Veterinary Medicine and Internet
Posted by: admin | February 27, 2009 | 0 Comments
Many academic communities have been utilizing the Internet for collaborative efforts and education since its inception, and the medical community was quick to follow. One of the early players in the veterinary community’s online activity was the Veterinary Information Network, which now provides discussion boards and continuing education resources for veterinarians and veterinary technicians and a platform for veterinary students. While it took a few years for the veterinary community to come on board, the laboratory animal science (LAS) community, in comparison, was the last to join in. The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) is now one of the major players within the LAS online community, offering a learning library which includes comprehensive online courses that cover the majority of topics required by the community.
Recently, a group at the University of Ličge reported a study on equine atypical myopathy. Interestingly, they collected data for the study from veterinary practitioners and clinicians at various veterinary colleges using the Atypical Myopathy Alert Group, a network which the authors created. Participants in the Group included veterinarians from Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Scotland, The Netherlands, and Switzerland. The data collected through this Group was posted on their website and published in the The Veterinary Journal . After publication of the article, a guest editorial was published that praised the University of Ličge group for setting up their Atypical Myopathy Alert Group and suggested that the network be expanded to include links to pictures, histology slides, videos of post mortems, and the living clinical cases from various outbreaks. This improvement would not only create a resource for additional data collections, but it would also serve as a great educational tool. However, because web links change or become obsolete quickly, a more ideal solution would be to allow veterinarians to upload this information to one website, thus making it easily accessible to veterinarians worldwide. This would require more resources such as funding and servers, especially if video content is uploaded. However, if maintained by a collective group versus individuals, such a site would increase the chances of the material being continuously available in the long term. The above referenced article and editorial serve as another reminder that the Internet can play a significant role within the veterinary community in terms of both data consortiums and education.
Written On: February 27th, 2009.