It is with much pleasure that I write these words. WE have our own website, professionally done, regularly updated and serving both our members and profession as well as the interested public. This is a milestone for us. It was achieved with much effort and discussion by the committee members and especially by our Hon. Secretary, Dr. Philip. Our appreciation also goes to Mobition for being accommodative and to the pharma companies who have supported this effort by renting space as it were. This is the Internet age. Every 10 years, it is said, half of our medical information becomes out of date and is replaced by new findings, and this information is disseminated wisely over the web.
Doctors are hard-pressed to keep up with this information explosion. Another challenge for us is that many of our patients are internet-savvy and often come to us having read up about their illnesses and side effects of medication. Sometimes they get information from sites that publish plain rubbish, and the poor patient gets frightened and is dissuaded from taking his, sometimes life-saving medication or other treatment such as ECT. Generally, the layperson does not have the perspective with which to view the masses of data, claims and counterclaims that he reads. Many peddlers of dubious products and plain rogues roam the worldwide web.
It is our hope that a responsible website such as ours will provide helpful information for our population. To give one example: 10 years ago, if one searched for the word “suicide” via Google search engine, one would have got about 200,000 hits. Today one would get about 125,000,000 hits, most of which are either nonsensical or harmful (like teaching people effective ways of killing oneself). We need responsible and reliable sources of information; otherwise, the information explosion would produce dangerous fallout.
This effort can only be successful if we, dear members of MPA, work together to make it successful. I encourage members therefore to contribute some time and effort to provide updates or to answer queries. Please let us know how we can improve it further. Members will receive coded passwords to access “members-only” pages. This website is being officially launched at the 19th World Congress of Psychotherapy & 13th MCPM. Once again, my sincere thanks to everyone involved in making this endeavor a reality.
Professor Dr. Maniam Thambu