The Internet: Searching, E-mail & Groups


Introduction to the Internet

There are a number of Internet tutorials and glossaries of Internet terms., e.g. Learn The Net. The Doctor’s Guide to the Internet requires a subscription fee.

Search Engines

You’ve probably already used these! It’s hard not to use Google – fast, simple and relevant. Others include AltaVista, Lycos and When searching for specific information these systems can at times be the best way to find information on the net.

If you are looking for medical information alone, dedicated medical search engines such as BiomedSearch and Citeline include Medline searching and specifically index medically relevant content. Medical World Search (subscription required; headlines free) and the Medical Matrix ($US89 annual fee required) are similar. MedHunt is a selective annotated search tool for locating medical sites.

Electronic Mail (Email)

Email is an informal and insecure means of communication. Email can be secure if your email software is capable of encrypting messages and attaching digital signatures.  Be aware that what you think is private email can easily be forwarded to anyone else in the world. The general rule of thumb regarding email is: “Don’t send something written in email that you wouldn’t want to read in public.” More info?:

Here’s some information about spammers (uninvited junk-mail). General principles of spam avoidance include:

  • don’t turn image viewing ‘on’ in your email application
  • don’t give your primary email address to anyone you don’t trust
  • make a second ‘disposable’ email address for insecure purposes
  • don’t use common names in your email address (easily guessed)
  • keep your email address off web pages

E-mail Discussion Groups, News Groups and Forums

Email discussion lists allow groups of people with similar interests to communicate easily by e-mail. Every e-mail sent to the the list server is automatically forwarded to every person on the list. Web-based forums can avoid the deluge of email that sometimes accompanies email group membership.

If you subscribe to a list, save a copy of the help document that is sent to you – it can be very useful later on!

GasNet Anesthesiology is the original and best email discussion list, started by Keith Ruskin about 20 years ago. Anyone can join. It is now being hosted by Dave Crippen. An archive of the now inactive original Gasnet site remains on line.

AnesthIdeas is a private web-based forum started by Ivan Hronek in September 2007, and it has grown to 450 members by mid-2010. Membership requires moderator approval and posts are not publicly viewable.

GasBag is an active moderated web-based forum. Registration is required. All posts are viewable by the general public. is a US-based site for nurse anaesthetists.

David Crippen’s Critical Care Medicine List CCM-L is great for those with an ICU interest.

HeartBoard is a web based Perfusion and Cardiac Anesthesia discussion forum from the Perfusion Home Page.

Some more general health-related electronic mail discussion lists can be found on the Topica web site.


Random collegtions of fascinating Anaesthesia insights:

University of Pennsylvania, USA
Westmead Anaesthesia, Australia
Hollos Anaesthesia and Critical Care Blog

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