Get to know us: discover our story and mission
Who are we?
We (Romée and Veerle) met during medical school at the VU university in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Quickly, we began discussing the abundance of medical textbooks, and started wondering what could be done differently.
As medical students ourselves, we were faced with so much study material that it was often difficult to keep track of the bigger picture.
This inspired us to make a change for other medical students, and to help them regain this overview. To explain to you how we did this, we take you on a trip down memory lane.
2015 - 2016
Our idea was clear...
An overview of all subspecialties, containing comprehensible images, straightforward charts and tables, and useful mnemonics. The books had to be visual, to the point and concise.
We shared our idea of writing these books with more than a thousand students through an online survey and the response was unanimous: do it! The project of Compendium Medicine in Dutch was born.
After more than a year and a half of hard work, together with a big team of students and specialists, we launched our Dutch book series. The first edition sold out before launch, and that was just the beginning of a roller coaster ride we are still on.
2017 - 2018
We could not have dreamed of this...
Our story was featured in prominent Dutch newspapers and magazines, and we were even invited to appear on popular talk shows on national television. However, the most rewarding part of this experience was the overwhelming positive feedback we received from medical students and - specialists. In response, we started creating our first series of pocket books - concise, yet comprehensive guides designed to provide essential information during a shift.
We made our television debut in September 2017. In total, we appeared three times on "De Wereld Draait Door," a well-known Dutch talk show.
This photo of Veerle and Romée, working on Compendium in Romee's dorm room, was featured on the front page of one of the largest Dutch newspapers.
We launched our first pocket book about cardiology. Currently, over 10,000 (future) doctors in the Netherlands and Belgium are using this pocket book.
Our second big launch...
With all the experience we had gained during our medical rotations, we developed a renewed vision for Compendium Medicine.
We wanted everything to be even more visual - each image had to quickly and clearly demonstrate how a patient presents themselves. The icons had to be different and some important specialties were missing. In short: the series had to be rewritten.
This time we got to work with a team of more than 250 enthusiastic students, doctors and specialists, now from both the Netherlands and Belgium. A team of illustrators (also medical students) supported the authors to make each specialty as visual as possible. After a year of hard work, we could proudly present the renewed book series.
The Compendium book series
We have divided the most important medical knowledge in 35 specialties, all presented in the same way. Our method consists of using comprehensible illustrations for every medical condition, straightforward tables, many illustrations and useful mnemonics. It's is visual, to-the-point and concise so you are able to memorise the study material more easily.
2020 - 2022
A period of many milestones followed...
Our team grew every month: from authors to illustrators, and from ambassadors to bloggers. Together with our growing number of followers on social media, a real community was born. Together with this team we worked incredibly hard on new pocket books to complement the book series, as well as new additions such as flashcards and pocket cards.
Check out some of the milestones:
The hard work of our amazing team: many new pocket books
We reached 20.000 followers on our Dutch Instagram page
Our books were available in more and more (online) stores
We celebrated the launch of new pockets and flashcards with our dream team
Our ambassadors represented Compendium at all Dutch universities
We launched our first pocket cards!
We are extending our mission to the rest of the world!
With the experience we have gained over the past six years, we also make a difference for medical students and healthcare professionals outside the Netherlands and Belgium.
We started this new journey by sharing a questionnaire with our fellow students, just as we did six years ago. We were thrilled to receive responses from students in 58 different countries. This input was extremely valuable to move forward with.
Join us on our mission
We want to get an even better idea of what medical students from around the world are currently missing, and what we can do to change that. Therefore, we highly value your input as well! Complete the questionnaire below, or click this link for a better experience on mobile.