Is this radiology's best connected couple?

January 1, 2009

If it's free, highly relevant to radiology, and on the Internet, you can probably gain access to it through the site www.radiologyeducation.com, thanks to the wife and husband team of Drs. Donna and Michael D'Alessandro.

If it's free, highly relevant to radiology, and on the Internet, you can probably gain access to it through the site www.radiologyeducation.com, thanks to the wife and husband team of Drs. Donna and Michael D'Alessandro.

In 2008, more than three million people used the site developed by Donna, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Iowa School of Medicine, and Michael, a professor of radiology at the same institution.

The website was started in order to gather in one place a list of all the free authoritative radiology references on the Internet, Michael D'Alessandro said. RadiologyEducation. com contains more than 400 links to digital textbooks, teaching files, anatomy and embryology atlases, radiology journals, magazines, and other imaging-related resources.

Michael D'Alessandro told Diagnostic Imaging that he and his wife started the Educational Informatics Laboratory in 1991 when they created the first digital textbooks in radiology on CDROM. In 1992, they moved the digital textbooks to the Internet, creating the first medical digital hospital, called Virtual Hospital. In 1993, they moved the Virtual Hospital to the World Wide Web, creating the first medical and radiology website and the 250th website overall.

A second website, www.educationalinformatics.org, features a chronological list, again using extensive links, that covers 44 Internet-based learning tools the D'Alessandros have developed since 1989.

"Our laboratory goal has always been to improve patients' care, outcomes, and lives by changing physicians' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors," Michael said.

The couple spends about two hours a month maintaining the website; they add an average of two new sites a month. About four sites are deleted each year. The work is entirely self-funded, he said.

While also running general radiology websites, Michael and Donna started similar digital libraries for other subspecialties: PediatricRadiology.com, Medical- Student.com, and more.

Their newest project, PediatricCommons.org, launches next year with the intention to create a pediatric learning community around content, conversations, and connections.