Veerle Smit and Romée Snijders
We met while attending medical school at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Not long after we met we shared our ideas about the study materials we were using and we discovered that we shared the same ideas about what we believed could be done differently. Medical students are required to read through many textbooks in order to prepare for your future as a healthcare professional. This often leads to confusion. We decided it was time to help students regain an overview of the disciplines of modern medicine.
We shared our idea with several of our peers and various medical specialists and were surprised to learn that many of them thought the same. Gradually, becoming more and more excited, we decided to shape our ideas. Compendium Medicine was born! After a year and a half of hard work, we were finally able to publish the Dutch version of our books in September 2016.
Now we are at the start of the next exciting chapter: making the English-language version of the books available for medical students all around the world!
We didn't do it alone!
Explanation of the books → how do they work?
Each discipline is divided in chapters: Anatomy, Embryology, Histology, Physiology and Diagnostics followed by corresponding diseases in a logical order. At the end of each discipline you can test yourself by answering exercise questions or having a look at the tables in Clinical Reasoning.
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Because it will take until April 2018 for the set of books to be completed we have translated and rewritten one of the 27 disciplines to be released in June 2017 in a separate book. This is so backers who can't wait for the finished product can have a taste of Compendium Medicine before the full set of books will be released.
Our partnership with Global Medical Libraries
When setting up this campaign we imagined some people might want to support us but don't need/want the books themselves. When we talk about bringing our books to medical students and professionals around the world, we really mean the whole world. We reached out to Global Medical Libraries and immediately an excellent bond was forged around our common goal. Read on to learn about what Global Medical Libraries can do with the books you donate or click on the logo to visit their website!
Global Medical Libraries (GML) exists to shrink the educational gap in all areas of the health sciences (dentistry, nursing, and medical) in developing countries, which globally face the same problem: doctors and nurses go without the latest professional information they need to provide proper healthcare to their patients. Every time an educational resource is donated to GML, its mission to improve the standard of healthcare in developing countries by contributing to the advancement of quality pre-service education is achieved. Since the program’s inception in April 2007, over $2.5 M of health sciences educational resources have been donated to 26 countries spread over 4 continents, at no expense to the recipients or their governments.
Visual details of the books
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Compendium Medicine Ambassadors
Meet the rest of the team!
Risks and challenges
Risks and challenges
Will you have the books finished in time?
We are aiming to have the books finished in April 2018. This is ambitious, but we did write the Dutch books in one year (starting from scratch). Translating and rewriting the discipline of Neurology was our pilot: by the end of June we will have gone through the whole process of creating the English version for one of the 27 disciplines. This will have us ready to tackle the whole project!
How will you find relevant guidelines?
We use uptodate.com for the guidelines. These are regarded as the most widely used source of medical guidelines worldwide. We have contacted medical students and professionals around the world and they confirmed the relevance of uptodate.com.
Are books a thing of the past? Isn't everything digital nowadays?
Before we started this endeavour of creating these books in English we conducted a market research amongst medical students worldwide. 93,5% of them indicated they study from books: it beat all other sources of information and came out best in the test!
How do you keep the information correct when guidelines change?
Once a new print is issued for the books all information is checked and changed if necessary. This ensures that the information in the books remains actual. We are already on the third print of our Dutch books and we go through the process of reviewing every time (as we will do with the English books).
The mentality of 'These books already exist.' or 'I have something similar already.'
We have had over 50 books pressed into our hands from people stating books like this already exist. In the beginning it scared us every time: were we doing something someone had already done? Now we don't get scared so easily: we know we have an unique product that hasn't been created before. If you have any doubts: reach out to us and we will show you why!