Medical video-sharing sites
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Video-sharing in medicine is an extremely popular learning activity on the web and as such allows for the live-streaming of medical content in the cloud (see cloud computing). In addition, due to the portability of mobiles such as the iPhone and the iPad this material can be viewed on the go which is very convenient for busy clinicians. Of course, mobile devices are not needed to view most web-based medical video content and a simple personal computer or notebook will usually suffice. Overall, medical video sites are plentiful on the web but their overall quality is variable. There are some excellent websites that provide free access to high quality medical content and yet others requirement payment for access. In addition to the live streaming of medical procedures, there is also a great deal of sharing of lectures in medicine. All of these audiovisual materials are extremely valuable for the purposes of continuing education in medicine.
However, before you purchase any medical videos, check with your local health librarian about your information needs. Increasingly, health libraries are purchasing collections of streaming video content and making it widely-available via computers and proxy services from home. One of the complaints of using free video materials on the web is their lack of specificity and context for the clinician. Some of the most generic videos showing how to perform certain procedures and surgeries may only have limited value to the training physician. In any case, caveat emptor.
Due to the rise of web 2.0 and websites such as YouTube.com, medical video-sharing is a useful supplement to the training and education medical students and residents receive in their programs. Many video websites also allow you to share videos stored on other sites by embedding HTML code onto a secondary blog or website, which is indispensable in resource-limited environments. In addition, these sites do not require you to purchase or download any special software or equipment (other than the standard viewing software). These videos can be seen via most laptops, desktop computers and mobile devices (though some may require an app to do so). Many health librarians find that video sites can be used to 1) supplement their collections and services 2) improve their outreach, training and marketing efforts 3) provide options for professional development and lifelong learning, and so on. Visual media are used by physicians to keep current with changes in evidence-based health care; some studies suggest that physicians use these sites in their spare moments during the day. Some futurists believe we are entering a post-textual era and that demand for video will increase exponentially in the years to come. In the excitement of medicine 2.0, a number of organizations began to use video for their patient education and consumer health information outreach but as viewings did not reach acceptable levels to justify the efforts many abandoned their projects.
Video — examples of free academic sites
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Browse free medical videos