Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine/Archive 7

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Missing articles

This page, probably from the now-merged ClinMed project, seems to have a list of some thousands of articles about diseases that need started. Is there some reasonable place to link it on our project page? (We seem to have only started about one in six of the requested articles... I'm wondering how many of them are alternate names that should be simple redirects.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:17, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes this is need of attention. I brought this up ages ago (see archive somewhere) and a lot of the names seem to be sub types of the major diseases. When I had more time on my hands I began to do such a task of redirecting and such, and attempting to create articles for diseases that seem like they deserve their own article, but it requires quite a bit of work and and with my current occupation outside of wikipedia, I am unable to do so :(. Note that a lot of the diseases and syndromes on that list are very very rare, so finding information about them is a bit difficult. Also in terms of redirecting, I try to first find information on the term and so I don't just blindly redirect a term that has the same name (look at mental retardation for example here: [[1]] (from 392 to 451...) Would all those need to be simply redirected to mental retardation or just removed? Calaka (talk) 04:45, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Infant formula

This should probably be considered part of WP:medicine (as long as we're not being reductionists). There's an IP unhappy with the presumed POV of the article and reverting. Worth more eyes for consensus? Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:25, 20 March 2008 (UTC)


The natalizumab article has received recent attention and discussion, most well-meaning, but the "design-by-committee" result is an overall content with gross bias towards its media-sensationalized history and which has subordinated the therapeutic benefits to a single down-the-page paragraph. This is a travesty as it conveys an inescapable impresssion of "russian-roulette" to reading patients, their families, and even practicioners. See also Talk:Natalizumab. New eyes are desperately needed, preferably qualified and preferably with experience in MS (talk) 16:06, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia drug articles are not written for patients We officially and consistently don't care what effect an article has on patients, family members and/or practitioners. We are not in the business of helping a patient make the "right" choice about his treatment. If a scandal related to drug side effects meets the criteria for inclusion, then it certainly should be included appropriately. Certainly having a drug formally withdrawn from market for (potentially) killing people is something that should be mentioned -- repeatedly, even. Patients who trust Wikipedia to present more accurate, complete, balanced, unbiased and personalized information than their neurologist urgently need to find a new physician.
Additionally, I've seen this content dispute mentioned on a number of pages, although I am not an normal editor on that page or any related pages. I see from your edit history that you've invested a lot of time, including posting at ANI, in recruiting additional editors into this dispute in, I assume, the increasingly forlorn hope that someone will agree with your opinion about mentioning unexpected fatal side effects in the lead. Are you familiar with the WP:PARENT page? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:13, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Look - I reported this here in the hope of getting specific Medical input - which in my opinion the incumbent editors have been unable to provide - and not input about me personally. But I would answer the issues you echo like this - first of all, you refer to "scandal" - doesn't "scandal" belong somewhere else ? Second, in reference to the merits of the PML history, now many years old, Occam's razor - which is used in medicine - - would by now demote PML to something less than the primary message of the page. Finally, I have demanded for close on 2 weeks now, and continue to demand, a comparable Wiki drug page in a serious progressive disease - and no-one has shown me any, not even one.......for good reason, as this is the de-facto opinion of hundreds of other Wiki writers. And so - its an extreme case of WP:Undue weight (talk) 14:15, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
If you are looking for specific input from someone involved in this project, then you've got it: This does not seem like undue weight to me. In fact, I believe that including the fact that the drug was withdrawn from market to be entirely appropriate information for the lead. I will leave for you a list of similar drug articles on the article's talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:45, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
The natalizumab article - still needs a specialized Expert in the MS field, or in areas of medicine where a Risk-Reward paradigm is highly (talk) 03:59, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Fine. I am an expert. The information is correct. The paragraph which begins "Natalizumab was approved in 2004..." should begin under a different section, not because the information is untrue but because it is a sign of a poorly-written piece. I am not, however, an expert on encyclopedic writing. -- (talk) 22:36, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Its that not that anything is not correct - almost all the statements are true (did you notice where N is use to successfully treat MS symptoms....) - instead its an extreme case of WP:Undue weight to the negative which both the circumstances and passing time put in (talk) 16:20, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Article needed: Blood product / Blood products

I suggest that we create a central article on Blood product / Blood products.
This is obviously a basic concept in modern medicine.
We apparently have over 170 articles that mention the phrase "Blood product" or "Blood products", though in only a few of them is it actually a redlink. (We can linkify the phrase in the others as desired.)
-- Writtenonsand (talk) 14:28, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I created a (very) skeletal stub. I'll work on it down the line; other contributors welcome. MastCell Talk 21:49, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

RfC on Orthomolecular medicine

See Talk:Orthomolecular_medicine#Request for comment on the attribution of criticism in the lead, all comments welcome. Tim Vickers (talk) 17:35, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

List of eponymous medical signs has many redlinks

List of eponymous medical signs has many redlinks, some of which will probably be easy to fix. -- Writtenonsand (talk) 16:44, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Created one. Thanks for the heads up. Antelantalk 06:24, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Category: Spoken Wikipedia requests

Lets get more medicine articles "spoken." Please tag articles with this category. Tkjazzer (talk) 21:32, 22 March 2008 (UTC)


Wikipedia fairly often uses the word allopathic to describe physicians who are not osteopaths or homeopaths. This usage sounds a little dated to me. I think most MDs these days would describe their practice as evidence based instead of allopathic. However, DOs presumably would use the same term. Do you think it would be reasonable, when we are distinguishing between DOs and MDs, to refer to osteopathic physicians and non-osteopathic physicians as a somewhat more accurate alternative to osteopathic physicians and allopathic physicians? Or do you think that would be interpreted as DOs on the one hand, and MDs and homeopaths on the other? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:27, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

"Allopathic" is not an NPOV term. Ideally it should only be used in contrast with "homeopathic", but it needs clarification for the reader on first use to avoid misunderstanding. JFW | T@lk 06:51, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree -- but what alternative? If Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine produces osteopathic physicians, then what does University of Michigan Medical School produce? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:34, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Hmm. "Physicians-that-don't-need-any-qualifiers-in-front-of-their-name"? JFW | T@lk 17:40, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Sure... right up until we say that "osteopathic physicians and physicians" do something, and someone removes the "and physicians" part because it looks redundant. Or, to give another example, how would you change this sentence, from Osteopathic medicine in the United States:
"Physicians who graduate from osteopathic medical schools are sometimes known as osteopathic physicians and hold a doctorate in osteopathic medicine (D.O.), while holders of a similar, but far more common M.D. degree are known as allopathic physicians."
Making a distinction here is appropriate, but labeling an MD as allopathic is not entirely accurate. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:33, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Instead of "osteopathic physicians and physicians", how about just "physicians" (the term being inclusive of both) or "all physicians" (the term being explicitly inclusive of both)? Also, the sentence you pointed out can be reworded as follows: "Graduates of M.D. and D.O. granting institutions are known as physicians; those with a D.O. are sometimes known as osteopathic physicians." This is probably more true (i.e., they're probably more commonly called "physicians" than "osteopathic physicians") and it's simpler, but conveys the one real distinction in nomenclature. What do you think? Antelan talk 18:39, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Er... since the article is about osteopaths, why not just say: "Physicians who graduate from osteopathic medical schools are sometimes known as osteopathic physicians and hold a doctorate in osteopathic medicine (D.O.)." Period. Cuts the knot quite nicely. MastCell Talk 18:43, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Current Usage of Allopathic in the United States

It is true that M.D.s and D.O.s would refer to themselves as evidence based. However, they are certain situations related to physician education, training, and licensure where the term "allopathic" is commonly used in the United States to make a distinction. In the U.S., the term is used to make a distinction not only between two types of degrees (MD & DO), but two types of exams (COMLEX & USMLE), two types of residency programs (ACGME & AOA), two matching programs (NRMP & NMS), two medical traditions/cultures, etc.

Bryan Hopping T 20:02, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

This is a scattered exuberance of sources that, by happenstance, use the term 'allopathic' to describe MDs. None of these is a major policy document of the relevant societies or institutions embracing the term, none addresses the concerns raised above about the POV of the term, and none change the fact that the term "allopathic" is jargon in exceedingly uncommon usage in the general public. "Allopathic" physicians make up the vast majority of physicians in the United States; however, nobody searches for "allopathic" - whereas many search for "osteopathic" as you can see here. Even one of the sources above, the venerable New York Times, clarifies for its reader what it means when it says allopathic: "Nationwide, there are 125 allopathic (traditional medicine) medical schools," because it is not otherwise obvious or common. There are plenty of better synonyms that more accurately describe the medicine practiced by MDs. Antelantalk 22:00, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Antelan, I am not, nor are most of those sources suggest that the term "allopathic" describes the "type of medicine practiced by M.D.s" Much in the same way that the names of the "Democratic" and "Republican" parties do not describe the political platforms those parties promote. "Osteopathic" and "allopathic" medicine are names, not descriptions, for a collection of agencies, examinations, processes, traditions, and licensing requirements. They are largely overlapping and interrelated. Though this is confusing, we can't avoid explaining this distinction within discussions about physician education and training in the United States. Bryan Hopping T 22:35, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Bryan, I'm not saying that the term isn't used: I'm saying that because its use offends some of the members of a group that it purports to describe, I'd like to find an appropriate and less potentially offensive term per the normal rules of WP:ID. I freely admit that I'm stumped and that a less objectionable term may not be as helpful as the traditional one in some instances. I do not have any plans for wholesale replacement. But I'd at least like to be able to offer an alternative when it's appropriate. Do you have any ideas what that alternative might be? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:06, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I sincerely don't believe there is an alternative. In the United States, those who object to its usage are an extreme minority. Their point of view should be included, but the objections of a small number of people should not preclude us from properly explaining a set of concepts related to physician education and training. Within U.S. medicine, the word is in free circulation. Again, as the sources show, the word does not describe a "type of medicine," rather it refers to a network of related agencies, processes, education and training traditions and licensing requirements.Bryan Hopping T 22:35, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
When you say that you don't believe there is an alternative, does this mean you've looked for alternatives and not found them? There are always alternatives, and I can suggest some for specific phrases if you'd like: MD-granting schools instead of allopathic schools; all physicians instead of allopathic and osteopathic physicians. MastCell had a nice formulation above, for example. Antelantalk 01:16, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Antelan, to answer your first question, I sincerely don't believe there is an equivalent alternative, in certain circumstances. In response to your second suggestion, whereas MastCell's suggestion may be perfectly reasonable in some circumstances, in others it may not reflect the sources used to verify the information. My concern in that we are not representing the sources used to verify the article, even though they may otherwise meet the criteria of WP:RS. To clarify, consider a statement from a source such as the following: "There are two types of physicians: M.D.—Doctor of Medicine—and D.O.—Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. M.D.s also are known as allopathic physicians." How else would I present this information without using the term "allopathic?" In essence, you can't present an alternative, you can only decide to omit a piece of information, namely that M.D.s (in the U.S) are also known as allopathic physicians. Is this piece of information not worthy of inclusion in Wikipedia? Does it not meet WP:NOTE? If not, why?Bryan Hopping T 02:10, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
But no such things as D.O. recognised in UK, and hence "doctors" here would take offense at being labelled as allopathic as if this implies some equal standing with some other type of medicine. Clear example of naming in conflict would be with abortion topics, where each side is called by their preferred term (hence "pro-life" not "anti-abortionists", and "pro-choice" not "abortionist"). Given that English Wikipedia generally is relavent to what would be seen as Western Civilisation (or whatever the current PC term is to include Australia/NZ/S.Africa etc), then the medicine generally practised is "conventional medicine" or "western medicine" and this can be an assumed reasonable assumption (likewise we do not prefix topics in the manner of "human pneumonia", "human pharyngitis" - the assumption is that "pneumonia" and "pharyngitis" will apply to humans given that this is the only target audience).
Now if US has DOs, which just quaintly mystifies us across the pond, then sure explain what US system is and make mention of how some refer to conventional medicine as allopathic, but then do not the use "allopathic medicine" further in articles. David Ruben Talk 04:36, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
David Ruben, I entirely agree with your concern, and support that no article should label any UK doctor as "allopathic." Points to consider, in the United States, both osteopathic and allopathic physicians practice Western, conventional, evidence-based medicine. Again, the words "osteopathic" and "allopathic" refer to a sets of organizations, licensure policies, accredidation bodies, and medical schools. Both of these parallel, largely overlapping systems lead to the same place - the legal right to practice as a conventional, medical physician or surgeon. This parallelism does not exist in other countries, and indeed is mostly unknown outside of the physician community, even within the United States. I am suggesting that the word "allopathic" should only appear in articles explicitly related to US physician training, the legal governance of US physician training, the associations that regulate and accredit US physician education and training. Roughly, these articles are included in Template:Physician education and training in the United States. Nearly every article here in exclusively US-specific, or includes a US specific section. It is only in these limited cases that the allopathic/osteopathic distinction needs to be made. (Additional note, US-trained D.O.s are eligible to be licensed as physicians in the UK. While, UK-trained D.O.s are not eligible to be physicians in the UK. Confusing as hell!)Bryan Hopping T 18:30, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
This sounds like a reasonable compromise. Is this an issue where we should work towards and explicitly state a consensus, or is a general consensus already clear and present in the posts above? Antelantalk 11:59, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't know. I think the term is overused (just like I think that "doctor" is overused when the writer means "physician"), but I'm not sure that an official pronouncement will be nearly as effective as quietly making appropriate changes whenever we happen to come across them. Assuming that we expect no particular opposition, then perhaps we'll leave it as a "mental note to self" and skip the overhead involved in an official pronouncement in (e.g.) MEDMOS that using "allopathic" to refer to modern medical practice (as opposed to US training or historical works) is deprecated. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:14, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Concur with this general principle that using "allopathic" as a substitute term for "conventional" medicine should be discouraged. Its usage within US physician training/education/licensing articles, articles about US medical degrees, or history of medicine articles should not be impaired by this principle. Bryan Hopping T 19:23, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
For the reasons I and others have raised above (obscurity and POV being chief among them), we should strive for using preferred phrasing (not allopathic) even in US-centric articles. David Ruben's point about calling groups by their preferred nomenclature should be well noted, and allopathic is certainly not preferred by MDs in the US. DOs may embrace the term osteopathic physician, but that does not mean that MDs embrace the term allopathic physician, though that would be a nice parallel. We should not sacrifice common usage and POV for parallelism. In this case, common usage and NPOV align in a way that should make us hesitant to use the term more than a few times outside of the Allopathic medicine main article. Certainly there are a handful of US medical training articles that should use the term to clarify, but the term is overused on Wikipedia even in this arena. Antelantalk 20:00, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

<RI> We seem to be coming to a consensus that is, in general, all pejorative in meaning. Allopathic is just not a word I've ever heard (except in the links provided by Bryan) in standard medical terminology. Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles is not called Cedars-Sinai Allopathic Hospital. "Western Medicine" implies that "Eastern Medicine" is either better or worse. "Conventional medicine" implies that physicians are so conservative, we'd never try sticking a small balloon in an occluded coronary artery to open it up. One of my favorite quotes is below:

Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, states that "...since many alternative remedies have recently found their way into the medical mainstream [there] cannot be two kinds of medicine - conventional and alternative. There is only medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not, medicine that works and medicine that may or may not work. Once a treatment has been tested rigorously, it no longer matters whether it was considered alternative at the outset. If it is found to be reasonably safe and effective, it will be accepted."[1]

There is really only medicine, and the other stuff that is untested by rigorous scientific analysis. I object to using any term that defines someone who accepts the scientific method along with sound reasoning and logic as anything but a scientist or a physician. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 20:06, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree, there is only one medicine. Your quote is a good one, and reminds me of a similar quote regarding osteopathic medicine
My point of view is that medicine is not purely science. It is practiced by people, who do what people do, behave unscientifically. They form sects, and groups, and clubs, and insist that they are doing things better than some other group. The situation with allopathic, osteopathic, homeopathic, chiropractic, etc is reminiscent to me of the kind of sectarianism one sees in religion. Groups form around some charismatic individual. They organize around some collective dogma. And eventually they splinter over some internal policy debate. (Eastern orthodox, Catholics, Lutheran, Baptists, Southern Baptists, National Baptists, etc.) Of course, each group insists they are the one true church.
Although allopathic medicine seems to be the group that is the most committed to the scientific method, it too has its biases, that often promote its brand of practices over others.
What do people think about a change in the noun following these adjectives? This would mean accepting phrases like "the allopathic profession" or "osteopathic associations," but avoiding "allopathic medicine" or "osteopathic medicine"? This would necessitate changing the names of several articles. Bryan Hopping T 22:54, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I and many other editors categorically reject the idea of allopathic as modifier to medicine. Moreover, medicine is an applied science, meaning it does not do scientific research but makes use of the products, technologies and ideas from science (and there are medical practitioners that engage in basic scientific research). Medicine is medicine, based on scientific principles. if a physician chooses to use leaches, Ginkgo bilboa, or a pharmaceutical product that underwent 15 years of testing before approval to treat any disease, they should do it with with scientific methods and reasoning. If chanting to the moon causes a cure, because someone was going to be cure irrespective of that chanting, then that's not science. Allopathy is absolutely pejorative. I do not agree with your one-man push to get this word used everywhere. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 19:09, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I am a medical doctor and had never heard the term until I read this thread, although I am in Australia. I can't see a use for it on wikipedia. PS: don't forget glucosamine as another example...Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:25, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Again, I'd be the first one to agree that medicine is medicine, period. There's really no such thing as osteopathic or allopathic medicine, since they both practice scientific, evidence-based medicine. This is why I have offered the suggestion multiple times that "allopathic" be used to describe a branch of the U.S. medical profession, and not a "type of medicine." I'd say this is rather generous, since everyone knows that the term allopathic is widely accepted by physicians in the United States, so much so that even critics of this usage note how common it has become at U.S. medical schools.[3][4] You can have a personal objection to this word, of course, but you can't deny the reality of its usage in American English. Suggesting that I am arguing against a scientific approach to medicine is a Straw man of your creation that in no way represents my point of view or my edit history. Bryan Hopping T 19:28, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

"Although policy makers, social scientists, and others often refer to the MD profession as allopathic, this term is actually an historical artifact that does not reflect any body of beliefs shared by the members of this profession. (emphasis added) Norman Gevitz, PhD. [[2]] I hope that those unfamiliar with this term will read the well-sources statements regarding the term "allopathic," written by experts on the topic. Bryan Hopping T 20:15, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

You do realize that just because one academic claims it, without any numbers to back him up, we do not have to parrot it as if it were true. "[]... often refer to the MD profession as allopathic" is a claim for which I'd like to see numbers, not persistent references to the one article that backs your position. Antelantalk 12:31, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Parrot an academic? Persistent references to one article? Hmmmm . . . that's not really fair. We would be wise to use Mr Gevitz as a source, given that he's an expert on the topic. I would like to point out, that it's hard to source the fact that a commonly used word is commonly used, whether that word be "osteopathic," "eosinophilic" or "outrageous." I assume many would find the numerous examples of its usage to be enough evidence that it is commonly used. Nevertheless, these are the 3 sources I've found:
  • ""Allopathic medicine" has been revived and come into common use in recent years as a synonym for mainstream medicine, and many MDs today accept the designation uncomplainingly." (Whorton, James. Counterculture Healing: A Brief History of Alternative Medicine in America. 4 Nov 2003. WGBH Educational Foundation)
  • "Despite its ongoing use in unconventional medical circles, the term allopathy did not enter the general lexicon of modern American medical schools until recently. . . . there is a clear trend of increased use of the term among mainstream physicians. . . . The increasing popularity of allopathy today is likely related to the surge of interest in complementary and alternative medical therapies. . . . The term has even caught on with our physicians in training." (Gundling, KE. When Did I Become an "Allopath"? Arch Intern Med. 1998;158:2185-2186).
  • "Although policy makers, social scientists, and others often refer to the MD profession as allopathic (Gevitz, Norman PhD. Center or Periphery? The Future of Osteopathic Principles and Practices J Am Osteopathic Assoc. Vol 106 No 3 March 2006. p 121)
Bryan Hopping T 14:08, 24 March 2008 (UTC)


Does anyone here think that the canonical average reader, on seeing the unadorned term "physicians," would assume that it includes homeopaths (many of whom styled themselves as physicians in past centuries)? Assume please that the article is not related to homeopathy or history, but instead is something like pneumonia or antibiotics. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:52, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

In the US, I would say that the answer to that question would be a "no." However, I understand that in other parts of the world, particularly in India, homeopathy has a broader following. I don't know if there would be more likelihood of confusion in that setting. Antelantalk 05:24, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't. But then again, I'm a physician, and Homeopathy is no different than other pseudoscientific thoughts like Creation science. Oh yeah, we're talking about the lay reader. We don't give undue weight to unverified fringe theories in most medical articles. If someone thought it might include homeopaths, the text would give no weight to those theories, so I guess it doesn't matter. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 20:09, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

So it might be reasonable, then, to change a sentence about "osteopathic and allopathic physicians" to "all physicians." (I don't have any particular examples in mind: I just want a detailed enough grasp now that I don't need to bring this up over and over again.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:34, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

By law, Osteopathic and Medical doctors are just physicians. They are licensed to prescribe drugs, they can get internships, residencies and fellowships in almost any field of practice; they're one in the same. Allopathic is a strange term to use to describe one subset of physicians. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 08:12, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Commentary on Allopathic

Quackademic medicine, that is the failure of US medical schools to promote treatments that are based on science and to "allow" the teaching of treatments that have no basis in science and rigorous clinical study has allowed Allopathy to be used as a term to define real medicine vs woo. In this world of political correctness, a word invented by Hahnemann (the founder of Homeopathy) to describe medicine during the early 1800's. And honestly, Hahnemann probably understood medicine better than his "allopathic" contemporaries. But that word is historical in meaning. The Oxford English Dictionary clearly states that the word was in typical use in the 1840's, but now is archaic.

The political correctness of certain medical institutions, let's say the American Medical Association, in an attempt to be all things to all people, has allowed allopathy to enter the vernacular. However, I did an unscientific poll of physicians at a recent poker game (with cigars being smoked and scotch whiskey flowing in abundance, and I lost some cash)--no one ever heard of themselves being referred to as "allopaths" or the such. In fact, to quote one of them--oh never mind, someone will just whine about the crass language.

My point is that should we use a term to distinguish medical doctors that appears to be used in popular culture to separate so-called, evidence based medicine (a term of such pejorative nature, that it makes me laugh) from the wonderful beauty of so-called Complementary or Alternative medicine (sarcasm intended)? I find it insulting to read things like "Western Medicine", because most Japanese, Indian and Chinese doctors practice the same medicine that we do in this country (I love urban myths that somehow Indian physicians utilize a special elixir to treat cardiovascular disease). I find it insulting that I'm called a "skeptic" about Homeopathy, when I contend, I'm not a skeptic, that the Homeopathic promoters are skeptical of science.

Yes, I'm reading the dozens of weblinks and citations from Mr. Hopping that utilize allopathy to describe non-CAM medicine. But I could pull literally a million articles that don't use that word. It's difficult to prove a negative, but the fact is that the vast weight of literature does not call real medicine (or let's use that pejorative evidence-based) allopathy. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 21:47, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm not suggesting that "allopathic" describes a type of medicine or medical philosophy (though some would disagree with me), in the sense that "evidence-based" does. I'm suggesting that there are two clubs within the US-physician profession, the allopathic and the osteopathic. Of course the OED says the term is archaic, in the UK & Australia, these two camps do not exist. In the UK and Australia, there are not two type of physicians, while in the United States, both allopathic and osteopathic physicians are granted the right to prescribe drugs and perform surgery - by U.S. law. [3][4] If you're offended by the use of the term "Western medicine," than I'm not surprised you would find this discussion offensive as well, it is of course your prerogative. However, I adduce from this offense that your response to this topic is deeply personal, highly biased, and charged with emotion. If you truly object to laws that recognize two types of fully licensed medical doctors in United States, allopathic and osteopathic, write to your senator, but don't pretend like I am somehow inventing and single-handedly promoting some profane untruth. Quite honestly, I would sign a petition to end this silly division, and recognize all physicians as practicing one medicine. But until that time comes, I can't bury my head in the sand.Bryan Hopping T 04:31, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Damn, I wish you told me that you are a psychiatrist too. I didn't know that my response was "deeply personal, highly biased, and charged with emotion." I love personal attacks on me. Thanks. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 04:45, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Dude, it doesn't take a psychiatrist. Read your post. You said you were insulted by the term "Western medicine". That's somewhat over the top.Bryan Hopping T 05:09, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

If "osteopathic" were uncommonly used and distasteful, we'd avoid it when possible; why not so with "allopathic"?

Allopathic is a term that has met with resistance here and on other parts of Wikipedia by the very people that are being labeled with it. The term is uncommon and has never been accepted by the bulk of the people that it purports to label. It is virtually unknown to the general public. However, when we say that "allopathic" is not the best word for the job here, Hopping throws up a wall of references that happen to use the term (they aren't even about the term, they just use it, making them just as much an exercise in original research as are the opinions given here). And I have never seen "allopathic" used in isolation - it is only used, and even then uncommonly, when discussing MDs in the same breath as DOs or alternative medicine practitioners. As Atwood says, To label modern medicine as Western in the postmodern “group narrative” sense — witness Dr. Katz's use of the terms “native preferences” and “allopathic philosophy” — is akin to calling what Einstein did “Jewish physics.” [5] I'm concerned here; let's say the tables were turned, and if someone told the me that osteopathic was pejorative but had more common, widely accepted synonyms, I wouldn't find a wall of sources that incidentally use the term; I would work to integrate this functional alternative into articles. We don't call minority medical/sexual/racial/etc. groups by names that they find distasteful; why should we do so with the majority group of physicians? I am sincerely confused here. Antelantalk 01:49, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Actually, many people hate the term osteopathic, mostly D.O.s. They just want to go on practicing medicine. Such people, like myself, likewise despise the American Osteopathic Association for their constant POV push to promote the wonders of some osteopathic philosophy that they feel simply doesn't exist. But you and I can no more wave our magic wands and erase this distinction, or re-work it so it is more "tasteful" than I can heal a sick patient with OMM. Not only do I understand your frustration, in ways that I wonder if you appreciate, I share it. Yet, I value telling the truth, the whole truth, in plain language that reflects the reality of the laws and establishments that govern this province. We cannot tell some selected, manipulated version of the story, its intellectually dishonest. This is my opinion of course, and you are free disagree. I have looked and considered this issue a great deal, and I want to proceed in a reasonable way, in general and with you in particular. Bryan Hopping T 05:05, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I think that is plainly wrong on its face. Ahh, and now you've renamed and article to include the term "allopathic physicians," possibly the one turn of phrase less accepted than "allopathic medicine". You just can't leave it alone, can you? Antelantalk 12:27, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I gathered from your post above that "allopathic medicine" was more odious to you than "allopathic physician." So I changed it to the lesser offense. After all, while it may be ridiculous to say "Jewish physics," I think you'd have to agree that to say Einstein was a "Jewish physicist" or that he was a "physicist who was Jewish" is significantly less offensive. Apparently, that's not the case? What exactly do you want me to "leave alone"? I'm still operating under the assumption that the goal is to make these articles better. Bryan Hopping T 13:37, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Bryan, I think you are needlessly promoting an American-centric use of the word allopathic. I've chatted up a few non-USA people about this, and I have come to the conclusion that while American MDs tend to ignore it, many European physicians are actually insulted by being described as allopaths. In Germany, for example, allopathic treatments are actually classically allopathic (that is, they are things like dramatic dilutions of onion juice to treat dry eyes) and they are sold by the same stores that sell homeopathic treatments. Allopaths there are very much considered "alternative" instead of "conventional."

I understand the utility of using this word when discussing uniquely American issues in professional training (for example). However, an article on (for example) MDs is not about uniquely American perspectives (or, if it is, somebody needs to slap a {{globalize/US}} tag on it while that's being fixed). Based on what I have learned in the last week, I no more support the use allopathic to describe conventional medicine worldwide(!) than I would support someone replacing the word gay with male homosexual all over the encyclopedia. There are times and places, certainly, but overall I think we need to minimize its use. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:08, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Here's my view overall:

Summary: There are a range of opinions, with only Bryan Hopping really supporting the use of allopathic, and many people, including all non-Americans, strongly or weakly opposed. Positions appear to have calcified and are unlikely to change by further discussion.

Conclusion: Given that further discussion will not produce total agreement, I'm sure that my time would be much better spent by working on any of the twelve thousand identified medicine project (or tagging the thousands of unidentified ones) than continuing a discussion that affects maybe a couple of dozen. I suspect that many members have reached a similar conclusion.

Request: Can we just stop this discussion? (I mean really stop, not just move it to other talk pages.) I hadn't expected such verbose or time-consuming discussions. If we stop now, I won't entirely regret having asked the question in the first place.

Suggestion: If you feel particularly strongly (either way) on this issue, perhaps you would consider the advantages of working on other articles for a while. This is purely a suggestion and entirely your own choice, but I, for one, don't really want the WPMED project to get a reputation as the people who bicker about obscure terminology while critical articles like Infection and Medication are seriously incomplete. I can also recommend 110 requests for expert assistance to your attention.

Thank you all for your input. Now let's get back to work, okay? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:12, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I completely agree that the phrases "allopathic physician" and "osteopathic physician" should only be used exclusively in U.S.-specific contexts that discuss physician training and education, never in general medicine articles. I have tried to emphasize this repeatedly. Outside of an article that discusses the unique aspects of physician training in the United States, the term should not be used. In the case of the specific example you give, an article about "MDs," the terms allopathic and osteopathic should only appear in a section devoted exclusively to the unique features of M.D.s in the United States. Bryan Hopping T 23:49, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, and then, very rarely. The term is not in frequent use, it is still insulting to American MDs, and it has not been adopted by any American institution (there is no allopathic institution), and no discussion here is going to change that. So sure, we'll use it sparingly when talking about the US. Antelantalk 00:05, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Disagree that many American MD would consider this insulting. But . . . OK, great! Let's do it! So is this considered sparingly? Doctor_of_Medicine#United_States_and_Canada Bryan Hopping T 00:12, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Censorship tags on medicine articles

Censorship tags have been showing up on medical article talkpages, specifically those related to MDs. Can we get some eyes on these articles for an evaluation of the validity and utility of these tags? Antelantalk 05:57, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I placed them because relevant information is being deleted. I understand that some people find this information offensive, but if it reliable sourced, it should be included. Since the controversy over this has been going on for years now, I thought that censorship tag would be helpful. Bryan Hopping T 07:09, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, you say that this is an ongoing controversy, so are you sure you weren't going for template:controversial ? Antelantalk 07:30, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I should clarify, my concerns is that the ongoing controversy in these articles has lead to a pattern of editing that amounts to censorship. Bryan Hopping T 16:36, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

If anyone else is watching this page, I'd appreciate some input. If the rest of WP:Med doesn't think this is a good place to raise this concern, suggest an alternative and I'll move it there. Antelantalk 17:37, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I think {{censor}} is inappropriate and that {{round in circles}} might be more pointful. Beyond that, I'm not sure I trust my temper to reply right now. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:34, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to revert those tags. It's insulting to editors who are participating in a regular manner to those discussion pages. If there is a problem with an editor deleting material, many experienced editors like myself revert the deletion, post a warning to the offending user's talk page, and if it persists, ask for the assistance of an admin. Hopping, you need to chill out, seriously. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 21:51, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Is this about the allopathic thing discussed above, or is there another issue which you feel is being censored? MastCell Talk 05:29, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Ah, after reading the immediately preceding thread I think I've answered my own question. MastCell Talk 05:30, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

And the tag has been readded, with the following summary: "Sweet! A censorship tag was censored. Is that a WP first?" Shall we restate Occam's razor to "always presume a conspiracy unless there is proof to the contrary?" I'm going to take some time off of editing that article, because apparently now I just get reverted. Antelantalk 12:40, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I think these content disputes should go through RfC, particularly in light of the pattern of tendentious editing. --Una Smith (talk) 02:06, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

COI issues

I don't have time to follow up, editor inserting what appears to be his own research in several medical articles: Mark Pharoah (talk · contribs). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:11, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I took a look at the medicine-related stuff (but not artificial intelligence stuff). It's all been reverted through normal editor patrols. I left a friendly COI notice on his talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:02, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Discussion regarding discussions

Censorship tags have been showing up on medical article talkpages, specifically those related to MDs. Can we get some eyes on these articles for an evaluation of the validity and utility of these tags? They seem to strike a harsh tone atop some otherwise rather mundane talkpages. Antelantalk 05:57, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

You wouldn't happen to know why they were placed do you?Bryan Hopping T 06:05, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
If I knew, I wouldn't be asking. Antelantalk 06:20, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Feigning ignorance of what you seem to know might not the most productive way to proceed. To say I haven't made "without any attempt to engage in discussion beforehand" seems inaccurate in light of our our lengthy conversations which you chose to abandon without explanation and then delete. Bryan Hopping T 06:36, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Let me be clear: I'm not interested in having a personal discussion with you here. Since I apparently have to defend myself, however, I'll address those 2 links you've provided: (1) I refactored my previous comment because it made assumptions based on limited information. There are other issues going on; for example, one editor to allopathic medicine raised concerns that a section he was adding kept getting reverted. That would be unrelated to our discussion, but still censorship. So I decided that instead of begging the question, I'd skip the question entirely and ask for independent eyes. (2) The second point on which I apparently have to defend myself: you are referring to a conversation that ended in August of 2007. Yes, I abruptly ended our conversation, and all of my editing activities on Wikipedia, on that date, not resuming until 2 months later. Now, I'm asking for outside eyes to determine if those tags are necessary and appropriate. If you placed them there in response to the allopathic conversation on this page, or in response to something I've done, then then I'd recommend that you remove the tags yourself and proceed through appropriate channels. Antelantalk 06:46, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I would say it ending March 2008, when you deleted it. Bryan Hopping T 06:52, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Since this has turned into something entirely personal, I'd prefer to continue this elsewhere (or drop it, whichever you prefer). I'd suggest removing this from the WP:MED page and placing it on one of our talkpages, since it's not really relevant to anyone else but us, but I'll leave that up to you to decide. Antelantalk 07:07, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't consider this personal. Many people have been involved in this discussion. One that I think is important to WPMED in general. If my tone and approach is too personal, I apologize. Bryan Hopping T 07:16, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, you can imagine how I felt that telling me that I've feigned ignorance, repeatedly calling me out on a discussion that ended when I stopped editing for 2 months for personal reasons, and asking implication-laden rhetorical questions "you wouldn't happen to know why they were placed do you?" could come off as personal. So what have you decided: keep this here, remove it, or move it to a personal talk page? Antelantalk 07:22, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Keep here, would be my preference. I didn't know you left wikipedia for personal reasons. Bryan Hopping T 07:25, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's a catch-all reason for leaving, of course. Hey, if you consider a conversation to be ongoing after 7 months of complete inactivity, you need to ditch your friends! This will be my last reply here, so if you want to continue, post on my or your talk page. Antelantalk 07:29, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Understood. Bryan Hopping T 07:31, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Personally targeted remarks have no place on this talk page, nor on article talk pages. Let's stick to discussing article content. --Una Smith (talk) 15:26, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

prod: Emergency Medical Care

Emergency Medical Care has been proposed for deletion. If you have an opinion on this subject, please read the proposer's explanation in the prod notice. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:06, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

It's not medical, its paramedical, it's written in emotive terms by someone who seems to have some kind of academic inferiority complex, and it doesn't add anything to existing EMS and paramedical articles. Let it go. Mattopaedia (talk) 03:28, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
As the person who proposed the deletion, I agree completely. First, I think mentioning emergency medical care without even considering emergency physicians is blatantly false (if emergency medical physicians don't provide emergency medical care, then what do they do again?). Second, and the biggest for me, is that only one or two of the references even use the term "Emergency Medical Care." One of those references even separates medical care from extraction (a salient part of the article). Finally, as have been pointed out, it really adds nothing. The only way I think the article might be improved is by making it into a disambiguation page linking to emergency medicine (hospital based emergency care) and Emergency Medical System (prehospital emergency care). Outside of that it's just a waste of bandwidth. JPINFV (talk) 04:45, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I am fully prepared to see the article go to the great bit bucket in the sky. It just seemed slightly less POV to point interested parties at the cogent rationale for its deletion in the prod notice than to rejoice in advance over the possibility of a sensible outcome. My primary goal was to give interested editors a chance to move any useful sources from the EMC article to the EMS article cluster, if it needs any additional sources. But any further discussions should probably take place on the article's talk page, not here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:20, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Coley's Toxins

Coley's Toxins was deleted from Unproven cancer therapy recently. I expect that the editor who removed it was influenced by the current state of the CT article, which presents a remarkably favorable view of its proven effectiveness. Anyone who's inclined to be neutral and verifiable today might be able to have some fun in CT. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:43, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

It's an interesting topic - Coley was one of the first to systematically look at what we would call adoptive immunotherapy today. The article had a bit of the usual FDA-bashing, but it wasn't too bad (though every time Medical Hypotheses is cited, the encyclopedia dies a little). There are a couple of biotech companies looking into producing and testing the stuff, though the recent published data has been negative and the promising results seem to remain unpublished. The proposed rationales summarize a decade or two of hot topics in cancer research: It works through TNF! No, it's antiangiogenic! Still, there is at least some ongoing interest in the toxins themselves, and certainly their role as an early form of cancer immunotherapy is relevant. MastCell Talk 22:30, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Da Costa's syndrome

Any chance of a bit of medical input? There's a dispute, but too few editors to form a proper consensus, about the general thrust of the article (which appears to me to contain WP:SYNTH by an editor with a distinct conflict of interest) and the article name / classification of the disorder (see WP:COIN#Da Costa's syndrome and Talk:Da Costa's syndrome). Gordonofcartoon (talk) 12:17, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Watching for Psuedoscience/Fringe Theories

Is there a way to request help from Project members when an article is overrun by fringe theories? Has the project considered creating a list of articles prone to hijacking?

I've recently run into this with the Sunscreen article. For about five months, the article was hijacked by a person who feels that all sunscreens cause cancer. I found it a couple of weeks ago and added the disputed tag. After a while it got enough attention that we've been able to revert this back to a version from October.

My experience left me with two thoughts:

  • I wish there had been a tag way for me to add this to the Med Project's collaboration list, highlighting it as a hijacked/fringe article. (I didn't feel the peer review was the right place to add the item.)
  • I wish there was a way for the Project to track articles likely to be highjacked.

Working together, project members could watch these pages and help keep the articles in balance. If multiple project members helped with reverts/edits, the hijackers would get discouraged or get blocked for 3rr.

Is there a way to do this inside the project? Thanks! Wshallwshall (talk) 13:32, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

When you encounter a problem, you can post here or at WP:FTN. It's hard to track articles "likely to be hijacked" since it can happen anywhere :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:46, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
re Sunscreen - editor blocked for 31hr for breach of 3RR and gross edit warring.David Ruben Talk 17:25, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Here's one way to look for such articles, which occurred to me when glancing at the external links on sunscreen: search for articles which link to This has a sensitivity of 48% but a specificity of 93% for identifying articles which violate WP:WEIGHT and WP:FRINGE. MastCell Talk 17:35, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

WPMED: Articles of unclear notability


there are currently 16 articles in the scope of this project which are tagged with notability concerns. I have listed them here. (Note: this listing is based on a database snapshot of 12 March 2008 and may be slightly outdated.)

I would encourage members of this project to have a look at these articles, and see whether independent sources can be added, whether the articles can be merged into an article of larger scope, or possibly be deleted. Any help in cleaning up this backlog is appreciated. For further information, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Notability.

If you have any questions, please leave a message on the Notability project page or on my personal talk page. (I'm not watching this page however.) Thanks! --B. Wolterding (talk) 16:24, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Notability list

I cleaned up some of this today. Here's what's left on the list to be reviewed:

I don't know that we're actually the project with the most articles on the page, but we're at least very close. It would be great if we could reduce our list to as close to zero as possible in the next day or two. Please delete items from this list as you get them done. Thanks, WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:56, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I'll look at the CIBMTR page in the near future - it's definitely a notable organization, a source of registry data upon which many publications on HCT are based as well as a coordinator of multicenter clinical trials in the field. I think I can expand it a bit and make it more useful. MastCell Talk 05:27, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I've worked a little on the UK-based Medical Protection Society - being the world's largest Medical Defense Organisation has to be notable. That said, very difficult to locate refs other than their own claims of their work loads (lots of refs in reports of litigation against specific doctors who were represented by the MPS, but these of course give no idea of overall activities). David Ruben Talk 05:48, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your help. I've just looked into ACA and am proposing it for deletion. Once you filter out all of the references to the first organization that used that name, the new (and unrelated) organization's activities to date appear to be: (1) starting a very small website and (2) creating a very small Wikipedia article about itself. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:56, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

WhatamIdoing, have you come across any useful information on the previous organisation that could make it notable enough for its own article? In that case what we need is a rewrite. I totally agree that the present Googlepages site is a poor excuse for a web presence, and I am awaiting the first issue of Acta Esoterica with baited breath. The whole thing looks like a bunch of residents having some fun between a run of cholecystectomies. JFW | T@lk 10:48, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
It's almost like anesthesiology is boring or something... :) MastCell Talk 17:11, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Easily accessible sources are remarkably limited (of course, it did shut down around 1970). The ACA turns up in CVs for older physicians like this and this, including the president of the ASA, but generally it seems to have been replaced by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. I think that pp 240-241 of this book (ISBN 0520210093) might be the most useful source: It claims that the original ACA was a (temporary) spinoff of the ASA. The page could become a redirect to the ASA page, with a sentence about its quarter-century existence added to the ASA page, although I'm still slightly inclined to {{prod}}. I don't think that an article on its own is justified. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:16, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm not feeling the notability for DAMP right now. It seems to be related to ADHD issues. I don't suppose that we have any Swedish psychiatrists handy? WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:09, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Not any more than Swedish Chefs - börk börk börk. JFW | T@lk 05:38, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Me neither. This looks like a case of jargon making an extremely fine distinction that has not been widely adopted. I would merge into / redirect to an article on ADHD. --Una Smith (talk) 15:29, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
I've left notes at ADHD and Christopher Gillberg about possible merges/approaches to dealing with the notability concerns. All opinions are welcome on the DAMP talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:30, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Status: Assuming all the prods go through, we're down to three:

  • DAMP is looking for outside opinions. No responses. I may merge it to ADHD.
  • CIBMTR is on MastCell's list for later this week.
  • PM&R Residency Programs in the United States needs some attention. Does anyone know anything about these residency programs? Do we have similar lists for other residency programs? (I didn't see any, but I didn't look far.) I really don't think it needs much -- maybe a sentence about how many people are trained in these programs each year, and a link to some agency that organizes or oversees such things.

Thanks for your help, WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:01, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

An editor at Andrew Cappuccino has contested the proposed deletion. I think AfD is in that article's future. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:32, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

I have started the AfD process for the Andrew Cappuccino article. As it's the first time I've nominated an article for deletion using this process, and I'm by no means certain that I got all the steps right, please leave a note on my talk page if I've screwed up something. Thanks, WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:41, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

User:DGG, whom I consider to be an expert on notability, favors keeping the Andrew Cappuccino article, so it will probably be kept. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:59, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Viruses and diseases

I know there's a conversation somewhere (I just couldn't find it), about how to separate the article about the disease from the article about the virus. I think that's logically easy to do, but we really need to come to a consensus about chickenpox, herpes zoster and varicella zoster virus. One article is GA, Herpes zoster. Chickenpox is a bit of a mess. VZV only slightly less so. Really, Herpes zoster and Chickenpox can be combined, because they're just different (albeit significantly different) manifestations of the same viral infection from VZV. Any ideas? OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 22:11, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

I would suggest keeping these separate, as they're clinically very different syndromes. Obviously there should be a clear interlinkage between the articles, but I think there's more than enough material to create featured-quality articles on both shingles and chickenpox. The virus article should remain separate, of course. MastCell Talk 22:48, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
I guess we need to match the edits between all three. I guess I agree, although my lazy self would think that merging the article would be more fun. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 22:49, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Just had an edit conflict, this is/was my response:
OM; yes, I would like to see Chickenpox, Varicella zoster virus and herpes zoster combined because it would be easier, (for me at least), to write. The article could be structured along the lines of; you get chickenpox, (unless you have been fortunate enough to have been vaccinated), then you get Shingles, (if you are old or have been unfortunate and have not had the vaccine or a booster); and at the end of the article; the virology, i.e. it's a herpes virus, it reactivates, it exhibits latency, it has one host, many genes, (for a virus), replicates in the cytoplasm etc., etc., the latter being for the benefit of the medical/university students. Graham. --GrahamColmTalk 23:12, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

P.S. these infections are not syndromes. --GrahamColmTalk 23:12, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Tell that to the physician/male model above re: Syndromes. Anyways, I like your idea, because really, we're wasting space using all three. It's one story. But I guess, because we're so effing bureaucratic here at Wikipedia, that'll take a month to get WP:MEDMOS in line. A month to go through 2 RfC's and maybe an ArbComm ruling. And then MC will revert out of spite. So, despite my pessimism, how do we proceed? If there's one article to test it on, it's this one. But I'm also thinking about HIV/AIDS. AIDS is pretty good (but going through a FAR), but HIV is rather pathetic. They should be combined, especially with all those strange fringe theories out there about AIDS. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 23:24, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

(outdent)Place merge tags on all three and discuss here. Each can have its own article if the whole (combined) shebang hits 80 kb or so. However, what would it be called? The virus name I guess...Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:31, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

PS: I didn't think we were doing too badly on Herpes Zoster, sprinkling a smidgen of virus and chickenpox stuff here and there throughout the article and straddling the line between over and underinclusion rather well finally.....Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:34, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

In the case of VZV/chickenpox/shingles, I don't care about one article or three articles. But, if there are three articles, then I want to prevent each article from repeating the content of the other two articles. Given that all three articles tend to accumulate peripheral content more relevant to the others, I lean toward merging them. --Una Smith (talk) 00:59, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
It is impossible to avoid any overlap at all. The trick is supplying enough to keep it relevant yet not effusive. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:08, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Although I'm new to the scene, I've been staring at the Zoster article for the last few days. The line between the two is not clear to me, so for example no mention is made of the Varicella vaccine (reasonably so) but varicella is discussed in the epidemiology section in a little detail. If maintaining separation is difficult, it suggests to me that a merger would be a good idea. On the other hand, Zoster is a GA but Chickenpox is a work in progress, so it would be a shame to dilute something that is currently a well-constructed piece of writing.Sisyphus (talk) 03:28, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
You must be looking looking at a different article than I, because the zoster article has a whole paragraph on vaccines in the Prevention section. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 03:32, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
True, but that is predominantly a discussion about Zoster vaccination, and not about Varicella vaccination to prevent chickenpox. It's another good example of the difficulty separating the two topics. The first paragraph discusses Zoster vaccination, and then there is a transition to discussing briefly the varicella vaccination in the second paragraph without explicitly stating the difference or mentioning the name of the Varicella vaccine.Sisyphus (talk) 05:14, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Firstly: Chickenpox/Chicken pox and Herpes zoster/Shingles each get over 3000 hits a day. This makes it important to try out radical restructuring in a sandbox, which also lets folk get an idea of the result.

I don't really understand the logic in merging chickenpox and shingles. There's no one obvious name for the combined article. Look at all the links in the InfoBox and the ICD classifications: these are handled separately by everyone else. Although it is fairly common knowledge that they have the same viral cause, they are quite separate diseases and have their own symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathophysiology, prognosis, epidemiology and history. Looking at Herpes zoster, I can't find much text that I'd want to read in an article on chickenpox. Sure, I'd want to learn that shingles is a reactivation of the latent virus but I'll go to that article if I want to read about it in detail.

Merging the articles will exchange one problem (duplication) with another (separation). You will spend your time clarifying which symptoms, treatment, etc. applies to which disease. So I agree with MastCell: there's enough material for two FAs and the virus needs to remain separate and will probably remain short. I'm slightly concerned there may be a desire to merge material so that it is big enough to be an FA. If keeping the material separate means you end up with two GAs and a happier reader, then that's better IMO. Colin°Talk 08:47, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

There're actually four articles, when you include postherpetic neuralgia. Having had two of the three diseases caused by the virus (and being Wikipedia's poster boy for one of them), I can say that I think the articles are best left separate. The symptoms are quite distinct, as are the treatment options. Unnaturally combining them all into one article would be clumsy. Gentgeen (talk) 08:07, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, more I think about it, the more I am happy as having them 3 separate entities. A bit of overlap doesn't worry me at all. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 10:13, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, Colin's last point convinced me.--GrahamColmTalk 18:22, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm with Colin. If you've got shingles, you don't want to be reading about chickenpox symptoms. If your kid has chickenpox, you don't want to be reading about shingles. Also, reader fatigue becomes a significant issue with really long articles. Separate makes more sense to me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:03, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
It's important to listen to good advice. I'm convinced now, too. Thanks.Sisyphus (talk) 00:19, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Add Varicella vaccine to the cluster. --Una Smith (talk) 01:55, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Erm....yeah? Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:19, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I guess this thread is getting long, if readers are losing track. There are at least 5 articles to keep track of, to coordinate content: Varicella zoster virus, Chickenpox, Herpes zoster, Postherpetic neuralgia, and Varicella vaccine. -- (talk) 04:01, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry I asked. Never mind, OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 04:37, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Herpes zoster=40kb, Chickenpox=15kb (but could eventually be similar size to HZ I'd hazard a guess), Varicella zoster virus=5kb (I might consider making the vaccine a subsection of this article), Postherpetic neuralgia = 15kb (I'd estimate it could get a little bigger, but not a huge amount is left out here), Varicella vaccine=18kb. None are really stubby and all are a good reading size, and I wouldn't be desparate to merge them as a large 60kb article can be unwieldy to read...Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 05:00, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
In Herpes zoster, much of the sections on prevention, epidemiology, and history may belong in other articles in this cluster. I would merge the vaccine article into the virus article. --Una Smith (talk) 05:47, 30 March 2008 (UTC)


Related Articles
Varicella zoster virus
Chicken pox
Pox party
Herpes zoster
Postherpetic neuralgia
Varicella vaccine
Would it be helpful to slap an infobox-style header onto these articles? Something like this, perhaps about halfway down the page?
(Someone who's better at these things might be able to make subsections like "virus" and "complications" if desired.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:58, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes! And I've found yet another article to add to it. --Una Smith (talk) 06:21, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
So shall we paste it in to these articles in its current form, or should it become a template that gets inserted? (Do you expect the contents to change very often?) WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:52, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Orangemarlin, don't be sorry you asked. It is now apparent that you've got a featured topic to aim for :-) Colin°Talk 11:11, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Graham has asked previously what to do with pathogen-disease article groups. My immediate reaction was that if a pathogen has only one associated disease, it makes sense to merge the articles, while if there are multiple associated clinical syndromes the articles would be better off remaining separate.

I would therefore prefer to keep the virology data in varicella zoster virus, with chicken pox and herpes zoster dealing purely with the different manifestations. Pox party needs to merged with chicken pox. I think postherpetic neuralgia would function well as a standalone, but could also be merged with the HZ article. Varicella vaccine ought to remain standalone, because it needs to cover prevention of both chickenpox and herpes zoster. JFW | T@lk 13:41, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

I am persuaded re keeping Chicken pox and Herpes zoster, but leaning more toward merging Varicella vaccine into Varicella zoster virus. That is because vaccine efficacy has a lot to do with what strains of the virus are circulating in a given population. --Una Smith (talk) 14:04, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd recommend that the vaccine article remain unmerged. The articles are of interest to different audiences, and keeping them separate will do more to promote article maturity. --Arcadian (talk) 14:44, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Pox party is not specific to chickenpox; historically it was used to control smallpox...except there was the confounding problem of distinguishing between chickenpox and smallpox. --Una Smith (talk) 15:07, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

What subspecialty is everyone anyway?

To all medicos, who is what around here anyway. I am a psychiatrist (I am asking as I was musing on which conditions who could do which overlaps with an expert from another field...) Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 07:59, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Might not be a bad idea to set up a semi-official list of who specializes in what, for the purposes of asking them for help in the future. There may be privacy/other concerns with this. (Side note: I'm a med student, so no sub/specialization yet). Antelantalk 08:05, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
The Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Participants page has a cell for editors to insert their qualification (if any) and one for their special interests. Hmm, looks like the last review of active/inactive participants was six months ago. Time to trim the list. When I last did this, I moved names to an inactive table. I'm tempted to just remove all the inactive participants based on some threshold. If the point of the list is to have a set of names you can ask for help, I'd say that anyone who hasn't edited in the last three months isn't worth being on the list. So I propose removing names if there have been no edits in 2008. Are people happy with that? Colin°Talk 11:05, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
This already exists at Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Participants, in the third column participants can choose to provide their "Medical qualification" or self-identify as an interested layperson. Does this not surfice ? Casliber & Antelan feel free to add yourselves to the list :-) David Ruben Talk 11:14, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Doh! My bad. I'll stick meself there pronto..Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 12:35, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, I have a complex background. Medical school. United States Navy. Naval Intelligence. Cardiology. Business. I make money off of from physicians! OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 05:06, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Invitations to the project

The current {{MedWelcome}} uses 2 sub-templates for registered/anon editors, however we should also have a nice invitation note for well established wikipedians (such as for Casliber & Antelan above) who might be interested in joining us (they do not need the overall welcome to wikipedia with its pointers to the 5 pillars etc) - I've set this up as {{MedInvitation}} and this allows a consistant message to be easily maintained across now 3 possible displayed notes. Just use {{subst:MedInvitation}} on an editor's talk page to generate the following :-) David Ruben Talk 11:44, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Rod of asclepius.png

If you are interested in medicine-related themes, you may want to check out the Medicine Portal.
If you are interested in contributing more to medical related articles you may want to join WikiProject Medicine (signup here).

NNT & statin

I'm having difficulty with a user who insists on pushing a particular edit on number needed to treat and statin. I have expressed my reservations on the user's talkpage as well as on Talk:Number needed to treat, but I would appreciate others' views. JFW | T@lk 16:31, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I've had a look at the attempted addition and your comments. I agree with you completely. A careful discussion of NNT in both primary prevention and secondary prevention, with cited reliable sources, would be an interesting addition though. Your responses to the User seemed reasonable and appropriate.Sisyphus (talk) 17:29, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Una Smith (talk · contribs) felt that I was overheating, so I will leave it to others to see what they think of this situation. Generally, I find newspaper/magazine articles very poor sources of information on such complex issues; they tend to oversimplify matters to an "expert vs expert" level, which is entertaining but has little to do with evidence-based medicine. In this case, the NNT=100 claim is not actually supported with a direct reference to the data on which it is based; it also presumes that everyone taking atorvastatin for primary prevention has a risk of 3%, which is not necessarily correct. JFW | T@lk 17:37, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Let's unify the discussion at NNT. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:38, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Boring Stuff - merging some stubs

I've just put up templates for merging Fecal Peritonitis into Peritonitis, and Fecal vomiting into Vomiting. Enough with the poo jokes already....Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 05:50, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Agree, way too many cr*ppy stubs. JFW | T@lk
Did you take that missing "a" and put it back in "faecal" where it belongs? :) MastCell Talk 18:30, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
It was intended as a wildcard, as in good old MS-DOS *.*. But I support the use of aextra a's whaeraever possible, such as in neutropaenia (where it doesn't belong, see Talk:Neutropaenia). JFW | T@lk 19:21, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
  • aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah....Only took me about a few reads to figure out JFW's joke (ROFL)...Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:40, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

JFW | T@lk 20:35, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Extra eyes due to CNN reports is running a series on autism this week, so there has been in influx of issues sourced to the popular media, as well as three new red-linked users at Son-Rise in a week. Extra eyes at autism, Autism Speaks, Son-Rise, Autism therapies and Sociological and cultural aspects of autism for the next few weeks would be appreciated. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:37, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Ugh. Yeah, I read those. The comments section of the CNN articles is a parade of ignorance and conspiracy theories... I put all the vaccine controversy articles on my watchlist. — Scientizzle 21:44, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Possible vandalism to articles

The articles Testosterone and Hypogonadism have some dubious edits inserted 21st and 22nd October. The user was given a string of warnings for vandalism and then blocked at this time. However, the edits to these articles are half plausible and I do not have the knowledge to sort this out. The claim that testosterone is not associated with increased aggression is what got me looking at this after it came up on the reference desk. The users other edits are fairly obvious vandalism but I am reluctant to undo these ones as conceivably (but statistically unlikely), it is a different person using the same IP. SpinningSpark 09:16, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Am not an authority in the field of Hypogonadism, but after reviewing the User: changes I know enough to make certain comments. First, the first change appears to be generally correct, it is complex to define. Then the connections made here - - including to obesity, type II diabetes and even to increased mortality, appear correct - specifically there was a well-known and eye-opening study produced last year which proved the increased mortality - you could probably find some kind of cite if you want to link it; he probably should have done so. I know nothing about it increasing the risk of AD; nor do I know anything about estradiol, etc as a complicating factor. I did not look at the Testosterone article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Io io editor (talkcontribs) 17:49, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Anyone going to look at the testosterone article, which was the main concern of this post originally? SpinningSpark 22:34, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Template styles and color schemes

The choice of styles and color schemes used in various medicine templates appears to be a choice of the original author, with no apparent rationale or consistency. For example, review of just a few disease templates with "Pathology" in the template title shows a number of schemes in use, thus:



Template:Circulatory system pathology

titlestyle = background:Silver
groupstyle = background:MistyRose; 

Template:Endocrine pathology

titlestyle = background:Silver
groupstyle = background:#efefef; 

Template:Eye pathology

titlestyle = background:Silver
groupstyle = background-color: LightYellow

Template:Metabolic pathology

titlestyle = background:Silver

Template:Nutritional pathology

titlestyle = background:Silver

Template:Oral pathology

titlestyle = background:Silver
groupstyle = background:#fd6;

Template:Respiratory pathology

titlestyle = background:Silver
groupstyle = background:MistyRose; 
belowstyle = font-variant:italic

I have no idea how templates work, but I see no documentation that suggests color schemes can be automated (as can color schemes of taxoboxes). Lack of documentation implies (to me, at least) that maintaining a standard color scheme will require manual work on the part of whoever wishes to take on the effort. Absent useful guidelines or general consensus, I suggest that we adopt the convention of using the default styles and color schemes for all medicinal templates.

Regards —G716 <T·C> 04:01, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

For over a century, in medical contexts, there has been a consensus that yellow has meant nervous system, red has meant the cardiovascular system, green has meant lymph, and green has meant lymph. (If you don't believe me, open up any anatomy textbook.) For over two years, silver has been used as the color for the disease/disorder infobox. I support additional documentation, but the absence of documentation does not mean that the colors are arbitrary. --Arcadian (talk) 04:17, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Agree entirely, but your comments do not seem (to me) to support the colors used in the examples above. I agree that the use of silver in the background of the titles is consistent across most templates I have seen. I look forward to others' opinions and comments. Regards—G716 <T·C> 04:41, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I'd say standardization and guidance of some sort is a good idea, it's frustrating to build templates without guidance. This might be something to seek input on at WP:WPT. I'd also like to keep in mind the guidance at Wikipedia:Colours#Using_colours_in_articles.
If I'm reading this correctly, then the suggestion would be (stolen from {{Taxobox colour scheme}} and with a couple extras thrown in for fun):

color scheme

Nervous system #FFFF00
Circulatory system #800000
Lymphatic system #008000
Disease #808080
Gastrointestinal system #B87333
Symptoms and signs #C0C0C0

Looks like the colour palatte of a play-do starter kit, but a starting point. I don't do so well with the abstract so this'll help at least me concentrate. Is this a discussion just about headers? What about the group backgrounds, a lighter shade of the header perhaps? I realize the cinnabar for CV isn't a great shade, but I couldn't read it when I tried straight up red or maroon. And I refuse to budge on the GI system being brown :P

Disease infoboxes can't be different shades depending on system affected 'cause of multisystemic diseases I guess. I'm not a doctor, so I don't know how much help I can be in providing a comprehensive list of what systems need to be covered. I am quite willing to up my edit count with gruntwork though :) Is there a page with a comprehensive set of all medical/anatomical templates? Should this be spammed over to vetrinary medicine as well? WLU (talk) 14:12, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Skin + sunlight = confusion

There's a talk page remark about merging photoallergy and photodermatitis. Does anyone know whether these are really the same thing? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:16, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

The talk is here. --Una Smith (talk) 02:33, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

I would have used the term photosensitivity myself and sunburn secondary to it rather than photodermatitis, - common secondary to chlorpromazine. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:11, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

There is no such thing as allergy to any electromagnetic source. It needs to be merged away. Abnormal reactions to any extraneous source are usually captured under the "dustbin term" sensitivity. JFW | T@lk 11:39, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Just searched PubMed. "Sunlight allergy" yields no results, but it turns out "photoallergy" refers to the distinct phenomenon of chemical compounds being altered by light exposure, to which the body then develops type 1 hypersensitivity. Even the articles I found use the term allergy for contact dermatitis and serum sickness-like reactions, which strictly speaking are not allergies! How very confusing. Where is our Wiki-dermatologist? JFW | T@lk 12:01, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
JFW's right come to think of it - it should all be filed under photosensitivity and the result if it is....easy sunburn, which is not really dermatitis in the way most people would understand it as such..Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:13, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Categories (yawn)

This guy has been playing havoc with your categories, and those of other areas. Can someone with gizmos sort them out? About 85% of his April 1st changes look wrong to me (seems to be a multiple address?). I have done a load, starting at the bottom, mostly. Thanks. Johnbod (talk) 01:37, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

oh my, Alzheimer's article

This mess came up on my backlinks to Tourette syndrome. It needs to move to a real article title; don't know what that would be. And needs cleanup. Luv that typo in the title. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:07, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Apparently it was a move from Therapies under investigation for Alzheimer's disease, so an admin might want to get it back there. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:11, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I have just explained on the Talk page how the page evolved from an earlier discussion. Its only a week old, and more will be added. Looking forward to your content. (ps: why did you post this here, and not on talk page?)....io_editor (talk) 01:09, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I posted it here because 1) as far as I know, moving an article back to its original name, over a redirect, requires an admin and 2) I don't know what the correct name should be, while people here would know, and 3) I don't have time to engage with the article. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:25, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I am getting really frustrated with Io io editor (talk · contribs). He asked to do this in the main article, and I don't believe there was any consensus to do so. This article is a mess. And that spelling error is amusing, except I spend hours fixing his edits which are filled with grammatical, usage and spelling errors. I know we want editors to help out, but it's difficult when an editor won't take advice that could match their knowledge with building fine articles through utilization of WP:MOS and WP:MEDMOS. There is another editor who has asked me for help when he edits, because his English isn't great. We makes a few edits, and I try to figure out what he's saying and clean it up. He apologizes constantly to me. This is a great teamwork that builds an article, because he knows more about this field than I would. io editor should take that tack with the article. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 01:28, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
The consensus is now shown on the talk page. Edits / Grammar / etc? Doesn't this, fixing yours and yours also, paint an opposite story? And what about this?....io_editor (talk) 01:09, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Mature response. My point has been made. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 05:14, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
My point would be that elementary content errors like this cast doubt on your authority to pontificate on AD topics....io_editor (talk) 13:28, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
To my infinite surprise, you didnt really understand here the term "Cause, not Result". You have now twice "inversely-corrected" this. I fixed it once again - suggest you leave it alone.io_editor (talk) 20:03, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
No surprises these days -- or at least no pleasant surprises. Sandy, thanks for the heads-up. OM, thanks for your continued efforts; I know it's frustrating.
If it's not already repaired, I'd suggest that a patient person with a talent for leading formally polite discussions see whether we can get a consensus on a short title, like "Alzheimer's disease (research)". I'm not interested in being involved with that article right now, so someone else will need to volunteer. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:39, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
To tackle the matter of least importance, Disease-modifying therapies under investigation for Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment is the only other title I can think of. In a marginally related note, I've taken natalizumab off my watchlist. Fvasconcellos (t·c) 01:48, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree that would a more appropriate title, given the content and focus. You may have been familiar with the earlier discussion then. Given your use of "least", is there a the matter of "more" importance?....io_editor (talk) 01:09, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I was thinking "Clinical research on Alzheimer's disease." Right now it reads like a pharmaceutical hit list. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 03:30, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
What is meant by "a pharmaceutical hit list"? Should there be something other than pharmaceuticals on this page?....io_editor (talk) 01:22, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
OrangeMarlin, if you do not enjoy copyediting, how about leaving it for another editor to do? --Una Smith (talk) 01:51, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I use my daily patience quota on autism-related articles, Tourette's guy and coprolalia-related vandalism, and socks and trolls at WP:FAC. I know my limits, and I'm at them lately :-) Can't wade in to a new one right now; Son-Rise was my deed for the day, and I think it's going to take a lot more. It does get tiring, but I think it's important to know not to engage when you can't engage with enough patience to maintain civility. I can peek in there every now and then, but an admin has to get it to a reasonable article title over the redirect. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:53, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
SG, that's why a good bottle of Scotch next to the computer while editing these articles is necessary. I'm trying to focus on AIDS and Alzheimers, while battling a few racists in three articles. I wonder if I put Race and intelligence within this project that the science and psychiatry will be cleaned up. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 03:29, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

On a very much related note, I've asked (i.e., unfairly burdened) MastCell for help with natalizumab, but in fairness I should have asked here instead. Io-io has (re)-placed a POV tag on the article, although everyone who has weighed in thus far has not agreed that there are POV issues with the article. According to edits above, we've lost Fvasconcellos on that article, so is anyone else willing to take a look and see if the tag should remain or be removed? Antelantalk 07:21, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Antelan, please explain the REAL underlying issue, and start from the beginning, descrbing how my very first edit on Wiki quickly led to your [wp:COI] accusation on my talk page, a position you admit you still hold?...io_editor (talk) 01:22, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
You haven't lost me on the article altogether—I've just gone far enough in discussing an issue in which consensus has already been reached on the strength and quality of arguments presented and considering the basis of the objections of those who disagree. There is still plenty to be improved on other, even related, fronts; maybe I'll come back to the article in a couple of days :) Fvasconcellos (t·c) 15:00, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Help needed with Action potential

Hi all,

You might be unaware, but action potential is due to be delisted as a Featured Article very soon, possibly as early as this Saturday, April 5th. A small band of non-scientists is working to save it; perhaps some of you scientists like to help out? The article is still very rough and patchy, as you'll see, but your contributions would be very welcome. Referencing is especially needed; thank you! :) Willow (talk) 22:17, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

So, I'm not too proud to beg. Are you really going to let a knitter, a mathematician, and two lit-crit humanists walk away with the glory of doing what you scientists could not? ;) There are a few well-defined sections over there you could just fill in, without too much work. How about the pacemaker potential or the neuromuscular junction? But don't forget the references! :) Willow (talk) 22:24, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Quilters unite! Seriously, there is a huge amount of work to be done here, so if non scientists can and want to repair articles on science topics, that is just fine. Carry on. Now, if you can point out specific items needing sources, we can provide more help with less effort. --Una Smith (talk) 20:21, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

what is the best way to request an article?

what is the best way to request an article? Do you guys actually check the WP requested articles for medicine? Is that link anywhere on this project page? How do you monitor the medicine requested articles? (talk) 20:14, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

...and the subject is? GrahamColmTalk 20:38, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requested articles/Applied arts and sciences/Medicine is a huge list with a rather large number of odd concepts that are best turned into redirects if at all. Obviously if you think an article needs creating, have yourself a merry Wikipedia username, get autoconfirmed (takes a few days) and then you can create it yourself! JFW | T@lk 21:09, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Odd concepts indeed. Someone requested "Group Masturbation". ;-D Axl (talk) 09:52, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Har har har LOL hehehehe

I could not believe my eyes when I discovered that we were hosting medical slang. Absolutely brilliant! Highly quotable out of earshot of senior colleagues! JFW | T@lk 21:41, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, we have Category:Medical slang, but the only entry is GOMER. It's too bad external sourcing is necessary. The examples on medical slang are largely British; I think I can dig up some Americanisms. For example, Melvin Konner's book Becoming a Doctor has a fairly large, if dated, glossary. MastCell Talk 22:42, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Fantastic! :-D Axl (talk) 09:37, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Is there a nephrologist in the house?

While answering a question at the Reference Desk, it became clear that our acute renal failure article could use some attention from a nephrologist. Any takers? - Nunh-huh 20:24, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not a nephrologist, but I think that the article looks pretty good. StuRat is becoming confused with diabetes insipidus. Axl (talk) 09:41, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
I have asked Nephron to comment. Axl (talk) 09:48, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

For anyone who hasn't noticed, there is WP:NEPHRO, a quiet but hard-working small WikiProject with some resident nephrologists. I think this probably young user is worried about his free water clearance, which should be just fine. JFW | T@lk 23:33, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Oh no, that was the next question! JFW | T@lk 23:41, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

An edit war on benzo articles

Can we have some informed and experienced WP editors look in on the trouble at various benzo articles. Specifically Chlordiazepoxide, Clobazam, Diazepam, Nitrazepam (locked), Temazepam. An anon (talk) has started to take exception to the content added to those articles (over a long period) by Literaturegeek (talk · contribs) (who also edited under a number of other usernames, now retired). There are problems with Literaturegeek's edits in that although they appear sourced to medical journals it is fairly clear he has only read the abstract (some are also foreign language) and they are mostly basic science, animal studies, case reports, etc. The use of solid review articles or medical/pharmacy books would have helped. Therefore a lot of the material is of quite doubtful value though he clearly means well and there's some useful material too. The anon has been dealing this by removing it. Literaturegeek has responded badly, with numerous personal attacks. Recently Thegoodson (talk · contribs) has become involved as he's seen his edits removed too. Involved admins include Fvasconcellos (talk · contribs) and Jossi (talk · contribs). It would be very useful if WP Med editors could help explain to all sides (a) how to behave on wikipedia and (b) how to source and select material for medical articles. I have tried to explain some of this to Literaturegeek but he appears too wound-up by the whole situation to take notice. Colin°Talk 13:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

At a glance (most, not all, pages), I believe it is the Anon who knows what he is talking about. Good luck to him. All of these articles repeat 30-40 lines from a UK drug-safety committee, in some cases ahead of, and dwarking, the Indications section. I added the following 2 entries to the Chlordiazepoxide talk page, which explain my overall view:
  • "I dont know much about this drug, but those vast amounts of deleted data here are not clinical data but laboratory data - always trumped in the clinic. Also, I think the Anon is also right about the wp:undue on the abuse issue, why do the findings of that UK committee take up half the page? If the risk was that huge, it would not be available on either continent, especially as there are other sedative choices."io_editor (talk) 16:21, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • "Also, I had to blink to find the Indications section, which is all of 2 sentences, unsupported. Should an encylopedia not focus on the Medical Science (need, intent, benefit) i.e. the "Use" profile, and make the Abuse paradigm secondary?"io_editor (talk) 16:55, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

That looks like a good candidate for formal mediation, and better sooner than later. -Una Smith (talk) 17:11, 5 April 2008 (UTC)


Should Prometrium be re-directed to progesterone, or something else? Is it materially different? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:00, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Abdominal pain

Anyone wants to join in reorganising this article? --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 12:32, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Proposed MEDMOS change

Please weigh in on a proposed MEDMOS change of section headings. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:50, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Lymphomatoid granulomatosis

Given the news story about about organ recipient deaths due to undiagnosed lymphoma (probably Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, from the sounds of it), I expect our NHL-related articles to get a little more activity for the next day or two. If someone would like to write something real at Lymphomatoid granulomatosis, I'd appreciate it. (You'll see what I mean if you click on it.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:54, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Waldenström's is excesssively rare in teenagers. It is very hard to guess which type it was; one can only guess how immunocompromised it had made the original donor. Surely there is insufficient time to do immunophenotyping on organ biopsies of all organ donors?
I have done an urgent nonsensectomy at the lymphomatoid granulomatosis article. JFW | T@lk 16:55, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Blood-brain barrier related articles

I've been reviewing the articles related to blood-brain barrier (BBB) over the last month or so. The main article is pretty good, but the small stub on glia limitans was fairly vague as well as containing a major misconception about the location of the BBB until just the previous edit. I felt that the article could benefit from some expansion to provide further details on structure and function as well as to further emphasize the relation to the BBB. In any case, since this is my first attempt at a major edit, I would appreciate any critiques anyone would care to offer. Graypath (talk) 15:48, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Diberri's script

Anyone know why this isn't working any more? Is there a back-up?

--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 18:11, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Dave uses a fairly rubbish hosting service. It will probably come back on air shortly. Perhaps we should make a business case for him to mirror his script on JFW | T@lk 19:53, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Savant syndrome

Any admin available to deal with the IP removing tags from Savant syndrome? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:45, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

 Done Reverted, stern user talkpage message left. JFW | T@lk 20:01, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, much appreciated. That article isn't heading good directions :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:02, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Stern warning didn't work :-) [6] SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:13, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
hmmmm. Aetoss (talk · contribs) continues to add his own Youtube video[7] on Kim Peek to Kim Peek, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, while a Utah Educational Network IP in Salt Lake City alternately removes the tags from Savant syndrome. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:25, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Still at it. I've never submitted a checkuser before, so I guess I'll have to figure out how after/if I get through my morning duties (oh, it's 3 pm already, sigh). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:44, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Ongoing: Started an ANI report. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:54, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Terminology of pain

Hi - anyone here just great with language?

  1. How about a easy quick definition of "physical pain"? (Unfortunately it needs to agree with the IASP definition too)
  2. Or the history of the term "physiological pain"? (Nociception we have but I remember another "??? pain" that was equivalent to "physiological pain" but didnt include the (?)CNS - any takers?)
  3. Or how to, in one, (hopefully accurate and non-misleading sentence that in no way violates IASP definition), disambiguate Pain and Suffering?
  4. Or a source for taxonomy of pain in the 20th centuary covering physiology, psychology, neurology and general medicine?

Editing Pain ain't easy - the language is just a little convoluted, with multiple, discipline specific, non-intuitive definitions. (Will post this request on the psychology project page too). SmithBlue (talk) 03:23, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Harris Flush urgent cleanup....

OK, this is not in my field....anyone up for a cleanup? Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 09:31, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm having some verifiability questions, although there are supportive ghits. JFW | T@lk 10:02, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

GI bleed

How does a GI bleed occur? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:24, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Gastrointestinal bleeding will tell you more.
This page is really just about the content of the medical articles rather than a forum to ask questions. In future, you might prefer the reference desk for science, where volunteers will try to assist. JFW | T@lk 12:29, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Hip dysplasia / Hip dysplasia (human)

Hi, someone put a box at the bottom of Hip dysplasia to link it to the "musculoskeletal system". That link should go on the Hip dysplasia (human) page. The hip dysplasia page is the vet version. The text about "congenital" should go out though, that view is outdated for the most part, because it's only part of the picture. I don't know if there is a "developmental diseases" list, but that should be where the link should go. (In case s.o. is fixing to have a conniption: The page isn't all done yet. I'm putting in stuff whenever I have time. Still unsure about some of the references I'd like to use, since I had some trouble with a bot that freaked me out.) Please feel free to leave suggestions on the talk for that page. Lisa4edit—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:17, 12 April 2008 (UTC)


Guys, at the recommendation of Fvasconcellos (talk · contribs) I have nominated coeliac disease for the main page for May 15. May is coeliac disease awareness month, but I couldn't get it listed for May 1. Please offer your opinions on TFAR. JFW | T@lk 11:45, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Never mind, apparently there is a maximum number of requests for consideration at any given time. Silly rule. I'll announce here when the vote is actually open. JFW | T@lk 14:18, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Jfd, if you add to Fv's note on Raul654 (talk · contribs)'s talk page, and remind him as the month approaches, that will be sufficient; he has a month to work it in, he will certainly aim to do so (medicine is underrepresented), and the TFA page isn't working well and is about to be revamped again. Just wait about a week (Raul is busy and has a lot to think about), and add a reminder to Fv's note at Raul's page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:12, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Sandy. JFW | T@lk 21:21, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
The main thing is that Raul is busy; remind him as May approaches, and watch the archive from the main page so you can see when he's getting close to scheduling May. Right now, he's only up to April 15. No need to bother him til the time is right, as it will just get lost in the shuffle. He will try his best to comply. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:23, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Editors requested on cervical cap article

I never expected to find myself in an irreconcilable dispute over a rare medical device. But this has indeed occurred at cervical cap, starting with whether to merge Lea's shield into the article (under the same name or a new article title), continuing onto whether devices still available for sale should be covered in the article, with further issues still to be brought up on the talk page such as content of the effectiveness and external links sections.

The dispute is currently myself and a single anonymous editor, and we unfortunately seem to be talking past each other on the discussion page, with neither really understanding the other's point of view after over a week of discussion. I'm hoping to get two or three other editors to weigh in on these multiple issues and develop a consensus-based article. LyrlTalk C 00:07, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

The "devices" to which Lyrl is referring are several brands of cervical cap which were first produced between the 1920s and 1940s. For these brands, neither current manufacturer information nor current legal approval documents have been found. The only place that either of us has found these "devices still available for sale" are on the websites Lyrl mentioned: they are what I consider to be questionable internet sites which appear to sell medical devices and medication. It is possible that the web pages are out of date, or that they are selling a stock of devices which are no longer in production (or possibly no longer even legal for sale). Lyrl not produced any proof that the cervical cap manufacturers are still in existence, or that it is currently legal to sell or buy these devices. In my own searches for this information, I was unable to find anything. Therefore, I find Lyrl's description of these devices as "available for sale" to be incredibly misleading, as it remains unproven whether it is even legal to do so. (talk) 03:33, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
It is definitely illegal to sell heroin in the United States. Would you say that a parallel statement, heroin is available for sale, is inaccurate? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:47, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Prenatal development

I tried to link to this article in hopes of supplementing info on the page I'm working on and found this one to be rather disappointing. Particularly when it comes to the musculoskeletal system. Quote:"More muscle tissue and bones have developed, and the bones become harder." I think if a couple of people pitch in we can do better. There has to be a middle ground between the "unintelligible" the previous contributor bemoaned and the "woman's health" level. I know the schedule for medical projects is full. But since this is the starting point for so many other areas, I'd vote to put it on the list for some TLC. Lisa4edit —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:21, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Medication Administration Record

Hello. Wikipedia:Unreferenced articles needs your help. Medication Administration Record has been lacking references since June, 2006. Could you please take a minute out of your busy day to help add sources? Thanks for your time. Viriditas (talk) 12:57, 12 April 2008 (UTC)


"L.S.A." stands for as a qualification of some sort, and it seems related to medical studies. It has been suggested by User:Mr.Z-man on IRC that it could be "Licensed Surgical Assistant", which sounds very likely given the context. Here are two examples of it in use: [8] and [9]. Both are British people. Is this license still in use? John Vandenberg (chat) 03:04, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

It looks like it is actually Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries. John Vandenberg (chat) 04:54, 13 April 2008 (UTC)


Is is possible to link to two different eMedicine articles in the infobox? Glioblastoma multiforme has one link in the infobox and a different one in the External links section. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:36, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

 Done - Use the eMedicine_mult parameter, assigning to it one or more {{eMedicine2|discipline|topic-number}} values. Hence this edit for the Glioblastoma multiforme article :-) David Ruben Talk 03:29, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, David. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:37, 13 April 2008 (UTC)


The article on triglycerides was really good. I just got the results of a recent blooed test that showed my triglycerides were at 350. High according to the sheet I got in the mail but I had no understanding of what this meant, the risks and what I could do about it. Cholesterol is very mainstream but little is said about triglcerides.

But, there were a few sections that I really could not understand.

Like this one:

"Unlike Japan, it is generally admitted that most populations in western countries are lacking omega-3 nutritional sources. As a result ingesting of excessively high levels of saturated or monounsaturated fatty acids in order to assimilate enough omega-6 fatty acids is common. The ideal ratio ω_6/ω_3 = 5 is almost never met and is most often too high (about 12 in France, up to 80 in the caucasian population of the US and Canada), and unused high levels of saturated or monounsaturated fatty acids accumulate in the body in the form of triglycerides that do not participate in the needed syntheses in the body."

This sentence in particular is difficult to understand: "As a result ingesting of excessively high levels of saturated or monounsaturated fatty acids in order to assimilate enough omega-6 fatty acids is common. " This makes it sound as though people are aware that they do not have enough omega-3 in their diets and make a conscious effort to eat more monosaurated fatty acids to make up for it - this makes no sense.

Could someone with some background in this field please help in clarifying this?

As for the rest of the section, I have taken a crack at rewriting it baed on what I *think* the author means, but would like someone who knows what they are doing to have a look - if it looks correct, perhaps post it?

"Poeple in most Western countries do not get enough omega-3 in their diets, and as a result end up with high levels of saturated or monounsaturated fatty acids in their blood as this is needed to assimilate enough omega-6 fatty acids. The ideal ratio would be to divide omega-6 by the omega-3 and arrive at 5, but the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is usually much higher than that, as high as 12 in France, and up to 80 among the Caucasian population of the US and Canada. As a result, unused high levels of saturated or monounsaturated fatty acids accumulate in the body in the form of triglycerides."

Thanks for your help with this, from a layperson.

Nealmcgrath (talk) 03:55, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Wow, that was a pretty ugly paragraph - thanks for picking up on it. I believe your clarification is correct, though I need to do a bit more research. Thanks for looking at it and mentioning it here. Anyone else more up on their lipids than me? MastCell Talk 04:36, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
I would consult the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) system. Here is the most recent DRI report that addresses triglycerides. --Una Smith (talk) 05:02, 14 April 2008 (UTC)


If anyone else agrees, please remove this humorous advise about steatorrhea from the orlistat article:

Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it's probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work.

Smiley.png --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 16:50, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

I kept that in because it's from Glaxo, cited verbatim from their the alli website... If no one objects, I'll do it myself, but be warned—accusations of being Big Pharma's minions will fly :) Fvasconcellos (t·c) 16:56, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
It's well references but quite ridiculous. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 20:09, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
It needs rephrasing. Obviously, with steatorrhoea being an established side-effect, we should say: "The manufacturer strongly recommends wearing dark underwear and having spare clothes available until it is clear whether the patient will experience steatorrhoea." JFW | T@lk 21:34, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Gaak! That article could be a candidate FA for April Fools Day 2009... --Una Smith (talk) 04:45, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

An inside source informed me that the disclaimer was included to protect GlaxoSmithKline from lawsuits asserting "permanent discolouration of undergarments". ;-) Axl (talk) 11:13, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

External links

I deleted an external link at Talk:Delayed sleep phase syndrome yesterday. It was listed as:

  • Niteowl mailing list: an active support group for people with DSPS, and their families, since 1995.

I don't really feel like arguing with the editors there: they seem to be deciding that the rules about not linking to internet discussion groups don't actually apply to, say, internet discussion groups. If anyone else feels like handling that, it's all yours. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:37, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

I put in my tuppence worth on the talk page about that and a couple other ELs. Also had go woking up inconsitant markup style for refs. David Ruben Talk 12:00, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Support groups

Can any of the UKers tell me what support group means to you? I've seen several UK-based charities named The (insert disease name here) Support Group, and they seem to be more than just a support group. Am I missing something? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:37, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

I think that it refers to institutions that provide informational/social advice to people with a specific illness. They are often linked to charities. These charities often include research, although this is not required for a "support group". Also, not all "medical" charities necessarily provide informational/social support to patients. Axl (talk) 10:53, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Have a look here. Axl (talk) 11:01, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Support groups come in sorts and sizes. The whole phenomenon is not particularly well developed in the UK. The sources listed on Axl's source are definitely not all just "support groups" (just imagine Coeliac UK!)
I'm sure WhatamIdoing's question pertains to the present discussion on WT:MEDMOS.[10] I'm sure that what is being discussed is an attempt to allow online discussion forums. This is a perpetual discussion that I frankly very tired of having. Technically, we should make decisions on the suitability of these sites on a case-by-case basis. JFW | T@lk 11:42, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it's not directly related. I did some external link reviews recently, and I found a couple of UK charities whose name includes "support group" but they don't seem to do any kind of normal support group activities: no obvious meetings, no obvious internet discussion forums. So the "support group" is really just an informative website -- "support" but no "group". So I wondered whether we had an ENGVAR issue, or if these particular websites (I should have saved the links) were just oddities (perhaps "under construction"). WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:38, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Journal abbreviations in citations

Better tune in to the discussion at WP:CITE. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:12, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

hep c

I am living and married to a man who is in denial about his Hep C virus, he will not go to the doctor. My question is can I get this by sexual intercourse??Dawn27 (talk) 00:42, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

This is not a place to seek or give advice - the wikipedia article is Hepatitis C. David Ruben Talk 01:44, 15 April 2008 (UTC)


An anon at Talk:Rosacea would like someone else to tell him that his cure for rosacea can't be included in Wikipedia until it meets WP:V. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:33, 15 April 2008 (UTC) links

Links to a Korean medical website, the KMLE Medical Dictionary, were widely spammed last year, resulting in the site being blacklisted:

The site-owner has requested we remove the domain from the blacklist, promising not to do this anymore:

Normally we don't remove sites from the blacklist in response to site-owners requests but rather based on requests from trusted, established editors.

I invite medically knowledgeable editors to check out Does this site's material offer benefits to readers and editors beyond what we already have in our articles or that we link to with our existing links to other sites? Please express your opinions at:

I'll leave the blacklist removal request open for a few days so others can comment.

Thanks, --A. B. (talkcontribs) 02:32, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Help needed-cholera

I was taking a look at the cholera article and it is in need of some great attention. I would encourage any editors who want to take on a new page to help out with this one. Remember (talk) 21:38, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

It looks in reasonable shape. WP:MEDMOS needs to be applied, and perhaps our resident microbiologist GrahamColm (talk · contribs) may be able to advise on suitable sources for the microbiology content. JFW | T@lk 22:16, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Qualified input on 'controversial' article

I would like people who have a strong medical background to give some input on Sunscreen controversy. I made a run through and made some easy edits, but there are a lot of medical claims that I am not really qualified to edit. Thanks! GundamsЯus (talk) 01:15, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Treatment of multiple sclerosis

Some knowledgeable types would be welcome at this article, where there is a dispute brewing about the efficacy of drugs used in MS. --Slp1 (talk) 03:28, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Update. More voices and opinions would be gratefully received. --Slp1 (talk) 03:38, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry that you're in the middle of that mess. The relevant editor is highly unlikely to accept me as a neutral addition to the mess. I haven't found engaging the editor on the talk page to be worth my time, anyway: explanations and references don't change the POV. I sympathize, but don't feel like I can do anything for you that will have the net effect of being helpful.
In the bigger picture, the editor seems determined that the content of the MS-related drug articles will reflect his/her personal perspective to satisfy his/her personal/emotional reasons. I'm not sure how to turn this tendentious person into a productive editor. The editor rejects community input, engages in WP:OWNership, ignores consensus, insults other editors, and relentlessly pursues WP:TRUTHiness. Perhaps the situation can't be fixed.
Have you considered taking a break from the article for a few days? I'd hate to have you burn out over this, and having the wrong version up for a few days isn't that bad in the grand scheme of things. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:36, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Luckily, I am in no danger of burnout, partly because I know more or less nothing about the topic. But thanks for the thought! Looking at things I agree that some new, independent voices would be helpful to the discussion, however, if anybody can bear it. --Slp1 (talk) 13:05, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

WP Medicine Barnstar

Just wanted to let everyone know that I just created a new barnstar for the project. Hope this helps further the cause! --Eustress (talk) 01:43, 18 April 2008 (UTC)


Doesn't anyone believe that this article should be expanded. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:53, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm sure we do believe that it should be expanded. However it is rare and of less importance than some of the other articles that are currently being worked on. Orinoco-w (talk) 05:31, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Request: Collaborate with the Martial Arts Workgroup and make an article about possible injuries from martial arts and how training can prevent specific injuries

Request link

I propose that WP:med collaborates with wikipedia project martial arts (wp:wpma) and creates an article that talks about the injuries possible in martial arts and how specific training techniques and guidelines have been proven to prevent those injuries. Thoughts?. Tkjazzer (talk) 17:02, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Merge of Organic brain syndrome to delirium?

Given Organic brain syndrome is a term essentialy synonymous with acute and chronic delirium, we should probably merge it to the latter (?). Thoughts guys? Actually the delirium page could do with some sprucing up...Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:21, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Biological fluids

Biological fluids (not Body fluids) has an AfD that will close today. It didn't get listed on the sorting page for medicine. If you happen to be interested, please see the AfD notice on the article's page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:53, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

It needed WP:BOLD - I have turned it into a redirect to bolidy fluid. JFW | T@lk 20:48, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Formatting nightmare on Tumor Street

Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor could use a good once-over by any editor. There's a lot of good, sourced information, but the formatting's strange in a few places and ==External links== takes up a full screen. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:56, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

This looks right up my alley; I can work on the layout and formatting issues that don't require medical knowledge, but I'm going to take a Very Big Red Pen to that External links section. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:31, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
It started as an upload of a patient (family) support article. I deleted / moved chunks of it already, but more is needed. Snip away. --Una Smith (talk) 01:51, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm doing a lot of basic cleanup; it would be good if the physicians went at it a few days from now, after I do some of the MoS and ce sort of stuff, so we don't get it in each others' way. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:28, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Unhappy. Diberri is returning faulty dashes (that is, hyphens instead of endashes) on page ranges, and is automatically wikilinking journal names. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:55, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

That's all I can do; what a wreck. It's cleaned up to a place that the physicians should be able to do something with it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:38, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Here's what it was when I started, in case I lost anything important (I deleted all kinds of cruft, adverts, and there was a ton of WP:OVERLINKing.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:51, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Una Smith, I just checked in to see if anyone had improved the article, and confess I don't understand your edits. You eliminated the lead entirely, created two Prognosis sections (not in MEDMOS order, one at the top, one at the bottom), and created duplicate incidence and epidemiology sections (not in Medmos order, one at the top, one at the bottom). Perhaps your work got interrupted and you're not finished? It looked to me like the information you sectioned out of the lead was a correct summary of information included later in the article, per WP:LEAD, with perhaps the exception of Classification, where a section does need to be created. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:50, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

!? I just started working on it again, I checked the history first and I was the last editor, and I don't see what you describe. When an article needs a huge amount of work, I find it helpful to cut the lead back to the bare minimum and re-add summaries of key content after working on the content sections. That helps to focus the lead on the scope of the article. Okay? --Una Smith (talk) 21:02, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
May I add, this is especially important in a long article, because to edit the lead it is necessary to edit the entire article and that increases the rate of edit conflicts. --Una Smith (talk) 21:16, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
This is the version I was referring to, before I moved some of the text back to the lead. It has a one-sentence lead (please see WP:LEAD, two prognosis sections (out of MEDMOS order) and two incidence sections (out of MEDMOS order). Because it was left in that state for many hours, I wasn't sure if you'd finished or been distracted, so I went ahead and eliminated the duplicate sections, by restoring the text to the lead. Cutting back the lead and re-building it is a reasonable way to edit, but the duplicate sections were certainly strange, and I wouldn't recommend leaving an article in that state while working. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:54, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm also curious why you stuck a cleanup tag on it after I spent more than four hours copyediting, cleaning up citations, and doing MoS compliance editing, leaving it clean.[11] It needs citations, as tagged, but I can't determine what cleanup is needed beyond the instances of cite tags and expansion of the article, neither of which are cleanup issues. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:59, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Uh, because I think it needs still more cleanup? No reflection on you, SandyGeorgia. Anyway, why am I getting my ass chappped about any of this here? --Una Smith (talk) 03:26, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Usually when you put a cleanup tag, you should say what still needs to be cleaned up. As far as I can tell, the article needs to be expanded and needs to be cited, but that's a different beast than cleanup. "Ass chopped"? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:32, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Brain tumor is also a mess right now. For one, it does not identify the many kinds of brain tumors. --Una Smith (talk) 21:04, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

It does, in the second section, but much of it is a complete mess. Someone was doing work on it in the past but has evidently stopped doing so. JFW | T@lk 20:48, 24 April 2008 (UTC)


I think we could use extra eyes at Pain. So for those who haven't been along for the ride the last couple of weeks, Pain and nociception was split to Pain and Nociception. I don't have Nociception on my watchlist and don't know what's going on there. Pain has had an incredible number of circular conversations.

Recently, Robert Daoust wanted to exclude all uses of the word pain from the main Pain article except what we might call "physical pain". Pain would lead with a hatnote saying something to the effect that unless you meant physical pain, then you needed to go somewhere else. I opposed that: Pain is the main topic and should include all its parts, including metaphorical uses. However, the general feeling was that the article is a bit unwieldy, so the notion is to split Pain again. The question is how to split.

Two overlapping proposals turned up today (neither of us knowing what the other was doing): Pain (physical) and Pain (medical). These are just quick drafts, but they give the general outlines. I can't say that one is more expansive than the other: 'physical' proposes many more topics than just the physical nature of pain, and in fact appears to be an expansive version of the existing Pain article minus references to Suffering; 'medical' would include non-physical pain as appropriate to a medical setting, but not as much physiology, which could be left to Pain. We need to pick one approach or the other, or we'll have an undesirable content fork.

Until this gets settled, the main article really can't make any progress (because we won't know what's left in it, much less what it needs to link to). I think at this point that having some less-involved editors give an opinion might be helpful. (Please feel free to disagree with me in this discussion: candid and thoughtful opinions are wanted.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:06, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Pain is physical unless specifically otherwise qualified. JFW | T@lk 20:48, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Fact check request

Could someone with medical expertise give a quick fact check to the new pulmonary contusion article? I'm sort of a layperson and I'm concerned I may have unintentionally introduced errors or distortions. Thanks much, delldot on a public computer talk 05:11, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Informed assessment of Action potential as a Featured Article

I would appreciate commentary and critique on whether the current action potential article is worthy to be a Featured Article. It's a long article, I know, but please read through it and vote your conscience, Keep or Remove, at its FAR. If you don't like it, then let me know what needs to be fixed! Willow (talk) 19:13, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

I have revised my vote. Well done. JFW | T@lk 20:48, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Input requested, one sentence in the M.D. article

I know we've been through all this already, but could people state their opinions on the following sentence, which appears in the doctor of medicine article.

United States and Canada

Source: "Physicians and Surgeons". Occupational Outlook Handbook. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Dept of Labor.

If this is done incorrectly, I apologize. The quote is correct/accurate but I am not familiar with the source that is quoted. The alternative to M.D. (allopathy) is D.O. (osteopathy). The former term is a reference to the use of antimicrobials which tend to put pathogens in an [opposing, if I remember correctly] environment to which the term "allo" refers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:07, 25 April 2008 (UTC)


Thanks for your input. Bryan Hopping T 01:47, 12 April 2008 (UTC) links on multiple pages

New user Jgervais118 (talk · contribs) has started by adding external links on multiple pages to Now the site looks interesting, its articles credited to named authors, has an impressive list of contributing medical/paramedical editors and articles do cite sources. I've not heard of before now, so do people have any thoughts ? 3600 medical editors would seem impressive... we obviously can't have each & every medical website being allowed to have a link on each of wikipedia's medical articles, but we do allow the very comprehensive eMedicine... so I suppose the question is, is better, more comprehensive or more notable than eMedicine which we do allow in the {{Infobox Disease}} ? David Ruben Talk 18:25, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Only the "patient information" pages meet WP:EL since the professional pages require a subscription. I agree the pages seem to be written and edited by good quality authors and the material looks OK too. However, I've yet to find a page that doesn't stumble on the EL "Links normally to be avoided" of "Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a Featured article." Comparing our featured articles with their patient articles, I either didn't find a free equivalent, or it was much less comprehensive. Looking beyond the a single article, the site's usefulness as a "resource" is limited because the internal links mostly lead off to subscription-only material (which is too advanced for the general reader anyway).
Does anyone here have access to the subscription material? How does it compare to a review article in a medical journal? The material is written by professionals and reviewed by an editorial system. I don't see anything that would cause those pages to fail WP:V or WP:RS. That's not to say there aren't better or more accessible sources. Colin°Talk 19:15, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
UpToDate has become an indispensible resource for many physicians, at least in the US. It's extremely widely used as an informational resource by physicians. Basically, they have experts describe and summarize the primary evidence in an area into a concise, clinically useful page or two. They're quite well-established - I think they're much better and more useful than eMedicine - and they get real, nationally or internationally known experts to write and edit the pages, which is good. I find it difficult to live without UpToDate, as I suspect do many physicians of my geographical and generational niche.

I currently have access, though I'm not sure how long I will continue to since the price is becoming exorbitant. It's not quite like a review article in a journal - it's not peer-reviewed, and the content is constantly updated and not static - but it's a very reliable source of useful medical information and expert summary of medical evidence. For Wikipedia, I'd suggest that we should be mining it for citations rather than citing UpToDate directly, particularly as it's subscriber-only. I think this is a reasonable source in terms of WP:V and WP:RS, but probably not a great external link, largely because of the need for subscription. MastCell Talk 19:23, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

The dynamic aspect you describe also counts against its use as a source. Although we can mention the last-updated & when-cited dates for any source, these are of limited use if you can't retrieve that version using or some other facility. Colin°Talk 19:53, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I have used uptodate in the past. It is reliable and well-respected among the medical community. However it is expensive, and certainly is not accessible to the general Wikipedia reader. I agree with MastCell. Axl (talk) 12:14, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks everyone, I've posted to Jgervais118, and I think all but a couple of the free-for-patients links have now been removed. David Ruben Talk 00:10, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

UpToDate has been around and respected for quite a while and used a lot here in Belgium too, but UpToDate for patients is quite new. Last December, a ran a little project to check Wikipedia's rank on Google and other search engines for health queries; UpToDate for patients scored poorly, so it is yet to become a notorious source of patient information. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 22:00, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

On the reliability of letters to the editor

Are "letters to the editor" published in peer-reviewed journals considered reliable sources on Wikipedia? I was told that some letters are "vetted" when the journal editor(s) accept them for publication. I am wandering whether this one is "vetted" because I'm using it as a source of criticism in the article "Paleolithic diet". Thanks. --Phenylalanine (talk) 01:11, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

I think you're okay there. Think of it as being more like a magazine article than a scientific report. You're allowed to cite The Economist or New Scientist, and this material has similar qualities. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:49, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Letters are typically not peer reviewed, just reviewed by the journal editors. This effectively reduces their scientific power, but not dramatically. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 21:57, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
That's an important point - they're reviewed in the same sense that letters to the editor published in a reputable newspaper are reviewed. An editor thought they made an interesting or debatable point. They are not vetted extensively for scientific accuracy, and they naturally tend to reflect the specific opinion of the letter writer. They are potentially citable, but we should be careful not to put them on the same level of reliability/weight as actual journal articles. BTW, "Rapid Responses" from the BMJ seem to make frequent appearances when there's a minoritarian POV to be pushed - these are a special case and are no more reliable than lightly-moderated blog commentary. MastCell Talk 22:13, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
What about NEJM? They ran a blatantly inaccurate full journal article on Tourette's once, they never retracted, but they did run one letter to the editor the next month from a neurologist, who pointed out that their article was just Wrong. How did that happen? In this case, the Letter to the editor was more accurate than the peer-reviewed journal article. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:19, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Medicine Collaboration of the Forthnight

Rod of asclepius.png
Thank you for your support of the Medicine Collaboration of the Week.
This week Transverse myelitis was selected.
Hope you can help…

NCurse work 10:03, 26 April 2008 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Featured article review/AIDS has been up for over a month now; would editors please visit, discuss whether issues have been addressed, and enter a Remove or Keep declaration as appropriate? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:29, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Hemostatic agent article and Antihemorrhagics

Hemostatic agent was originally created to focus on topical antihemorrhagic products like QuikClot. It is now starting to focus on other antihemorrhagics as well. Since there is no article on antihemorrhagics, I am currently proposing that this article focus on the ATC code B02 drugs in addition to the topical products. Any input you have would be welcomed at Talk:Hemostatic agent#Focus of article. --Scott Alter 22:55, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Hatzfeldt Syndrome

Calling all WikiDocs... :) The above article, which has been around since November 2007 and appears quite clearly a hoax to me, is up for deletion. Any comments are welcome, as are additions or corrections over at Fuzzform's detailed critique of the article at my Talk page. Best, Fvasconcellos (t·c) 23:00, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

S3 and S4 split/merge

I have proposed a split (or perhaps a merge) of the information for heart sounds S3 and S4. Discussion is at Talk:Heart sounds; please opine there. - Draeco (talk) 05:15, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Help, fast

I'm going to be out all afternoon, but I put a placeholder for Coeliac disease at Wikipedia:Today's featured article/requests when an opening came up. Somebody please go over there fast and finish it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:42, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Celiac ganglia

Hello Residents of the Mess:

I just stumbled on the article Celiac ganglia, while using the "Random Article" "button".

I realize this is a technical matter but could there be a sentence or two or three in the article devoted to an indication in laymen's terms of what this Celiac ganglia thing is.

Perhaps, to be more specific, could there be a small section entitled: "To put that more simply" or "If you did not follow that" or "In other words" or "In plain English" or some such thing.

This section might have a sentence on the function of this body part, one on how big it is, where it is (just below the lungs and at the front), what it looks like, what would happen if a person did not have these (but only if that can be expressed simply).

Just an idea. Wanderer57 (talk) 01:04, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I made some small improvements to the lead. It would be great if someone else could add to that effort. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:02, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Merge suggested of Pannus and Cutis pleonasmus

So I'm looking through some stuff for one of my classes and I came across a month old proposed merge with zero discussion. The proposed merge is to move Cutis pleonasmus into Pannus. I figured I might as well let everyone else know that that had been proposed. -JPINFV (talk) 20:40, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Citation style in medical journals?

What is the most widely used citation style in medical journals? Many thanks! --Phenylalanine (talk) 13:18, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

The Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals are widely followed. They require the use of the Vancouver style for citation formatting. See this summary. PubMed follows this style, though they drop any restriction on the length of author lists (et al), which is understandable since they are a database, not paper. Colin°Talk 21:27, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks! --Phenylalanine (talk) 02:57, 4 May 2008 (UTC)


There's a question at Talk:Osteotomy about whether the images are really from an osteotomy. If you know something about this, please have a look. Thanks, WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:18, 3 May 2008 (UTC)


These have been on my list for a while, and I'm just not getting to them. If anyone knows something about these subjects, please feel free:

  • Rare_disease#External_links needs a pruning job.
    •  Done, but who knows how long it will stay that way. Please consider putting it on your watchlist, and seeing my new proposal at MEDMOS about external links. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:11, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Myelofibrosis may have a cut-and-past copyright infringement
    •  Done - don't really care about a copyvio, but editors should not expect others to wikify their contributions. JFW | T@lk 09:01, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Polycythemia needs the sections rearranged
  • P4 medicine wants a notability review; it might be worth reading Talk:E-Patient first.
    I have nominated it for deletion. Axl (talk) 09:50, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
  • E-Patient could use a ref review: the author of two papers cites himself.
  • AV reentrant tachycardia doesn't mention the title in the article
    This should be merged into Tachycardia. --Una Smith (talk) 13:44, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:02, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Myelofibrosis and polycythemia are on my to-do list. I know something about them. Once things in real life quiet down, I will prioritize them. MastCell Talk 16:20, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, MastCell.
I don't suppose that we have a cardiologist in the house? AV reentrant tachycardia means nothing to me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:11, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, I've done some cardiology. Ksheka (talk · contribs) (previously a prolific contributor) and MoodyGroove (talk · contribs) are cardiologists, but they are not around often. In this case, AVRT is a synonym of AV nodal reentrant tachycardia, to which I have redirected it. It is a form of supraventricular tachycardia that is sustained by "feedback-like" activity surrounding the atrioventricular node. JFW | T@lk 15:02, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Argh, obviously I mixed up AVNRT with WPW. Fixed, anyway. And I've expanded (though not sourced) the AVNRT article. JFW | T@lk 15:54, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Bot adding DOIs

Please see User talk:Smith609 for discussion of some issues. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:07, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Sigh. I reverted the misguided bot's edit to "Lung cancer". Axl (talk) 09:09, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

DOI bot discussion at WP:AN: [12] SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:33, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Peer review request for Pulmonary contusion

If someone with medical expertise could participate in Wikipedia:Peer review/Pulmonary contusion/archive1, I would be much obliged. Thanks! delldot talk 16:47, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

I will lend a hand. NCurse work 18:45, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks a ton! More reviewers are of course very welcome as well. delldot on a public computer talk 00:16, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Article title: "Rhythm" or "Calendar"?

There's currently discussion on the article title for the rhythm/calendar methods. "Rhythm" appears to be both used for a specific method and the most common lay term for these types of systems. The World Health Organization uses "Rhythm" for a specific method but uses the term "Calendar-based methods" when referring to them as a group, and there's a question over whether WP:MEDMOS#Naming conventions would support the WHO term. Talk:Calendar-based methods#Name change, scroll to near bottom of section. Any outside input would be appreciated. LyrlTalk C 11:29, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Content of cervical cap article

Ongoing debate over the multiple issues regarding content of cervical cap article. A previous request generated helpful opinions, but unfortunately failed to take the discussion to consensus. Current topic is content of the infobox: discussion. LyrlTalk C 11:29, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Try mediation. --Una Smith (talk) 13:42, 4 May 2008 (UTC)


I just wanted to drop in and ask if the members of this project can please make their articles more intelligible. I find (and I'm sure I'm not alone in this) that a lot of the medical-related articles are almost unreadable to the average person and tend to use far too much medical jargon to make sense of the subject. Are there any guidelines in this wikiproject regarding this? Thanks for letting me put in my 2 cents. Kristamaranatha (talk) 07:48, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Our guidelines at WP:MEDMOS remind editors to aim for the "general reader". I think this is possible for most of a medical article, but there are some sections/topics that really are head-hurtingly difficult. If you let us know which articles you found unintelligible, then perhaps someone here can improve them. Thanks for the comment. Colin°Talk 09:46, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Well ... ummmm ... this handy dandy new tool appeared at FAC, and although I haven't quite figured it out, I think I'm pretty depressed about it. Readability tool SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:30, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
I ran a couple of articles (higher readability score is better):
Not happy. Our featured articles are at a college level; is that where we want to be? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:44, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Ima Hogg, readability score 52, ages 16–18 SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:59, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
You must really be more specific about the articles you are concerned about. Some of our better articles have very little jargon indeed, or do a great job at clarifying it. Would you expect any less jargon from other technical fields like engineering or mathematics? JFW | T@lk 21:34, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
I think these scores are great. Wikipedia is supposed to be written for adults, right? That means that anything around age 18-20 is right on target.
Also, the whole article doesn't have to be accessible to children or young teens -- or even to nonexperts. I fully expect a young teen to skip some parts of an article. My eyes glaze over on some paragraphs. That doesn't mean that I want them removed. We just need to have a simple paragraph at the beginning of a technical section that summarizes it, or a simple sentence at the beginning of a complicated paragraph.
I wonder whether it's possible to perform the same search on the less technical sections. I'd also like to know whether the algorithm fusses about vocabulary. Rhabdomyolysis is probably a "college-age or beyond" vocabulary word according to most lists, but you can hardly write the article without mentioning its name. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:19, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
One problem I see is that it needs to be readable to the editors themselves. Sure, we can go through an article and change a bunch of complex sentences into simple sentences by removing conjunctions. The result would be less words/sentence which would increase the Flesch Reading Ease score. Unfortunately, by doing so we would decrease access to the article because people don't want to sit around reading a bunch of 5 word sentences that could be combined into a single sentence.
Would you rather read that, or this:
translation of above: I see a problem. Editors need to be able to read their work too. Sure, we can edit an article. We can remove complex sentences. The result would be less words/sentence. This would increase the Flesch Reading Ease score. Unfortunately, less people would be able to read it. No one wants to read sentences like this. These sentences can be combined into fewer sentences.
The first paragraph has a score of 62.4 while the second one, which has the exact same information, has a score of 81. Personally, if I had a choice, I'd rather read the first paragraph. -JPINFV (talk) 17:17, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
There is of course the WP:Simple English Wikipedia (see Main Page and Simple English Wikipedia expanded description) for a younger reading-age audience, although relatively few articles have been stripped down for this project. Finally we generally write articles to the level of secondary-education/undergraduate level (i.e. the finer nuances of views and opinions in post-doctorial circles generally are not included in our articles, but neither do we litter articles with warnings to younger children "don't do this at home" or "ask an adult to supervise you") :-) David Ruben Talk 20:13, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, a thorny issue. To become featured, an article must be comprehensive. With medical articles, this invariably requires a significant amount of technical and specialist information. I'm inclined to agree with JPINFV. I'm not convinced that the automated assessment is a fair representation of readability.
Another criterion for FA is "brilliant prose". The FAC reviewers assess this at candidacy. Sandy, if you think that too many featured medical articles lack this quality, perhaps the problem lies with the FAC procedure? Do you think that the reviewers are not assessing prose quality stringently enough? Axl (talk) 10:52, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
"Our featured articles are at a college level; is that where we want to be?" — Sandy
In my opinion: yes. Otherwise the articles would not be comprehensive. Axl (talk) 11:02, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Just to clarify (for this side of the pond) - I'd agree if by "college" you mean undergraduate, with the prose sufficiently well written that it can also be followed by those in senior (aka high) school. David Ruben Talk 23:54, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

A few suggestions and opinions

Readability scores depend mainly upon the number of characters per word, the number of words per sentence, and the use of passive voice. The greater these numbers, more difficult the passage becomes, and lower the scores. Now, the medical parlance is such that "by default" the words are lengthy (sample echocardiography or electroencephalography)--how does one shorten them? Moreover, if a certain concept is difficult to explain, automatically the sentences tend to become lengthy. I faced the same problem in writing the article on polyclonal response. No doubt, to understand such concepts one on an average does require higher intelligence. May be what can be attempted is that the important core facts expressed in simpler language can be highlighted (my attempt, whereas the elaboration that follows can take its own linguistic course. Of course, I firmly believe that the explanation that could be provided by such a platform as Wikipedia should not be limited to only keep the readability scores favorable.
I have one more idea, but that might require sweeping changes in the goals and policies of Wikipedia--same topics could be covered in (two) separate articles, one for the laypersons (amateur), and the other for advanced concepts (professional).
Would love to know what you all feel.
PS: Most of the ideas I'd formed on readability scores are based on the concepts given in the "Help" section of Microsoft Word.
Ketan Panchal, MBBS (talk) 20:06, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
The medical jargon issue is one that is difficult to get around. In practice we have the good old Three-Letter-Acronyms (TLA's) and will often make use of these (even though they may have more than three letters) as well as other shortened notations. Can we do this with the wikipedia MOS (I shall have to go look it up)? I'm suggesting things like echocardiography (ECHO) being referred to as ECHO thereafter, or electroencephalography (EEG) being referred to as EEG. Orinoco-w (talk) 23:31, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
You are free to propose that at WT:MEDMOS if you want. However, it might be better to leave that up to editor discretion instead of setting a sweeping rule. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:43, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Request for review of articles

I have created the articles--polyclonal response and clone (cell biology), of which the former has been extensively expanded and modified. Would some one review it and make suggestions as to what more would be required to upgrade it on quality assessment scale?


Ketan Panchal, MBBS (talk) 15:10, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

A doubt

Why the contraction of pronator quadratus produces pronation, and not supination? Think of it, unlike pronator teres, it is not attached to a more proximal fixed point like the medial border of the humerus. This muscle runs absolutely perpendicular to the radius and the ulna.

I have thought about it, and feel that when the forearm is supine, there's no further margin for supination, so the muscle acts to bring the radius closer to the ulna, and not vice versa. And, when the forearm is pronated fully, the muscle must be getting so much relaxed (consequently, also shortened) that its contraction cannot further shorten the fibers, hence no movement occurs in this position.

Well, this is just a guess. It'd be nice if someone approves of it, or corrects my ideas. Regards.

PS: I have posted the same comment on the talk page of the concerned article.

Ketan Panchal, MBBS (talk) 19:47, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Er... maybe someone closer to their gross anatomy days can answer. I've finally got the smell of formaldehyde out of my hair and clothing, and most of those details have gone with it. MastCell Talk 19:04, 7 May 2008 (UTC)


Aspirin is a Good Article nominee, here. --Una Smith (talk) 04:53, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

I'll notify WP:PHARM. They need to know. JFW | T@lk 20:51, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Diagnostic test promotion?

Oddben (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has added information to several articles pertaining to diagnostic tests. The edits look promotional to me, and he has also repeatedly added the same external links. I've removed the external links, but left the other edits. Can someone with more experience in this area please look at the edits of this user and determine if any of them contain useful information, or whether they should just be reverted as merely promotional? Deli nk (talk) 13:59, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Promotional and non-encylopedic. You did right by removing them. MastCell Talk 19:03, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I only removed the external links, not the rest of the information. Also, I received this reply from Oddben on my talk page, in which he explains his edits: I see that my edits are being monitored, and now I understand why. I am not employed by Phadia. My reasons for mentioning them are merely personal due to a recent exposure to them...and I noticed on investigation that they and their services are not really represented in Wikipedia (and believe me - they should be). So, I have taken it upon myself to provide an educational link-through of the afflictions that they can diagnose along with link-ups from the various afflictions to a diagnostic resource that hopefully clinicians can find and use to solve patients allergy issues more promptly. Before starting out, I typed (for example) Pepsi (etc) and concluded that the mention and link of the Phadia website to be a lot more beneficial to public wellbeing than a soft drink manufacturer that dominates the global market!
Deli nk (talk) 19:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Elimination diet

Do we need an article defining "elimination diet"? The closest there is now on Wikipedia is some discussion of diagnosis on Food intolerance. --Una Smith (talk) 17:03, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

I will post an invite on the respective talk pages. --Una Smith (talk) 05:06, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

A related issue is the respective meanings of "allergy", "sensitivity", and "intolerance". See some discussion here. --Una Smith (talk) 17:05, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Primary peritoneal cancer

We have an anon who's determined to put a badly formatted link to her(?) website in the introduction. I think I've deleted it about once a week for a month now. Unless there's an irritable admin who feels like blocking an anon or semi-protecting the page just for fun, it might be nice if several other editors could watchlist this for the next week or two. Thanks, WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:34, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Semiprotected 2 weeks. Anon informed. JFW | T@lk 11:28, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Epidural analgesia or anesthesia

I'd like to ask anyone interested to express their opinion on the talk page whether the article Epidural should be renamed to Epidural analgesia or Epidural anesthesia if at all. --Eleassar my talk 12:25, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Board certification

Board certification claims to be a US-specific thing, until the last section, which mentions other countries. Do non-US specialists get board certified, or is there another term? Is there a way to internationalize this article? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:43, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Last section is not about other countries, but (I think) the American orgianisations recognising doctors in foreign countries. In UK specialisation is via training time as a Registrar and relevant Royal College examinations - pass the examinations and one is a specialist and able to have that recorded in the General Medical Council register (list of doctors). However the threshold for passing the revelant college exams is, as far as I know, fixed each year to allow a set number through supposedly to maintain standards, but the cynic in me thinks just to get resit examination fee income for the colleges - my year of sitting the MCQ paper (many years ago) of some 200 questions, just 13 questions discriminated between distinction and a "poor fail"... not that I'm bitter... not :-) - anyway thats my perspective as a GP - but would need hospital doctor to give actual current details. David Ruben Talk 04:27, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
In the UK entry to the specialist register by the GMC is by certification of the completion of training (CCT), which is awarded after registrar work for a set duration and meeting a set curriculum. Contrary to David, the exams are typically required prior to entry into a specialist training programme (apart from MRCPath, which is an exit exam). Some specialties are now introducing a knowledge-based exam prior to CCT. JFW | T@lk 07:01, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
(I stand corrected) So Part 1 Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (assuming that is what it is still called) is nowdays done when? and what about completing MRCP - previously done around SHO to Registrar step up, but now that SHO/Registrar post are merged, how has this changed ? Indeed can one now gain CCT without seeking to join the relevant Royal College (in same way a GP can complete General Practice Vocational Training without opting to try and join the RCGP) ?David Ruben Talk 18:30, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Part 1 is done from 18 months after qualifying, and Part 2 (Written) and PACES soon afterwards. In the past PACES could only be done after 18 months of unselected acute medical take (some people tell me this has changed). But PACES is not a prerequisite (more a desiderata) for entry into the ST3 (formerly specialist registrar) grade. In practice, one is still expected to hold PACES (i.e. full membership) by the end of ST3 as it is a marker of career progression too. JFW | T@lk 10:27, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Anaesthetic training differs from that of the RCP. I am sure other Royal Colleges do too. Check out Final FRCA for how our Fellowship works. Preacherdoc (talk) 16:53, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Color code of limb leads of an Electrocardiogram

From the article Electrocardiogram I have learned that obviously the color coding of electrodes used for the limb leads is different in different countries: The coding explained in the article is different from the one used in here in Germany. Now I am wondering how widespread the color coding mentioned in the article actually is. US? UK? other English speaking countries? And how widespread are other color codings? If you know the color coding in your country or other countries, please visit Talk:Electrocardiogram#Color_code_of_limb_leads and help to fill out the table. Thanks, --Dietzel65 (talk) 07:01, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

So far we got some data from continental Europe but nothing from the Americas or English speaking countries. Would be great if somebody could provide this information. --Dietzel65 (talk) 20:21, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Posted a comment on USA with a source to a manual for a defibrillator for WP:Verifiability JPINFV (talk) 21:08, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Onion Juice Therapy

Onion Juice Therapy comes across to me as something that is merely promotional trying to sound scientific, but I don't know enough to really tell. Anyone want to take a look? It's currently up for deletion at AFD, too. Deli nk (talk) 19:56, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

The article is being considered for deletion Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Onion Juice Therapy. It was speedy deleted the first time. IMO the article relies on deductive reasoning and thus WP:OR. The association of dietary phytochemicals with reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cancers is used by the creator and major contributer of article to deduce that onion juice is an effective cure for cancers. The only reliable source used is "Varietal Differences in Phenolic Content and Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Activities of Onions" The rest are Pseudoscience. I agree that quercetin may be useful but I disagree with the deductive reasoning of the article. [13] This is just my opinion in talkspace! Nk.sheridan   Talk 23:32, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
I think there are also some religious texts that are claimed to support onion juice as a panacea.[14] WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:10, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww {sorry, couldn't help myself, this screws up my mouth just thinking about it) ;) Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:18, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Super AIDS

OK, anyone who may be more familiar with this one, I think needs some work. Must be something in a peer-reviewed journal and should it be in isolation or on a larger page of treatment resistance in AIDS? Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:20, 10 May 2008 (UTC)


This new article could use some help and/or educated evaluation. I came upon it tagged for deletion as "no context". I've declined the speedy, as context could be puzzled out at this point, but I do not have the background to do much more for it than that. I note there is concern expressed on the talk page that the article may be OR. Rather than just leave it there, I thought to drop a note here in the hopes of attracting somebody with more experience in this field than I. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:46, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

It's about hepatotoxicity. I don't know enough about it to be certain how to fix the formatting, but I'll try to make it at least less awful than it is. Thanks for the note, WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:48, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Menstrual cycle navbox

I've created a navbox for possible use on menstrual cycle related articles: Template:Menstrual cycle. I'm posting here to solicit comments/improvement suggestions before adding the template to any articles. Also note this template is a possible solution to the dispute currently at Wikipedia:Templates for deletion#Template:Fertility awareness. LyrlTalk C 19:18, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Medicine Collaboration of the Fortnight: Long-term effects of alcohol

Rod of asclepius.png The current Medicine Collaboration of the Week is Transverse myelitis.

NCurse work 08:21, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Da Costa's syndrome(again)

A lay editor with a known conflict of interest [15] is filling this article with cruft and direct quotation to the point that it's become completely unencyclopedic. But it really needs someone with medical knowledge to clean it up. Gordonofcartoon (talk) 09:44, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

This guy has been doing the same stuff for almost a year. I think a WP:RFC is in order. JFW | T@lk 13:02, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Could well be. I'm thoroughly tired of dealing with him. The article has become so cruft-dense - despite repeated requests to keep things terse and encyclopedic - that it's hard to tell now whether it's biased or not. But the single-purpose edit history here and general wikilawyering at WP:COIN, particularly about his self-identification [16], aren't good signs. Gordonofcartoon (talk) 14:41, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
When he first appeared it was obvious that only one person on earth attributed Da Costa syndrome and related conditions to postural abnormalities. When I pointed out that he was promoting his own theories, he did not distance himself from this observation. The Truth matters much more than editorial policies, obviously. JFW | T@lk 16:16, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm giving WP:COIN one more try - he is adding large chunks of text from his own website - and have asked him to cooperate with trimming the article. Gordonofcartoon (talk) 01:58, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Epidural Article: name change suggested

Dear Doctors' Mess inhabitants,

Please take a look at the article entitled Epidural. This article is currently up for a name change. I've taken a fair bit of ownership of this article. I estimate that >75% of the text as it stands was written by me.

The points of the argument to change seem to be:

(1) The word "Epidural" is an adjective and therefore should not be a title in and of itself. Instead "Epidural" should be a disambig page which links on to other topics, such as Epidural space, Epidural blood patch, and so on.
(2) The main body of the text, such as it is, is concerned with epidural anaesthesia and analgesia. Some suggest we should have an article entitled "Epidural anaesthesia" which should contain much of the text as it currently stands. (Some even seem to suggest we tease apart epidural anaesthesia and analgesia for separate articles).
(3) We should only have "correct" medical terms as titles of articles, and "epidural" isn't a correct medical term.

I oppose the name change because:

(1) "Epidural" is a convenient shorthand term, used widely inside and outside the medical community. WP is not a medical textbook, and exists to provide accessibility and clarity.
(2) I believe that almost everybody who wants to know more about epidural anaesthesia and analgesia will look for it using the term "Epidural". If they do, they will find every other reasonable associated term included within the article in an appropriate context, and can read further if they choose. Those who have more knowledge can search for articles by title, e.g. Epidural haematoma. To make "Epidural" a disambig page (IMHO) makes the article less helpful than it currently is.
(3) I believe it is unhelpful and arbitrary to attempt to separate epidural anaesthesia and analgesia into two articles. There is considerable overlap between these two techniques.

Anyway, please take a look. I would be grateful for any suggestions for changes or improvements to the article. Preacherdoc (talk) 16:43, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

I'd say, at least, that there should be dablinks at the top of the page, linking to the other epidural topics. Might it satisfy both sides in this disagreement? See immedately below for an example.Antelantalk 16:46, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for extremely rapid response. Could I ask you to post on the Talk:Epidural page? Preacherdoc (talk) 16:56, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Yep. And done. Antelantalk 17:30, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Hey peers, fancy a review?

I've finally finished updating and rewriting familial hypercholesterolemia. Before I submit this for WP:GAC, could y'all have a quick look? JFW | T@lk 21:48, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

I did one, I'm sure others would be welcome too. delldot talk 05:04, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

name change from clinical depression mooted

Please add 2c here Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:13, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

May 18 Coeliac disease

Wikipedia:Today's featured article/May 18, 2008 SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:17, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Sandy, that is absolutely brilliant. JFW | T@lk 05:50, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Medical Devices

I'd like to work on Medical Devices to expand the current link and provide my own specialised knowledge in assisted living devices for dementia care. The goal is to provide a guide for clinicians to learn about current devices & documented advantages/pitfalls. JudeJazz (talk) 04:25, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, medical devices is a large category. What you must keep in mind is that Wikipedia is not for "clinicians"; it serves the general public primarily. I totally agree that good information is needed an equipment of the kind you describe, and their uses and potential disadvantages - as long as these are clearly documented. Let us know how you are getting on. JFW | T@lk 05:50, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Hand, foot and mouth disease: Need info re seriousness

The article Hand, foot and mouth disease could use more content. It says that the disease is "quite common", and in the discussion of signs, symptoms, and treatment mentions almost nothing about it being potentially serious. However, the section "Recorded outbreaks" mentions dozens of fatalities from this cause.
An epidemic of this disease in China is currently in the news.
- "The death toll in China's outbreak of hand-foot-mouth disease has risen to 42 children, with the capital Beijing reporting its first case Wednesday, state media said." -
-- We should expect that people will be coming to Wikipedia for info on this and we should add appropriate content to the article. -- Writtenonsand (talk) 19:45, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

The article clearly states that a small number of people suffer severe consequences, most of which are potentially lethal. If the outbreak is big enough, larger numbers of people will have significant complications. I agree that more needs to be said about the proportion of severe complications. JFW | T@lk 22:50, 14 May 2008 (UTC)


I can't find any sources on this, can someone tell me whether this is a hoax? Swik78 was kind enough to bring it to my attention: Van Veldhoven Syndrome. delldot talk 19:04, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

I couldn't find any reference to Van Veldhoven Syndrome anywhere either. The article sounds like a hoax to me (although it's true that the hospital has a mini-museum [17]) Nk.sheridan   Talk 20:02, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

There's plenty on PubMed from a P Van Veldhoven, but no David. Nothing on Google for Veldhoven/Veldoven/Van Veldhoven/VanVeldoven syndrome/syndactyly/anomaly. Fvasconcellos (t·c) 21:20, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Syndactyly sounds wrong too as it is to do with fingers not money is on the hoax. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:27, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Yep, I noticed that about Syndactyly also. I've nominated it for AfD as a WP:HOAX at - Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Van Veldhoven Syndrome Nk.sheridan   Talk 21:36, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Good job, thanks much everyone! delldot on a public computer talk 22:47, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
The result of the Afd was Speedy delete as vandalism after User:TenPoundHammer placed the CSD G3 tag on article and User:Pascal.Tesson deleted. Nk.sheridan   Talk 23:17, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Our 13,155th article

The author of Dr. William D. Young Memorial is convinced that his article will be incomplete if we don't tag it as belonging to the WPMED project. The memorial is a public drinking fountain that was erected to honor a 19th century physician in a Toronto neighborhood. I have explained on the article's talk page why I don't think this is sufficiently medicine-related to be defaultly included in the list of articles supported by WPMED; the author accuses me of WP:OWNing the project by removing the WPMED tag.

Other opinions, either for or against, are welcome. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:08, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

It's unfortunate that WhatamIdoing feels a need to mischaracterize both my position and the reason why I suggested that WP:OWN could be applicable. But I agree that opinions would be welcome. Thanks. Skeezix1000 (talk) 21:42, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

The article Dr. William D. Young Memorial doesn't appear to me to be within the scope of WP:WikiProject_Medicine based on what I have read regarding the original goal statement of said project. Nk.sheridan   Talk 23:37, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Cystatin C

Those of you who, like me, had never heard of it, I'd like to invite you to have a look. This article has been seriously expanded and I'd appreciate any copy-editing (especially for jargon and style). I'm submitting this to WP:DYK. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 00:14, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Now on main page! --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 14:23, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I replaced the PDB image with a high-resolution PNG, I hope that's OK with everyone. I have a bit of a problem with the automatically-uploaded JPGs—they're very useful, but not that good-looking ;) Fvasconcellos (t·c) 14:54, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Subcutaneous emphysema

At FAC, in case someone has time to add to announcements. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:29, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

It has been suggested that this get a peer review by someone with medical knowledge, would anyone be able to oblige? Thanks much! delldot talk 22:31, 19 May 2008 (UTC)


I changed the target of the Template:WikiProject Medicine redirect from Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine to Template:WPMED. If anybody objects, then please post a note to my talk page. (talk) 06:50, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

That's perfectly reasonable, per Wikipedia:Cross-namespace redirects. Apart from above, there are no links to that template so I wonder if it has any use. JFW | T@lk 09:56, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Geriatric Giants

Currently, there is no article Geriatric Giants, although there is reference to the Giants in Geriatrics#History. I think that the article Geriatric Giants should be created, but I'm not sure how it should be done. I guess either a redirect to Geriatrics, or to a brief page on the Giants. Thoughts? Ged3000 (talk) 14:35, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

I think we could have a brief separate page discussing the term: what they are, who invented the term, how common these conditions are, with links to the respective articles. Should it be Geriatric giants (without the capital)? Note that we have Fall prevention but not Falls in older adults. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 14:47, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good! And yes, Geriatric giants is probably correct.
As falls are such a major part of geriatric medicine, I feel that there should be some information about falls, as well as how to avoid them. Possibly working together with Fall prevention could end with the best result.
On another note, I just noticed that Geriatrics#History refers to Support surface for it's links to immobility. Again, immobility is about a lot more than just bed sores, so I feel it could do with a dedicated article.Ged3000 (talk) 14:55, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
I have put together a quick page on Falls in older adults. It's not linked from anywhere yet, and is lacking a lot of important references, but hopefully it's a start. I'd appreciate any feedback, and will look at linking it up later this week if it's considered ok (unless someone else does that first!)Ged3000 (talk) 15:37, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I think "geriatric giants" is such a central concept to geriatrics that it needs to be discussed on geriatrics itself, rather than in a subarticle. Is it known who coined the term? Similarly, the concept of frailty needs to be touched upon. Targeted redirects are much better than silly stubs here. JFW | T@lk 18:53, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
It's already mentioned, under Geriatrics#History - Bernard Isaacs Ged3000 (talk) 19:10, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Just had a look at the Geriatrics article and yup Isaacs is mentioned in the history section. It needs some work for such a notable subject! I'm on it. - Nk.sheridan   Talk 23:40, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Blood on the brain

Together with Delldot (talk · contribs) I've been steadily hacking away at subarachnoid hemorrhage. This article has the potential of making GA fairly soon, but there is a small list of current problems on the talk page that could perhaps benefit from a few eyeballs.

The biggest problem is the section on the prevention of rebleeding. This section was populated last year by a transient user who seems to have neurosurgical qualifications. This user flatly contradicted many of the conclusions of the Lancet article that I used to support most of the interventions. Does anyone: (1) have a grip on the recent consensus on "coiling vs clipping" of cerebral aneurysms, (2) know a neurosurgeon who could point us in the right direction? Much appreciated. JFW | T@lk 11:54, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

I doubt there's a consensus. After all, neurosurgery generally obeys the principles of confidence-based medicine. But I digress. Interesting: PMID 12907814 - better outcomes were associated with hospitals that offered endovascular therapy. If you want to push the envelope, you could talk about the role of gene therapy as an adjunct to coiling: PMID 14963270. Certain aneursyms, particularly those with broad necks, are unsuitable for coiling (PMID 0008059647). An evidence-based comparison of methods, from Lancet Neurology in 2007: PMID 17706565. One-year neuropsychological outcomes were similar in a prospective RCT: PMID 11022066. (Apologies if some of these are already cited in the article).
The main issue is the duration of follow-up with coiling, as its widespread use is relatively new. The short-term results (1-2 years) appear good, but there's still some concern as to whether the long-term results will equal those of surgery, though the ISAT followup (PMID 16139655) is pretty convincing. The problem is that the ISAT patients were a fairly selected subgroup: 88% had "good clinical status", 90% of the target aneurysms were smaller than 10 mm in diameter, and 95% of aneurysms were in the anterior circulation. Generalizability is an issue, since most unselected patients don't fit those criteria.
I think the most definitive thing you can say is that it's an area of controversy; that outcomes are better in high-volume centers; that selected patients appear to do as well or better with coiling compared to surgical clipping; and that MSIN (more study is needed). MastCell Talk 18:57, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Thankfully the ISAT follow-up study touches on the controversy itself. I will not discuss gene therapy, because none of the recent reviews mention it (Van Gijn 2007, the most recent BMJ review - haven't seen the latest NEJM review).

I have left a list of "to do's" on Talk:Subarachnoid hemorrhage. We're approaching peer review/GAC. JFW | T@lk 19:05, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Orthomolecular medicine

There is an RfC about Wikipedia:Requests for comment/TheNautilus, which at some level is an RfC about whether Wikipedia should present the extreme "vitamins cure all diseases" idea in a "neutral" manner. Some of you may be interested in keeping an eye on it.

In particular, since I am going to be primarily offline for several more days, I'd like someone to be ready to step in if a particularly stupid question comes up again: whether medical textbooks can be considered reliable sources for health questions. Thanks, WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:57, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

There is no problem with that POV being represented as long as it is from secondary sources and it is deemed notable. I'll look at the RFC a bit later. JFW | T@lk 17:06, 23 May 2008 (UTC)


I just removed a very dubious comment about tetanus vaccine adverse events on this page. I'm not a physician, though I am somewhat conversant with package inserts and what I read there contradicts what was in the article.

The user that added it never contributed much and has not been active recently. I highly doubt that he will respond, so I was wondering if I could have a "double check to ensure that I haven't removed information that was appropriate to the article.Somedumbyankee (talk) 23:51, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Looks like you removed unsourced WP:OR Good call Nk.sheridan   Talk 00:35, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

AfD: Habba Syndrome

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Habba Syndrome : Please comment. Mentioned in UpToDate, but doesn't seem widely accepted. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 18:50, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

For the benefit of those unable or unwilling to pay UpToDate's exorbitant subscription fees, I can tell you that the mention in UpToDate is blindingly trivial. It's literally a parenthetical aside to one sentence in the articles on chronic diarrhea and malabsorption, and that's probably a wise lead to follow here. MastCell Talk 20:56, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Urgh. Rename to irritable gallbladder syndrome. No sorry - delete. JFW | T@lk 06:11, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Like a thousand bricks

Please see the RFC at Talk:Da_Costa's_syndrome#Dorlands_as_a_reliable_source. We have an editor who apparently thinks that Dorland's Medical Dictionary doesn't meet the WP:V standards for a reliable source.

I can't believe I'm even having this conversation. WhatamIdoing (talk) 13:58, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

OK, now I am confused....

OK, a while ago I noted we had delirium and organic brain syndrome, which I pondered on merging but after some discussion we kept separate. Now I find mental confusion and foggy I am confused....which shall we rationalise to what? Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:49, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

I've speedied "foggy brain". Whoever wrote it must have had grade II encephalopathy at least. JFW | T@lk 22:09, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
And its buddy brain fog is on AFD. Please vote, for sanity's sake. It's a hypochondriac's lunch out there! JFW | T@lk 22:12, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Good call. I suspect there may be some other articles out there too. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:55, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Let me know if anything needs speedying. Foggy brain met the criteria for being patent nonsense. There must be others that do not require AFD to be resected with a generous margin. JFW | T@lk 05:55, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
I'll keep you posted. I could speedy a few myself but I do generally err on the side of caution :) Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 06:09, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
I think the "mental confusion" article is the "real thing". That article needs some... work. The lead isn't awful, but a lot if it isn't very well written. That's the "confusion" linked in the Alzheimer's article, and confusion redirects there. Somedumbyankee (talk) 06:25, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
Note chemobrain (aka Post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment), which I've worked on a bit and there definitely seems to be use of in MEDRS; I saw one reference which could/should have gone there. It's a real deal, don't know about the rest. WLU (talk) 18:32, 26 May 2008 (UTC)


When y'all done reviewing SAH and Wilson's, please have a look at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Scrambler therapy. JFW | T@lk 12:38, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Smooth tongue

Hello I hope I'm right here. In the german Wikipedia I've found an article with the lemma of smooth tongue it's an atrophy of the tongue in liver disease (e.g. liverchirrhosis or pernicious anemia). do you have any article for it, I didn't find anything, thanks and best regards--Cestoda (talk) 18:05, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Many of those physical signs have not been studied systematically and some are legendary but are never seen (or always missed). PMID 13548819 seems to have established it as a sign of chronic liver disease in the German literature. Pernicious anaemia, by the way, is not a liver disease. I think the main finding in smooth tongue is B12 deficiency. If we are to believe PMC 2201441, the tongue was examined much more closely in 1924. JFW | T@lk 18:17, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Here we are: deficiencies of riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, B12, pyridoxine, or iron. Rarely chemotherapy drugs. "Specific diagnosis is often difficult" - Hoekelman, Robert A.; Bates, Barbara J.; Bickley, Lynn S (1995). A guide to physical examination and history taking. Philadelphia: Lippincott. ISBN 0-397-55053-7. . JFW | T@lk 18:29, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Peer review request

I have practically finished work on subarachnoid hemorrage. It offers a comprehensive perspective on an absolutely catastrophic condition, from diagnostic conundrums to quality of life in survivors. All statements are now sourced, and I have even tried to give a fair representation of the "clipping vs coiling" debate that continues to rage.

Before I submit this for good article candidacy I would very much like anyone to see what I've overlooked or misrepresented, and offer advice on improvements. Images, too, are welcome. JFW | T@lk 12:22, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

I would also highly appreciate a quick review of Wilson's disease. This one is also ready for GAC otherwise. JFW | T@lk 10:58, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

SAH got promoted! Thanks to everyone who helped out. JFW | T@lk 09:50, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Watchful waiting

The above article has been moved to Medical Observation, without discussion, for the second time in two weeks. I am of the opinion that "medical observation" is waaay too broad a term to be considered synonymous with watchful waiting, not to mention far less established. Any thoughts before I revert the move—again? Fvasconcellos (t·c) 21:55, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

"Watchful waiting" doesn't necessarily imply medical, though all of the first page of google hits are on that term and cancer and I've never heard it any other context. Medical observation implies inpatient to me, whereas watchful waiting sounds more like the outpatient experience. Sounds like there very well could be two articles, or one article that includes both concepts. I don't see a burning need to have the main article be at either location.Somedumbyankee (talk) 22:11, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Historically, medical observation was a very broad concept. The modern concept is quite narrow and refers to close monitoring in an attempt to "capture" a fleeting sign or symptom. Neither of those concepts has much in common with watchful waiting. Re the historical concept, see Lectures on the Principles and Methods of Medical Observation and Research, published in 1857.[18] --Una Smith (talk) 02:49, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

I will copy this section to Talk:Watchful waiting. --Una Smith (talk) 02:49, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Una (and Arcadian :). Fvasconcellos (t·c) 14:46, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Medicine Collaboration of the Fortnight: Physical therapy

Rod of asclepius.png The current Medicine Collaboration of the Week is Transverse myelitis.

NCurse work 20:05, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Naturopathic medicine

Hello, docs. Anyone familiar with naturopathic medicine? There are four accredited 4-year naturopathic medical schools with equivalent prerequisites and preclinical training to that of allopathic and osteopathic medical schools. Right now, naturopathic medicine is listed as a "complementary and alternative medicine," but when you follow the wikipedia definitions for those terms, you find that they define alternatives to "medicine", or "the science and art of maintaining and restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of patients." NDs (Naturopathic Doctors) are licensed to study, diagnose, and treat patients in about 15 U.S. jurisdictions, so I propose that "naturopathic medicine" actually be under the "medicine" category, instead of "complementary and alternative medicine." I look forward to some lively conversation on the topic! Lamaybe (talk) 22:16, 20 May 2008 (UTC) Just to be clear, NDs are trained to use modern diagnostic tests, prescribe pharmaceuticals, do minor surgery, and also to safely use herbs, physical medicine, nutrition, and other non-pharmaceutical therapies. They are licensed to do all of those things in many states, and are legally considered "primary care providers" in most states where they are licensed. Lamaybe (talk) 22:23, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Lamaybe, I see the majority of naturopathic therapies as having failed any scrutiny using the scientific method of investigation. Nk.sheridan   Talk 23:56, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi Nk.sheridan, NDs are trained and licensed to prescribe pharmaceuticals; in some states the identical formulary that MDs and DOs use (Washington and Arizona). Those therapies are based in the scientific method, right? NDs are trained and licensed to use botanical medicine (herbs) as well. To find therapeutic uses of herbs, you can just search the latin names of many herbs in pubmed, and find uses for herbs that have been confirmed using the scientific method. For example, silybum, urtica, vaccinium, withania. They are also trained and licensed to use nutritional therapies, and various forms of physical medicine, which have certainly been found to have therapeutic benefit in peer reviewed journals. If you are referring to homeopathy, I will admit that is a hot topic--many scientists feel that scientific scrutiny has shown it to be overall inefficacious, and there are others (including the authors of peer-reviewed meta-analyses) who feel the opposite. Certainly not a clear-cut failure of scrutiny, but a hotbed of controversy! I'd love to know any other thoughts you have on the matter, thanks! Lamaybe (talk) 02:58, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
In UK Naturopaths are not normally medically trained, and would advocate dietary & supplement therapy be taken by their customers rather than seeking conventional doctors and receiving conventional medications - as such very definitely seen as alternative rather than even complementary. So, from a non US-centric perspective, definitely should not come under the "medicine" category (that US has "quaint" multiple routes to being a doctor, as per osteopathy, does not alter more global perspective of practices being very different to US). David Ruben Talk 03:05, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree with NK and David that we cannot let the remarkable situation in the USA dominate the classification of naturopathic medicine. It is CAM by generally agreed standards. The fact that they do some mainstream stuff as well does not make it mainstream. JFW | T@lk 05:44, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I will admit to U.S.-centrism here, but I think "complementary" is the operative term. Many naturopaths (at least those I've interacted with, which is an admittedly skewed sample) view "mainstream" medicine as indispensible in dealing with things like appendicitis, HIV/AIDS, operable cancer, and so forth, and view naturopathic remedies more in terms of a complementary modality aimed at maintaining optimal health rather than an alternative to proven medical treatments. I think "complementary" is appropriate, if not "alternative". MastCell Talk 19:54, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Right, thanks for the global perspective NK and David. After considering your comments, I think maybe the best thing to do is follow the model of the "osteopathy" and "osteopathic medicine" entries, which both refer to one another and cover both the global and US definitions of those terms. Just as DOs in the US practice medicine, and are trained in a CAM therapy as well, NDs in the US practice medicine and are trained in CAM therapies. However, there are non-medically trained osteopaths and naturopaths worldwide who are not licensed to diagnose and treat patients. In fact, editors on the talk page of the "naturopathic medicine" entry have recently been discussing splitting the article. Any insight from this camp? Thanks! Lamaybe (talk) 20:09, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Even if "naturopathic medicine" and "naturopathy" were two separate articles, I still do not think naturopathic medicine would belong in the medicine category for the reasons mentioned above. Yes, the CAM roots of naturopathic medicine are similar to osteopathic medicine, but naturopathic medicine is still considered non-conventional medicine. Currently, practitioners of naturopathic medicine do not have the same education (no internship/residence requirement) or practice rights as MDs and DOs. Once US state licensure is identical for ND and MD/DO nationwide (and there are no places where it is illegal), then naturopathic medicine would belong in the medicine category. Additionally, I would not add the ND schools to List of medical schools in the United States, even if the preclinical years are similar. Having an ND degree leads to a very different career than a MD or DO degree, and it would be misleading to group ND schools with MD/DO schools together in one list. --Scott Alter 21:44, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

In most states where NDs are licensed, they can practice as primary-care physicians after passing their clinical boards, without completing a residency. A residency is required before being licensed in Utah, and has been written into proposed (but not yet passed) licensing bills in states like New York. In some states (Arizona, Washington), NDs have the same practice rights as MDs and DOs. In other states, the practice rights are different, but in all states where naturopathic doctors are licensed, they are licensed to diagnose and treat patients. I think that is the key to why naturopathic physicians are practicing medicine; as wikipedia's "medicine" article leads: "Medicine is the science and art of maintaining and restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of patients" which is clearly what NDs are trained and licensed to do. I think the ND schools could be included in the List of medical schools in the United States, if the lead of the article clearly distinguishes what the difference in the potential careers are. Or, the lead of that article could direct to a separate "List of naturopathic medical schools in the US" article. Lamaybe (talk) 21:04, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't see a huge problem with a separate or clearly separated list of recognized naturopathic schools, some of which probably also have their own articles by now. As far as what schools to list, [19] is a good place to start. Naturopathy is a different approach and isn't broadly recognized, but a licensed ND (at least in Oregon) still has substantial recognized medical training. The problem is that there are a lot of quacks and dubious correspondence schools. Adding a list will invite substandard schools (and/or diploma mills) and their students to add themselves in order to get some sort of legitimacy (or publicity) and the list would have to be watched.Somedumbyankee (talk) 00:20, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I created an article; Naturopathic medical schools in North America, and linked to it from Medical schools in the United States. If anyone thinks it should be linked to from List of medical schools in the United States, please do so. I think that there might be a touch of controversy about linking from that entry, so I probably shouldn't be the one to do it. In writing the entry, I discovered that there already is an article entitled List of accredited naturopathic medical schools in North America. Lamaybe (talk) 07:51, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

WP:Notability#Medical topics?

How I wish there was a page called that. I found this page, created by Mswalid, which is orphaned and virtually untouched except Mswalid and an anon account who is almost certainly the same person. There are two references, both to the same authors. So, is it notable? Should it be deleted? WP:N can't really apply to most medical topics since the popular press isn't going to write articles on most medical topics. As a rule of thumb for any symptom scales I'd probably use a validation study as a cut-off (but that's just me). Thoughts? Pubmed turns up a link to one of the references that uses, but does not validate the scale. WLU (talk) 16:59, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Drug treatment programs are pretty secretive by necessity, and that sounds like something they would use, so a lot of the information may not be out on the web. Is there any indication who Walid and Robinson are and if they are notable and/or reliable?Somedumbyankee (talk) 18:13, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Walid turns up 4 publications of fairly diverse topics, Robinson 27 (pubmed being of course unreliable for names since it doesn't distinguish Mark from Michael). Looks like Robinson does a lot of spine work, with a lot of gaps in publication (first is in 1972). From what I can guess it looks like a mixed bag of journals - some good, some minor. It might be reliable, but is it notable? I've no idea. Based on the two publications that exist, what can be said about it? Google scholar turns up only the one hit that's already in the page. A near complete lack of sources makes for a very limited article. WLU (talk) 18:29, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Failing some sort of stronger indication who the creators are, the history of the scale, or some other external source, I'd probably fold it into a list or an article on pain management. I don't recognize the journal, but I'm no expert (when I see OD I think EIA testing). My guess for notability is to use things like established medical dictionaries, WHO criteria, as well as the Lancet and JAMA and such as surrogates for the "popular press".Somedumbyankee (talk) 18:04, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Two articles needing attention

A new stub that would love some TLC - Penetrating atherosclerotic ulcer - and an expanded and equivocal page on a new-ish topic, that could use an expert - Acute aortic syndrome. First WP:MED contributor to expand gets a barnasterisk (the next level below the minor barnstar)! They're also both orphans, and I'm not sure about where to link. WLU (talk) 01:02, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure whether acute aortic syndrome shouldn't be merged with aortic dissection. Because that's basically what it is. JFW | T@lk 05:31, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Respectfully, I disagree. "Acute aortic dissection" refers to a group of diseases that have some similarities in symptoms. Only one of the relevant diseases is aortic dissection. I have added a reference to the AAS article and clarified the lead. Axl (talk) 16:47, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
It is an attempt to push acute coronary syndrome into the aorta. JFW | T@lk 16:59, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
To "push ACS into the aorta"? Er, I don't understand. Axl (talk) 17:05, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Since there's a variety of articles on pubmed (admittedly they seem to be middling-low quality), I'm inclined to leave it separate. A reference discussing the two being the same would go a long way towards convincing me at least, can't speak for others. I've not looked into references that are critical of it as a separate entity, and any critical articles would be good integration even if it stays separate. WLU (talk) 22:32, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
  1. ^ Alternative medicine--the risks of untested and unregulated remedies. Angell M, Kassirer JP. N Engl J Med 1998;339:839.
  2. ^ JD Howell, MD PhD. The Paradox of Osteopathy. N Engl J Med. 1999 Nov 4;341(19):1465-8. PMID 10547412
  3. ^ Whorton, James. Counterculture Healing: A Brief History of Alternative Medicine in America. 4 Nov 2003. WGBH Educational Foundation. accessed 25 Dec 2007.
  4. ^ Gundling, KE.When Did I Become an "Allopath"? Arch Intern Med. 1998;158:2185-2186
  5. ^ Physicians and Surgeons. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Dept of Labor. [20]