Doctors Urge Global Colleagues to 'Show Your Case'

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New medical and scientific forum offers simplicity, privacy, and transparency

Two orthopaedic surgeons recently unveiled a unique online solution for medical professionals and scientists looking to receive or provide feedback on critical cases.

Dr. Michael Zlowodzki (University of Minnesota, USA) and Dr. Mohit Bhandari (McMaster University, Canada) custom built ShowYourCase.com (http://www.showyourcase.com) to allow doctors and scientists to post case studies and ask questions in a secure environment. For example, the forum would allow a surgeon in the United States to post a particularly rare or difficult case and receive feedback from a surgeon in Europe familiar with the issue.

"As surgeons, we know what it's like to have a unique or problematic case that colleagues in the area may not have experience with," says Dr. Zlowodzki. "But we're also concerned with the security of existing forums and the qualifications of the people running them."

Personalization and security are key features of ShowYourCase.com. Its easy-to-use interface lets users input text and upload case materials including images and entire PowerPoint presentations, and specify with whom they want to share cases or questions, a capability unique to this forum. Some may choose to make posts available to all, while others may share only with trusted colleagues.

"The ability to choose your audience and set parameters for each post is crucial," says Dr. Zlowodzki. "For example, a surgeon might share one post globally, but choose to share other posts only within the university group or with confirmed friends."

Unlike similar popular sites claiming to be for physicians only, ShowYourCase.com does not sell access to corporate entities or other outside interests. "If you choose to post a case for confirmed friends only, absolutely nobody else will have access to them." Dr. Zlowodzki says.

ShowYourCase.com currently boasts hundreds of users across 25 medical specialties from 50 countries, with the number of users doubling monthly. Focus area include medicine, dentistry, psychology, pharmacology and more, plus a host of subspecialties.

The web site is a forum rather than a full-fledged social networking site, meaning posting is quick and there is no need to wade through unnecessary features. Users can register and be posting cases in no time and access is free of charge.

"In the end, it's all about patient care and education," says Dr. Zlowodzki. "If our service helps providers give better care or researchers make faster progress, then we're doing our job."

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Will McClain
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