This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Romée Snijders and Veerle Smit, founders of Compendium Medicine…
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?
Compendium Medicine: We’re both from the Netherlands. Romée grew up in the south of the country and Veerle in Amsterdam. We met during our bachelor’s degree at the medical faculty of the VU University in Amsterdam. Together we worked for a company that provided summaries for every medical exam. We coordinated the authors and took on all the promotional tasks. That’s when we decided that we wanted to make our own compendium of medical study material. We assembled a team to help us achieve our dream. We are currently taking up our master’s in medicine, comparable to the clinical rotations in the USA. Every nine weeks we go to a different hospital to learn a new specialty. We both like to hang out with our friends in Amsterdam. We share a passion for management and have already worked as partners for four years. It has now gotten to the point where we finish each other’s sentences.
Accepted: What inspired you to pursue a career in medicine?
Compendium Medicine: Romée’s mother was a nurse. She always admired her mom’s work and therefore wanted to work within the healthcare system, to help people just as she had seen her mom doing. Veerle always liked subjects like biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. She also wanted to combine this with helping and working with people. Medicine is the perfect way to do that.
Accepted: What was one of the biggest struggles that you encountered while in med school? How did you overcome it?
Compendium Medicine: In our last year we were working on the books as well as finishing our pre-clinical years (the bachelor’s degree in the Dutch system). This sometimes meant working day and night, and more than 90 hours a week. We also both did things besides the books and university like a board year, research, and sports. This involved a lot of planning and willpower. We’ve achieved our first goal, but we would be lying if we didn’t admit that it has been very difficult at times. We had to cancel a lot of appointments with friends and family. We are very thankful that they stayed with us during this period and are supporting us once again in this new challenge: bringing Compendium Medicine to the rest of the world.
Accepted: Tell our readers a little about the book series that you have created and released!
Compendium Medicine: Compendium Medicine is a four volume hardcover, full color book series that summarizes the entire medical curriculum. The books contain 27 disciplines – of which some are clinical like ‘Neurology’ and ‘Cardiology,’ and others are non-clinical like ‘Ethics,’ ‘Law,’ and ‘Statistics.’ Each discipline is divided into subchapters: Anatomy, Embryology, Histology, Physiology, and Diagnostics. Subsequently the diseases of that discipline are clearly listed. The chapters conclude with clinical reasoning diagrams. The Dutch version has already sold over 10,000 copies, and now we are running a crowdfunding campaign in which you can pre-order the English books for a discounted price. The English books will be released in April 2018.
Accepted: Lastly, where do you see yourself in the future? What long-term goals do you have for your medical career, as well as for Team Compendium Medicine?
Compendium Medicine: Besides still working for our company, Compendium Medicine, Romée aspires to become a gynecologist or internal medicine specialist. For Veerle the latter is also on her list, though psychiatry and neurology are her other subjects of interest. Both of us are sure that will always continue doing management tasks, hopefully combined with being a doctor!
You can learn more about Compendium Medicine by checking out their website www.compendiummedicine.com, or by following them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Thank you Romée and Veerle for sharing your time with us today, we wish you much success!
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