How to Use Dr. Rose's Peripheral Brain


The Peripheral Brain is a hypertext knowledge environment containing my notes on medical subjects. It contains most of the information I routinely refer to in my own practice.

To use the Peripheral Brain, simply choose a general topic heading in the frame on the left and if necessary, follow the links to narrower and narrower topic headings until you find the info you seek. Navigation through the Peripheral Brain is just like that for any other website. You may also use the search window in the frame on the left (if you can't see it, just scroll down).

I hope other health care providers will find this page useful and that it will encourage them to explore both the medical literature and the use of information technology in medical practice. If you like this and think you could use something similar in your practice, feel free to download it and change it to suit your tastes. Just take note of the copyright issues discussed below. If you have questions about downloading or editing the files, feel free to e-mail me and I will try to help.

Please note the following:

The Story of the Peripheral Brain (for those with time and interest):

I began the Peripheral Brain in 1992 as a fourth-year medical student by typing in those handwritten notes I used most frequently.  Since then, I have added to it, putting in useful information from textbooks, lectures, journal articles, and any other reliable source of information on clinical diagnosis and care.

The Peripheral Brain started out as a MacIntosh Microsoft Word File, then I converted it to a PC Microsoft Word File when I became a PC person. When the file became too cumbersome to scroll through to find something, I started exploring ways to cruise through the document more easily.  I eventually decided to convert it into a Windows Help file (.hlp), which allows information to be divided up into sections connected by links, i.e. a hypertext document. That incarnation lasted almost two years. Eventually, I got sick of a) Having to constantly recompile the 1.4MB behemoth whenever I made any changes and b) Having to continually upload/download new versions among the various computers I worked at. HTML was the only way to go!

As I mentioned, the sources of information for the Peripheral Brain are disparate.  Over time, I have tried more and more to stick to the peer-reviewed medical literature and include details on specific studies. Among the various sources I rely on regularly are: The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics, ACOG "Technical Bulletins," and "Journal Watch," a biweekly summary of important studies from 30 or 40 major medical journals.  A journal citation with the letters "JW" after it indicates that I got the info from the Journal Watch summary and didn't read the study itself. The letters "AFP" after a reference indicates that I got the info from reading a summary of the study in the "Tips from Other Journals" section of American Family Physician. "ML" refers to the Medical Letter. "Abst" after a citation indicates that I got the info from reading the abstract and/or some of the paper but didn't read the entirety of the paper. I am the first to admit that the contents of the Peripheral Brain are to some extent random, since aside from the above-mentioned sources that I read regularly, I include information from other materials that I come across by chance. However, I make a point of avoiding any reading material that is in any way sponsored or distributed by a pharmaceutical company or other commercial source.

This page last updated April 28, 2010