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Title Pediatric surgeons on the Internet: a multi-institutional experience
Author(s) Wulkan ML, Smith SD, Whalen TV, Hardin WD Jr.
Source J Pediatr Surg, Vol. 32, No. 4, Pages 612-614
Publication Date April 1997
Abstract An estimated 24 million people, or 11% of the North American population over 16 years of age, use the Internet. An estimated 40% of households have computers, and 37 million people have Internet access. The experience of three pediatric surgery Internet sites are reviewed to evaluate current practices and future potential of the Internet to practicing pediatric surgeons. The sites reviewed are the Pediatric Surgery Bulletin Board System (BBS), the Pediatric Surgery List Server, and the Pediatric Surgery Website. Statistics were collected at each site to characterize the number of users, traffic load, topics of interest, and times of peak use. There are currently 79 subscribers to the Pediatric Surgery BBS and 100 subscribers to the Pediatric Surgery List Server. The average user of the BBS is a young man who has placed an average of 52 calls to the BBS since joining. There have been 1413 Internet electronic mail messages sent. Twenty-five percent of the traffic has been related to clinical problems and 5% to research, teaching, and career issues. Traffic at this site has been increasing exponentially with most of the dialogue concentrated on clinical issues and problem cases. In a 3-month period the Pediatric Surgery Website received 16,270 hits. The most commonly accessed areas include an electronic mail directory, case studies, the job board, information on the pediatric surgical residency, and information on upcoming meetings. Pediatric surgeons are exploring the Internet and using available pediatric surgery resources. The scope of professional information available to pediatric surgeons on the Internet is still limited but is increasing rapidly. The Internet will impact the way physicians practice medicine through education and communication.

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