October 15, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 18)
Strong Points: Very good collection of material
Weak Points: Not aimed at science
Put together the arts, literature, and medicine, and what do you get? The answer is What’s New, a rather unusual database focused on prose, poetry, film, video, and art for teaching and research in the medical humanities. Clearly, this site is not the place to go to determine the best way to treat that suspicious spot on your tummy. Instead, visitors to the site will be looking for stories in all kinds of formats relating in some form to medicine or the practice of it. The collection of multimedia material is vast and broken down into the categories of Art, Literature, and the Performing Arts. The last category is rather small (four entries of video and theatre), and only two contain streaming content. Most of What’s New’s content is art, prose, and poetry. Entries often include links to the relevant material as well as a summary and commentary on each piece. A search engine facilitates navigation, and an alphabetically organized, hyperlinked keyword list is also helpful for getting around.