COMMENTARY

Happy 25th Birthday, Medscape, From Our Founder

Peter Frishauf

Disclosures

May 21, 2020

Want something to feel good about in these challenging times of COVID-19?

Say Happy Birthday, Medscape. Healthy, strapping. And now 25 years old.

Imagine the age of COVID-19 with no Medscape. Or Internet! It's tough out there, but we are lucky and privileged to have both. If ever there was a time for trusted, 100% covidiot-free medical information, it's now.

Medscape launched on May 22, 1995. It was the first site with a radical concept: anyone who registered, consumer or clinician, for the first time would have free access to trusted information previously available only to clinicians with subscriptions to professional journals or online services. Soon, Medscape would be the first site to also offer free access to Medline for all registered users. The US National Library of Medicine was now open and free to everyone for the first time. Didn't matter if you were in a library in Jakarta or Harvard: with an Internet connection, a trove of trusted medical information was at your fingertips.

It took off fast and continues to grow today. Virtually every US clinician, and most around the world, use Medscape.

Medscape 2020 is so much better today than it was at launch that comparisons are strained. A professional staff of more than 100 curates information throughout dozens of specialty sections from mental health to transplantation ― at the start they were just a handful. There are powerful mobile applications introduced after smartphones and tablets came along, some 10 years after the launch of Medscape.

Our motto in 1995, was "the online resource for better patient care." Medscape 2020 is better: its mobile apps even work offline, under a distant tree or in outer space, no Internet connection needed.*

CME, CE, multiple databases, services, tens of thousands of Medscape-created original articles, and articles from the best journals around the world have been added over the years. Medscape today informs nearly all areas of patient care in English, Spanish, German, French, and Portugese.

The ownership of Medscape changed hands five times since its founding in 1995. Fortunately for its audience and our patients, every owner has been an honorable steward of the brand, improving it at every step, never wavering from a commitment to provide trusted, scientifically sound, understandable clinical information to all.

Most Internet businesses that started in the 1990s are gone. Medscape thrives. Over the years, tens of thousands of people have worked at Medscape in great, well-paying, essential jobs in its New York City hometown and around the world. Remarkably, several people involved with Medscape in the early years remain with it today.

I could not be more grateful to all those who work so hard and well on this treasure. When things have settled down a bit, look for more celebratory content later this year.

Happy Birthday, Medscape. Here's to the next 25 years. I'm not sure, at age 96, if I'll be around for Medscape's 50th in 2045. Medscape will be, better than ever.

*Download articles for offline use. Instructions here.

Peter Frishauf founded Medscape in 1995 with five coworkers you can read about here. He is the godfather of Osmosis, a Medscape partner that teaches providers, students, and educated consumers good clinical medicine creatively. A video-bio about Peter is available here. He is pleased that May 22 is also the birthday of his late mother, Else Pappenheim, MD.

Peter was an investor/shareholder in three owners of Medscape: SCP Communications Inc and Medscape Inc (where he served as CEO, president, and chairman at different times) and MedicaLogic-Medscape, where he was senior advisor. He is currently an investor/advisor to Medscape business partner Osmosis-Knowledge Diffusion Inc, which operates Osmosis.org.

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