February 22, 2012

Nancy Solomon

SLU Medical School Recruited to Educate Doctors Worldwide

ST. LOUIS -- Saint Louis University School of Medicine has joined Yale School of Medicine and other high profile medical institutions as an early academic partner for Medscape.com, which is a website for physicians and other health care professionals produced by WebMD.

Medscape provides information on diseases and conditions, clinical procedures and drugs and drug interactions. It includes full text journal articles, breaking medical news, online CME opportunities and commentaries from leading experts in their fields. Though designed for physicians, Medscape is free and available to the general public.

"Practicing physicians are so busy today and find it challenging to wade through the enormous amount of available content to find the specific information they require to render the best and most up-to-date care," said Paul G. Schmitz, M.D., a Saint Louis University kidney specialist and professor of internal medicine who directs the SLU-Medscape Academic Partnership.

"Medscape has established a content rich web portal with sophisticated search tools that makes it easy for physicians to quickly access the information they need. It has attracted a prestigious group of academic partners who revise and incorporate new content that's useful to physicians as well as ancillary health care professionals, such as pharmacists, nurses, social workers and dieticians.

"SLU's academic partnership allows us to extend our mission of teaching and research and make an impact on the practice of medicine worldwide. Because content is added or update regularly, this program also gives our residents and fellows another opportunity for engaging in scholarly pursuits. Getting involved was an easy decision."

Partnerships with leading medical institutions ensure the quality of clinical content on Medscape, which attracts more than 3 million visits from physicians each month and is the most popular destination for physicians on the web.

Medscape sought out Saint Louis University because of its expertise in transplantation, liver disease, nephrology, otolaryngology and geriatrics -- among other specialties, Schmitz added. Leading physicians from SLU will share their perspectives and recommendations on specialty areas of medicine. Fellows and residents, under the tutelage of School of Medicine faculty members, also will write articles.

A steering committee of SLU physicians will guide the effort. Committee members are:

  • Paul Schmitz, M.D., is widely recognized for his work on omega-3 fatty acids in experimental and clinical kidney disease. He will work with Medscape on dietary and nutritional science in health and disease.
  • George Griffing, M.D., an endocrinologist and professor of internal medicine, serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Medscape Reference Internal Medicine section. Particularly interested in diabetes, he has written about Addison disease and acquired partial lipodystrophy.
  • John Morley, M.D., director of the divisions of endocrinology and geriatrics, is internationally recognized for his work with male menopause/low testosterone, nutrition, aging and sexuality, and Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Morley and his team will be working with Medscape on topics that affect the aging patient.
  • Mark Varvares, M.D., chair of the department of otolaryngology head and neck surgery and director of Saint Louis University Cancer Center, is recognized for his expertise in all areas of head and neck surgical oncology, including major ablative and reconstructive surgery of the head and neck. Dr. Varvares and his team will contribute to the clinical procedures section on Medscape Reference.
  • Robert W. Wilmott, M.D., chairman of the department of pediatrics, has a special interest in clinical and basic scientific aspects of cystic fibrosis. Dr. Wilmott and faculty from his department will contribute to the pediatric section of Medscape Reference in the areas of pulmonary medicine, allergy and clinical immunology.
  • Saleem I. Abdulrauf, M.D., professor and chair of neurosurgery, has a clinical interest in cerebrovascular and skull base surgery. He will provide clinical commentary and contribute to articles on Medscape Reference.
  • Janet E. "Betsy" Tuttle-Newhall, M.D., professor of surgery and division chief of abdominal transplantation, is particularly interested in national organ allocation policies, issues of equity and fairness in access to care, and allocation, critical care of transplant recipients and potential organ donors, transplant center formation, governance models in academic medicine, surgical and medical education. Dr. Tuttle-Newhall will contribute content to Medscape reference in several areas including the care of the abdominal transplant recipient, donor issues, hepatobiliary and vascular access surgery.

Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, infectious disease, liver disease, aging and brain disease and heart/lung disease.

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