Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

'The Wikipedia of medicine': Manchester medical student's notes become worldwide internet hit

Tom Leach's notes and blog got him labelled an 'industry innovator' after the site attracted thousands of other students

Tom Leach was recognised by the Health Service Journal as one of 2013's top innovators, alongside heavyweights such as Ben Goldacre and Sir Bruce Keogh.
Tom Leach was recognised by the Health Service Journal as one of 2013's top innovators, alongside heavyweights such as Ben Goldacre and Sir Bruce Keogh.

A medical student who shared his notes online has found unexpected success after his popular website was voted by medical professionals as a global industry innovator.

Tom Leach, who studied medicine at Manchester University, at the Royal Bolton Hospital, initially simply shared his notes with friends – who passed them on.

“One day I went into the library and there was a queue for the photocopier where people were copying my notes,” Dr Leach said.

Since creating the site almostadoctor.com in 2009, the student from Derbyshire’s small project has mushroomed.

At first, it was only used by Manchester students, but word of mouth in the medical community soon got it noticed.

Now it is used by thousands of students, with hundreds of articles, blogs and course notes contributed from students and doctors around the world.

Speaking to The Bolton News, Dr Leach, now 26 and working in Australia, said: “It’s like the Wikipedia of medicine, with doctors as editors to verify the content, but it’s written in a simple way.”

He was recognised by the Health Service Journal as one of 2013's top innovators, alongside heavyweights such as Ben Goldacre and Sir Bruce Keogh.

The young doctor commented how proud he was on making the list, but confessed: “I didn’t really realise how big a deal it was until the list was released and I saw the other names on it.”

Dr Leach’s blog entries show the humour in his job too – with one of the latest detailing the complaints of a teenage boy admitted after complaining of stomach problems and severe headaches.

Explaining how he frequently vomited and suffered from diarrhoea after partying at the weekend, the boy expressed his confusion over why it was happening, especially, he said, as he didn’t drink that much.

Asked how much, he replied: “Not much. I’m not really a big drinker."

“Maybe a bottle of vodka and ten pints of beer,” he said before asking: “Is it serious?”

You can read the original post on almostadoctor.com here.

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