Posted on Aug 26, 2008 in | 0 comments

pmd-frontpageP=MD, a student-run online system, links students at the University of Irvine, School of Medicine’s (UCI-SOM) distant medical campuses across Orange County and Los Angeles County. The system includes Web 2.0-based features such as discussion boards, wikis, news feeds, integrated calendaring, collaborative note sharing, and groupware. P=MD stimulates UCI medical student academic and extracurricular life. Social media-based IT systems such as P=MD can improve the collaborative, collegial environment in residency and hospital settings, forge informal links among specialists, and stimulate dialogue in medical societies.

The P=MD system runs on a customized Drupal 6 open-source content management system, which powers sites such as WhiteHouse.gov, The Economist, and Examiner.com. The system runs on a LAMP software stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP).

pmd-calendarI spent over 500 hours engineering and developing this project on my spare time; countless student volunteers have contributed content and maintained the community. Current features include:

  • discussion boards
  • voting & polling systems
  • stream-of-information homepage
  • subscriptions & groups for each organization & class
  • per-group and site-wide calendars
  • user profiles & messaging
  • quotes board
  • wiki with revision-history & WYSIWYG HTML editor

As a result, communication has become easier at UCI-SOM. The website has also introduced intangible elements: culture of sharing and collaboration among students. Since its introduction, P=MD has welcomed over 400 users and more than 10,000 posts.

pmd-poster-for-md-mba-conference-pressThe installed contrib modules include:

  • Organic Groups — Used to construct the front page
  • Subscriptions and subscriptions_og
  • Userpoints — Every time a user edits the wiki, adds a post, or adds a comment, they earn points.
  • Extra Voting Forms — Vote up/down a post.
  • Wikitools, Freelinking — Make the book module act more like a wiki.
  • FCKEditor — WYSIWYG editing.
  • HTML Corrector — To close HTML tags in teaser views.
  • CCK and Views
  • Diff — Show the difference between posts.
  • Imagecache, Imagecache Profile — Create different-sized thumbnails of users’ avatars.