about this site

I started this website in November, 1995, in an effort to create an online medical journal club on the World Wide Web, then in its infancy. I periodically posted a detailed summary of an article from the medical literature; readers could submit comments about these articles, which were edited and posted.

Over the next five years, some seventy summaries were posted, along with many comments from readers and occasional contributions by authors of the original articles.  After five years of actively maintaining the site, I did not update it significantly between July, 2000 and August, 2003. Despite this, the number of visitors remained fairly constant.

The persistent visitor interest in the site gave me the impetus to revive Journal Club, in a more interactive and automated form. In late 2003 I redesigned the site from scratch, making it database-driven and automated, essentially a programming exercise in dynamic, database driven website design (using PHP and MySql). However, everything I wanted to accomplish with this redesign and much more already exists in the Weblog system. Thus, as of October 2004 I redesigned Journal Club as a Weblog, or blog.

website policies

JournalClub is a non-commercial undertaking, not affiliated with any organization.


JournalClub respects your privacy. In order to post comments, you must submit your email address.

Your email address will not be posted along with comments that you submit, unless you specify it in text of your comment, and will not be made available to third parties.

Your email address may be used to advise you of significant changes to the policies or features of this website.


I envision this website as a discussion forum about articles in the medical literature, but also about the medical literature per se. It is not intended as a discussion forum for individual medical questions and problems. It is also not meant as a general medical reference, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care.

Comments will be read and edited prior to posting. However, the accuracy and suitability of comments is the responsibility of those submitting them; inclusion here in no way implies approval by this website, which is not responsible for them.

As maintainer of this website, I reserve the right to remove any comments which I feel are inappropriate in any way. Any complaints about comments that have been posted should be submitted to


This website operates under a Creative Commons "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike" copyright license. In particular, permission is granted to reproduce the contents of Journal Club, as long as this is for not-for-profit purposes and as long as the source is accurately credited. Prior notification is requested.

Permission to reproduce contents by a for-profit entity requires approval and prior notification. Please contact the webmaster.

Users who submit comments agree to the above conditions. In particular they grant this website permission to publish their comments and to pass this permission on, according to the Creative Commons agreement. Apart from the above consideration, users retain the rights to their own comments, and can publish them elsewhere without restriction.

content ownership and $ on the medical internet

"Content" ownership and financing are challenged by the Internet. In the July 1995 issue of Wired magazine, information expert Esther Dyson predicted that most content on the Web would be provided for free. Under this scenario, content functions primarily as a vehicle for advertising or as a come-on to more marketable services. Others, quoted in the same article, saw a future for information "metering", where you pay-as-you-download for the data you want. (Click here for Esther Dyson's views on this question, which are just as fresh today as they were in 1995).

This issue is as germane to the medical Internet as it is to MP3's and file-sharing of copyrighted material. Will the medical Internet turn into a giant, interactive throw-away journal whose content serves primarily as a vehicle for product promotion? Will the info-metering scenario play out? In the presence of vast quantities of free content, will anyone be willing to pay for information? For more thoughts on these topics, see also Biomedical publishing and the Internet -- evolution or revolution, Biomedical publishing and the Internet -- the message of the medium and my 1996 notes from the Harvard Conference on the Internet and Society.

michael jacobson -- brief cv

1967-1972 Massachusetts Institute of Technology BS in electrical engineering, computer science
1972-1974 Technical University Berlin, Germany Diplom in Informatik (MS in Computer Science)
1974-1981 Universite Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France MD degree
1982-1985 Mount Sinai Hospital, New York Residency in Internal Medicine 
Board Certified in Internal Medicine
1985-1987 Lenox Hill Hospital, New York Fellowship in Cardiology 
Board Certified in Cardiology
1993-1995 Columbia University, NY 
School of Public Health
MPH in health policy and management
Professional Societies
American College of Physicians
  • FACP
  • Member, NYS Chapter Health and Public Policy Committee
  • Chair, NYS Chapter Medical Informatics Committee
New York Academy of Medicine Fellow
American Society of Echocardiography Member

Private practice in Internal Medicine and Cardiology, since 1987.
Affiliated with New York Presbyterian (WCMC) hospital and Lenox Hill Hospital, New York.



Biomedical publishing and the Internet - evolution or revolution? J Am Med Inform Assoc 2000; 7:230-3. [article text] from PubMed Central

Biomedical publishing and the Internet - the message of the medium. J Intensive Care Med 1998;13:153-4. [article text

Letters to the Editor

Risk factors for infective endocarditis. [letter]. Ann Intern Med 1999;131:154

Cost effectiveness of coronary bypass surgery versus angioplasty. [letter]. N Engl J Med 1997;336:1840

Prevention of venous thrombosis in knee arthroplasty [letter]. Ann Intern Med 1997;126:173.

Prostate specific antigen in black men [letter]. N Engl J Med 1997;336:133

Hyperhomocysteinemia as a risk factor for deep vein thrombosis [letter]. N Engl J Med 1996;335:974

Acute renal failure and mortality [letter]. JAMA 1996;276:529

Macronutrients and risk of breast cancer [letter]. The Lancet 1996;348:137


Michael Jacobson, MD, MPH, FACP

JournalClub home page