. ^

External links[edit]