What do doctors get up to when no-one's looking? What do they wear beneath their trousers? It is in fearless search of the answers to these questions and more that Webwatch sets off this week for the darkest regions of Doctors.net.uk - a closed community for those initiated into the mysteries of the medical profession.

You will not get into Doctors.net.uk unless you are qualified in the art and/or craft, or at the very least a medical student - entry is protected by the need to enter your General Medical Council registration details. But once inside, there is a lively and really rather impressive site at work.

Launched in June 1998, and with 25,000 registered members, it claims to be Europe's largest online medical community, with its own news service, discussion forums and - in common with practically every other site now attempting to draw in the doctors - a jobs service which promises more than it can yet deliver.

Doctors.net.uk scored something of a coup recently when it experimented with an email version of a Committee on Safety of Medicines alert to its members, and managed to get the message out long before the Department of Health's cascading fax system had ground its way to a conclusion.

To the obvious delight of Doctors.net.uk's ebullient founder, medical director and chief executive Dr Neil Bacon, the members loved it, and he is now holding talks with the men and women from the ministry about formalising its role in the CSM alert process.

Welcome to the 21st century.

Doctors.net.uk claims it will never charge members for its services, nor will it accept advertising. It believes it can get the money it needs from small commissions on eshopping - from its tie-up with Easyshop's 'underwear store', for example. Only time will tell, but it looks like doctors will have to buy a lot of lacy undies.

This and other sites of interest can be reached via HSJ's website at www.hsj.co.uk