The somewhat unsettling results of a recent study of 186 medical students suggest that roughly half of all surgeons, general physicians and other doctors-in-training view Wikipedia as a reliable source of medical information and regularly use it to prepare for exams.
To ensure the accuracy of research results and educational materials, every serious academic community enforces a rigorous peer review process. While Wikipedia’s content is regularly evaluated by a team of editors, the site’s tag line, “The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit,” is less than assuring in this instance. —ARK
Although study groups and preparation guides proved more popular methods of studying, 46.77% of 186 med students surveyed said they referred to the publicly maintained Wikipedia as a primary source of knowledge, Maryam Namdari, DO, who practices in Philadelphia, and colleagues reported at the American Psychiatric Association meeting here.
... Although 46.77% of students said they relied on Wikipedia, Namdari said she thinks this is an underestimate because students may be less likely to admit to using the website on a survey.
... And, she explained, students who cited Wikipedia as a study aid did not rely solely on it—83.9% of Wikipedia users also turned to question books while, 65.51% used Wikipedia, question books and Up-to-Date.