For several hundred years the barrier to publication for doctors was remarkably high. If you had something to say it was in a journal. All of this was permission-based and limited by the space allocated to the pages of a magazine. The web changed this. With the democratization of media every physician has grown accustomed to having a voice.
But medical publishing and the process or peer-review still has us feeling like it’s 1870. Medicine is still steeped in a culture of permission.
In a world of big data, Cureus focus on the individual
Enter Cureus, an open-source publication platform and community that is rewriting how doctors publish care reports. The processes of publication and review have been perfected such that reports are published within weeks rather than months. And doctors retain copyright of their work.
Cureus is betting big on case reports which they’re gambling could hold a very special future. In Wired this week:
The science of medicine is all about power in numbers. Big cohorts, long-term trials, and lots of money ensure that most treatments will work for most people with a disease. But the practice of medicine is all about individuals. And case reports—detailed accounts of an individual patient’s symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment response—are, by definition, outliers. So there’s a healthy (and long-standing) debate about where in the hierarchy of evidence they should sit.
Cureus is Patients Included
While the site has drawn some criticism for expedited review, there’s more to the story. Beyond peer review cases undergo post-publication review by members of the community who vote up or down cases depending upon their relevance and value. This, ultimately, may hold more power than the mood or opinion of any two reviewers. Post-publication review falls closer in line with crowdsourced review which makes perfect sense for a community of doctors.
And check out patient reported outcomes. Patients can share the spotlight with physician readers by telling their side of the story. Or case.
From consultation to procedure to post-op, our readers can get a layman’s perspective while also learning what it would be like to undergo such a procedure themselves. Not only are PROs beneficial to potential patients, but to doctors as well. The inclusion of a Patient Reported Outcome with your published article can provide relevant, easily digestible evidence when recommending certain procedures to your current patients.
If you want to dig deeper into the Cureus product and culture, check out their blog. Beautifully done.