LRNT 523 Assignment 1 Blog Post: Dr. Frank Gaillard-Creator of


Polydactyly or “Two Thumbs” Case courtesy of Assoc Prof Frank Gaillard, From the case rID: 10382

My choice of a contributor to the intersection of learning and technology is admittedly niche to medical imaging, but I feel Dr. Frank Gaillard has built a resource that demonstrates how open education resources (OER) can be used in medical/health fields.

I have written before about, but now will discuss the origins. Dr. Gaillard created this wiki in 2005 “to create the best radiology reference the world has ever seen and to make it available for free, for ever, for all.” ( Dr. Gaillard describes here how in 10 years grew from himself as the sole contributor to 40000 contributors and 8 million page views per month! uses social media such as twitter to highlight cases located on One such case is shown at the top of this post of two thumbs on one hand–aka polydactyly!

As these images are of real people, their details need to be kept confidential in order to adhere to privacy legislation. To overcome this obstacle, has a strict terms of use policy and content is reviewed by an editorial board. In order to allow sharing and open access, uses a modified creative commons license where credit must be given to the contributor.

Dr. Gaillard’s original creation has grown into a massive open and free resource that shows how OER can be used in traditionally closed learning environments such as healthcare.


Dougan, S. (2020, April 19). Can open education practice be used in healthcare education? A Review of RRU MALAT Virtual Symposium 2020.

Gaillard, F. (2020, September 18). Polydactyly. [@Radiopaedia]. (n.d). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. September 18, 2020 (2020 September 18). (2020 September 18). 10 years of [Video]. YouTube. (2020, September 18). Terms of Use.

8 thoughts on “LRNT 523 Assignment 1 Blog Post: Dr. Frank Gaillard-Creator of

  1. What a great way to share some of the more bizarre and unusual cases in medicine! What sort of measures are taken to prevent people from photoshopping fake pictures and posting them on the page?

  2. Good question Patrick! I’ve scoured the terms of use and don’t see photoshopping specifically addressed, but in agreeing to use the site, adhere to code of ethics which is taken pretty seriously in medical circles as well as the editorial board review. They do post a “fake” every April 1 (April Fool’s day) that maybe addresses this to some point. In part fun, also partly a teachable moment?

  3. Probably all of the above Denys-looking at broken bones and weird pathologies could a hobby for some! The foreign body category is always an interesting time (aka things found inside that shouldn’t be there) 8 million views was also in 2015 and I don’t have more up to date stats. Radiologists (doctors who read medical images) are obviously the primary audience, but it is also useful in any medical/health education around anatomy. Non radiology specialists (including emergency doctors) get a scarily limited amount of formal education on images. It has been a very valuable OER for developing nations with not a lot of formal training for specialists.

  4. Shelley, this information is neat. I give this blog, two thumbs up 🙂
    Strict licensing for patient confidentiality, health care folks are looking out for us.

  5. What a fantastic teaching tool! I’m no radiologist, but even I can see how this could be a powerful reference for showing students cases they would otherwise would have no imaging for. I love examples of people seeing a gap and creating such a practical solution for it. There’s no need for an account or “log in through your institution’s portal”… you just get access. I would even use this to show my kids what broken bones look like.

  6. It’s particularly interesting since it has grown so much! I teach a pathology course on the different types of fractures and the paper text does not have image examples of every type. Radiopedia has pretty much everything and as you said is an open resource. Previous to this, you would have to rely on each institution to create their own teaching files and of course people willing to contribute, which is not easy in a busy hospital environment.

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