eMedici Voltaire

About eMedici

"Education is a wonderful thing. But it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught" - Oscar Wilde


eMedici is an open-ended series of case studies covering various aspects of medical practice. Many of the cases have a strong surgical flavour and are grouped into a number of surgical disciplines: breast/endocrine, digestive disease, urology, vascular surgery and so on. There are also modules containing case studies in cardiology, obstetrics & gynaecology, ophthalmology and psychiatry. New modules appear regularly.

The original concept for eMedici came from an idea put forward by Peter Devitt to match real-life medical practice with interactive clinical scenarios for students to study and learn from. The initial platform was CD-based and this was enhanced and put into a web-based platform by Edward Palmer. Together, these two individuals have undertaken formal evaluation of both the educational tool and its content, presented data at national and international meetings and reported their various studies in the international literature (see below).


Visitor: As a visitor to eMedici you can browse the home page and do the Image Challenge. The Case of the week and several representative cases from some of the various Disciplines within eMedici are available for study. You will need to register to gain access to all the cases on the website.

Registered user:

Register and log on to get access to:

  • selected cases in various medical disciplines
  • Authoring system for case construction (see below)
  • Browse the Image Challenges

Institutional License:

Full access to all the modules and cases within eMedici

  • Ability to select cases and/or cases for display and use
  • Access to monitoring facilities
  • Ability to set assessment tasks

The Structure of eMedici

eMedici has been set up in similar lines to a journal in so much that there is an Editorial Board to overlook the peer review process and an Editor-in-Chief (Peter Devitt) who is responsible for day-to-day management.

For those that choose to use the eMedici facilities on an institution basis, a regional administrative system exists which allows for local control of content and access. Please contact Peter Devitt (peter.devitt@adelaide.edu.au) for further details.

eMedici offers users the opportunity to write and submit material for inclusion in one of the modules - or the production of a new module. One written and submitted, new material is considered for peer review. Once through the peer review process, new content is displayed within eMedici.

Writing and Submitting a Case Study

Please read the information below before setting out with a case study.

New cases are always welcomed for consideration of publication in eMedici. Potential authors have the opportunity to expand their CV or gain CME points.

You will need to register and login. If you have not done so already, the details are provided on the Home page.

Once logged in, click on the Author tab and you will be taken to the Author page. Details on how to set about constructing a case are provided.

Using the Author Tool:

  • If the information you are to use is stored in a Word file, do not cut-and-paste directly into the various boxes. Instead, paste into the 'Paste as Text' square (identified by moving the cursor over the symbols at the top of each box). Failure to do this will result in the inclusion of unnecessary hidden text.
  • It is helpful to be able to provide a summary or Synopsis of your case. This might include further details of what happened to the patient to round off the case. More importantly, there might be an elaboration of some of the issues that arose during the case, such as the value of various investigations, methods of staging the disease under discussion or a review of different methods of management. It may be helpful to provide a list of references at the end of this synopsis.
  • When adding a question to your case, consider whether you want the user to select a single correct option, several possibly correct options or provide the answer in the form of free text. If the latter, it is then appropriate to provide a model answer, to which the user can compare his or her answer
  • The + and - symbols can then allow that question to be expanded (or contracted) to include the options that the author wishes to provide for that question. The 'Add Choices' button then allows options to be added. Some information for each option then provides the opportunity for educational feedback as to why that particular option was correct or incorrect.The up and down arrows allow the questions or the options within each question to be moved in relation to the adjacent material.
  • The X symbol allows questions and/or options to be deleted.
  • Within the Synopsis, Questions and Choices fields images and/or video can be added. Any video material will need to be checked by the Administration for the correct format to facilitate its use.
  • Clicking on the 'Update Case' at the bottom of the screen will save the case
  • Any any stage during construction, the case can be previewed in the eMedici player. To do this, Update the case, click on 'Edit another case', select your case from the list and click on the Preview button in the right hand column.
  • WARNING: There is a time-out mechanism in eMedici which will automatically log users out of the system after a period of inactivity. It is necessary to click the 'Update Case' button at the bottom left of the page on a regular basis to ensure that material typed or copied into the Author is saved.

Some Hints on Constructing a Case:

  • Have a real case in mind before you set out
  • Define the learning objectives - ie know and state what you want the users to get out of or learn from your case
  • Try and include images in the case
  • Make sure that all material (particularly images) is de-indentified
  • Do not use any material that might be copyright
  • Ensure that you have permission to use any images
  • Provide information on any other learning resources you think might be helpful to the users. This might be a list of references or details of other websites


Devitt P, Palmer E. Computers in medical education - 1. Evaluation of a problem-oriented learning package. Aust NZJ Surg. 1998; 68:284-87.

Devitt P, Cehic D, Palmer E. Computers in medical education -2. Use of a computer package to supplement the clinical experience in a surgical clerkship: an objective evaluation. Aust NZJ Surg. 1998; 68:428-31.

Devitt P, Palmer E. Computers in medical education - 2. A possible tool for the assessment of clinical competence. Aust NZJ Surg. 1998; 68:602-04.

Devitt P, Worthley S, Palmer E, Cehic D. Evaluation of a computer based package on electrocardiography. Aust NZJ Med. 1998; 28:432-35.

Devitt PG, Palmer E. Computer-aided learning: an overvalued educational resource? Medical Education 1999; 33;136-39.

Devitt PG, Smith J, Palmer E. Improved student learning in ophthalmology with computer-aided instruction. Eye 2001; 15:635-39.

Palmer EJ, Devitt PG, De Young NJ, Morris D. Assessment of an electronic voting system within the tutorial setting: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Med Educ 2005; 5:24.

Palmer E, Devitt PG. Limitations of student-driven formative assessment in a clinical clerkship. A randomised controlled trial. BMC Med Educ 2008; 8:29.

Palmer E, Devitt P. The assessment of a structured online formative assessment program: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Med Educ. 2014; Jan 9;14:8.

Punj P, Devitt PG, Coventry BJ, Whitfield RJ. Palpation as a useful diagnostic tool for skin lesions. Br J Recon Aesth Surg. 2014.


The Editors and others involved in this educational initiative express their gratitude to Hong Chan who has redesigned and constructed the new layout and presentation of eMedici.

November 2013