• Rosenbaum BP, Gorrindo TL, Patel SG, McTigue MP, Rodgers SM, Miller BM. Medical student involvement in website development. Medical teacher. 2009 Jul;31(7). 627-33. PMID: 19811147 [PubMed].

Abstract 

Background

The digital management of educational resources and information is becoming an important part of medical education.

Aims

At Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, two medical students sought to create a website for all medical students to act as each student's individual homepage.

Method

Using widely available software and database technology, a highly customized Web portal, known as the VMS Portal, was created for medical students. Access to course material, evaluations, academic information, and community assets were customized for individual users. Modular features were added over the course of a year in response to student requests, monitoring of usage habits, and solicitation of direct student feedback.

Results

During the first 742 days of the VMS Portal's release, there were 209,460 student login sessions (282 average daily). Of 348 medical students surveyed (71% response rate), 84% agreed or strongly agreed that 'consolidated student resources made their lives easier' and 82% agreed or strongly agreed that their needs were represented by having medical students design and create the VMS Portal.

Conclusion

In the VMS Portal project, medical students were uniquely positioned to help consolidate, integrate, and develop Web resources for peers. As other medical schools create and expand digital resources, the valuable input and perspective of medical students should be solicited.