Sunday, February 25, 2007

Open Source Medical Spellchecking- OpenMedSpel

This comes via LinuxMedNews. OpenMedSpel is an open source medical spelling list that can be added to a word processor's dictionary (or any other dictionary) to include common medical terms when spell checking. This not only allows you to check all of those funky medical terms for spelling, but also gets rid of that annoying tendency the spell checker has of marking all medical terms as misspelled.

Theoretically OpenMedSpel could be added to any dictionary that allows importing. I myself have only tried it on OpenOffice [an open source equivalent to Microsoft Office], and so far it works fine. Installation instructions for OpenOffice are included here, which is the method I used. Alternatively one could also install the new dictionary in OpenOffice by going to File > Wizards > Install New Dictionaries and following the instructions there.

Download it, try it out, and let us know what you think. Also, if you get OpenMedSpel to work in another program, let the developers know so they can feature it on their page.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Evidence Based Fun- Neverball

There have been numerous news articles written on how playing video games can improve a surgeon's laparoscopic skills. These articles are based on the research of Dr. James Rosser et al., which I do not believe is published but is the subject of a conference presentation [pdf file]. The game used in this study is called Super Monkey Ball by Sega. For a free open source alternative, try a game called Neverball.

From their website: " Tilt the floor to roll a ball through an obstacle course before time runs out. Neverball is part puzzle game, part action game, and entirely a test of skill."

Interested? To improve your laparoscopic skills, try this:

1) Download Neverball from their homepage [available for Windows/Mac/Linux].
2) Play for >3hrs per week.
3) Enjoy having a 27% increase in speed and 37% fewer errors when performing laparoscopic drills. [Your mileage may vary]

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Learn about central lines on Youtube

Stumbled across these videos on Youtube today. This guy walks you through choosing a central line, prepping and tossing one in. The last video is on special situations and things to watch out for. Good stuff.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Monday, February 12, 2007


Welcome to openSurgical.

This blog seeks to follow how the open source movement and the Web 2.0 are impacting the field of surgery. I will follow news stories, examine web media and review software in an attempt to examine how technology is changing the practice of surgery.

Contact me at to email in stories to be posted and make suggestions. In addition, feel free to comment on the posts and start a discussion.

Above all openSurgical is open to everyone, surgeon or not. Everyone has something to contribute and something to learn.

-Randy Kimball