Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Clinical medicine/Archive 11

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Therapies for multiple sclerosis good article candidate

I have nominated the article as a good article candidate. I would be thankful to anybody who who helped in the good article review (See: Wikipedia:Good article candidates If you have not contributed significantly to this article, feel free to evaluate it according to the good article criteria and then pass or fail the article as outlined on the candidates page. --Garrondo 13:27, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

OPV/AIDS hypothesis

Don't ask me what got into me, but I've been trying to improve the conspiracy-theory-run-amok that is our OPV AIDS hypothesis article. Anyone else feel like taking a look to see what they think so far? MastCell Talk 16:28, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Armenian Medical Network

Armenian Medical Network is a site with health content and health news. Some is of reasonable quality, but in essence it has the same problems as all other websites (wrongdiagnosis, emedtv, webmd) that we have been trying to root out. It also strikes me as odd that Armenia should need a website in English; could it be that having "health" in the URL is a nice way to get $$$bucks from Google ads? JFW | T@lk 10:09, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

NICE guidelines

I'm not sure about the Americans, but guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the UK tend to be regarded as highly authoritative and often the "final word" on major issues. I usually reference to them quite a lot, and therefore I have created Template:NICE (with 3 parameters) to generate automatic references.

I think every medical page where a guideline exists should at least have a URL linking to the relevant guideline. This is the list in question. Before I go about with this spamming effort, is anyone opposed to this approach? JFW | T@lk 15:53, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

No, sounds good to me. It might be worth doing something similar with Cochrane links (where they exist), or the U.S Preventive Task Force. MastCell Talk 17:44, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Agree, but any standardised method of adding the link in mind ? ie as External link, a footnote, or a new parameter to relevant disease infobox ? David Ruben Talk 01:59, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm a bit reluctant to turn our medical articles into a collection of external links, even to high quality resources. The Infobox has a prominent place in our articles yet actually contains no information (see coeliac disease, where only the caption is readable—the rest is just a list numeric codes). Other project's Info boxes contain information! IMO placing external links in such a prominent place goes against WP:NOT. Perhaps we should rethink how we display/format such links in the section they belong. What "information" should our Infobox contain?
I worry a little that all these templates to such web sites are considered as alternatives to the "cite" templates or writing a citation by hand. They lack critical information that is necessary for a full citation and so we should be careful not to call them "references". They are really just external-link-shortcuts.
On a positive note, I agree that the NICE guidelines are worthy sources for our medical articles. To them, I'd like to add the SIGN guidelines, which apply in Scotland (NICE covers the England and Wales). If this sounds too parochial, have a read of them and you should find information in them that is suitable for many aspects of an article, not just one country's clinical guidelines. They are thoroughly reviewed and evidence based. See SIGN's About page and an example on childhood epilepsy (PDF). Colin°Talk 10:09, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

AFD added

I added the entry on Dr. Todd Wider to the articles for delete bin if anyone would like to chime in. I have no idea who he is, but I'm trying to quash the flourishing industry of wikipedia as a new marketing avenue for people in my field of plastic surgery when they come to my attention. There's nothing notable about Dr. Wider in the context of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Wider's name can be found on google in context of some movie production credits, but the wiki biography criteria would suggest mere catalogs of such credits without any other sources outling his role or some notable contribution would make these not really noteworthy. Anyone else?

I also AFD Frans Noorman van der Dussen's bio page, who is another not particularly notable surgeon from europe. He's one of the transgender group's pet projects, but there is no way to justify his notability in my mind.

Droliver 03:38, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Also noted is Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Cure_for_diabetes_mellitus_type_1 David Ruben Talk 00:46, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Result was merged to main article Diabetes mellitus type 1#Cure David Ruben Talk 18:42, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Anabolic steroid

Prior to nominating the Anabolic steroid article for FA status, I wanted to post the article here to get some more input on the article. The article is in great shape and the flow and neutrality are also very good, however I am concerned that we might be missing some things. I wanted some knowledgeable people to look at the article and make some suggestions concerning what should be added. For instance any other positive effects or side effects related to steroid use that the article might have missed. Please don't make drastic changes to the article as we've tried really hard to carve it out, but I do want some suggestions posted on the talk page of the article so that we can discuss them prior to making said changes. Please be sure to provide reliable citations with all suggestions for additions to the article. Pubmed is best as it's easy to format and include in the article. Just post a new post on the talk page of the article and make suggestions on what the article might be missing and should be included. Thanks. Wikidudeman (talk) 14:00, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Request for PDF's

Can someone E-mail these PDF's to me? I don't have access to them but if anyone here is using a university computer or such and has access to the full PDF's, Please mail them to me. They are: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

Thanks. Wikidudeman (talk) 15:37, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I think this is not the way we should be doing this. PDFs are usually restricted, and I'd prefer not to use Wikipedia as a tool for violating copyright law.
My intention above (PDF service) was more for editors with journal access to verify citations on behalf of other editors. For instance, there are many facts in medical articles that are commonplace knowledge but can't presently be cited because the best articles are access-restricted. JFW | T@lk 20:25, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I need them to find statistics which might or might not be in them. I'm not sure that someone with access giving them to someone without access would be violating copyright law. Wikidudeman (talk) 20:41, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Smoker's rights

User:Naacats has been pushing his agenda that smoking is not as harmful as claimed, and than only minority of doctors[9] subscribe to the pharmaceutical company driven campaign to outlaw smoking (thus promoting anti-smoking products), which governments and health organisations have succumbed to accepting. See debate at Talk:Smoking. Then look at developing article of Smokers Rights where amongst other points it is apparently an international effort (vs article's originally stated American effort) to restrict the rights of Americans. Could do with a few others confirming it ain't just "the consensus of a few politically motivated organizations" (response to anti-smoking being the view of most UK doctors, BMA & even the WHO).

PS I see on Talk:Health_effects_of_tobacco_smoking#Severe_Bias he starts with "Sorry all you anti-smoking bigots. This article is pure speculation" and I note comments about this user's campaigning activities at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/3RR#User:Peter Isotalo reported by User:Naacats_.28Result:_Page_Protected.29 David Ruben Talk 09:10, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
That account has a clear conflict of interest (see, as well as being a single-purpose account dedicated to minimizing the harms of smoking. But we seem to have no shortage of pro-tobacco SPA's these days. MastCell Talk 19:30, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Melatonin and POV

I recently altered a section heading in Melatonin from "Dangerous Side Effects" to "Adverse effects", as I find the former inherently POV and unnecessarily sensationalistic. I was then reverted by GodGnipael (talk · contribs), who had added the section last month (and added to it just before I changed the heading). I left him a message regarding NPOV and providing reasoning for my change. He responded "The potential injury done to the human body due to this supplement may be permanent and is thus much more severe than indicated by the term 'Adverse'." I wrote to him again, saying that this isn't the role of Wikipedia (it isn't). He then left me the following message:

Thanks for your response. I think that we have come to an important philosophical/ethical conundrum, which is medical in nature and may directly involve the health and safety of the general public. I was doing research several months ago. At that time, Wikipedia had such a gushy and positive article about melatonin (it appeared to be written by supplement suppliers), with no mention of the potential dangerous effects that can occur. I agree with you that most articles such as Income Taxes or Abe Lincoln should fall into the general guidelines you sent me. However, I think that if there are peer reviewed scientific studies that have found dangerous side effects, they need to be expressed as such.

I know you are an administrator, and I am wondering if you might talk to other administrators that have faced this medical/medication/supplement situation before. I personally think that if there is supporting evidence of harm or potential danger, then that information is not opinion or biased, but an absolute. And the scientifically validated information should be used as an expression of truth that can be used to benefit society, that is what the scientific method is all about.

I would like to state that I have no problem with the content of the "Dangerous Side Effects" section (even though I'm not crazy about the reliance on an animal study for the second subsection). The whole article is biased, and, in true Wikipedia fashion, differently so from section to section.

I'm a big fan of second and third opinions, so I'd like to hear others' take on this. I have left GodGnipael a note saying that NPOV is non-negotiable and all articles must follow it, but it's pretty hard to make that point (not "make that point", of course) when many articles, including melatonin, seem to so irreparably evade neutrality. Fvasconcellos (t·c) 01:03, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, most supplement articles do read as if written by supplement marketers. It's a problem, particularly as people do actually make health decisions, sometimes, based in part on what they read here (despite the disclaimer). Ephedra was a good example of a totally irresponsible article (though it's been improved). But seesawing in the other direction isn't the answer, as you've mentioned. In theory, it should be relatively easy to neutrally describe reliable scientific research on melatonin, and possibly mention some of the more unverified claims associated with it. "Dangerous Side Effects" is alarmist, and "Adverse Effects" is much more in keeping with how pharmaceuticals are presented. MastCell Talk 04:02, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the whole "Dangerous Side Effects" that GodGnipael (talk · contribs) added. I've discussed why on Talk:Melatonin#Dangerous side effects. IMO, none of the text in that section was acceptable on WP. I agree that supplement articles need to be balanced but that is not the way to go about it. Colin°Talk 08:56, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

GodGnipael is on a personal crusade to tell the world about the terrible effects of melatonin. It is going to take more than me and Fvasconcellos to deal with this. I would appreciate if project members could review the talk page and edit the article appropriately. Thanks, Colin°Talk 21:55, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
User warned re engaging in revert war against consensus and need WP:AGF in dealing with other editors. Given it is not a licensed medication in US or UK and that some untested, unregulated & outlandish claims made for its use (internet etc), I think natural tendency would be for medical wikipedians to be cautious on use of the product and keen to ensure the article is moderated in any unbalanced claims for use or issues of (unlicensed/untested) safety - GodGnipael seems therefore to be warring against the wrong people ? David Ruben Talk 00:55, 30 September 2007 (UTC)


Can some wikidocs please review the recent edit to Phenobarbital wrt FDA approval. The FDA statement is a better source that those added to the article. There's probably something worth briefly mentioning and the story might not be as simple as indicated. If a UK/European perspective can be added, that would be great. Colin°Talk 22:41, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

IMHO there's no need for such prominence, for a start. I'll leave adding perspective to those more knowledgeable :) Fvasconcellos (t·c) 22:48, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Agree re WP:UNDUE, especially as has both formal Schedule supply status and Pregnancy category, if the article's infobox is to be believed. Given that it is long off-patent, I can't see any of the generic manufacturers having the financial incentive to undertake all the research that a new drug would require (and the higher subsequent branded drug cost to cover for this). It is perhaps a little like CPR - has anyone done a formal double blinded controlled trial to see if it works - impossible to now do, but no one is going to suggest that it be presented to the FDA or European Medical Devides and proceedure agency (or whatever its formal name is) for formal assessment and vetting as per a new surgical device. Would the FDA really ban it for just existing before they got going ? What if the FDA realised that all suture materials had failed to pass a recently introduced vetting proceedure - insist that patients not be closed up after operations? I've move it into the history section and used teh better reference given above.
As for UK, tightly regulated as to pharmacy/wholesale issues and some special details about doctors prescribing (the date on prescriptions must be hand-written, not computer printed), but in truth its role has diminished when other antiepeleptics came along, but there are a few who remain well controlled on it and therefore it was inappropriate to switch them to the newer agents. Discontining takes such a long time, and potentially risky for those currently seizure-free, that I'm sure I'll be signing a few prescriptions for decades to come.David Ruben Talk 00:36, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Occasionally, widely used drugs turn out not to ever have been FDA-approved. A good example is intravenous haloperidol, which has never received FDA approval (don't tell User:Dr CareBear!) but is in widespread use. Apparently oxycodone is also not FDA-approved, but is widely dispensed. So I'm not sure what clinical import, if any, to attach here. It sounds like the FDA is going to close these loopholes, but is going after the potentially dangerous medications rather than those, like phenobarbital and oxycodone, with a track record and a relatively well-understood and accepted safety profile. MastCell Talk 05:24, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Oxycodone isn't FDA-approved? Perhaps a specific strength or formulation? AccessDate clearly lists proprietary OxyContin and a bunch of associations as approved—now I'm confused. Fvasconcellos (t·c) 14:35, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
OxyContin (sustained-release oxycodone) has been approved, certainly - I think it's just the 5 mg short-acting oxycodone tablets that are not. It was news to me - I took it from the FDA statement you cited above, which listed oxycodone as an example of unapproved meds in widespread use. Unless I'm misreading. MastCell Talk 17:50, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

AFD on psychiatric abuse

All input here to gain consensus...cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:04, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

When are psychiatrists going to start editing Wikipedia to defend themselves? For heaven's sake, this is the umpteenth incident. Anyone remember E. Fuller Torrey, biological psychiatry, our trip to the ArbComm, etc etc. Could any of you try to capture a wild psychiatrist and make him/her edit Wikipedia? JFW | T@lk 07:47, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
I just don't think the atmosphere is particularly welcoming for psychiatrists... perhaps their forked tail makes it difficult to sit for the long period of time necessary to edit Wikipedia... or their hooves get tired... or perhaps they can use their evil powers to convince others to do their bidding while doped up on Zoloft. In all seriousness, it's a facet of a larger problem. We all recognize the POV-pushing single-purpose accounts, whether they be anti-psychiatry or whatever, but our mechanisms for dealing with them are inefficient. WP:CSN is useful in extreme cases (e.g. [10]). Mediation is only useful with good-faith contributors interested in building an encyclopedia. RfC's are slow and toothless. ArbCom is slow. Admins can block them, but it tends to lead to a lot of hand-wringing about why mediation, CSN, ArbCom, etc weren't used. The net effect, now that Wikipedia is prominent enough to attract agenda-driven warriors faster than it can deal with them, is highly problematic. MastCell Talk 05:27, 1 October 2007 (UTC)


Today I have copyedited the living daylights out of idiopathic intracranial hypertension. The only part I haven't really touched is the "pathophysiology" section, probably because I couldn't get my head around it. I'm somewhat shocked by the paucity of systematic reviews, meta-analyses and similar studies in this area. Work to do for some keen neurosurgeons? Could y'all have a quick look and see if I've missed anything? JFW | T@lk 11:41, 7 October 2007 (UTC)


When going through Category:Diseases I noticed large amounts of hopeless cruft, but inner bone pain was the best. It's amazing how these hoaxes can get perpetuated for months without being spotted. See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Inner bone pain. JFW | T@lk 20:21, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

User:Thumperward/nav formatting

User:Thumperward is trying to remove the shading from navigation boxes. I've encouraged him to discuss the issue with a broader community, but he doesn't seem inclined to do so, so I'd like to use this as an opportunity to see if the users here would like to keep the status quo (colors indicating context) or to go with an all-blue format. --Arcadian 15:30, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Template:Navbox/doc specifically states that "It is not recommended that one modifies the default styles". There's no WikiProject guideline which establishes the colours User:Arcadian has picked, and they appear to be arbitrary. Rather than having this template look different for no reason, we should follow the example of template:medicine and use the default navbox colours like most well-behaved templates. Chris Cunningham 21:36, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
There is nothing arbitrary about using yellow for the nervous system. And, your recent edits notwithstanding, there is no Wiki-wide consensus to use all-blue (for example, see Template:Seattle Mariners). And Template:Mental and behavioural disorders had its current shading before Navbox generic was converted to Navbox. Documentation added to a template carries no weight as a policy or guideline. If you want to go all-blue, you're going to have to generate a consensus from the community. --Arcadian 21:57, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I tend to leave sports infoboxen out of these discussions because there's a clear argument for using uniform colours in them. But yes, there is a broad consensus to use the default colours, as indicated by (a) the move towards using the navbox template for all non-custom navigation and (b) the deprecation of the style attributes on said template. I'm aware this template had its shading prior to the edit; once upon a time there was no consistency at all on Wikipedia's navigation templates. As time has passed we've gone past the point where people needed to use lots of raw HTML to make articles look good, and now we're getting to a point where even standard wikicode can be bypassed in favour of pre-cooked templates. I would rather that, in the absence of a specific WikiProject guideline (such as the military project's standardisation on template:military navigation, which inherits from template:navbox), navboxen (and infoboxen) were as generic as possible for the sake of cross-wiki consistency. The decision to override here is unwarranted. Chris Cunningham 23:26, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Thumperward/Chris Cunningham is at it again. Per the above, he conceded sports navboxes should have the colors -- therefore, the argument for removing colors because the parameters are deprecated is not a valid argument. The use of colors on the templates for the medical articles is up to the community of people who work on those articles, and many other communities reject blue-on-blue. Of course, if people from this community want the colors gone, or want to rethink our approach to these navigation boxes, that would be entirely appropriate. Is there any support from people here for removing these colors, and going all blue-on-blue? And if not, would anyone be interested in collaborating on defining and documenting standards for colors on medical articles? --Arcadian 03:05, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
If there were a project-wide consensus to use a custom template (as the MilProject did with template:military navigation) this wouldn't be an issue (and I looked) - but there isn't. If and when this changes, I don't have a problem with the colours. But making Wikipedia more consistent is not being "at it again" in the way it's being implied. I still think ditching the colours is the right move for the time being. Chris Cunningham 10:54, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
You're the person desiring change, so you're the party that needs to get support for your ideas from this audience. Certain standards, like using yellow for the nervous system, tan for muscles, green for lymph, and red/blue for blood, have existed as a consensus in this community for over a century before the existence of Wikipedia, and exist in Wikipedia in many places other than in the Navboxes. Other colors has existed as infobox standards for several years -- drugs are blue, proteins are tan, disorders are gray, etc. (I was involved in the selection of gray for disorders back in June 2005, but I was not involved in the selection of blue or tan.) Going all blue-on-blue would make Wikipedia less consistent: both internally among EN medical articles, and when compared to external texts. (Unless you're proposing making all the infoboxes blue-on-blue as well. I hope you're not proposing that, but it would make your change proposal more consistent.) --Arcadian 13:06, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Infoboxes have documented rules and style guidelines. It's rather a straw man to suggest that to be consistent I'd have to recolour the whole of Wikipedia. And as for "this audience", nobody else has participated in the discussion, so I've got the weight of exactly half the participants on my side. Let's not go assuming invisible majorities for the current version here. Chris Cunningham 14:59, 19 October 2007 (UTC)


Please offer your opinions on Talk:Obesity#Interview. JFW | T@lk 15:53, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Crash call?

Today's Signpost covers the Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history. This WikiProject has a Stress Hotline where editors can express worries about coverage of their area of interest in articles. I tend to report difficult edit wars on medical subjects on this talkpage, but they interfere somewhat with discussions on other subjects. I was thinking of setting up a separate page where contributors can call for assistance without disrupting other discussions. JFW | T@lk 16:04, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

I was thinking about the following names:

  • On-call room
  • Crash call
  • Crash trolley
  • Stat desk (used in medical laboratories)

Users interested in participating (which also means agreeing in principle to responding to calls), please sign below.

  • JFW | T@lk 16:03, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
  • NCurse work 16:11, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Sure, makes sense to formalize this. MastCell Talk 18:37, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Agreed, but the word "on-call" itself is too stressful for me, should come up with more soothing term!Countincr ( t@lk ) 22:42, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Good idea, JFW, but what about this page: Template:RFCsci list? NCurse work 16:11, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
We could call it "Code SPA"... MastCell Talk 18:45, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Wikimed consult perhaps? Dlodge 22:49, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis

A while ago I expressed my surprise that there was no article on this fascinating cerebrovascular disease. I recently encountered this condition again, and was wondering who was available to work on this. When my exam is over (next week) I might tackle it. JFW | T@lk 16:03, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

I'd love to help out after my exams as well. PMID 14976332 should be useful. --David Iberri (talk) 22:38, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm no expert, but I've created a stub at Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. --Arcadian 22:50, 16 October 2007 (UTC)


Despite being the current Pharmacology Collaboration of the Week, the paracetamol article hasn't seen much activity. Would any of our WikiDocs like to help out? Promoted way back in 2004, this was one of our first medical FAs, and has slipped considerably since—surely we should help bring it back into shape? The main concern is a lack of referencing. Thanks, Fvasconcellos (t·c) 20:25, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm boycotting until it's moved to acetaminophen. MastCell Talk 21:16, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Sure, never mind some 6.325 billion people would say "acetawhataphen?" :P Fvasconcellos (t·c) 14:11, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, as I'm reminded every day on Wikipedia, we are all employed by Big Pharma and the psychiatry lobby to suppress The TruthTM. So why not move the whole thing to Tylenol and wait for the checks from Ortho-McNeil to start rolling in? In all seriousness - I'll try to help out. It's a high-profile article and a good place to focus our energies. MastCell Talk 19:56, 17 October 2007 (UTC)


Please comment at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Copyvio_or_no_copyvio. --Arcadian 22:10, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Forking chronic fatigue syndrome

There is a vote to fork myalgic encephalomyelitis from chronic fatigue syndrome. The vote is on Talk:Myalgic encephalomyelitis#Vote. JFW | T@lk 20:02, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Lipid hypothesis

More pro-Ravnskov editing on lipid hypothesis. I can feel my small dense LDL climbing already. JFW | T@lk 21:05, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, whatever you do, don't take a statin. According to what I read on Wikipedia, those things are poison! MastCell Talk 04:02, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

I thought I'd kept a pretty neutral article at statin. Isn't it great how a small group of "skeptics" can displace 1000s of carefully conducted studies? JFW | T@lk 08:08, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Postperfusion syndrome

There seem to be some political shenanigans at postperfusion syndrome (where a claim by the National Enquirer that cognitive deficits from bypass surgery in 1988 somehow explain U.S. Vicepresident Dick Cheney's behavior in 2007, and caused permanent mental defects in President Bill Clinton, is being reinserted). (For those not familiar with it, let's just stipulate that the National Enquirer is a tabloid rag which is more authoritative on the subject of Anna Nicole Smith's love life and alien space invader conspiracies than on current coronary surgical practice.) I wonder if those with expertise on the subject could have a look at the article and make sure that what's there now is medically sound, and that I've removed the politically motivated tripe and trivia. - Nunh-huh 10:49, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

See the discussion on the article's talk page. Dlodge 22:50, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Article Artificial pacemaker

This article has evolved to being, to my mind, a significant article. It would be useful if any cardiologists of CLINMED were to review it for accuracy and completeness, particularly in the clinically related sections.Geoffrey Wickham 01:58, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Therapies for multiple sclerosis

I have nominated the article for featured article after working on it after it become a GA. anybody thinks the article is good enough please vote for it. Any comments for improvement will also be welcomed.Garrondo 14:02, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

This article has still had no input whatsoever from medical projects. Anyone? :) Fvasconcellos (t·c) 15:07, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
It's a bit outside my area of expertise, so I would need to set aside a largish block of (non-existent) free time to look at it. I do like the gigantic picture of ganja C. sativa next to the "Alternative treatments" section, though... MastCell Talk 22:13, 3 November 2007 (UTC)


Please comment on Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/ME/CVS Vereniging. A further outgrowth of the recurrent CFS/ME debate that now spans quite a large group of articles. JFW | T@lk 07:37, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Asperger syndrome

AS passed FAR a month ago and has been extremely stable since then, yet one editor continues to say the article should be tagged POV. Review welcome.[11] SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:55, 27 October 2007 (UTC)


Two editors have previously disagreed about usefulness of external links added by the other to Prostatitis. Recent additional external link was for geocites webpage of images of pelvic floor muscles (I'm not quite sure of relevance to article topic) but then removed because that external link recommended the link.

Various issues of usefulness of the images and appropriateness of the geocites, link and I have tried to set these out at Talk:Prostatitis#External_link_to_geocities.2Fmyoneuropathy_pelvic_floor_pictures. I would appreciate if a few other editors could add there twopence (~ $0.02) of opinion so a consensus can occur, and so preempt edit warring between just 2 editors, thanks :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Davidruben (talkcontribs) 01:24, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis

I have done some work on cerebral venous sinus thrombosis after it was kindly started off by Arcadian and Davidruben. There are some good papers out there (especially the EFNS guideline) which helped a lot. Could everyone have a look and advise whether I've left something out? Are there any notable cases that anyone is aware of? JFW | T@lk 17:14, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

CDC copyright?

I just moved DTPA to pentetic acid (after a minor history merge; pentetic acid is the INN), but the content seemed a clear copy-and-paste. A quick Google search found this CDC factsheet; the info was added back in April. The inappropriate tone and need for a rewrite notwithstanding, my immediate concern is whether or not this is a copyvio. I've always believed CDC content to be in the public domain, but I may be wrong (does happen every now and then ;). Does anyone know more? Thanks, Fvasconcellos (t·c) 22:23, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm no expert, but I too understand anything authored and published by the CDC on their website is indeed in public domain, but they may include pictures and items from other sources that retain that source's copyright. However in such cases, an approproate copyright notic should be present. David Ruben Talk 00:39, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Products of the U.S. federal government, including the CDC's online material, are generally public domain. But I'm not a lawyer, so take that for what it's worth. There may be a more general disclaimer on the Website, but I haven't checked yet. MastCell Talk 05:07, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Usually you can find some copyright statement buried on the side, but I can't find a specific one for that site. When I had some doubt about a NINDS factsheet, I emailed them. I got a nice reply encouraging me to use the text, but asking for attribution (not essential, but polite). If the ref for the text makes it explicit that some words have been lifted, with permission, then that might discourage future editors from removing it as a copyvio. Colin°Talk 07:54, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Right, thanks guys—I've added a small explanatory note in the vein of {{1911}}. The content still needs some serious formatting and rewording. Fvasconcellos (t·c) 14:39, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Autism assessment and project

There has been long-standing concern about the "massive walled garden of autism POV forks" on Wikipedia, including but not limited to uncited and essay-like articles, use of non-reliable sources, POV, questionable notability of some articles, and vanispamcruftisement. What has changed recently is that two core articles—autism and Asperger syndrome—have been solidly restored to featured status, mostly thanks to Eubulides (talk · contribs), who is now trudging his way through the second-level (daughter) articles prescribed by WP:MEDMOS. There is hope that the walled garden can become an organized set of reliable articles. Frustrated by my own hit-and-miss efforts to help clean up some of the mess, I was encouraged by Jfdwolff and Mastcell to put together a list and mini-assessment of the autism-related articles so that further cleanup efforts can be focused on the most important needs.

The list and assessment is at User:SandyGeorgia/sandbox/autism (please use the associated talk page there to suggest changes/improvements to the table). I sort of followed the assessment scheme used by WP 1.0, but I deviated from their B-class, Start and Stub to reflect core articles needed for WP:MEDMOS coverage and how much attention the articles need to make them "not dangerously wrong or misleading" (or of little encyclopedic value).

I suggested the following priorities to Eubulides:

  1. Clear box V; those article should be at least brought to B-class standard.
  2. Clear box R; ditto.
  3. Clear box Q; ditto. (That is, bring all of the core articles as defined by WP:MEDMOS section needs to at least a B-standard.)
  4. Box X is the worst of the worst in terms of essays, POV, uncited, non-reliable sources, questionable notability, and articles that need to be merged elsewhere. They aren't the most important articles, but cleaning them up will help contain the amount of ongoing maintenance needed. For example, autism community and autistic culture (and others) should probably be merged to Sociological and cultural aspects of autism. Adults on the autistic spectrum should be merged to List of people on the autistic spectrum. Another example: do we really need autistic art and autistic artists, neither well cited (there does seem to be some real journal mention of autistic art, but I don't have access to the journal)?

Eubulides indicated:[12]

My top priority right now, when I find the time, is Autism therapies. About 2/3 of it needs to be rewritten; a good, recent, and free review is Myers et al. 2007 (PMID 17967921) which is currently listed under "Further reading" but which I haven't yet had time to read carefully. 2nd priority for me is Thiomersal controversy; that one is not too far from being half-decent, actually. I am probably not the best to tackle Autism rights movement or Controversies in autism, as I lack the patience. So for me, Autism (incidence) and Heritability of autism would be 3rd and 4th priorities.

So, that is his plan for working through the top articles; as a first priority, help on clearing those and the other articles in boxes Q, R and V to a B-standard or better would be much appreciated. Box X, while not reflecting top articles in terms of importance, is an area in great need of cleanup. Any help appreciated, but a coordinated effort may be more effective. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:47, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I've invested about five hours into cleaning up autism rights movement to a marginal/minimal level. At least it's readable now, but a large chunk of it may still need to be deleted. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:25, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I have improved Chelation therapy as far as I'm able, and would really appreciate further tweaking, improvement and review. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:26, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

CME on Wikiversity

Check out this interactive clinical case with referenced case discussion I just created on Wikiversity. This is part of the Wikiversity School of Medicine. Everyone is invited to improve this learning module, of course.

--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 00:19, 8 November 2007 (UTC)


JFW puts on trade unionist flat cap, climbs on soapbox holding a megaphone

Guys 'n' gals, if we are ever going to make our present medical content truly encyclopedic, we need to invest more time in WP:MCOTW. Every time I revert vandalism/spam on allergy, and am forced to look at the article, I come out in hives. I nominated it, and I am the first to admit that I didn't exactly jump forward in editing it when it became MCOTW, but neither did anyone else. There's so much rubbish being written about allergies that we really need to improve that article stat. Are there any people with a particular interest in immunology who could help us with the technical details? I'm eager to do some work on food allergies, but not on my own. Any volunteers? Please?

The new article is blood, which was promoted on the 8th by NCurse (talk · contribs). Since then, it has only received a couple of edits. Do we need to move towards a monthly collaboration?

The audience throws several bedpans (unused and used), and JFW takes refuge. JFW | T@lk 19:23, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

AfD, prod, or redirect?

Does the autistic child have a 'theory of mind'? is a summary of one journal article. I'm not sure what to do with it (prod, AfD, redirect to Theory of Mind or redirect to autism)? Copyright and notability issues; does a journal paper attain notability just because it's published? Should we have an article on everything in PubMed ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:47, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

WP:AFD, with salvage of the relevant content to autism and Theory of Mind articles. This is not something that PROD will solve. Alternatively, simply move the content and boldly redirect it (but be prepared for AFD if the original creator objects). JFW | T@lk 10:56, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, JFW; on my list. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:14, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Primary immunodeficiency

I've been expanding primary immunodeficiency, using a consensus document. I've tried my best to locate all the relevant articles on these weird and wonderful conditions, but a few more eyeballs would be useful. It is quite amazing that generally Wikipedia does seem to have articles on most immunology-related subjects, but under somewhat unpredictable names. The molecular and cell biology WikiProject has got it down to a fine art with their protein boxes, which pervade all the relevant pages. But of course our own Arcadian (talk · contribs) has been doing the same for clinical medicine content, and some editors have been creating short articles on the most unlikely conditions. JFW | T@lk 18:09, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I think my favorite unlikely conditions, so far, are pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism and Jumping Frenchmen of Maine. --Arcadian 23:31, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Need for a director/merge WP:MEDICINE?

Perhaps our WikiProject, like WP:MCB, needs a person in charge. What are people's feelings about this, and are there any volunteers? JFW | T@lk 18:09, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I hereby volunteer you, JFW. :) In all seriousness, I think it's a reasonable idea. I think that, given your commitment and history with the WikiProject, formalizing such a role for you would make sense. How would it impact the project's functioning? MastCell Talk 19:37, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

To be frank, we should ask TimVickers (talk · contribs) what being the director of WP:MCB actually entails. It would be against Wiki spirit to associate directorship with specific powers. At the same time, some WikiProjects need more coordination, and ours is not an exception.

Thinking about it again, I think that most contributors to this project are already very busy with articles they have expertise in, and may avoid the thornier issues somewhat off the beaten track. I'm still concerned that we have still not attracted contributors with an interest in surgery, Ob/Gyn (Ekem (talk · contribs) now avoids medical articles, it seems), and some other very relevant areas (e.g. preventative medicine). Psychiatry is an ongoing concern; we now have some people working very hard to turn the walled garden of autism into something that resembles NPOV (SandyGeorgia, Eubulides) and some that chip away at the heavy anti-psychiatry bias on Wikipedia in general.

In the end, we cannot force people to do what they don't want to do (see WP:RAUL, rule 3). It strikes me as more than odd that the large professional societies have still not realised the enormous power of Wikipedia. If they want to inform the public, stop putting "patient summaries" in the medical journals (e.g. JAMA and Ann Intern Med) and instead send these editors to help out on Wikipedia!

When I sat a recent exam, my "ethics" case involved a discussion with a faux relative on the merits of artificial feeding in advanced dementia. The actress was holding a copy of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (which I nota bene started in 2004!) I have seen copies of disseminated intravascular coagulation and acinetobacter lying around various hospital wards. Davidruben (talk · contribs) was once confronted in a consultation with a patient who had brought a copy of an article (unknowingly) that he had written. WIKIPEDIA IS EVERYWHERE! We might as well make it as good as possible. JFW | T@lk 21:46, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I of course agree with your sentiments. I think the problem goes to the fact that Wikipedia is not only an indifferent but an actively inhospitable environment for people with real-life expertise on a subject. It's hard to convince the average physician that spending weeks or months dealing with aggressive single-purpose accounts is a good use of their time. It's easier to live in the real world, where people who aggressively perseverate that (for example) HIV doesn't cause AIDS are written off as ignorant or crazy, rather than given a platform and a megaphone. There are so many other palpably constructive uses of one's time that it can be a hard sell to keep physicians in this environment. I don't think we'll ever attract anyone with real expertise in psychiatry while we do such a poor job at reining in the rampant demonization of the field on Wikipedia. The climate scientists do a better job of retaining a handful of experts than we do. Having witnessed firsthand the impact that Wikipedia can have on patients' decision-making (and often a less-than-positive impact), I don't doubt that the work here is worthwhile, but that's me. That said, there's no reason we can't do a better job of attracting medically knowledgeable editors to less controversial topics - and I think much of the room for improvement is on non-controverisal topics. MastCell Talk 23:00, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

The appointment of a boss, if desirable, is not the only topic to address urgently. Sadly, I think currently the project provides little more than a meeting place for medically-interested editors to raise concerns or request short-term help. If this project is to be effective, we need reassess our goals, examine the strengths and weaknesses of our members, confront the challenges faced on WP, and work out how best to collaborate. The weekly/fortnightly/monthly collaborations of this and the pharmacy project have FA as their goal, something they have failed to achieve for over two years (and then only twice). I say this not as a criticism of those who organise or (fail to) participate—we are all volunteers and many project members are extremely active in other ways. Here are some more thoughts, randomly thrown together:

  • Project members have produced some excellent Featured material but time and again the article is the product of one (or two) editors, supported by an informal group of wikifriends. I'm not sure it is possible or desirable to change this. An FA is such hard work that one must be somewhat dedicated to the subject. I believe the regular collaborations should no longer aim for FA. Instead, we should improve the means by which members can advertise their knowledge or interests such that small teams can be built to work on articles, centred round someone who takes on responsibility for an article.
  • The regular collaborations need to build up a posse of editors who like the variety and have consistent amounts of time to spend each week. Without this critical mass, they will be hit and miss affairs. The goal should be reduced to simply moving the article up the quality scale.
  • Specific improvement drives (like Sandy's current autism effort) should be supported on sub-pagees of the project and advertised. Focussing on smaller topics than "the whole of clinical medicine" may help bring like-minded editors together to improve a set of articles. JFW highlights holes in our expertise (to which I'd like to add neurology). We need a page that identifies these holes and advertises the vacancies.
  • Can we invent a better way to advertise AfD, Peer Review, FAC/FLC, etc than {{MCOTWannounce}} (which nobody seems to be watching) or plain talk pages?
  • I suspect, unlike many other wikiprojects, our members tend to be rather busy in real life caring for people (professionally or otherwise). We can't necessarily compare this to other projects and try to emulate their success.

That'll do for now :-) Colin°Talk 23:15, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Colin, that is immensely helpful. I have long been puzzled by the emergence of Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine while WP:CLINMED was already extant. I can understand the need for a "preclinical medicine" WikiProject, but its aims overlap largely with WP:MCB and WP:PHARM. Perhaps it should migrate to a WikiProject dedicated to physiology. Otherwise I support the complete integration of WP:CLINMED into WikiProject Medicine.
I don't think MCOTW should continue to work for FA either. That is, unless there is indeed a strong desire hammer out high-quality stuff by a group of people who generally agree on the course that needs to be taken. I personally have preferred the approach that you mention, namely: very small groups of editors (or even one single editor) taking overall charge of an article and improving it. Whether this would lead to the de facto abolition of MCOTW or a radical reconfiguration I don't know. I'd love to hear more opinions on how we can improve medical collaboration after the recent débâcle at allergy.
Having a regular "push-style" talkpage message will certainly help announcing things to users, rather than the hubbub on this talkpage. I'll look into this.
I agree that the unpredictable meatspace experience for our members strongly determines their availability. JFW | T@lk 23:27, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm pretty much on the same page as Colin; I don't see the weekly/montly colloborations as really accomplishing their goals, but when several WikiFriends get together to work on a specific area or article, it can be cleaned up, neutralized, and result in featured articles. All of the recent medical featured articles have relied on a core group of folks for preparation. I don't know if we need a "director" as much as we need to a) focus on one Project rather than three and b) support those who come to the talk page with a specific goal. Articles become featured because of the passion of one editor. Walled gardens get cleaned up by the same dedication. I suspect that's all we can hope for; I became very dejected and signed off of the Medicine Projects when I couldn't entice physicians to help me clean up medical areas, because as a layperson, I can only get so far. I follow the MCOTW announcement template as far as peer reviews, FACs, FARs, etc. and look at everything that is posted there, but I don't follow the weekly/monthly colloborations because they are too isolated and rarely end up at FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:30, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

So far I see consensus emerging for the following decisions:

  • Overhaul of MCOTW to a more informal, "working party"-driven system
  • Merge of the relevant WikiProjects into one larger WikiProject that serves primarily to coordinate collaborations and to put out fires on medicine-related pages
  • Need to make Wikipedia less hostile for people from fields that have strong online opposition (e.g. psychiatry)
  • Recognition that medical content on Wikipedia can influence health decisions people make in the real world (and our responsibility, despite the medical disclaimer, in addressing this)

On a related topic, would some editors perhaps be interested in going on the record in the medical literature to call for contributors? I am sure that a "Personal View" in the British Medical Journal would attract a significant response. JFW | T@lk 23:40, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I like those goals; I don't think my layperson voice would go far with the BMJ :-) I often work in the hope that cleaning up certain areas will be instructive to other areas. I cleaned up Tourette's, hoping other similar articles would follow. I've found the only ones that follow are when there is a primary, involved editor (Eubulides on autism), but when there is a primary editor involved, I'm able to help. I was able to help on Tuberculosis because TimVickers took charge, and so on. It takes teamwork, led by a primary involved editor. We do need to help the experts fend off the POV pushers et al. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:55, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree duplication of WP:MEDICINE and WP:CLINMED, and should merge. Whilst personally I prefer "Clinical Medicine" as a project name to distinguish it from "Alternative medicine" or "Medicine for the gullable (aka quackery)", this does perhaps sound rather dry and uninviting (indeed "clinical" - ha ha) to attract additional serious lay-editors (who currently do such a good job within the project). Hence "WP:Medicine" is probably more welcoming... but I don't particularly like it.
  • Happy to collaborate on a BMJ "Personal view" with you JFW - are we ready for our realworld colleagues sniggering at our activities ? :-)
  • Also, whilst I helped set up the Wikipedia:WikiProject Clinical medicine/Collaboration system of advising ourselves of articles we are currently working upon, it never seemed to take off and just one posting in last 6 months. This clearly needs a rethink. This WT:CLINMED talk page has in effect served as a "heads up" noticeboard to articles needing additional input, rather than just a major-dispute-alert-system or discussion on overall project activities (that seemed so much more the case over a year ago). Perhaps the Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Participants table could be expanded to allow listing of articles we particularly work-on/watch-over ? David Ruben Talk 00:53, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

My €0.02:

  • I agree on merging WP:MED and WP:CLINMED.
  • Interested in working on an article/lettre to attract medical attention. NCurse might help to extend this to medical information on the internet.
  • The best idea of this discussion I think is an MCOTW overhaul. If we could have lists of articles people are interested on focusing on, you could find friends and small groups could work on articles they commonly find important. I'm not really motivated to work on Goliath-work articles like blood or malaria, but I've resumed working on gestational diabetes, which is still common, important, not too immense and previously in a terrible state.

On the question of a director, I don't see what the job description would be.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 12:32, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

So more support for a merge. I prefer CLINMED, as MEDICINE could easily include all the basic sciences that presently have their own WikiProjects. I agree that having a "director" or "head honcho" will have little added benefit without an obvious job description.
With regards to article collaborations, I note that some editors (such as Countincr (talk · contribs)) have been tagging articles with {{WPMED}}. This makes it easier to keep track of the articles under the scope of our WikiProject. Wouldn't it be great if we could use this system (which also includes quality ratings) to also foster collaborations?
I'll see what NCurse has to say on the effective deconstruction of MCOTW. JFW | T@lk 14:01, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Colin's thought is very important: " our members tend to be rather busy in real life caring for people (professionally or otherwise). We can't necessarily compare this to other projects and try to emulate their success."

  • I agree, we should merge all the 3 medical projects as we don't have enough people to work on them separatedly.
  • I think we do need an expert, a chief editor who would coordinate the work. JFW or Sandy both are perfect candidates.
  • Just like Steven, I'd be absolutely interested in writing an article about our medical projects.
  • I think MCOTW should be a MCOTM, because even a period of 2 weeks is too short for such a few number of participants. A month's time would be enough. I wouldn't deconstruct it, but it should be the decision of the community.
  • If we merge the projects, I would make it easier for medical professionals (through clear tutorials) to find the articles they're interested in easier. Moreover, we could create an action group who would help professionals with the first steps. I also plan to promote our medical projects through the medical blogs of me and others.

So JFW, you have plenty of soldiers. Deal with it. :) NCurse work 08:29, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Berci, that's very useful. If we need a chief editor then we need candidacy and voting, because I'm not sure if I (or Sandy) can take responsibility without a clear mandate.
The merge of the WikiProjects seems to be more-or-less certain.
If MCOTW is to be become MCOTM, we should at least follow up with SandyGeorgia's idea that an article collaborating should have a chief responsible editor. Personally, I don't think we should promote articles to collaboration of the week unless ONE or TWO editors have agreed to take the lead. Even if these editors will not make the majority of the edits, they could ask other editors to contribute significant sections, images or other content. Such a role should be "no big deal", yet prevent collaborations from turning into an edit vacuum.
I have already approached several editors with regards to a public statement. I will contact Steven and Berci off-wiki. The problem is that once I post a version online, it is released under the GFDL and no journal will print it. Send me an email if you want to get involved. JFW | T@lk 10:19, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the thought, NCurse, but I am way too often winging it here, as a layperson, and I don't have the grander medical perspective on a lot of the issues. And, a better candidate would be Colin (talk · contribs), as he has such experience getting WP:MEDMOS and WP:MEDRS off the ground. Which brings me back to the orignal throught I expressed (tried to express) above. Colin is dealing with an issue at WP:MEDRS right now, and getting no input from others <hint>. What I was trying to say earlier is that it's very often (most often?) a layperson who is taking the lead on bringing an article to featured status or raising the standards of the Project (as Colin did with MEDMOS and as I've tried to do by bringing the older medical articles to FAR). A layperson may have the time and the passion and the commitment to a certain article, yet not be able to "bring it over the finish line" without the help of the Project professionals. I was and remain particularly disappointed that lung cancer became featured without Project review. It was promoted because Raul supported it: Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Lung cancer. Polio was just promoted featured, and many laypersons have collaborated well to produce a truly fine article, but serious medical review from the Project would have been its crowning glory. I have often been mired in horrific debates at FAR overly truly bad articles, and gotten no support from the Medicine projects. Where are our physicians on the articles laypersons are diligently working away on? I have often wondered if the physician hesitance to criticize a peer's work is at play here? Are we really happy with Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Therapies for multiple sclerosis; it was just promoted along with Polio, and I'm not sure the standard is the same. Perhaps less focus on bringing in more medical professionals, and more awareness that laypersons have a large role here but need more help, would be one way to improve more articles across the board? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:45, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I must say I don't monitor FAC, but it would have been common sense for the editors of polio and lung cancer to drop a note on this talkpage to explain that the article in question was being nominated for FA. I totally agree that laypeople can write fine articles on medical subjects, but I also agree with the sentiment that our WikiProject should indeed be involved.
The lack of response to therapies for multiple sclerosis has a lot to do with the very subspecialist nature of the topic. We have no resident Wiki-neurologist, and even neurologists may not be up to date with the latest approach to MS, especially in recalcitrant disease. This is why I have occasionally requested external peer review (e.g. Prof Paul Ciclitira for coeliac disease). I don't see a problem with external peer review at all. I suspect that until the ranks of Wiki-doctors swell, we will occasionally need to find outside peer reviewers. JFW | T@lk 19:20, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to start monitoring FAC. Obviously this needs to be addressed statim. The more eyeballs, the quicker we can stop this development. JFW | T@lk 19:26, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Could you monitor {{MCOTWannounce}} too, until we find a better way? Colin°Talk 20:15, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Coming back to MastCell's comment on WP being a hostile place: Yes, there are parts of WP where life is a constant battle. But there are also areas of calm that are there for the taking. I'm not just talking about rare diseases or obscure drugs. Many core medical subjects get no edits for weeks, and are languishing at B class or lower. Perhaps there's a tendency among virgin wikidocs to join the front line when that path leads to pain and suffering, unless you are thick skinned and stubborn. Coeliac disease gets little hassle, other than from well-meaning folk adding links to gluten-free web sites or requests to "fix" the spelling. A wikidoc helping out on Poliomyelitis during 2007 would have discovered a couple of model wikipedians quietly transforming a fascinating subject. There are plenty other potential FAs that could be worked on with little stress by anyone who cares to research the topic. Colin°Talk 20:15, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Colin, every article is potentially a battleground if we get a visit from Mr Busybody who has his pet theory about his disease being caused by multiple chemical sensitivities or all that. Sadly, the dispute resolution process is indeed hostile to people with real-life expertise. One day it's Lyme disease and autism, tomorrow all blogging COPD patients will get together and claim that doctors are paternalistic when they attribute COPD to smoking and should rather be empathic and blame the disease on pollution, poor nutrition or some other politically correct non-cause.
But I do agree that most articles, including major medical topics such as diabetes mellitus, COPD, hypertension, myocardial infarction etc are not particularly hostile (although I have edit warred on diabetes with a WP:TOJO sock and on myocardial infarction with some guys who were all in favor of digoxin).
How much longer before we make the merge between WP:MED, WP:CLINMED and WP:PREMED official? JFW | T@lk 20:40, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
(ec, response to Colin) You're absolutely right, and in the past I was more active on non-controversial topics like acute myeloid leukemia and cholangiocarcinoma. I should probably go back to working on important but non-controversial articles; I think around the time I became an admin I started getting drawn into dealing with the more controversial aspects, but they are by no means universal. You're just hearing my Wikipedia burnout talking. That said, I watchlisted MRSA a little while back, as I'd been involved in a lawsuit (thankfully, not as a defendant) involving it and had reviewed the literature, with the intention of improving this presumably non-controversial topic. Today I noticed an ongoing dispute about inserting a blurb for colloidal silver as prevention/treatment, sourced to ([13]). Anyhoo... my long-standing goal has been to make a featured article of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, so maybe I should re-direct my energies there and take a break from more controversial topics. MastCell Talk 20:46, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree "every article is potentially a battleground". Most of the "calm" articles I've watched have had a brief period where someone came along and made some unhelpful edits and had to be reasoned with for a while (which is where this project can be a help), but the attack usually hasn't been sustained and I hope it wouldn't drive anyone to burnout. I'm thinking about your recruitment article in the BMJ: we're not looking for machine-gun fodder for the front line. While I don't want to discourage folk from fighting the forces of evil, I hope you don't plan to paint a picture that its all a big war. You know, sometimes editing on WP can be a real pleasure, you can meet some wonderful people, improve your writing skills, and learn a topic inside-out. I recommend that new wikidocs find their feet away from the battlefield. They'll get drawn into it eventually. Colin°Talk 21:38, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Do we need to post a "merge" template? Certainly, people would need to be informed so they can redirect their watchlists if required.Colin°Talk 21:38, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I posted merge templates at top of WP:MEDICINE and WP:CLINMED yesterday :-) 02:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Wrt nominations. Sandy's post is flattering but I'm no more medically qualified and just as frequently bluffing may way. The current WP:MEDRS discussion is somewhat caused by mistakes I made a year ago. Sandy is probably the most experienced here (anywhere) wrt knowing what makes an FA and how to fix an article that has fallen. JFW has huge experience creating articles and battling on a number of fronts. Clearly, medical training is an enormous advantage, as is ready access to journals and a good library. Without knowing what this director is supposed to do, it is hard to recommend one person. It may be we need a few roles, each best suited to the strengths of the particular editor. Before we get too advanced wrt nominations, it is probably best to continue discussing detailed goals and what tasks such a person(persons) would supervise and encourage. Colin°Talk 21:38, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Do most folk here not watch {{MCOTWannounce}} ? For example, the FACs are all announced there, and it gives us the means to help MastCell with, for example, the MRSA article ... and getting help when needed will help everyone's burnout. I understand the problem, MastCell; every time I run into an issue, I'm pinging TimVickers or JFW or someone for help, which makes it hard for ya'll to get anything done, but the announcement template should deal with that. I got so discouraged at doing battle all alone that I unwatched the Medicine Projects a while back, but now I'm refreshed :-) As for the merge, I'm on board for a merge, but don't care to which name. And don't fall for Colin's humility; he can do it all <grin>. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:44, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I do have that template on my watchlist, but also >2500 medicine related articles, so I won't notice all changes to it. A posting here on this talk page is much more likely to be noticed by me. --WS (talk) 22:46, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

A good leader here would be someone who is good at helping others reach consensus, rather than wielding a big stick and trying to out-rank others. I see too many editors of medical pages fighting rather than stopping to think about why the fight is happening in the first place. Often, the root cause is a matter of very different POVs combined with insufficient common knowledge of the subject. --Una Smith (talk) 18:15, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Merge issues

Actually, I'm going to reverse myself; I think it does matter to which Project we merge. I believe far more article talk pages are tagged with {{WPMED}} and we also have Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Medicine articles by quality statistics. Unless someone explains differently, I think these are important reasons to merge to Medicine rather than Clinical medicine. We also need to be in a position to enforce WP:MEDMOS for all health articles, not just clinical medicine,[14] so it's important to retain a broad net. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:14, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Followup: someone else may have better methodology, but my investigation reveals almost 12,000 articles tagged with {{WPMED}}, but less than 200 with {{CMedWikiProject}}. I think we have to retain the broadest Medicine coverage if we merge. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:54, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Leaving alone sentimental reasons[15] I have no strong opinion on the matter. JFW | T@lk 22:29, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I prefer the broader term medicine over clinical medicine, also considering that the preclinical medicine part will be merged into it. --WS (talk) 22:43, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree in principle on merging medicine related projects, but wondering by doing so, are we going to limit collaboration opportunities? There might be editors interested in either clinical medicine or basic science only. I think we should keep WP:CLINMED and WP:PCM as workgroups. If there is a consensus, I can create workgroup parameter in {{WPMED}}. It will put the articles in relevant categories and can be watched. I guess there are around 15000 medicine related articles. Around 12000 pages have been tagged so far and 10,000 of them are either in stub class or not been assessed yet. It gives some idea about immensity of work ahead!!! While tagging articles I have noticed that, number of people contributing to individual articles is not necessarily low, but their involvement in project activities is minimal. We need to find new ways of collaboration. I propose creating a page where all active users list up to 5 articles they are currently contributing or going to contribute in a major way. I guess that way we can address issue raised by Steve. One other thing. Amount of resistance and negative comments one have to endure these days is alarmingly high and is indeed inhibiting after a busy day in real life. We should consider JFW's previous suggestion about "on call room". Thanks--Countincr ( t@lk ) 00:21, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

But do we need separate WikiProjects for the different collaborations? In my mind, the "basic science" topics have their own articles, but are also tightly interwoven with the "clinical" articles in all the pathophysiology and genetics sections. There is substantial overlap. Also, the preclinical WikiProject is essentially defunct. Perhaps we could simply make sure that we don't just collaborate on clinical topics but also on basic science, perhaps together with WP:MCB if necesssary. JFW | T@lk 06:50, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree we don't need a separate WikiProjects per collaboration. In anything, we are moving towards a plan where there may be several focus-groups under one project. And, yes, writing a comprehensive medical article often involves (or should involve) input from PHARM and MCB members. Colin°Talk 08:35, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I do support abolition of WP:CLINMED and WP:PCM as separate projects; with current level of activity they are unsustainable. But I wanted to create focus/workgroups under WP:MED.Thanks--Countincr ( t@lk ) 00:28, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Merge WPCLINMED into WPMED. --Una Smith (talk) 18:06, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Most contributors seem to support SandyGeorgia's proposal of merging CLINMED into WP:MED. I'll give it until Saturday night.
With regards to WP:MCOTW, I will post a proposal shortly. JFW | T@lk 23:17, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I would support a merge, into whichever project consensus dictates. Fvasconcellos (t·c) 23:21, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

How to improve

Here follow some suggestions. --Una Smith (talk) 18:06, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Consider how WPMED and WPCLINMED differ in their cultures. Personally, I have enjoyed being less interfered with under WPMED.
  • Focus on using the carrot, not the stick! When I have nothing better to do I go through the table of articles waiting for WPMED assessment. Someone gave me a barnstar for that work, which was somewhat reinforcing for me (except it made me realize how many assessments I had been doing, and I decided to cut back for a while).
  • Put nobody in charge. Somebody in charge is the situation already, everywhere in medicine. Wikipedia benefits from being different.
  • Watch more pages and respond promptly to questions on article talk pages. Respond by editing the article or articles to answer the question, and put a note on the user's talk page to let them know someone has responded to their question. I find such questions very helpful; they show exactly where an article is incomplete or incoherent.
  • Understand that wikipedia does not give medical advice but it does give information. And the information can be of very high quality. How about putting the WPMED class on the article page, to help readers understand the problem of unequal quality?
  • Bring more articles up to good article quality or better. I contributed to Cancer when it was article of the week, and several times my edits were wholesale reverted by editors who, judging by their edit summaries, understood my points but asserted I did not make them clearly enough. I learned fast not to waste my time. I think the article of the week mechanism is broken: it amounts to a contest to win status and does little to encourage collaboration. For that, editors who want help should be made to ask for help and be nice with those who respond.
Working under WPMED means you won't get "interfered with" because there is actually not a lot of activity on that WikiProject.
I don't think there is consensus on putting anyone in charge.
Watching more pages is good advice, but it requires a steady collaboration here to deal with difficult/specialist queries.
My whole intention with my earlier posts is to reaffirm this WikiProject's ethos in maximising our medical content from an informational point-of-view. I don't think we should be putting project boxes on the article pages, simply because no other WikiProject does this.
The reversions on cancer are quite a while ago, and IIRC were accompanied by talk page discussion (not just edit summaries). If you want to discuss this problem in detail, some diffs would be useful. JFW | T@lk 22:18, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Copyvios on Evans syndrome and Prosper Ménière

I've recently effectively totally deleted the contents of Evans syndrome(this) and Prosper Ménière(this) (he of Menieres disease) as being gross copyvios. I've partly reconstructed Evans syndrome using primary sources located at PubMed (but it now needs rounding off and using perhaps the eMedicine article as a template, something I deliberately decided to avoid initially in order to get the initial sources included - current progress since copyvio removal here). Whereas Prosper Ménière is down to a single paragraph, having removed the copy of Whonamedit entry. Could people have a look at improving these two articles please. David Ruben Talk 04:31, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Featured articles and peer review

Poliomyelitis and Therapies for multiple sclerosis have been promoted to featured article. Rotavirus is now on peer review, so everybody's input is welcome. --WS (talk) 23:03, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Dreaming about journals by proxy

FYI - I have posted elsewhere about the possibility of a dedicated Wikipedia scientific journal proxy: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Academic Journals#A question. Comments welcome there or on the Village Pump. JFW | T@lk 13:20, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Any interest in pharmaceutical marketing?

This article is currently a cross between a marketer's how-to guide and the usual POV-pushing. But I think we can do better. There is a ton of good-quality peer-reviewed sourcing on pharma marketing techniques and their impact. No Free Lunch has a clear stance on the issue, but their website hosts an excellent collection of this material here. I'm thinking about trying to sort through all of these potential sources and fundamentally rewrite the article into something source-based and encyclopedic, but I sense it will be a daunting solo task. Is there any interest in collaborating on the topic? MastCell Talk 19:06, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Normally, I'd be glad to help on something like this (Vioxx death in the family). In this case, I'm going to abstain, because someone unfairly and inaccurately (that's an understatement) accused me off-Wiki of being a big pharm rep, while canvassing for my Wiki edits to be reverted. Sorry I can't help on that one. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:24, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear about your family member, and also sorry that you won't be adding your always-excellent input at the article. Unfortunately, we've got no shortage of editors who view anything but undiluted pharmanoia as the work of drug-company stooges, but if that becomes a problem again please let me know. MastCell Talk 23:20, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for the kindness, MastCell. Seems my offense was to add a free use pharm image to an article which had no images. Oh, and according to the same sources, I also have Tourette's, 'ya know :-) Could be worse I guess; I could be dumb as a post and mean as a caged skunk :/ SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:18, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Hear!Hear! I remember SandyGeorgia hinting that article Bupropion is "advertisement for smoking cessation or for GlaxoSmithKline." Paul gene (talk) 03:54, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I didn't hint at anything (or at least, I didn't intend to); what I said was "Wikipedia has to take care not to be an advertisement for smoking cessation or for GlaxoSmithKline. It doesn't appear that PMID 17685748 has been factored into the article at all. Causality and comorbidy of smoking with psychiatric disorders have to be sorted out relative to claims that the medication aids in smoking cessation. Whether the bupropion is actually treating underlying psychiatric disorders (ADHD, dpression) that lead to increased smoking, and reduces smoking indirectly via treating other underlying disorders, has not been addressed here. ... etc." Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Bupropion I was glad to see that addressed, along with the mention of tic exacerbation. Anyway, I guess the message board liars would argue I work for a competitor, rather than recognizing this is a very common argument in Tourette's medication issues. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:14, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I am not hinting at anything and I am not intending to. I believe that SandyGeorgia is a good human being and an great asset to WP. She has to take care not to be dumb as a post and mean as a caged skunk :/. I am glad to see that addressed above whatever the board liars would argue. Paul gene (talk) 13:40, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Funny, I've hardly ever had to battle drug pushing for Tourette's on Wiki, and I just had my first. That was how it started with others. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:56, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps if we were "drug-company stooges", and carried drug adverts on our user pages, we could get enough sponsorship to fund JFW's journals request (above). :-) Colin°Talk 13:42, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Heh. I think being accused of being a GlaxoPfizerLillyBoehringerBristolMerck shill should be an initiation rite for this WikiProject. An unrestricted grant from a drug company to fund a journal proxy would be rather nice though... JFW | T@lk 16:31, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Maybe we should choose a pharma company and get all articles on their drugs featured ;) Fvasconcellos (t·c) 17:10, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
OK, this is starting to frighten me, because an unrestricted grant to provide journal access is exactly the sort of thing a drug company would be willing to sponsor, in my experience (assuming those of us with prescribing powers turn out to be "high writers" when they background us). We probably ought to let it go. Here is an all-too-typical irony, though: while I'm not aware of any instances where a pharmaceutical company has tried to buff their drug write-ups on Wikipedia, I am aware of at least one case where a person who, in real life, works as a product developer and consultant to dietary-supplement marketers edited very aggressively on Wikipedia for a time, specifically adding favorable information on the effectiveness of supplements and at one point putting forward a proposal to alter Wikipedia's policies on reliable sourcing in a way that would downplay the scientific literature and put it on an even footing with non-peer-reviewed and more "supplement-friendly" sources. MastCell Talk 17:34, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, the whole thing has been very troubling to me for much too long. When lies are told on well populated message boards, advocating that my neutral and reliably sourced edits be overturned based on lies about my profession, interests, alleged diagnoses, and motivations—and calling into question all my edits as well as those of another featured medical article writer—I don't know how we keep Wiki honest and reliable. I am now reluctant to edit any drug article, lest it re-ignite the POV-pushing internet advocates. There are a lot more POV-pushing anons out there than there are of "us" in here. In the Tourette internet realm, I have had some *very* nasty encounters with aggressive internet marketing of dubious medications (mecamylamine, inversine and even the way strattera was marketed come to mind). And I really couldn't care less if someone claims I have Tourette's or anything else because of my editing history (I suppose I also have schizophrenia because I worked on that FAR?), but I really *hate* being called a drug company shill. For one thing, I don't have any polyester in my closet, and I'd never sit and wait hours to see a physician. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:02, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry things have been rough, but don't let evil tongues dissuade you from doing what you want to do. Because that is exactly what they are trying to achieve: bully sensible people out of the project so they can control the place. The hatred of drug companies on the internet is well-known, but I'd be the last to be apologetic over the real cock-ups. The mess Merck caught itself in with aprotinin will burn an ugly trail through that company, just when Vioxx seems to have cooled down. But at the moment the only companies willing to invest into drug discovery and marketing are... drug companies. Wouldn't it be lovely if there was a model where drug design and drug testing/trialling could be separated? That would remove the continuous cloud that presently hangs over company-sponsored trials. JFW | T@lk 01:34, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

What Merck? The article aprotinin only mentions Bayer.Paul gene (talk) 03:41, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
My mistake. It is obviously Bayer. But the premise is the same: drug company had data but didn't act on it. JFW | T@lk 06:12, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
That will involve radical change of professional culture and rethinking at individual as well as at institution level; issues ranging form accepting there won't be any free lunch to when appointing someone as professor, looking at what he/she can do academically rather than how much grant he/she can attract for researches (which is an incentive to be cosy with drug companies).--Countincr ( t@lk ) 22:41, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
The problem of drug trials is very easy to fix—the government should run them. Paul gene (talk) 00:32, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
You must be joking. Which government? Funded by whom? "International drug trials unit monitored by the WHO?" That would be fascinating. JFW | T@lk 06:12, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
US government still funds some clinical trials, you know. There used to be much more funding for that before Reagan. And who cares about WHO, there are only three entities that matter for drug research: US, EU and Japan. Paul gene (talk) 11:57, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
The existence of Wikipedia will eventually reduce the cost of trials by multiple orders of magnitude. A flowering is near. Be patient. --Arcadian (talk) 01:44, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Arcadian: I'm really puzzled here. Are you suggesting researchers will recruit patients and report study results through a system like Wikipedia? I can definitely see this happening, but for the "flowering" you describe we need seedlings. JFW | T@lk 02:03, 23 November 2007 (UTC)


I have posted a proposal on WT:MED with regards to the future of MCOTW. Comments are invited there: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine#MCOTW and open tasks. I've also started merging information from WP:CLINMED into the WP:MED WikiProject page. JFW | T@lk 23:54, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm back in action. Let me know please if you need any kind of help. NCurse work 12:46, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

I'd really like a bit more input into that discussion. I've made a number of proposals, but it seems some of these are unpopular. JFW | T@lk 06:41, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Be patient, Jacob! :) Dozens of editors won't be involved in that discussion, you know well. We're going to find a consensus soon. NCurse work 09:30, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

I wish we had dozens of editors. I'm getting progressively more jealous of the MCB boys, who are churning out one FA after the other :-). JFW | T@lk 12:27, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Hip replacement

The hip replacement article is in need of an overhaul. It is very ugly from a content perspective and doesn't have one good reference. Considering that this is a very common operation, it ought to be a good article. Nephron  T|C 02:58, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm sure we can feed it through the improved MCOTW once there's consensus on that. Sadly our only orthopaedic surgery contributors have not been editing for some time. Probably busy in the OR/Theatres :-)
Always easy to find out where the orthopods are operating. General surgeons don't usually resort to mallets and drills. JFW | T@lk 06:59, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Completing the merge?

In the above discussions there was consensus for merging this WikiProject with WP:MED. I suspect that this will mean that the present pages should be archived. Any objections? JFW | T@lk 06:35, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

None. Will the main ClinMed page become a redirect to Med? I think we should do the same at PreClinMed. Having dead projects kicking around will cause confusion. Thanks for driving this through. Colin°Talk 13:48, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

I will move the old project page to a subpage of WP:MED and turn the page into a redirect. Will do the same with PRECLINMED unless there are objections. JFW | T@lk 15:25, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

No objections. --WS (talk) 17:20, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Leader (revisited)

I think the discussion above on a leader/director for the project failed because the role wasn't outlined. The merge and MCOTW issues took greater importance, and the topic got distracted by opinions on what makes a good or bad leader. Some people want to be free agents. Nobody is suggesting that project members come under someone's authority. I see any leadership role as one of responsibility rather than authority or superiority. Some people like to work in a team, and most teams work well if someone is driving things. So, in the new WP:MED, are there areas where a leader or leaders would be useful? For what it is worth, I've always considered JFW the de facto leader of this project.

BTW: If this page is about to be archived, then perhaps we can continue this over on the other project... Colin°Talk 14:01, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

My initial post about leadership was probably more a groan of frustration. Nothing will change the fact that there is still so much to do on medicine-related pages, nor the fact that we all have limited time, nor the fact that expertise in some areas is not present on Wikipedia, nor the fact that there are occasional disagreements about which direction we should take.
Despite MastCell's and Colin's accolades, I can easily identify authors who have been quietly hacking away at thousands of important medicine-related edits and deserve credit unreservedly. Rather than focusing on one person as a leader/grand old man we should perhaps celebrate the fact that a bunch of people from all over the world are able to produce some very high-quality material that will actually improve health of people. The trophy box at WP:MED already contains some pretty good things (asthma, prostate cancer, etc), and if we could get back to doing this some more... JFW | T@lk 15:25, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Project page redesign

If we are going to merge the project pages, this might be a good moment to redesign the project page to be more useful. I created a mockup based on the WP:MCB project page which can be found here. Tell me what you think about it. Also feel free to make any changes to it to improve it. --WS (talk) 19:55, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Brilliant idea. Please also copy your message to WT:MED. Shame you're getting rid of those nice colourful icons though :-) JFW | T@lk 21:17, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Very nice, but I'm wondering why you lost the announcements, which is important for knowing what's at FAC, FAR, PR, etc. ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:59, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
That is not intentional, this design was just something I put together quickly. These things (and more) can be easily added back in. I will post a message on WT:MED too. --WS 16:23, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Un/due Weight and ABC hypothesis

Hi, I was wondering if I might get some input on Talk:Abortion-breast cancer hypothesis#CLINMED comments regarding some issues:

  • The article is on a fringe theory. Multiple aspects of the theory have been documented in numerous reliable sources. What weight should be given to scientific info sourced by personal pages, press releases, amateur partisan websites, religious newsletters and self-published sources?
  • To what extent should an editor intrepret tables, and to what extent should these interpretations be used to present studies contra author's stated conclusions?
  • What is the statistical significance of relative risk figures with confidence intervals containing values of 1?
  • Given that consensus states abortion is not associated with increased risk of breast cancer, to what extent does Carroll's 2007 section (Post-NCI consensus, Carroll is an actuary and publishes in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons) predicting an increase in breast cancer rates based on abortion constitute an exceptional claim (one that would surprise the reader)? If it is, what kind of exceptional documentation does it require?

Thank you for your time. Phyesalis (talk) 05:55, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Scientific info should be sourced straight to the actual source and never to poor-quality, non-authoritative or cherry-picking secondary sources. Reinterpretations of data need themselves to be verifiable, reliably sourced and not WP:WEIGHT.
If the RR crosses 1 it becomes a non-significant association.
Carroll is notable if there are sources supporting his notability (e.g. wildly popular lay preacher). JFW | T@lk 10:42, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you so much. I have argued your first point in the past and one editor has insisted that because this is a fringe theory, scientific data, sci. interpretations and sci. criticism can be used from any source (including OR to contradict an author's published conclusion). Could someone suggest a constructive way to approach this dispute? The issue of RR is another. The editor in question has interpreted RRs containing 1 as significant increases in risk (in part from OR and unreliable sources but whether or not it requires exceptional documentation for what is otherwise an exceptional claim. My point being, Carroll has not actually conducted research on the link between abortion and breast cancer. He has chosen a model which includes abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer (despite consensus to the contrary) in order to project future rates of breast cancer. His claim, that abortion is the "best predictor of breast cancer," seems rather exceptional given that there is no known association between abortion and breast cancer (and this well-documented in the article). I'm not arguing for its exclusion (at this time), I'm trying to determine what level of documentaion it requires.
Again, thank you for taking the time to respond. Phyesalis (talk) 22:43, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Argh, Usenet posts! Never! Obviously this is a very difficult article to keep WP:NPOV, but if a perspective has not been circulated beyond Usenet I strongly doubt it is can be included as per WP:FRINGE and WP:WEIGHT. People who continue to promulgate the theory, but only if they are widely publicised to do so. From an encyclopedia's perspective, the NCI's consensus is "just an opinion", but competing opinions need to be notable. Scientific proof is not necessarily encyclopedic proof. Do you need actual input in the discussion? JFW | T@lk 23:06, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm afraid I don't understand the Usenet posts ref. But yes, input in the discussion would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your continued efforts. Phyesalis (talk) 00:05, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Sci.interpretations and sci.criticism are usenet newsgroups. Perhaps MastCell (talk · contribs) might be available to review some of the material as well. JFW | T@lk 00:13, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh thanks! No, they aren't from those newsgroups, an editor is pulling various info (data, interpretation, criticism) from sources like self-published letters, religious newsletters, and various amateur partisan websites. Mastcell has been involved but the editor in question continues to steam. I get the feeling that MastCell has done as much as MC can, and given previous involvement with the article, doesn't want it to get personal. The editor in question is another administrator, so I (not an administrator) am also cautious about how to proceed. This is why I really need some outside consensus. It's getting quite disruptive.
Really, anyone, please stop in at Talk:Abortion-breast cancer hypothesis#CLINMED comments. Help is needed. Phyesalis (talk) 02:00, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I do watch this article and comment from time to time, but outside opinions would certainly be helpful if anyone has the spare time to look through the article and talk page. It's a shame we are mostly internists and don't have anyone from OB/Gyn or women's health active at the moment (do we?) MastCell Talk 05:21, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Ekem (talk · contribs) has done a lot of gynaecology work, but seems to be doing non-medical stuff. JFW | T@lk 10:01, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Post-abortion syndrome

There has been some recent contention on post-abortion syndrome, revolving around how to present the medical literature and expert opinion on this disputed entity as well as appropriate sourcing and framing. If anyone feels intrepid, I'd like to invite outside opinions. The issue is detailed on the article talk page and article history. MastCell Talk 22:17, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

You're a brave person, MastCell. I'd personally only enter this territory with an armed guard, fire-proof underwear and several large bottles of magnesium hydroxide. JFW | T@lk 00:26, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, just so you know, this sort of thing is afoot. MastCell Talk 15:41, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Merck Manuals external link templates

Previously the templates to Professional Template:MerckManual and Home Template:MerckHome editions of the online Merck Manuals were not clearly self identified and one had invalid url coding. Having throughly confused myself in the process (real mess moving rather than opting to more cautiously copy&paste between the two), I think I've got this to work. Orginal 3 required parameters for Section No, Chapter No & Topic letter remain the same, but now additional options of subpages can also be accessed and/or alternative text shown. Details now provided by templates' shared documentation. If you spot anywhere where I've created a URL hell, please let me know :-) David Ruben Talk 03:43, 15 December 2007 (UTC)