Wikipedia in Health Professional Schools: from an Opponent to an Ally

Med Sci Educ. 2021 Sep 29;31(6):2209-2216. doi: 10.1007/s40670-021-01408-6. eCollection 2021 Dec.


As an online encyclopedia, Wikipedia is the world's largest reference Web site, with 1.7 billion visits per month. Given how easy it is to access and read, students use Wikipedia globally, despite most faculty members' admonitions. Since 2013, health professional schools worldwide have incorporated Wiki-editing into their formal curricula. These courses impact students by (1) strengthening their ability to evaluate evidence-based content and (2) multiplying their contributions to society through improvements to Wikipedia articles accessed by millions. We showcase several models of incorporating Wikipedia-editing assignments into health professions education worldwide. These successful initiatives can be replicated everywhere.

Keywords: Curriculum reform; Evidence-based medicine; Health professions educators; Wikipedia.