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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 02/18/03
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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NetWellness Experts Answer 20,000th Question

Mitchell Rashkin, MD, professor of internal medicine, pulmonary division, at the University of Cincinnati (UC) recently answered the 20,000th question for NetWellness through the anonymous, confidential, and free “Ask an Expert” service.  NetWellness is a consumer health Web site provided by UC, Ohio State University, and Case Western University.  Nearly 200 health care faculty from the three universities answer the public’s health care questions through the “Ask an Expert” service."It is significant that we can provide such an outstanding public service while gaining recognition for the university,” said Dr. Rashkin.  “I have the opportunity to refer questions to many nationally renowned experts.”Faculty members from the universities volunteer to answer questions submitted through “Ask an Expert” and respond to all legitimate questions within two to three days. "NetWellness helps to fulfill one of the medical center's missions, serving the community,” said William Martin II, MD, dean of the UC College of Medicine.  “Our faculty provide trustworthy health information."NetWellness archives the "Ask an Expert" questions and answers for visitors to browse.  The answers, together with the ADAM Health Illustrated Encyclopedia, provide NetWellness visitors with over 30,000 Web pages of high-quality health information, including audio and video clips and animation.“The questions tend to come in three flavors; people that misunderstand information or need advice, those that don’t have doctors or need second opinions, and many times, off the wall questions that provide a learning experience for both the person asking and the professional,” said Dr. Rashkin.To ensure the quality and accuracy of the information posted on the Web site, faculty also review the material annually.  “Faculty at Ohio’s best medical centers not only are among the best in the world, they are among the most generous, making their expertise available far beyond university walls through NetWellness,” said Stephen Marine, NetWellness program director.The 20,000th question answered by Dr. Rashkin was:  Will beta-blockers aggravate my bronchiectasis?  Dr. Rashkin answered:  Beta-blockers may exacerbate bronchial hyper-reactivity leading to an asthmatic exacerbation characterized by shortness of breath, wheezing, or coughing.  This is more likely with higher doses or nonselective beta-blockers.  Bronchiectasis may have bronchial hyper-reactivity associated with it, depending on the underlying etiology.  So, the answer is yes, sometimes.  If you’re experiencing symptoms, then you should discuss your medication with your health care provider.For more information, visit the NetWellness Web site at or call (513) 558-8766.

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