Projects/Medical student outreach/Press release

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Wikimedia Canada is offering a $1000 scholarship to the Canadian post secondary student who makes the greatest improvement to a disease related article on Wikipedia. Applications open Sept 10th 2011 and run until Feb 28th 2012 and can be found online here.

Wikipedia, as most are aware, is the free online encyclopedia that covers nearly everything, almost anyone can edit, and nearly everybody reads. As of Aug 2011 it had over 3.7 million articles in the English language alone, of which approximately 23,000 pertained to the practice of medicine. These medical pages in a given month receive between 150 and 200 million page views and are being used extensively by medical professionals and the lay public alike.

While Wikipedia has significant quality information, further efforts are needed. Of the top 100 most viewed medical articles, only a quarter are deemed high quality. Thus those at WikiProject Medicine invite you to join us in our attempt to provide the people of the world with free access to reliable, understandable, and current health information and maybe win a scholarship while you are at it.

For further information regarding the significance of Wikipedia in health care: Heilman JM, Kemmann E, Bonert M, et al. (2011). "Wikipedia: a key tool for global public health promotion". J. Med. Internet Res. 13 (1): e14. doi:10.2196/jmir.1589. PMID 21282098 [1] For an introduction to editing: Logan, DW; Sandal, M, Gardner, PP, Manske, M, Bateman, A (2010 Sep 30). "Ten simple rules for editing Wikipedia.". PLoS computational biology 6 (9). PMID 20941386 [2]

James Heilman MD, CCFP(EM), Wikimedia