Skip all navigation and go to page content
NN/LM Home About PNR | Contact PNR | Feedback | Help | Bookmark and Share

Internet Cool Tools for Physicians: A Book Review

Internet Cool Tools for Physicians
by Melissa L. Rethlefsen, David L. Rothman, and Daniel S. Mojon
Springer, 2009

Given how rapidly things change on the Web, writing a book about Internet tools seems like a risky endeavor.  Will the content still be relevant once the book makes it to press? Rethlefsen, Rothman, and Mojon took on this challenge and produced the very relevant Internet Cool Tools for Physicians, a manual for physicians and others who want to understand how to use the Internet to discover, manage, and organize information.

The book covers topics such as blogs, wikis, RSS, personal health records, social bookmarking, social networking, and collaboration tools. It includes search strategies for PubMed, third-party PubMed tools, and Google. Perhaps not accidentally, the book is structured like a point-of-care resource. Each chapter is preceded by a bulleted list of Core Messages. The chapters themselves are very brief and divided into easily scannable subsections.

If you consider yourself to be already knowledgeable about Cool Tools, read the book anyway. You are bound to discover at least a few sites that are new to you. Ever heard of Twiddla? What about Ozmosis? Many librarians struggle to find ways to talk with people about Web 2.0 tools and how to integrate them into a daily information management routine. This book provides good examples of talking points that resonate with physicians.

The chapter on PubMed offers solid, detailed advice for clinicians who are searching the biomedical journal literature themselves.  As luck would have it, though, PubMed’s interface is about to change rather dramatically, and once it does,  many of the screenshots and instructions in this chapter will be out of date. Use this situation as an opportunity to promote your skills as an information professional. If you add the book to your library’s collection, insert a note in the PubMed chapter about upcoming changes, and encourage readers to contact the library staff for help. To make sure you are up to speed on the changes, tune in to the RML Rendezvous on March 25 for a PubMed Update from Linda Milgrom.

To summarize:  Internet Cool Tools for Physicians is a succinct but comprehensive resource about online searching, information management, and social media for healthcare providers. Given the topic, this first edition should have a reasonably long shelf life (please pardon the pun) because the authors made wise choices when deciding which tools to highlight. Librarians should consider using Cool Tools as a conversation-starter when talking with clinicians about the emerging Web.

Internet Cool Tools for Physicians retails for about $30.00 and is available from your book vendor of choice. A copy is also available in the NN/LM PNR Lending Library. To borrow it, please send email to: To view the entire collection, see the NN/LM PNR Lending Library.

2 Responses to “Internet Cool Tools for Physicians: A Book Review”

  1. Hope Leman Says:

    You ask, “Ever heard of Twiddla? What about Ozmosis?” Nope–I had better read the book so helpfully reviewed here. I learn HUGE amounts from this blog and from David Rothman’s. Thank you both.


  2. Hope Leman Says:

    Good point Greg–Sermo is really gaining traction.

    By the way, here is a blog posting on a really useful free e-book on a related topic: Free eBook: 140 Health Care Uses for Twitter:

    phil baumann online is an excellent blog–well worth following: