Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10

The pathology informatics curriculum wiki: Harnessing the power of user-generated content


Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Correspondence Address:
John R Gilbertson
Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2153-3539.65428

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Background: The need for informatics training as part of pathology training has never been so critical, but pathology informatics is a wide and complex field and very few programs currently have the resources to provide comprehensive educational pathology informatics experiences to their residents. In this article, we present the "pathology informatics curriculum wiki", an open, on-line wiki that indexes the pathology informatics content in a larger public wiki, Wikipedia, (and other online content) and organizes it into educational modules based on the 2003 standard curriculum approved by the Association for Pathology Informatics (API). Methods and Results: In addition to implementing the curriculum wiki at http://pathinformatics.wikispaces.com, we have evaluated pathology informatics content in Wikipedia. Of the 199 non-duplicate terms in the API curriculum, 90% have at least one associated Wikipedia article. Furthermore, evaluation of articles on a five-point Likert scale showed high scores for comprehensiveness (4.05), quality (4.08), currency (4.18), and utility for the beginner (3.85) and advanced (3.93) learners. These results are compelling and support the thesis that Wikipedia articles can be used as the foundation for a basic curriculum in pathology informatics. Conclusions: The pathology informatics community now has the infrastructure needed to collaboratively and openly create, maintain and distribute the pathology informatics content worldwide (Wikipedia) and also the environment (the curriculum wiki) to draw upon its own resources to index and organize this content as a sustainable basic pathology informatics educational resource. The remaining challenges are numerous, but largest by far will be to convince the pathologists to take the time and effort required to build pathology informatics content in Wikipedia and to index and organize this content for education in the curriculum wiki.


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