Aims: Although a large number of pathology-specific websites (PSWs) are accessible on the Internet, the potentials of PSWs are still hardly known among pathologists. Since a PSW-directory does not exist, it may be difficult to find certain resources that are scattered over the Net. In this study, we critically revisited PSWs to create a collection of selected websites that may be useful for practicing pathologists worldwide.
Methods: By using special medical databases and link collections, we performed extensive search for PSWs on the Web. Each website was evaluated with regard to content and practical use for pathologists.
Results: PSWs contain electronic training manuals, journals, case collections, photo-archives, link directories, or slide collections of virtual microscopy. PSWs offer lavishly illustrated education material for undergraduates and postgraduates in pathology, but may also be very useful as reference books or as an instrument of CME for experienced pathologists. We demonstrate how to find PSWs, and present an annotated list of 100 of the best PSWs.
Conclusions: PSWs as a whole form a heterogeneous patchwork of information. We suggest establishing a central catalogue listing all PSWs that are available worldwide. This database would enable pathologists to have immediate access to all up-to-date pathology-specific resources on the Net, without the need to perform any laborious web research for themselves. For the future, we hope that the repertoire of on-line resources in pathology will be systematically perfected. The Internet will then play a central role in the daily practice of pathologists as a medium of information and communication.
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