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About the Student Gateway

The Med-Dent Student Gateway is the Internet portal for medical and dental students at McGill University. It currently hosts clubs' websites and displays the latest news and events relevant to the students.  It is only accessible to those who are (or were) a medical or dental student at McGill University.

The Student Gateway Team

A team of students (with at least one representative from each of the three student societies -- MSS, DSS and MDSA) are responsible for administering the Med-Dent Student Gateway.  Along with the club administrators, we work to improve your experience of navigating this website.

History of the Medicine & Dentistry Student Gateway

Version 1 (2003-2009)

The idea of a Student Gateway emerged in 2002 from the framework of a simple website built for the students in Medicine and Dentistry of the Class of 2006.  Armed with the student mailing list, online accounts were created for every student, a forum was implemented for private discussions and file sharing, and a photo gallery was introduced with much fanfare.  The site was originally hosted overseas, but very quickly, bandwidth became an issue and a solution was desperately needed.

Medical Information Technology (MedIT) recognized the benefits of the site and granted permission to migrate and host the files at McGill.  Spearheaded by newfound storage space and seemingly unlimited bandwidth, unique opportunities were realized: it was now possible to create not only customized websites for medical and dental students, but separate sites for the Dental Students’ Society as well as the Medical Students’ Society and their constituent clubs. 

In 2003, the McGill Medicine & Dentistry Student Gateway was launched and it was warmly received by students, staff and administration alike.  Thanks to the tireless efforts and unmitigated contributions of numerous people, the Gateway has evolved extensively to meet the demands of the students.  And though the face of the site may change throughout the years, the underlying goal remains the same—to facilitate communication and collaboration for students.

Moving forward, it is clear that the true potential of the Student Gateway relies on participation from the students.  Please utilize the site to its fullest potential, submit new ideas and suggestions for improvement, post relevant news and events, and share knowledge for the benefit of students for years to come.  The McGill Medicine & Dentistry Student Gateway should prove to be a valuable complement to your education and a worthwhile resource for all.

Nghe S. Luu, BScH, DMD, MSc, FRCD(C)
Class of 2006, McGill Dentistry
Founder and Past Developer (Version 1)
McGill Medicine & Dentistry Student Gateway

Version 2 (2009-2011)

The Student Gateway was well implemented and remained well designed and capable of many things well in advance of its time, especially considering that it was the work of a single programmer. However, maintaining it had become difficult after the graduation of its founder, and it had often been necessary to contact Nghe Luu to get input on how to best manage and modify it. Maintaining the website involved a lot of programming that was well beyond any ordinary user’s ability.

Version number 2 had thus been an attempt to reverse engineer the Gateway and rebuild it from the ground up to incorporate easy to use maintenance tools. The goal was so that almost everything on the website could be done from a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, and anyone could modify the content from the website with inexistent programming skill.

However, the goal was also to expand on the website’s abilities. It was decided to incorporate clubs websites on the Gateway, sharing our web building tools with the clubs in a cohesive manner to allow free hosting of their websites and promote the community aspect. It was also decided to design a file hosting system to promote sharing of the useful notes and guides many of us construct during our clerkship. Finally, we wanted to facilitate organization of things like gathering funds for activities. A ton of other modifications and improvements were added.

Version 2 of the Gateway remains of my fondest projects throughout my life. It involved a lot of hard work over more than a year and a half, and intelligent discussions with our programmer and some members of the MSS. While I often pulled my hair in frustration with problems that arose, the end result was worth every bit of sweat, blood and tears (that one might exaggerated, I admit). I believe it was the necessary consolidation step that led to our great 3rd iteration.

We can hope that our website will go forward with great strides as every medical student contributes to it.

Jean Deschamps, M.D., C.M.
Class of 2012, McGill Medicine
Past Developer (Version 2)

Version 3 (2011-2012)

The Med-Dent Student Gateway is a website that is designed to bring together the community of medical and dental students at McGill University.  It is a collaboration between the Medical Students' Society (MSS) and the Dental Students' Society (DSS).

In fall 2010, we found it necessary to commence a new "Student Gateway project" in order to continue the great work of Nghe Luu and Jean Deschamps and appreciate their efforts over the last 10 years.  The goals of the new project were to maintain core features and services provided by its predecessors while ensuring that the new Student Gateway remains easy to maintain by MSS & DSS council members and club administrators, year after year.  Thus, we needed to preserve the second version's core features: webpages delivering content and news about the student societies (MSS & DSS), the event calendar and club websites.   Some new features we added were: the Wiki for sharing notes or writing articles collaboratively; aStudent Directory that shares student contact information privately; and Photo Galleries to store memories of past events.  

The third version of the Med-Dent Student Gateway was opened to the medical and dental student body in March 2011 as a public beta.  Much feedback was received from all four years which was incorporated over the following months.  The class of 2015 was welcomed as the inaugural class to start using this new iteration of the website.  The final step of this project was completed on November 15, 2011 when version 3 was moved to the official students.med.mcgill.ca domain.

Ultimately, the Student Gateway is designed to be interactive and dynamic and will hopefully be the resource that students will turn to first.  We welcome and encourage your feedback and participation as this website continues to evolve.

Amit Raut

Class of 2013, McGill Medicine
Developer (Version 3) and Administrator

Rami Yassine
Class of 2013, McGill Dentistry
DSS VP Communications
Administrator

Joanna Li
Class of 2014, McGill Medicine
MSS VP Information Technology
Administrator

Version 4 (2013-Present)

Thierry Live

Class of 2015, Medicine

Kenjey Chan

Class of 2016, Medicine

Amol Raut
Class of 2018, McGill Medicine
MSS VP Information Technology
Administrator

 


Did you know?

That the Medical Students' Society (MSS) has had a website on the Internet since at least 1998.
That an early pioneer project called the "McGill Medicine Gateway" was started in 1997 to create a Digg-style medical website reviewing system & to host student project websites.  Some of this early work in e-collaboration still exists today in the form of the currentStudent Gateway Wiki.  See the blurb below published in the Faculty newsletter in October 1997:

The "gateway" begins with a page on the World Wide Web, but it doesn't stop there: it opens two ways - to a larger resource and a gain of expertise. Students at McGill, with the help of faculty and the Molson Informatics project, are creating a valuable site for medicine. In a prototype phase, it already offers much - to both novice and expert.

Under the direction of Dr Leon Glass, medical students have created a Web site that (to mix metaphors) leads a horse to water, rolls the camera, and writes the review. One feature is MedWeb - a directory of medical sites, organised by headings and unit number (corresponding with the McGill curriculum). Before you go to a site, however, you can read a review. The students agreed, last spring, to a set of criteria upon which to base their judgements - with the goal of reviewing each site in the directory. It can save a lot of time. You may not want to wait half an hour for graphics to download, or to browse through a lot of outdated text.

But MedWeb is not just a filter for other people's creativity. Students at McGill have developed their own projects, in collaboration with faculty, to push the limits of a textbook. At the "virtual stethoscope" site, for example, you can hear different kinds of heartbeat (such as a "late systolic murmur"); look at the 3-D spectrum of the sound; and read a textual interpretation. Other projects include a "balance & gait disorders interactive tutorial" with video and differential diagnoses; and a "neuromuscular disease tutorial", with interactive quizzes and beautiful images of histology slides.

For these projects, much of the groundwork has been done. It's a matter, now, of adding (and updating) material. Dr Glass invites other students to come forward with new project proposals. The goal is to match students with medical experts, and to pool Web-based experience. Those who have come to terms with a particular tool or program may give seminars - the idea being to draw in the efforts of anyone (beginner or pro) who wants to participate.

The McGill Medicine Gateway is its own best sales pitch. Visit today: http://www.biomed.mcgill.ca/~mmip/gateway.htm  © Faculty of Medicine, October 1997 - Writer: Megan P. Stitt