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Student Doctor Network - The Student Doctor Network (DDN)

• osteopathic.com • medschooldiary.com the student doctor network forums • veterinary forums • international medical forums

The Student Doctor Network (SDN) is an online community of college students, medical students, medical educators and practicing physicians who share a common interest in medical education. SDN’s URL is http://www.studentdoctor.net .

SDN counts 400,000 active members and receives over 12 million page views and two million unique visitors every month. The website is operated and maintained by an active network of over 100 volunteers. The organization is structured as an educational nonprofit, operated under a 501©3 charitable organization charter. Membership is free.
“Student Doctor Network" is a trademark registered under U.S. federal law.

Today, SDN is the United States and Canada’s premier Internet social and professional network for pre-health, health-professional students, interns and residents.

The History of the Student Doctor Network

SDN was launched in 1999 at the University of Kansas when Lee Burnett, then a family medicine resident with a flair for IT, bundled four websites dealing with different aspects of the health care education process into a single identity. Those charter websites were:

• Interactive Medical Student Lounge:

Nancy Sween, a registrar with the University of Kansas School of Medicine, founded The Interactive Medical Student Lounge in 1994, as a set of links she thought might be useful for medical students. She taught herself HTML in order to set it up. As the Internet became more popular so did the Interactive Medical Student Lounge, migrating from the University of Kansas’s website to Geocities, AOL’s Homepage, and eventually its own domain, finally becoming part of the SDN in 1999.

• Osteopathic.Com

Osteopathic.com was Lee Burnett’s own website, an online mirror of the osteopathic medical student newspaper The Osteopathic Pulse. Burnett originally developed the forum software now used by SDN for osteopathic.com.

• The BIG Guide To Med School

In the late 1990s e-books still had the reputation as being very different from print books: either they were hopeless vanity press offerings or a straight bead on the inside skinny. Medical student Jim Henderson’s book The BIG Guide To Med School definitely fell into that second category. By 1997, the book had become a must-read for premeds, med students, and anyone seeking an internship or residency position. Henderson leveraged the book’s popularity to create a website called Medicalstudent.net, a precursor to one of SDN’s most popular features, SDN’s Big Guide to Medical School.

• Medschooldiary.com

Dear Diary: today I performed my first colorectal exam… top that LiveJournal! In 2000, Daniel Lee Imler and Brian James Hartman cofounded the very first medical diary website, which became a part of SDN, a precursor to SDN’s popular blogging feature.

Burnett’s strategy was sound: since all four charter websites were very popular, SDN launched with a proven market. It never had to go through that stage many health websites go through as they struggle to find their target audiences. While it is advertiser supported and partners with organizations like the Medical Students Division of the American Medical Association, the American Medical Association Alliance and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, it remains entirely participant-driven: advertisers, sponsors and underwriters have no editorial input into SDN’s content, nor do they have any oversight relating to the views that are expressed by SDN participants. All advertising on the website that is close enough to content so that its origin might be misconstrued is clearly marked “Advertising.”

The Student Doctor Network Forums

The heart of SDN is its forums which receive tens of thousands of postings every month. The forums are organized into 18 categories:

• High School Forums: A resource for students who have not yet begun their undergraduate training.

• Pre-Medical Forums: Includes discussions of the prequalifying Medical School Admissions Test (MCATs) as well as information for re-applicants and for those interested in non-traditional courses of study.

• Medical Student Forums

• Dental Forums

• Optometry Forums

• Pharmacy Forums

• Podiatry Forums

• Psychology Forums

• Veterinary Forums

• Rehabilitation Science Forums: Includes discussions specific to those specializing in audiology, occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy.

• Interdisciplinary Forums: Includes discussions for those specializing in public health, health policy and the financial aspects of health care, as well as financial aid issues for medical students.

• Research Forums

• International Medical Forums

• Physician and Resident Forums: Includes discussions broken out into specific practice areas.

• Social and Support Forums

• Classifieds

• Member Services.

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