COMMENTARY

An Unusually Happy Holiday Blog from 'Scrooge'

Disclosures

December 19, 2017

Hello and welcome. I am Dr George Lundberg and this is At Large at Medscape.

Longtime regular Medscape readers will recall that my usual holiday message is straight from Charles Dickens' "Bah, humbug!" Ebenezer Scrooge. Stop eating so much, so many calories, so much sodium, sugar, and fat. And stop drinking so much! Start exercising, much more!

Enough already. Let's get positive.

Happy holidays! Or if you are a Christian or a secular believer in its commercial success, Merry Christmas! What could be a better Christmas gift than free education—competency-based, no less? NextGenU.org is essentially the world's first free, for-credit university.[1,2] Beginning with a focus in the health sciences, accredited courses span from college-level sciences and community health worker training, through public health graduate training, and a "MedSchoolinaBox" that includes graduate medical education. Founded in 2001, NextGenU boasts 5000 registered users in more than 200 countries and expects to award its first degree, an MPH, in spring 2018.

The founder and head of NextGenU is University of British Columbia's Canada Research Chair Erica Frank, MD, MPH. She reports formal collaborations with numerous major organizations, including Emory University, Stanford University, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American College of Preventive Medicine. She also describes a core endowment from the Annenberg Physician Training Program that enables additional grant support from governments, quasi-governmental organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Thousands of dedicated individuals are making NextGenU a reality.

Too good to be true? No, it is true. Click the links in the reference list. Read and learn. Consider using and recommending this amazing resource.

Have a good 2017 holiday season, and don't forget to give thanks for all of the good things that are still present on our troubled planet.

That is my opinion. I am Dr George Lundberg and this is At Large at Medscape.

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