Educational Uses

Please e-mail us and let us know how you use the cases as a learner or as a medical educator.

1. What is and what is its purpose? is a chronologically-organized, case-based pediatric digital library and learning collaboratory created in 2004 whose goal is to serve as a pediatric learning curriculum that unfolds in practice away from the point of care. It is designed for pediatric residents, fellows and attendings locally, nationally and internationally, delivering information in small granules into their workflow through microlearning.

For a more comprehensive explanation, please see About Us.

2. What are the advantages of using as a learner? offers:

  • General continuing education in pediatrics that can be used for self-study or review (including examination preparation) in small amounts integrating into the learner’s daily work schedule
  • Complementary and supplementary content exposure to diseases or problems to which the learner has limited or no exposure
  • Patient care decision support (e.g. what are the current clinical treatment recommendations for acne?)
  • Demonstration of the learner’s personal exposure to the ACGME competencies

3. What are the advantages of using as a medical educator? offers:

  • Versatile educational content for different learner groups, venues, and educational applications
  • A broad scope of content
  • Demonstrations of the spectrum of a disease, the multiple etiologies of a symptom, key concepts to master within a specialty, and the variety of diseases within different age groups
  • Use as primary or supplementary curricular content
  • Demonstration of the learner’s personal exposure to the ACGME competencies used in an educational encounter or curriculum

4. Can you give me some specific examples of how the cases can be used?

Outpatient clinic

  • Show the medical student on the computer a case as an additional example of a disease or problem encountered in the outpatient clinic
  • Print the case and give it to the resident for her to learn more about a secondary disease or problem encountered in the outpatient clinic
  • Together, the attending physician and the resident review the clinical guidelines on acne treatment referenced in a case to help them review their own knowledge, and to confirm the treatment plan for a patient in outpatient clinic
  • Suggest or assign the residents to review all the cases of a particular disease, symptom, specialty or age group during their rotation
  • Have the resident write an information prescription for a family using the automated references in the cases

Inpatient ward

  • Work through a case during inpatient ward teaching rounds as one would in a case conference such as morning report
  • Use the Questions for Further Discussion in the case with medical students and residents to challenge their knowledge of the subject matter
  • Ask the residents or medical students to find out the answers to the Questions for Further Discussion in the case and report back to the team during teaching rounds the next day
  • Ask the residents or medical students to use the automated references to determine how often a particular disease or problem is written about in the general press, and what is written about the subject

Formal curricula

  • Use the cases as part of a resident continuity clinic lecture series
  • Use the cases as part of a course’s curriculum map for Pediatric residents, Family Medicine residents, Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellows, or medical students
  • Work through cases during small group discussions with medical students highlighting common pediatric problems
  • Identify resident educational needs not currently being met and use cases in formal case conferences such as morning report, as a complementary method of education
  • Reference as part of a formal lecture so learners can explore its content after the lecture

5. Has been evaluated?

A new pediatrics case is being added weekly and there are over 88 cases available as of July 2006. Based on an analysis in April 2006, the cases covered all age ranges (n=9, including fetal medicine and young adults) and all specialties (n=42, including allergy, genetics, travel medicine, dentistry, medical ethics, etc.). The symptoms covered by the cases are 67/127 (51%) and the diseases/problems covered were 94/707 (13.3%). Qualitative analysis of 100 user-submitted comment forms submitted in 2005 showed that the visitors represented the spectrum of learners from students to residents and fellows to pediatric health care providers (i.e. nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians) to professors in the domains of emergency medicine, family medicine, pathology, pediatrics, as well as radiology. The visitors used the site as a reference source to answer clinical questions; as a reference source to help them prepare for lectures, conferences, and informal teaching sessions; and as a self-directed learning tool for helping them to stay up-to-date and to help prepare for examinations.

A bibliometric analysis using rankings by the top Internet search engines (Google, Yahoo! And MSN which account for 88% of Internet searches) in June 2006, showed is the top ranked / highest impact digital library for the term “pediatric education”

In a national competition, received the 2006 Medicine on the Net Web Excellence Award for Outstanding Content for a Healthcare Professionals Portal. has been peer reviewed by the MedEdPortal of the American Association of Medical Colleges, The Recognize Success Via Implementation (RSVP) project of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the HEAL (Health Education Assests Library) and international pediatric journals. Please see the Reviews

D’Alessandro DM, D’Alessandro MP. Formative Evaluation of a Chronologically-Organized, Case-Based Digital Library Delivering an Unstructured Pediatric Curriculum. Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting. San Francisco, CA 4/29/2006.

6. What are the future plans for

  • Multiple-choice questions are written for each case currently so continuing medical education credit may be awarded in the future
  • Expanded discussion of the cases in a more formal virtual community of practice is being planned
  • Formal documentation of the learner’s personal exposure to the ACGME competencies by using cases is being planned