PedsCases Content Production Handbook: A Glimpse into the Future of Medical Education

Main Article Content

Debraj Das
Michelle Bischoff
Peter MacPherson
Chris Gerdung
Peter J Gill
Lauren Kitney
Melanie Lewis


Medical Education, Pediatrics, Peer Teaching, Undergraduate, E-learning


INTRODUCTION: PedsCases ( is a pediatric educational website for undergraduate medical students developed through student-faculty collaboration. PedsCases consists of pediatric specific clinical multiple-choice questions (MCQs), podcasts on key learning objectives, and interactive cases that teach students clinical decision-making skills. Our objective was to create a handbook for medical students that outlined how to create high quality online learning resources.
METHODS: The PedsCases contributors worked together on this project and drew upon prior experiences and medical education theory to develop a handbook that carefully summarizes the core elements of writing MCQs, podcasts, and clinical cases. Individual members drafted a version of the handbook, which was then peer reviewed and verified by members of the PedsCases team, including the director of pediatric undergraduate education.
DESCRIPTION OF HANDBOOK: Each section consists of: 1) specific writing mechanics; 2) how to test knowledge application; and 3) tips specific for PedsCases content. The clinical case section explores how to develop and organize a clinical case scenario while ensuring that the content is applicable to medical students. The MCQ portion discusses how to properly write a question stem, challenging distracters, and how to integrate MCQs into clinical situations. The section on podcasts explains characteristics that make a podcast different from a spoken lecture, giving an outline for podcasts to follow, and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of podcasts as a learning venue. In addition, we review important considerations to take into account while creating medical education content specifically for undergraduate medical education.
CONCLUSIONS: This handbook highlights how students can effectively transform textbook knowledge into an online resource that complements day-to-day medical education. Putting students in a virtual setting where they are able to make decisions, follow their curiosity, and arrive at the right conclusions, helps to develop well-rounded medical students and future medical educators.