Posted Aug. 1, 2000
"Knowledge is power," proclaimed Francis Bacon in 1597. John F. Kennedy echoed and expanded upon the sentiment in 1962, when he said, "In a time of turbulence and change, it is more true than ever that knowledge is power." Some 38 years hence, on the cusp of the 21st century, in a time of vast Internet connectedness that Bacon and Kennedy could only have dreamed of, these ideas could never be truer.
With this understanding, and an awareness of the importance of connectedness to colleagues, NOAH, AVMA's Network of Animal Health, became free to members Aug 1. Thanks to educational grants from companies such as Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc, many exciting changes to NOAH and the entire AVMA Web site will soon be implemented. Dr. Mary Beth Leininger, director of professional affairs for Hill's Pet Nutrition said, "With knowledge exploding, the ability to access the newest scientific information becomes more urgent for all veterinarians. Hill's Pet Nutrition is proud to be a major contributor of NOAH."
Offering a wellspring of knowledge to all members, NOAH is available 24 hours a day, seven days week. NOAH's online Resource Center is a place to go for drug information, literature searches, and much more.
What, one may ask, is much more? Imagine being engaged in lively discourse about all things veterinary, in a meeting room large enough to hold every veterinarian on the planet. Such things are possible in the electronic age, and now members can connect easily with colleagues, board-certified specialists, and the like through the NOAH Discussion Group Messages.
NOAH is a virtual veterinary community on the Internet, and its communal aspects can be experienced every day by checking into the more than 15 forums available. One can easily participate in these forums via a Web browser or by using an e-mail program. A wide variety of forums ensures that the full spectrum of veterinary specialty, clinical, and professional issues are addressed — everything from species-specific areas of interest to practice management, legal topics, and computer support. Message boards are updated daily, so the information is always current.
Another way for members to keep up with contemporary issues is to participate in the "Case of the Week," a popular feature within NOAH's Discussion Groups that allows members the opportunity to review and weigh in with their opinions about cases posed by the expert advisers who head the discussion groups.
Another great resource at NOAH is the electronic version of Dr. Donald Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook, which provides information on 370 drugs. Also online is a comprehensive set of veterinary-related material safety data sheets, referencing more than 14,000 animal health products. Bayer Animal Health sponsors a compendium on veterinary products on NOAH that includes more than 4,800 monographs of approved pharmaceuticals, pesticides, biologics, and other products. A veterinary literature database offers interpretive summaries/abstracts from the JAVMA, the American Journal of Veterinary Research, and the Canadian Veterinary Journal of Research.
Other resources ready and waiting at NOAH include JAVMA News and classifieds, the AVMA membership roster, a master calendar of events, Zoonosis Updates, NOAH conference archive, and veterinary economic research and statistical data, plus links to Medline, Cornell's Consultant, and the University of Montreal's Veterinary Journal database.
In addition to all this, many enhancements to NOAH are in the works, thanks in part to an educational grant from Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. Hill's co-sponsorship with the AVMA for the 2000-2001 Web Access for Veterinary Education (WAVE) program was launched at the AVMA Annual Convention. Hill's, a longtime supporter of NOAH and the WAVE program, will help fund network programs, and operational and technical support. Additionally, Hill's support will help to expand and integrate NOAH with other services, programs, and resources on the AVMA Network Web site. If you think you know NOAH now, you'll be dazzled by the expanded and redeveloped NOAH of the future.
If having a wealth of information within your grasp seems overwhelming, think of NOAH as a large building with the world's friendliest doorman. Navigation on the Web is easy, and it's simple for members to find the knowledge they seek.
In addition to his better-known quote, Bacon also said, "For all knowledge and wonder (which is the seed of knowledge) is an impression of pleasure in itself." To offer a contemporary application, one might say that for all those who have delighted in the art of wonder, it's now easier to partake of the pleasures NOAH offers.
Smart guy, that Bacon. Imagine what he could have done with a Web site.