Since its conception in 1990, the World Wide Web has offered the
promise of the delivery of multimedia content that is accessible by a variety of
platforms. The number of Internet hosts and domains offering Web pages has grown
exponentially, from 130 web sites in June 1993 to over 3,518,158 in November 1998 (1).
Radiology, perhaps more than any other Medical specialty, is well-suited for this format.
Indeed, the figures bear this out. A typical search for the term "radiology"
using one of the many available search engines reveals thousands of available links (Table).
For the Radiology resident, the web offer a number of exciting opportunities to access
learning materials and cases from institutions around the world. This educational
material includes teaching files, tutorials, manuals, articles, and atlases. The enormity
of the material on the Web makes it practically impossible to view all the sites in a
reasonable time period. In addition, the quality of these sites varies widely. Some sites
are prepared with the beginning radiologist in mind; others have both the picture quality
and content that makes them ideal for oral boards preparation.
For the Senior resident preparing for the ABR Board examinations, Viewing additional cases
on the World Wide Web can provide useful teaching material that complements traditional
materials, such as the excellent ACR CD-ROM's and teaching files, and multiple
textbook-based case studies. However, there are literally hundreds of listed sites that
offer radiology teaching material. It would not be a productive use of time for every
potential user to go through each them in search of useful material.
Using the RSNA
Launchpad (http://www.rsna.org/RSNA2/launchpad/db-teach.html) as a starting point, we have developed a database that attempts to
organize these teaching files. From the over fifty Web Sites that offer teaching files, we
have selected a list of sites that offer, in our opinion, that most bang for the
buck( i.e., the most cases, the most useful commentary, and the most useful images). In
this guide we included the total number of cases, cases per section, divided in ten
section as the oral boards, depth of discussion, possibility to review the cases as
unknown, size and type, availability of CME, cost per CME, and language. From the
experience gained from viewing these teaching files we compiled a list of does and don'ts
for teaching file authors.
This list is by no means exhaustive or final. It is the first step, we hope, to help the
Radiology resident preparing for Boards to gather and view additional material to aid in
their preparation. The quality and quantity of this list will no doubt grow over time.