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JMIR Med Educ. 2015 Sep 17;1(2):e9.

Formation of a New Entity to Support Effective Use of Technology in Medical Education: The Student Technology Committee.

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School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States.



As technology in medical education expands from teaching tool to crucial component of curricular programming, new demands arise to innovate and optimize educational technology. While the expectations of today's digital native students are significant, their experience and unique insights breed new opportunities to involve them as stakeholders in tackling educational technology challenges.


The objective of this paper is to present our experience with a novel medical student-led and faculty-supported technology committee that was developed at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine to harness students' valuable input in a comprehensive fashion. Key lessons learned through the initial successes and challenges of implementing our model are also discussed.


A committee was established with cooperation of school administration, a faculty advisor with experience launching educational technologies, and a group of students passionate about this domain. Committee membership is sustained through annual selective recruitment of interested students.


The committee serves 4 key functions: acting as liaisons between students and administration; advising development of institutional educational technologies; developing, piloting, and assessing new student-led educational technologies; and promoting biomedical and educational informatics within the school community. Participating students develop personally and professionally, contribute to program implementation, and extend the field's understanding by pursuing research initiatives. The institution benefits from rapid improvements to educational technologies that meet students' needs and enhance learning opportunities. Students and the institution also gain from fostering a campus culture of awareness and innovation in informatics and medical education. The committee's success hinges on member composition, school leadership buy-in, active involvement in institutional activities, and support for committee initiatives.


Students should have an integral role in advancing medical education technology to improve training for 21st-century physicians. The student technology committee model provides a framework for this integration, can be readily implemented at other institutions, and creates immediate value for students, faculty, information technology staff, and the school community.


committee membership; educational technology; medical education; medical students; organizational innovation; organizational models

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