Doctors and the Internet

Write to us if you spot any errors


This lecture is stored on the ukindia web site so you dont have to take any notes and can always download it from there .

How many of us have computers linked to the phone ? Two? We can form our own Internetwork .

The Internet is a way of sending or letting someone come and take a copy of articles , photographs , movie clips stored on your computer . That person takes the article away from your computer and then looks at it on his computer . Say I want to send a letter to Mr A .First I need a computer program called tcp/ip to dial the modem .Next type in Mr A's phone number and it will be connected .

We will discuss only the practical applications of the Internet .. Some things one can do on the Internet

1. Sending letters and photographs anywhere in the world at no cost -Electronic email .

2. Getting information an any topic you want- Web surfing .

3. Joining in on debating groups -this is the most addictive part of the net !-Usenet .

4 Chat live with typed messages -IRC-Internet Relay Chat

5.Talk on the phone live worldwide at local call rate -Internet Phone .

6. Store your lectures and articles on the net as has been done here -Web publishing

To do all this we need a different program for each which you can get from a computer magazine cover CD but most new computers come with them on the hard drive . .


The first step is to get a computer with a modem and then a CD from a cover magazine or by writing to America Online etc. The CD when run puts four or five programs on your computer . . .

Any questions on connecting ?

Email Sending letters

Next we should get and run a software program like Eudora by buying it or getting it on a cover magazine CD or downloading it from Eudora .

Then click on new message , enter the person's email address and give it a subject name and press send or send later . So we now can send letters . How about a photograph we scanned before ? In Eudora we press on attach file in the message menu and give it the name of the photograph and the directory we have put in . We can attach another file by repeating the process . To send lots of attached files ( which may be an article , photo , movie clip ) use winzip from Winzip company to compress them all into one file (see later ) and press send . So this really all there is to electronic mail or email .

We can set up a list of people we want to send the same letter to -say the next meeting of the ODA and the same letter will be sent to all the doctors and this will be possible in about 3 months because all doctors have to be on the net .

Now our computer has to be on and the other doctors and obviously this is impossible 24 hours a day so along comes one person who offers to do it for a set fee each month . He will leave his computer on all day ie call himself a 24 hr

Internet Service provider -ISP

cand harge say 10 a month , to give everyone a little bit of space on his computer to store their letters and forward them later .

The letters can get to the other person almost immediately .When the other person gets connected ie 'logs on' the ISP computer will tell him there is mail waiting . He can DOWNLOAD them to his computer , read them and then UPLOAD his reply.

One could scan a photograph of a patient's skin rash and email it to the consultant so there would be no need for live online video facilities . For psychiatric patients one could tape a video and email it to the Psychiatrists . As bandwidth capacity increases markedly in the next few years -even now only a quarter of the phone capacity is actually being used -the applications for Internet email will explode . Any questions about email ?

Lets see how we can use a winzip program (demo) .

Information -surfing the Web

This is the sexy bit of the web . Everybody designs their little magazine and puts it on his ISP's computer ie his WEBSITE . Then you hand out the address of this site and people get yet another computer program called a BROWSER to access it . They start the browser Netscape of Internet Explorer , type the name of your website and their computer goes off to look for it , when it finds that page it downloads it to thei computer and they can read it online while connected or later when the connection is cut. Links from the front page of your magazine take them to other pages . You see this little magazine called ukindia .

On this first page are links to other pages in the magazine and external links to other magazines called websites . So lets click on this page to go the Urdu lesson . Come back and lets go to the DVD review page . Lets come back and go the medical page and from here the medical guidelines page .

Next lets go back to the front page and go to another site -say frontier post to read the latest news from Pakistan . FP

Supposing you want information on say diabetes and skin cancer , how do you find which websites it is located on ?. Well you go to a SEARCH ENGINE website like and put in the word DIABETES SKIN CANCER in the search box and click on search and on to one of the sites listed ..When the computer gets you the page save it in as a file in a directory to read it later .

It is often better to go to File menu and open more windows of your browser so you can download from quite a few sites at the same time .

From the browser you can also send letters or make online bookings . You can find out how cheap car prices are in Europe . Cars In Europe , train timetables etc. Any information that somebody has bothered putting on an ISP computer can be accessed eg train timetables , airfares .

Any question about websites and links ?

Debating groups

These are the truly interactive parts of the Internet and turn it from a passive medium to an active participatory one . To join these message boards you need yet another program called FREE AGENT from , then in the Options , preferences ,section system profile put in and or your own service provider and then go ONLINE and get all the 40,000 groups . Next subscibe to the ones you want and set a limit to the number of article headers you want it to download . Look at the headers and mark the ones you want the computer to get and click on 'download marked articles ' from the online menu . You can then shut off the connection and read the articles OFFLINE . One can read usenet via the browser eg the link on the front page of ukindia but its not so efficient. If you subscribe to

you can participate in medical topics or ask questions or if you want a bit of news or indulge in politics go to

soc.culture.indian and soc.culture.pakistan


Internet Relay Chat

This is live online . Yahoo and Netscape , AOL and Compuserve have chat rooms without the need for any extra software but for the rest of the Internet you can download the software from Chat ... One can participate with a nickname but beware ! , some men take female names and vice versa . One can also use browsers and yahoo or netscape home pages for chat.

Internet Phone

Get the internet software program from Internet Phone and follow instructions . You cant then talk live via the computer to anywhere in the world at local rates and they can even see you if you have a small web camera attached to your computer .

Web publishing

For this you need yet another program called a WEBEDITOR or you can use notepad in windows . One used by ukindia is called Htmlasst . Its small but perfectly formed and a great delight to use . Then go on to the ukindia web site to look at the Html lessons . Start Htmalasst write the page using the angled bracket tags as instructions for the computer -see the Html lessons . For eg you need to put an angle opening bracket and an angle closing bracket after a p to show the computer that it is not be printed but to be obeyed ie put a paragraph -two spaces . Every time you write something in the webeditor save it and then open it as a local file in your browser to check / You can get an idea of how any page on the Internet was written using its HTML tags by clicking view then source in your browser . You can copy and paste this in your webeditor and make changes to it .Once you have written your page and put in scanned photographs etc. you upload it with a program called FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL to your website . Ftp is also built into most browsers .When another person views your website in his browser he can see your page . Yahoo uses the title header on your webpage for its search engine databank . Any questions about web publishing ?


Now lets look at some websites . I have put some links on this page Links.htm

Here is one by a doctor .

This one gives free access to Medline Medline. We can also go onlineMedline . Here is an article downloaded from a medical news site Lupus

Here is one which tells parents what to expect in the first year First year

The link is


What are the best medical sites?
For faster downloads turn off the load image options.
Virtual Hospital

also useful is webdoctor

and infoseek

and ukhealth

and ukmed
and merk manual!!rMj6F2YHyrMj9A1Ttx/pubs/mmanual/html/sectoc.htm

Latest medical news from

Primary care teaching

Patient info

Vamp , Meditel and others have discussion and advice areas.
Journals like BMJ , Lancet etc.

	You can get to all of these from yahoo or via Ukindia and following the links .
Some other useful ones 
Priory medical bookshop
General Practice
Medline -for any journal article published in the last ten years.
Psychiatry on line
UK Primary Care
GP UK email 
	Mr Filshie has his own web pages and there are sites from QMC - neurology and pathology departments mainly that are worth looking and downloading to be read later.
	The Internet is a very exciting new  way of getting information to the patient and doctor and should develop quite fast. 

Book holidays and airline tickets, manage your bank account Bank of Scotland , read maps down to street level -in the US only but soon should be here , all free , customise your own newspaper through Yahoo so for example if you are interested in cricket , medical and computer news only it will tailor a daily newspaper with just those new items . Many newspapers are even being delivered via email. The Times can be read in its entirety including the pictures for free before it hits the streets in London.What can a surgery use the internet web pages for ?
	First you can have some pages for access by patients .This could include details of surgery opening times , of local pharmacies opening late etc. Of advice and treatment for common conditions eg childhood fevers , diarrhoea etc. 
Then there could be links to other sites offering patient information - some of these are listed at the end.
	Using these pages you could store all the forms and information advice sheets on the computer and as a backup on the ISP site. The just print it out and fill in the details.
	 Side effects of the common drugs could be stored as well. Patients can leave email messages for repeat prescriptions via secure sites .
	Recruitment of staff can be undertaken by having web pages of the job description.