"It's a very ambitious project," commented Christopher M. Schlachta, MD, a general surgeon at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, and a lecturer in general and minimally invasive surgery at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.
"The WeB-Surg site has the potential to become a vast resource for the public, established surgeons and surgical students at all levels of training.The use of multimedia in surgical education has sorely lagged behind the rest of the online world, possibly due to fears that the message might be lost in the media."
The ability to continuously update the content of the site is one of the main features of WeB-Surg, according to Anne-Laure Bailly, MD, PhD, the medical coordinator of the site.In fact, when describing a new surgical method or technology, contributing authors must commit to updating their contributions as new data becomes available."These updates can be as simple as an addendum to the original document, such as a video or a chart of statistics, or can take the form of more detailed modifications to reflect changes in technique or long-term analysis," she
contends that such input is absolutely necessary if the site is not to be seen as yet another online promotional vehicle for the manufacturers of surgical equipment that already clutter the Internet."Accountability and balance require disparate opinions," Dr. Schlachta
told General Surgery News
."The success of WeB-Surg will depend on its ability to ensure appropriate and credible peer review of its content.A major pitfall of the Internet as a medical resource has been the inability to regulate the quality of online productions.Anyone can have a Web site and say anything they want to on it," he