About Us

SDN is a Nonprofit Organization
We are a vibrant nonprofit organization of thousands of pre-health, health professional students and practicing doctors from across the United States and Canada. Membership is free.
The educational mission of SDN is to assist and encourage all students through the challenging and complicated healthcare education process and into practice.
Our members have created one of the most active and supportive communities on the Internet, with many members making lifelong friendships. Many of our members started as undergraduates and are now practicing doctors in every field of medicine and healthcare.
With tens of thousands of active members and millions posts, our members can answer practically any question you may have, from college through advanced practice.
A Grassroots Web Community
SDN is a nonprofit web site that started as a grassroots Web community at the University of Kansas in the mid-1990s.  Since then, SDN has emerged as one of the most comprehensive and most useful student-driven resources on the Internet.
The Student Doctor Network is operated by the Coastal Research Group, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization.
As part of CRG’s mission, they provide the Student Doctor Network as a free and independent resource to the pre-health and health professional student community. Learn more, read the article “The Role of SDN.”
Our community includes most doctoral-level health fields:

  1. Audiology (AuD)
  2. Dental (DDS and DMD)
  3. Medical (MD and DO) (Allopathic and Osteopathic)
  4. Optometry (OD)
  5. Pharmacy (PharmD)
  6. Podiatry (DPM)
  7. Psychology (PsyD and PhD)
  8. Rehabilitation Sciences (DPT, ODT)
  9. Veterinary (DVM)

We’re Entirely Run by Volunteers!
StudentsThe Student Doctor Network is a 100% volunteer-run resource. SDN is operated by a small group of unpaid volunteers that are dedicated to providing students unbiased information. (view our volunteer team)
The backbone to our site is the Student Doctor Forums. The Forums have tons of good information and inside scoops from pre-professional and professional students throughout North America.

Press and Copyright Information

Please request permission before quoting or using any materials from our site.  All materials, including the forums, are the copyrighted property of the Coastal Research Group.
Advertising Information
To learn more about sponsorship or advertising on the Student Doctor Network, please see our sponsorship page.
Conflicts of Interest Statement
Because SDN is a free and independent resource, all partners, advertisers, sponsors and underwriters have no editorial input or oversight of SDN members, content or materials.  Additionally, advertising is clearly marked as such, with the title “advertisement” added when it is near content.

History of the Student Doctor Network

The Student Doctor Network originally was an amalgam of websites that were brought together in 1999 by Lee Burnett (then a family medicine resident).  Over the years the site developed into what it is today, the leading social and professional networking site for pre-health, health-professional students and residents in the United States.  The success of SDN is entirely attributed to the dedicated members and volunteer team that have created this vibrant community.
Although very little remains of those original sites, we remember their history here:
SDN’s Amalgamated Sites:
Interactive Medical Student Lounge

Before becoming part of SDN, The Interactive Medical Student Lounge is recognized as being the first medical student website on the Internet!

It was started by Nancy Sween at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in December 1994.  It featured a number of useful links for medical students.  Back in the days before Google or other search engines were created, link sites were the primary method of finding other sites on the Internet.  The links are still being maintained at http://forums.studentdoctor.net/links

In the fall of 1994, the University of Kansas School of Medicine (Kansas City) began offering e-mail and on-campus Internet access for students, plus lunch hour web page training for faculty and staff. Some people around campus (such as Lee Hancock, originator of the “Medical Matrix” index) had medical data on the Internet, but from the registrar’s office, Nancy Sween could not find a site specifically for medical students. She learned HTML and the “Interactive Medical Student Lounge” went on-line December 12 1994 – a free site for students of medicine, worldwide.

Originally at the University of Kansas (12/12/94 to 2/22/97), the IMSLounge moved to GeoCities and AOL in early 1997, then to http://www.medstudents.net (Nov 1998). In 1999, the IMSLounge became a charter member of the Student Doctor Network (SDN).


Osteopathic.Com was created in 1995 by Lee Burnett (then a medical student).  It was originally known as The Osteopathic Source as an offshoot to the osteopathic medical student newspaper The Osteopathic Pulse. The Osteopathic Source was the first osteopathic medical student website and the first osteopathic website on the Internet.

The SDN Forums were originally hosted as the Osteopathic.Com student forums. Years of upgrades and expansion have made the forums the popular resource they are today.

The BIG Guide To Med School

In 1994, Jim Henderson (then a medical student) wrote a popular electronic book entitled The Pre-Med Companion. As the Internet flourished, so did the book. By 1997, it was a resource for premeds, med students, and those seeking residency positions. That same year, Jim used the resources of that book to co-create and develop an online guide for medical students and premeds in the United States. In 1999 Medicalstudent.net became SDN’s Big Guide to Medical School.


Daniel Lee Imler and Brian James Hartman founded this unique site in 2000 and it quickly grew to become the most popular medical student diary site in the world. Medschooldiary.com joined SDN in 2001.  In 2007 Medschooldiary was replaced with our new blogs found on the SDN Forums.  The old diaries can still be found in our electronic archive.

SDN Page Evolution

Want to see what SDN looked like back when we launched? How about in 2003? We’ve changed the site design over the years to meet new browser standards, improve page-loading speed, or just because we got bored with the old design! Some of these designs don’t quite look right thanks to changes in our CSS files. Special thanks to the Internet Archive.

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