Patients, physicians, and the general public have increasingly greater
access and exposure to orthopaedic information from a wide variety of sources.
Some information is biased or commercial, while other information is
evidence-based and accurate. The dividing lines may not always be clear to
medical professionals or to consumers. This symposium considers the accuracy,
availability, and influence of information that is available to patients on
the Internet and observes the role of direct marketing to the public by the
orthopaedic industry and pharmaceutical companies. Media coverage of
orthopaedic topics, including what the media looks for in press releases, how
the media interprets and presents the material provided to them, and how the
public is impacted by such coverage, is also discussed. Furthermore, the
validity of orthopaedic industry advertisements directed to physicians, as
well as the role of industry in driving the focus of non-peer-reviewed
publications and podium presentations, is considered.