About Sharing in Health


  • the situation
  • goals, objectives and approaches
  • about us
  • the plan

The situation


1) We have a global deficit of 4.3 million health care providers in the world.

from NEJM, 2007

















2) Paper textbooks can be expensive, difficult to transport, and can soon go out of date.



3) The internet is increasingly everywhere, and computing devices are increasingly affordable, portable, and powerful.

fibre-optic internet connecting Africa, 2009


4) Internet-based health care education works well.


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Goals, Objectives, and Approaches


Given the situation, we are working to create a quality, comprehensive, online health care textbook, freely providing content to health care students in the world. In doing so, we will work with existing universities and organizations to increase global training capacity. This, we hope, will decrease the health care provider deficit.


Our objectives are to:

Training material relevant for a given profession

  • identify core, universal competencies required for training in various health care programs
  • create and gather quality content to help students meet these requirements
  • create self-directed and group-learning cases to provide foundations and incentives for learning
  • provide students with the integration of competencies, content, and cases through software and hardware
  • develop long-term sustainability through partnership with students, professionals, and institutions around the world




Our ethics and approaches are intuitive but innovative in their combination.

Collaborative: To create a complete training program for health care, we will need to work together like never before. Our model is to have material written by students and reviewed by professionals.


Though scopes and roles of each health care profession vary widely, educational programs that establish and build upon common ground will foster true, effective interprofessional education.



Freely Accessible: Numerous superlative resources aleady exist in textbooks and websites. but most are not available to the people needing them most. SiH subscribes to open-source, open-access ethics,and its resources can be used by anyone for non-commercial purposes. We are also completely not-for-profit, with no advertising.

  • Ellaway R, Martin RD. 2008. What's mine is yours-open source as a new paradigm for sustainable healthcare education. Medical Teacher. 30(2):175-9.



Foundational: Many health care providers work in settings, such as rural villages or slums, where sophisticated investigations and treatments are not an option. An emphasis is accordingly placed on clinical skills and basic treatments.



Integrated: The materials here prepare students to bring health to the body, soul, spirit, and community. Biology, disease, clinical presentations, investigations, and treatment are connected.



Flexible: 'Nothing endures but change', and SiH is designed for content and technology to be inherently flexible to meet the needs of today and tomorrow, in various locales and situations.



For Learning and Teaching: Students are able to learn alone, with study partners, or in small groups, facilitated by tutors.


Multimedia-rich: Examples include photos, illustrations (HIV virus), and videos (urine cultures). We incorporate as many quality, open-access resources from around the world as possible.



Technology: "Internet-based instruction is associated with favorable outcomes across a wide variety of learners, learning contexts, clinical topics, and learning outcomes. Internet-based instruction appears to have a large effect compared with no intervention and appears to have an effectiveness similar to traditional methods." (Cook et al, 2008).


This concept is important as we increase course enrollment with a limited number of clinical educators. Computers are growing in portability and financial accessibility. Even in areas with no internet, information can easily be loaded onto a computer's hard drive and updated periodically. Technology should not replace professors, but can provide instruction of at least equal value.


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About Us

SharingInHealth is designed and maintained by students, for students. The site began in 2006 as the medical student notes of David LaPierre as he studied at Dalhousie University.


The leadership team of SharingInHealth includes:


A growing list of contributors has been creating, authoring, and reviewing content, guided by the advice of various working groups. We are in the process of securing NPO/NGO status and forming a board of directors.



  what's this?

The Plan

Sharing in Health is one of the first open-access efforts at creating a student interface and combining it with content.

Our future milestones include:

  • create a content management system and port all information over
  • compare notes with students and educators from educational programs around the world
  • aim to have 90% of content written and reviewed by the end of 2010
  • pilot the program in early 2011, in Uganda, Tanzania, or Malawi