Internet

Advantage Internet  

"The Internet can change your world. Use its power judiciously to hone your skills as a medical professional, and see the difference"

               This is the  information age, and knowledge is power today. More than ever before, it is imperative to be updated to what is happening around. And for this purpose, all available resources ought to be utilized.

                Nowadays, patients read up about their physical condition, check out alternatives and seek opinions before they visit a doctor. They are able to do all this from the comfort of their homes, thanks to the Internet. Therefore, as a doctor, you ought to be a little bit more informed, and it is vital to exploit all the potential that the Internet provides.

                Internet in India started in 1995 with VSNL as the only gateway to the Internet. Today, a number of ISPs (Internet Service Providers) such as MTNL, Mantra Online, Satyam, etc. provide you a range of options to choose from.

 

Browsers 

A vast network of computers that store documents, known as Web pages, linked together by hyperlinks, the Internet is like the world’s largest library. To view an HTML document, you will need software that understand the HTML format. These software packages, known as browsers are generally graphical in nature, user friendly and posses additional features. Currently the more popular browsers are Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. Both Browsers come loaded with  all sorts of features. Fortunately, you can learn the basics in just a few minutes, then take time to explore the more advanced functions. Both Explorer and Navigator have more similarities than differences, so Dr.KSM will primarily cover those. A browser has a set of buttons on the top known as the toolbar. There is also a text entry box where you can enter the name of any site that you want to visit. Since the toolbars for Navigator and Explorer differ slightly, well first describe what the buttons in common do:

The BACK button returns you the previous page you have visited

Use the FORWARD button to go to the next page from which you went back.

HOME takes you to whichever home page your have choosen.

RELOAD or REFRESH loads the Web page again

SEARCH allow to search the Net from Microsoft's site in Internet Explorer and from Netscape Netcenter in Navigator.

PRINT lets you make a hard copy of the current document loaded in your browser.

The STOP button stops the browser from loading the current page.

 

Why reload or Refresh ? 

Sometimes all of the elements of a web page haven't loaded the first time, because the file transfer was interrupted. Also when you download a web page, the data is cached, meaning it is stored temporarily on your computer. The next time you want that page, instead of requesting the file from the web server, your Web browser just accesses it from the cache. But if a web page is updated frequently, as  may be the case with news, sports scores or the latest medical breakthroughs you won’t get the most current information. By reloading the page, this timely data is updated.

 

When to use the STOP button 

There is a good reason why the web is jokingly referred to as the “World Wide Wait (WWW)”. If you can’t connect to a site, use the STOP button and try again later, especially if you are trying to access a popular site.

            As with most software, there is more than one way to accomplish a task. Here are a few other features to help you navigate:

As you hop from page to  page and Web site to Web site, your browser remembers where you’ve been. Just look under the Go menu in Navigator and History button in Explorer. There you’ll find a history of your travels. To return to a previous place, just click on the name. By the way, you can also use the Go menu to move forward or back. Another way to move between pages with Navigator is by clicking the right mouse button. A pop-up menu will appear and you can choose to move forward or back.

 

Surfing 

Let’s go through a simple exercise in surfing the Net. Let’s start with a website, say www.drksm.com. This address is called as a URL (Universal Resource Locator). Enter the URL into the browser window, make sure your Internet connection is working, and the page will start to Load. Both Navigator and Explorer have a small picture in the upper right hand corner of the browser. When this image is animated, it mean’s that your browser downloads these remote files to your computer, then displays them on your screen. 

At the bottom of the web browser you will find a window known as a status bar. Here, you can watch the progress of Web page transactions, such as the address of the site you are contacting, whether the host computer has been contacted and the size of the files to be downloaded. 

On moving your mouse to the page, you will notice the arrow turning into a hand over some parts of the text (generally underlined and in blue) or some images. This depicts a hyperlink to another document. This document may be on the same website located on a different server. Now, if you wish to revert back to the main page, you to the previous page that you visited. The forward button would reverse the operation. The Print button can be used to take a printout of the page on an attached printer. The stop button stops the browser from loading the HTML document. The Refresh button reloads the HTML document. If you want to visit a link without closing the current page that you are viewing, right click on the link,  now among the options that you are presented with, choose the option that will allow you to view the document in a new window. This way, you will have two windows of you browser running. It is possible to open a number of Windows, but that would also slow down your browsing speed. 

            If you get the URL wrong, your browser will indicate that an error has been made. A URL has no spaces between letters, and always uses forward slashes. You could also use a browser to understand files that follow methods other than HTML. In order to make it explicitly clear that you are using HTML, your URL should look like this: http://www.drksm.com  where the HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. It serves to specify the way in which the file is to be transferred. The address after the http:// is the location where you want to go.

 

Understanding URLs

The first part of a URL (before the two slashes ) tells you the type of resource or method of access at that address. For example, some of the more common types are: 

URL resource type  What it means
http A hypertext document or directory
Gopher A gopher document or menu
ftp A file available for downloading or a directory of such files

The second part of a URL (after the two slashes) is typically the address of the computer where the data or service is located. The rightmost portion of a domain name often indicates the type of site it lives on. The most common domain name extensions are: 

Domain Name Extension Site
.com Commercial Site
.edu Educational Site (mostly for USA and Canada)
.gov US Government Site
.mil US Military Site
.net Network Service Provider
.org Organization
.biz Business Site
.info Information Site
.pro Professional
.name Individuals

       For More information go to http://www.icann.org              

Some additional lower level domains specific to India are

.in Network Service Provider
.co.in Commercial Site
.ac.in Academic Institutions
.ind.in Individuals
.ernet.in ERNET, most educational institutions in India are on it
.gov.in Government Organizations
.net.in Network Service Provider

For More Information go to http://domain.ncst.ernet.in 

 

Bookmarks

Just as bookmark in a book helps you find the page you were last reading much faster, bookmarks in browsers let you quickly access URLs that you use often. With millions of web sites and more coming online daily, you will undoubtedly find ones you want to revisit. Bookmarks save the address of your favorite sites, so your can return to them quickly, without having to remember the URL or to retype the address. Whether you are using Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Explorer, the procedure is similar, although Microsoft calls bookmarks as Favorites. Once you find a site you want to save, go to the bookmarks (or Favorites) menu and select Add bookmark. When you return to the bookmarks menu, the title of the web page you recorded will be at the bottom of the list. To visit a book marked web site, just click on it.

 

Downloading files

A file can be downloaded off web pages by simply clicking on it. Alternatively, you can also right click the link and choose 'Save target As'. There is another developed exclusively for downloading files off the net known as FTP (File Transfer protocol) where you would have to replace the http:// with ftp://. Some sites have an alternative FTP site, to enhance downloading files. Since HTTP also facilitates file downloads along with other features, it is taking over FTP as the preferred way to download files. FTP sites however, are still used on sites dedicated to distribute software. Applications such as CuteFTP and WSFTP are available to help you download. However for most basic FTP functions, you can use your own browser for accessing FTP sites.

 Dr.KSM Prefers Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0

E-mail

E-mail is the most common form of communication on the internet. It is the digital or electronic version of a normal postal service. So, when you mail someone, the person gets the equivalent of a letter and he /she can reply to you. On the Internet, which spans countries and continents, there is a uniform scheme of addressing everyone. This address is E-mail ID.A typical E-mail ID would read: ksm@drksm.com ( like someone@somesite.com or yourname@yoursite.com )

There are three main parts of this E-mail ID:

ksm: the actual login name, or the person’s unique identification within the organization.

drksm: the organization's name 

com: the class of organization. This category is also known as a top-level domain. In order to understand the various top-level domains, see the accompanying box on domain names.

            All ISPs provide an e-mail account that you can access using e-mail software like Outlook and Eudora. Web based e-mail services such as Hotmail or Yahoo provide email services for free that you can access through web pages after you’ve signed up for them. These are more popular now as they allow access to your e-mail from any computer. Whatever your form of access, you will always have a unique login name that forms part of your e-mail ID. Along with this, you will have a password that will ensure that only you can access your mailbox. All your  incoming mail will be placed by default in a folder called In Box.

            Remember that e-mail is only plain text. So, if you need to send more than simple text in your electronic mail messages, you can attach computer documents including word –processor, spreadsheet, graphic, and video files to an e-mail message. So e-mail is a useful way to share files. Always compress the files before sending. Use standard compression techniques like ZIP, Z,etc. this can be done using compression applications like PKZIP, WINZIP ( http://www.winzip.com ) and similar applications. Also mention in the e-mail the software that can be used to view or edit the file attached. 

            The person who receives you e-mail with an attachment can open the attachment if he or she has the program in which the attachment was created. If the recipient does not have the program you used to create your attachment, he or she may be able to get the appropriate viewer, such as Microsoft Word viewer or MP3 player. A viewer contains the components of a program needed to display a file created with the full version of the program.

            Since e-mail is only plain text, it cannot infect your machine with viruses. On the other hand, file attachments are normal files and can be therefore very dangerous take care with running/opening them, some of the world's deadliest viruses today are transferred via e-mail attachments.

 

Hello world ! 

If you wish to send e-mail, first find out the complete e-mail address of the person you are sending the message to. Enter this address in the To: area. A carbon copy of the mail can be sent to someone else by use of the CC: field (any address entered into the BCC: field or Blank Carbon copy field. Will make that address invisible to the other recipients). Each e-mail has a subject field. Use this judiciously to concisely indicate what the e-mail is about. E-mails are also date and time stamped so the person who receives it can tell who sent it and when. Some modern e-mail software can spell-check on the e-mail before you send it. 

            When an e-mail address is incorrect in some way (the system’s name is wrong. The domain doesn’t exist, whatever), the mail system will bounce the message back to the sender (i.e. you). The message will include the reason for the bounce, a common error is addressing mail to an account name that doesn’t exist. In order to simplify remembering long e-mail ID’s e-mail software allow nicknames to substitute e-mail address. If you want to send mail to ksm@mail.internet.drksm.com , but have known him as ‘ksm’ then you can now associate ksm with that long e-mail ID by simply adding his name, nickname and E-mail ID to the address book. So, each time you to send him E-mail, all you have to do is just type ‘ksm’ in the To: field and the software will put in the rest of the E-mail ID! 

            In POP access, you connect to the server, send your e-mail and download all the  incoming ones to your machine. And unlike Web based e-mail services, you can then read, delete, modify or reply to the mails you received at you won leisure, offline, i.e., when you are not connected to the internet. This saves a lot of money and valuable Internet time. Examples of this type of e-mail software include Microsoft’s Outlook express and Netscape Communicators e-mail access. 

Dr.KSM Prefers Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express

            In Web based access, your e-mail access is via the Web pages of the site offering you the e-mail access. Therefore, to read, reply or create any message, you need to be connected to the Internet. Examples include www.mailcity.com and www.bharatmail.com , among others. To use Web based e-mail, first create an account. Go the respective site and follow the instructions for new users. You will have to enter some details about yourself. Once this is done, your account will be created. To Check your E-mail, enter the address of the site that you need to visit in the browser. You may need to enter your E-mail ID and password at the start.

Have a POP mail account, then here is the Web View of the POP Mail. POP mail is usually accessed through popular email clients like Microsoft Outlook. But when you are on Journey or away from your Personal Computer system, here you can check your POP mail through Easy-to-Use interface on WWW in the following application. http://webpop.drksm.com

 

How to configure the Outlook Express Client

Outlook Express comes with a very useful wizard with which you can set up your account very quickly. To use the wizard, start Outlook Express.

Click on the Add button and select Mail.

Enter your name in Display Name, click Next.

Enter your e-mail address, click Next.

Select POP3 as the Incoming Server and enter the POP3 server name, click Next.

Type your login name, and your password in the appropriate locations, click Next.

Choose the method of access via your ISP, click Next.

Choose how you will establish your Internet Connection, click Next.

Click on Finish and Close.

Log on to the Internet, and check your e-mail.

 

Some sites offering free e-mail accounts:

 

http://www.hotmail.com

http://mail.yahoo.com

http://www.starmail.com

http://www.mailcity.lycos.com

http://www.juno.com

http://mailexcite.com

http://www.indiamail.com

http://www.netaddress.com

http://www.india.com

http://www.pobox.com

http://www.mailexcite.com

http://www.rocketmail.com 

http://www.bharatmail.com - many options to use. You can send an inland card to distant villages through email. Check it out.

 

Dr.KSM prefers http://mail.yahoo.com (offers Web based Email , POP mail and also Forwarding Service)

Chats 

Imagine sitting here in India chatting with your best friend in America for hours on end. Sounds like an expensive proposition? Not so, if you’re using the Internet to chat. This, along with e-mail, has changed the way we communicate. Simply, put, chatting is talking to others people who are using the Internet at the same time as you are. From focused, professional chats to casual chats, the phenomenon is really popular. You can visit many chat sites on the Internet where you can discuss any topic under the sun with people you haven’t even met. A popular choice among chatters is Internet Relay chat (IRC). 

            These conversations take place in thousands of virtual areas, called channels. A channel is an area that is dedicated or devoted to a particular topic. People can therefore choose to enter channels that deal with the subjects of their interest. To uniquely identify yourself, you will need a nickname. If you log onto an IRC server, you will be provided with a list of channels, generally denoted by subject/ topic an example of which could be heart-disease. Once you join a channel, ‘public’ conversations that are now occurring between various people all over the world will appear on you screen. 

            Although software exists for chatting, you can chat using you browser as well. Sites like www.talkcity.com and http://chat.yahoo.com  are probably where you should start. To search for specific channels you can use the search facilities of the site to look around for any discussions that could be of interest to you. As an example, consider a chat session at Yahoo. If you own an E-mail ID from Yahoo, you can use the same ID (which now becomes your nickname) and password for chatting (If not, you well need to create one). Yahoo provides you Java based chat (as opposed to html based chat), so you will need to ensure that your browser is Java enabled (Tools> Internet Options> Advanced). At the main Yahoo chat page, you will see a link that is titled Health/ Family. Clicking on it will yield a list of rooms that you could visit. A room is the equivalent of a channel. Once you enter the room, you can read and take part in the conversations taking place there. Just below this is the text enter box where you can add your inputs to the conversations. On the right, you will see the list of people currently present in the room. If you want to send a private message to someone. Double click on that person’s nickname. This will open a window enabling a private message to the person. If you wish to leave, use the Exit option.

 

Some Indian Sites 

Besides channels like #india,#mumbai, etc on Yahoo and Talkcity, most Indian portals also feature chat services.

 

www.midday.com

www.mantraonline.com

www.youthplant.com

www.rediff.com

www.vsnl.com         

            Some chat channels are structured around the concept of time based meetings. In such an instance, either people on the channel meet almost at the same time everyday or the channel itself has invited some major personality to be online and chat with the rest of the world. For example, if you always wanted to talk to X, Who is a world renowned authority on something that interests you, it just might be possible that you could get to chat with him even without leaving the confines of your home!

Recently, instead of Web Based Chats, Chat software's are gaining more popularity. Yahoo Messenger ( http://messenger.yahoo.com ), MSN Messenger ( http://messenger.msn.com ), ICQ ( http://www.icq.com ) are among the best ones. Download the software from the respective sites, install it and register and then you can have chat sessions. Just follow the instructions in the Help menu.

 Dr.KSM Prefers Yahoo Messenger ( http://messenger.yahoo.com )

 

Internet Etiquette 

Apart from the many things that one can do on the Internet, there are many things that you should not do. One example is of capitalizing words, because capitalization is the equivalent of shouting on the Net. Avoid directly contradicting or disagreeing with anyone. Even if you have to, try to put it across as politely as possible. You may be talking to someone who is from another culture from the other end of the world. A simple joke to you could be an insult to another. Also, when you just enter a channel/mailing list, don’t immediately join the discussion. Wait for a while, watch what people are talking about, get a hang of the atmosphere before you take the plunge. This could save you embarrassment, if you have not actually understood the focus of the group when you joined it. For example, if a newsgroup (fictional) was titled sci.med.diseases.lawyers and you assumed that it was about diseases that affected lawyers, you may have a surprise in store. It may well turn out that this is one of those newsgroups dedicated to intense lawyer bashing from frustrated doctors out there. They were probably referring to what a disease lawyers are (No offence intended), so beware.

 

Commonly used Smileys

 :-) Smile

;) also a smile 

:-D laughing 

:-} Grin

:-] smirk

:-/ Scowling

;- wry wink  

8^] Bug-eyed 

;'-( Crying Smile

>;-( Grimacing  

{:^) Neat Smile 

=:) Punk Rock

;-) Wink     

;^) Smiley in     

:-( Frown  Profile

8-) Wide-eyed       

:-X Close          

:-o Oh no!

;+( Snubbed-            

[] and *: Hugs   nose                    

*:o) Clown and kisses

:-e Disappointed   

:-@ Screaming

;-p Sticking the tongue out

But nowadays graphical smileys are included in the chat software's.

    

Newsgroups and Mailing Lists 

Newsgroups and Mailing Lists are a different form of communicating on the Net. Rather than being interactive and in real time, these methods of communication are discussions that are offline, In a newsgroup, people who are interested in a particular subject can write and submit articles dealing with it. The article can then be read to the other participants in the group. This way, the entire discussion that is taking place is stored via the UseNet. Using a suitable NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) client ( e.g.. Netscape’s Collabra) you can view and post articles. The great part about newsgroups is that it is well organized and perhaps more meaningful than chatting. 

            One example of a newsgroup is Sci.med. diseases.cancer, where the top domain is ‘sci’ which stands for discussions related to science. The next domain ‘med’details that discussions under this level deal only with medical postings. Similarly, ‘diseases’ and ‘cancer’ are specific domains within their preceding domains. This well-structured organization allows you to quickly enter the discussion of your interest. If you use Outlook Express, it comes with a wizard that allows you to configure your newsgroup access very simply. The only thing that you need to first do is finding out from your ISP the name of the NNTP server. Web-based newsgroups provide a means to access newsgroups from within a browser. One example is the site at www.deja.com  . sometimes , some sites themselves provide discussion boards. These are very similar to newsgroups, but are not part of them and are generally very subject-specific. You can get there only by searching for them. 

            Mailing lists are the e-mail equivalent of newsgroups. However, they have no central organization or coordination. Mailing lists are a group of people who e-mail each other, while discussing a particular topic. There are specific Websites that are devoted to organizing and co-coordinating mailing lists. Sites such as www.yahoogroups.com  www.egroups.com , www.listz.com and www.lsoft.com/lists.list_q.html are places where you can start looking for the lists of you interest. Listz.com also stores information about newsgroups, so it probably is the first site that you should visit. 

            As an example, if you were looking for a mailing list on the thyroid gland, you could go to listz.com Once there you will need to type thyroid and search. The site will present you with a number of options, and hyperlinks to each one of them. Clicking on any will get you all the information the site has on that particular mailing list. This page will contain information on the list, instructions on how to join and other subscribe information. In this case, if you need information on the list, you will have to send an e-mail to listerv@maelstrom.stjohns.edu with the words: ‘info THYROID’ in it. For additional help on subscribing, you could also send the word: 'help' to the same address. The list server will send you a reply asking for a subscribe request in a particular format. This e-mail will also have instructions on how to remove yourself from the list, if you need to. Examples for newsgroups and mailing lists of interest can be found below.

 

Newsgroups and Mailing List 

Newsgroups

These are some of the newsgroups under sci.med. Some additional medical related newsgroups that are present in the alt.med category are also listed.

Sci.med.aids AIDS: treatment, pathology/biology of HIV (Moderated)

Sci.med.cardiology : all aspects of cardiovascular diseases

Sci.med.dentistry: Dentally related topics: all about teeth.

Sci.med.immunology: Medical/scientific  aspects of immune illness.

Sci.med.obgyn: Obstetrics  & gynecology, ( moderated)

Sci.med.occupational: Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) & job injury issues.

Sci.med.orthopedics: Orthopedic surgery (Moderated)

Sci.med.pathology: Pathology and laboratory medicine.

Sci.med.pharmacy: The teaching and practice of pharmacy.

Sci.med.psychobiology: Dialogue and news in psychiatry and psychobiology.

Sci.med.radiology: All aspects of radiology.

Sci.med.vision: Human vision, visual correction, and visual science

Alt.med.allergy: helping people with allergies

Alt.med.fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia Fibrositis list

Alt.med.cure-paralysis: Discussions of treatment of paralysis / paraplegia.

 

Mailing Lists : 

ACCRI-L : Anesthesia and Critical care resources on the internet.

ANEST-L: Anesthesiology Discussion list.

ccm-l: Critical Care medicine mailing list.

med-jokes: Medical humor Among health care personnel.

smartdurgs: The one and only smart Drugs/ Nootropics Discussion list. 

SPIRAMED :spiritual implications for Medicine and psychology.

WARN-L: Discussion list on antibiotics resistance.

These lists are only a small sampling of the 8000 lists available at listz.com.

 

Searching for information 

Finding information on the Internet is much more difficult than it seems.  Every day, more information than what you can imagine gets added to the Internet. No matter how detailed or specific your query, you  are  bound to find a Website  to help you out. A search engine is software that allows you to search the Web for documents of interest to you. Examples of search engines include www.google.comwww.altavista.com , www.hotbot.com  , www.askjeeves.com , www.yahoo.com ,etc.These Search engines are general and conatin lot of information. However, there are aslo Medical Specific Search engines such as www.medscape.com and www.medline.com. These are a little more specific and will automatically reduce the number of false alarms that any medical centered search will produce. If you are unable to find anything positive with one engine, you should still try the other engines, as the number of Web pages catalogued by each search engine varies. 

Most general search engines do not require any additional registration before you begin to use them However, Medical search engines such as Medscape and Medline do so. This registration is free and is a very simple process. Once you register, you have complete access to the resources on the site. 

            As an example, consider a situation where you are looking for information on pollen related allergies. You have to first think of key words likely to be present in a document that  would interest you. In this case, pollen, allergy, sneezing, rashes, immune could be the possible alternatives. One you enter the key words in the search engine, it compares all the documents that it has in its database with the key words that you supplied. If the words match, then it will signal that page as a hit, or a possible document that you could be interested in.

            These are some parameters, which may help you refine a search. For example, if you type (in some browsers) pollen AND allergy, the search engine will only return documents that contain the word pollen and the word allergy. The accompanying box on Boolean Searches will provide you with more information. In order to further prune your search you could ask for ‘Pollen allergy’ this will only return documents with the exact words ‘pollen allergy ‘ in that order. Each time you submit a set of keywords to a search engine, it will respond with a list of pages that it thinks are useful. You can then use this list of pages as an initial starting point for your surfing.

            Each individual page in this list of hits will have short description of that page. This description is quite useful and can save a lot of time by eliminating many false hits. The site address of where the document is stored will be present in the description. It is also a good idea not to directly use the same windows for surfing. Use the right click to open each of the documents in new windows. This way, you can always get to your search quickly if the first few pages are of no use to you.

            Given that you actually reach a page that is of interest to you, you could do many things from there on. You could take a printout, if a printer is attached to your PC. Or save a copy of  the page to your hard disc. Another option is to bookmark the site (Favorites> Add to Favorites), which makes it easier for you to return to this site, the next time you are online.

            It is also a useful idea to install a download manager like GetRight. This kind of software helps you manage all your downloads and allows for downloads to resume at the same point if the connection gets disconnected accidentally. Downloads are generally .ZIP, .PS or .PDF files. ZIP files are files that have been compressed in order to reduce their size. Utilities like WinZip or Pkunzip are needed to restore them to their original state. PS stands for Post Script while PDF stands for Portable Data Format. These are standards for describing graphics and text in an independent format. Most scientific documents, papers, survey articles and diagrams will be in one of these two formats. You will need the Ghost View and Adobe Acrobat Reader software packages to be able to use these documents.

 Dr.KSM Prefers http://www.google.com

Searching for Medical Literature 

The  MEDLINE database (maintained by the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland, USA) is the best way of retrieving medical information today. This database has over 10 million references, and indexes all articles published in reputed medical journals from all over the world. Today, doctors can do their own Medline searches, free of charge, through the Internet, to find the latest information on any medical topic.

            If you are looking for a general topic, then doing a Medline search is quite easy. However, finding specific information can be tricky. Also, many doctors complain that they end up retrieving articles that are of little clinical use. Like anything else, practice makes perfect. The good news is that it’s quite easy to learn this as well. 

Creating a search phrase is the most important step in finding the documents that you want – remember- Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you do not look for the right terms and keywords, you may not find what you need, and this can be very frustrating! Natural Language Searching (NLS) is the default method the search engine uses to find articles related to your query. Basically, the  search engine will find all documents containing ANY of the words in your phrase. Fuzzy logic is applied to rank the words in your phrase. Fuzzy logic is applied to rank the documents by the number of matched words and number of times these words appear. Remember that you will achieve better results by using several relevant words or a phrase are conducted on all Medline fields , which include: Author(S), article title, abstract, MeSH terms, journal abbreviation, and publication type.

 

Tips to refine Medline Search 

Boolean operators : Words such as AND, OR and NOT may be used to specifically include or exclude words and topics in your search.

Parentheses may be used to define logical expression order. The parentheses help to group words and /or commands that should be examined first.

Quotes can be used to define a search phrase. For example, to search for lung cancer, you can enter 'lung cancer' and it will find those words in sequence.

Proximity : append words together with ‘w/x’ to find words within x words of each other.

Wildcards may be used in search words to fill in unknown or ambiguous sections of the word. This is most useful when you need to find related terms with varied endings. A wildcard is represented by the '*' character.

EXAMPLE : If you would like to find articles on pulmonary infections in immunocompromised hosts, but don’t  want articles on tuberculosis and viral pneumonia , use the search phrase: 'pulmonary infection' w/5 immunocompromised-hosts NOT (tuberculo* OR 'viral pneumonia')

 

Boolean searches 

Many search engines allow you to use Boolean statements or connectors during your search in order to filter the sites that are being presented to you as hits. For example, the following Boolean phrases are most commonly available on search engines :

 

AND     : This forces both search keys to be present in a document.

              A plus sign before a word also performs the same function 

OR      : This forces at least one search key to be present

 NOT    : This forces that the document does not contain the word

              A minus sign before a work also performs the same action.

  The first thing that you could do is to determine what is the default connector used in your search engine. For example, if you are looking for information on muscle tears that are not fracture related and type: ‘Muscle tear’, you will he given a list of sites that contain the word muscle OR tear, or you will be given a list of sites that contain the word muscle AND tear, depending on whether the default connector is OR or AND.

To further filter your search, you can enter: muscle AND tear NOT fracture. This translates into documents that have the key words muscle as well as tear, but not containing the word fracture. The following sentence also has the same meaning: +muscle + tear – fracture.

If the sentences described above returned too many hits with documents in which the words muscle and tear were separated and not together and therefore of no interest to you, you could now try: + “muscle tear” – fracture.

Creating your Website

       To become part of the Internet, you will need to create your own home page. Even if you do not use the Internet too much, or don’t check mail very often, a homepage is much like setting up your nameplate. A Web page is the first step in creating your virtual presence. Apart from allowing other people to be able to find you  it also lets you give to the whole world your unique and personal look at life, medicine and anything else in the universe. You can put up information, help and other details that people might want to know. This may make your page  very valuable and well known. You could also  put up your photographs, your personal likes and dislikes, anything. Creating a Web page first requires you to find a place that will store the HTML documents that from your page. This server is known as your host. Many free sites allow you to put up your homepage for free. These include famous sites like www.freeservers.com  www.xoom.com and www.geocities.com. These sites also help you create your Web page. All you have to do is to simply follow the directions from the browser.

        Another option is to use software like FrontPage or HotDog, which are professional HTML editors. These software have wizards that completely automate the Web page building process, taking you through the whole process. The next step is to ensure that the page is active and working on the Internet. Once this is done, you will have to advertise your page on as many search engines as you can. Remember that it’s not enough to add a Web page to the Internet, it’s important to try and ensure that if someone wants to find you, he/she can. You could use visit counters and a guest book to try to see who is visiting your page and why. Change your page occasionally, and keep links current and fresh.  

FrontPage wizard for creating Web pages.

Six quick steps to create your home page using FrontPage Wizard

Step 1 : Click the third icon on the left panel and you will have a wizard welcome you. You are ready to start creating your home page. 

Step 2 : Decide the style of page you would like. This defines the background and the general format of what goes where on the page. 

Step 3 : Would you like to have visitors to your page sign a guest book? If yes select the Yes radiobutton. And go on. 

Step 4 : Your can also have visitors leave messages for you. Another simple selection, and you’re through. 

Step 5 : Your’re done. Congratulation, you managed to answer three questions without goofing up. 

Step 6 : Now all that remains is to fill in the blanks in Internet Explorer and you have your page completed. It is not too great, but just about okay for now. Your can come back and edit and modify it later.

Site allowing Web page hosting for free 

http://www.freeservers.com

http://www.geocities.com 

http://www.xoom.com

http://www.tripod.com

http://www.fortunecity.com

http://www.angelfire.com 

 If you want to know about more Free Hosting Companies on Internet then just surf http://www.freewebspace.net 

Dr.KSM Prefers http://www.freeservers.com

 

Tele medicine

Teleconferencing and Internet telephony are the new buzzwords. These technologies allow you to communicate with people rather inexpensively irrespective of where they are in the world. Simple voice communication is digitized and the communication medium shifts from telephone lines to the Internet.

            For example, if you wanted to talk to your friend or contemporary for his opinion on a particular issue, you could use the power of the Internet. It is possible to set up a telephonic meeting wherein all the people could be in different time zones, in different parts of the world and yet discuss about the same topic speaking normally, and paying a lot less. You will need some hardware capable of handling voice to data (and vice versa) conversion, which is generally available along with any of the multimedia kits. For an inexpensive trial. Try to get a microphone and speakers attached to your machine, test them and familiarize yourself with them.

            Both you as well as your friend need to use software that can talk to each other (preferably the same) if both of you are going to use computers. An example of this type of direct communication is called powwow. With software like the Internet Phone, you could also call from a computer to someone on a normal phone line. You may need to pay for some of the facilities that are available, but these are comparatively inexpensive. Once set up, you will need to co-ordinate when both you and your friend are ready to communicate. Then you can chat, exchange voice messages. Send or transfer files, have a virtual whiteboard on which you can exchange graphics message or discussions. The sound quality on must of these software packages is not very bad the delay, bearable. In any case, for what it costs, this service is quite unbeatable.

            A doctor in New Zealand created history by offering the first remote consultancy practice in the world, using the concept of information transfer via the Internet. Indian sites are also joining the trend of providing online consultation. There are many more such sites planned, and the number of doctors providing online consultation is on the rise. http://ask.drksm.com answers the doubts of layman's regarding Health.

            However, for the present, it is best to be careful when you either give or receive advice from people on the Internet. Even if you incidentally prescribe some from of treatment and the person follows it, it could lead to serious repercussions. Many countries may have rules and regulations on the conduct of medical practice that is completely different from ours. Even of you offer or accept advice, be very careful about the monetary aspects of the transaction easily to anyone, however genuine it may seem to you. Such information includes credit card numbers, bank accounts, and tax information. This information could very easily be misused.

 

Conclusion 

The Internet has a vast number of resources at its disposal and using these resources intelligently could add that edge to your knowledge and aid you professionally in more ways than one. Using e-mail to communicate, becoming a part of a newsgroup, owning a Web page will mean that you have become a part of the Internet family which is fast drawing the world closer, shrinking boundaries of age, culture and distance.

 



Copyright © 2002 Dr. Subrahmanyam Karuturi