Two medical students have developed a successful series of books summarising all of their studies’ subject matter. Students – and specialists too – are pleased with the new tool. Now it is time for an English translation, which can help students elsewhere, including in developing countries. But, in order to do that, the authors need 50,000 Euros.
Medical students are required to wrestle through dozens of books, which each describe symptoms and pathologies differently. VU students Veerle Smit and Romée Snijders thought that the information was too confusing and incoherent, so they decided to summarise the material. Together with a team of more than 100 students and specialists, they developed the Compendium Geneeskunde (Compendium Medicine): a four-part encyclopaedia, with plenty of illustrations. Over 10,000 copies have already been sold in less than a year.
“Compendium Geneeskunde is not a replacement for other textbooks; it is a summary and a reference book which comes in handy when you have to repeat the material during your clinical clerkship, for example”, Smit explained to the VU university magazine Advalvas. It allows you to study more efficiently and to easily review that which you have learned from other books. Now it is time for an English translation: Compendium Medicine. This revised version is based on international guidelines. “Through that we hope to please medical students everywhere,” said Smit. The goal is to make the book series available at a low price, and to be able to donate books to students in developing countries.
Crowdfunding, not a pharmaceutical company
In order to realize their project, Smit and Snijders have begun a crowdfunding campaign. Why not just approach a publisher or an investor? Smit explains: “We want to remain truly independent. If a pharmaceutical company were to invest, for example, then they would have some say on the contents. We also want to keep the price low, so that the books can be made available to every student. A publisher would have less interest in that.”
Not just for students
Medical students are not the only ones who swear by the book: medical specialists also recognise the necessity of an easy-to-read summary. “For a neurologist, the chapter on neurology might not be very interesting, whereas, for example, the chapter on gynaecology is. With this overview of all the fields of study, specialists can easily look up information about other specialist fields.” Moreover, this summary of the entire field of medicine is a blessing for doctors who must pass the exam for BIG re-registration.
> Would you like to donate so that students and doctors around the world, including in developing countries, can benefit from a comprehensive reference work? If so, go to the crowdfunding website for Compendium Medicine.
> Was the Compendium Geneeskunde useful to you? Comment below!