Sunday, June 17, 2007

I'm a Wiki, you're a Wiki . . . .

. . . . wouldn't you like to edit Wikipedia, too?

Tonight I did! Yes, as hard as it might be to get your head around, the pages on that amazing free Internet encyclopedia can be edited by anybody . . . even a chaplain. :)

My latest contribution (my second effort at editing a Wikipedia page) was to add a site I just found to the "external links" part of Wikipedia's page on Humanistic Medicine.

The site I added -- the Literature, Arts & Medicine Database -- is really pretty amazing. I came across it while trolling the Web for info about a Chekhov story we are using to spark discussion in our chaplain summer interns' reading seminar. The database is full of texts and comments on literature, film and art meant exactly to be used for this purpose -- that is, to help folks (mostly medical students) use literature and art to help sensitize themselves to the full reality of the patient experience (and not just think of patients as bunch of diagnoses and numbers).

The entries are listed by categories. For example, if you want to teach a session on Death and Dying, you can just go to that category in the database and find dozens of suggestions to use of relevant films and short stories -- including comments on exactly how you can use each!

I'll be interested to see if my addition stays up on the Wikipedia page. From what I understand, there is a small army of serious Wikipedia edtitors who kind of police the site, making sure changes fit the standards of the encyclopedia (I, myself, wonder if the site I added might be better suited to the Narrative Medicine page) . . . We'll see if my entry makes the grade! :)

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