Background. The Internet is an unrestricted, easily accessed source of information that has been greatly touted by the mass media. It represents a major advance in information acquisition and dissemination. It is estimated that between 3(M-0 million North Americans alone have access to the Internet. This multimedia reservoir of information has developed into a significant resource for information gathering, especially for those who depend on comprehensive and contemporary information, including scientists and physicians.
Methods and results. The purpose of this article is to describe some of the basic and practical services available on the Internet including e-mail, literature searches, interest groups, databases and on-line journals. Our focus is to describe these Internet resources with the physician in mind, and with particular emphasis on Internet applications for the obstetrician/gynecologist.
Conclusion. The role of the Internet in medicine has not been defined, but continues to evolve. In the field of obstetrics and gynecology, the Internet has already become incorporated in various ways and it is safe to say that we are currently going through a revolution as fundamental to the human civilization as the eighteenth century industrial revolution the information revolution.