Introduction: Study materials for USMLE exams are some of the most commonly requested materials at Dana Medical Library. In Fall 2015, the Dana Medical Library received several student requests for online USMLE preparation materials. Librarians arranged for a trial of a new USMLE test preparation software available for library licensing. Librarians designed a plan for soliciting student and faculty feedback to inform the purchasing decision.

Methods: The Dana Medical Library ran a 4-week trial of the USMLE preparation software. Students and faculty were notified of the product trial through meetings, e-mail, signs in the library and social media. Trial participants were invited to complete an anonymous survey at the end of the trial. Survey questions addressed ease of use, quality of content, effectiveness in test preparation, and recommendation for or against purchase.

Results: Forty students and faculty members participated in the trial. Eighteen responded to the survey (45% response rate). Survey respondents were divided over a recommendation for purchase, with 50% advising against purchase, 37.5% advising for purchase with reservations and 12.5% recommending purchase. Twenty-five percent indicated there were errors in the content. Feedback on the ease of use, quality of questions, and overall performance was also mixed.

Conclusions: Engaging students and faculty in an online trial provided valuable feedback. Librarians will continue to evaluate and trial new exam review products in collaboration with students and faculty.


Presented at: UVM College of Medicine Mud Season Retreat; April 14, 2016; South Burlington, VT

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