Donald A.B. Lindberg M.D. arrived as Director, U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) in late 1984 with the intention of implementing a physician-friendly interface to MEDLINE, a prime example of his interest in making NLM information services more directly useful in medical care. By early 1986, NLM’s Grateful Med, an inexpensive PC search interface to MEDLINE useful for health professionals, had joined the group of end-user systems for searching MEDLINE that emerged in the 1980s. This chapter recounts Grateful Med’s rapid iterative development and the subsequent campaign to bring it to attention of health professionals. It emphasizes Lindberg’s role, the challenges faced by those introducing and using the interface in a pre-Internet world, and some longer-term effects of the effort to expand health professionals’ use of MEDLINE during the decade from 1986 to 1996.
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