The early days
Once upon a time, back in the early 2000s, I was a student at Semmelweis University. During my studies, there was no social media, no smartphones, no tablets. In fact, we only scratched the surface of the possibilities the internet had to offer. As the years went by, the aforementioned devices and technologies became part of our daily lives, and slowly but surely, I can no longer remember what it was like without them. Since then, various applications and high-level services have emerged, although many of them have a strong profit-oriented approach.
The creation of pharm.academy was inspired by various websites, including wikipedia.org, khanacademy.org, and duolingo.com. While these platforms have many advantageous features, they also have their shortcomings based on personal opinions. When developing pharm.academy, we always keep these in mind and pay special attention to user feedback. Our common goal is to make their learning process more effective and reduce the time required to master the study material.
It is worth noting that all three mentioned websites are accessible for free. However, they attempt to generate revenue through advertisements, paid services, or donation requests, sometimes in a slightly aggressive manner.
Nevertheless, they provide the opportunity for learning to everyone.
The biggest advantage of Wikipedia is also its biggest flaw, namely, that it is freely editable. Its multilingual nature also leaves something to be desired, as it does not always contain accurate translations. Some parts, written in German or even French, are often better and more detailed than what is believed to be the original English version.
For this reason, we have equipped pharm.academy with a multi-stage editorial process, employing a system similar to that of open access journals. Every note accompanying the individual chapters, as well as the related questions, are only posted on the website after undergoing editorial review. The starting point for translations is always the original content written in Hungarian.
When I first discovered the Duolingo app, I spent many hours using it. At that time, it wasn't available in Hungarian, so I practiced German with English and English with German. Unfortunately, despite the fun and entertaining aspect of it, my language skills, which were already not particularly impressive, didn't improve much. The system itself is very clever, with a user-friendly interface and a variety of tasks. The problem lies with the content and the lack of a detailed review algorithm. It doesn't progress in a didactic way, and there are very few customization options.
That's why the questions on pharm.academy are structured according to a progressively challenging layout. We employ our own forgetting algorithm, which can be considered a modified version of SM2.
The Khan Academy didn't become so popular by chance. Initially focusing on mathematics education, the platform now offers learning materials in numerous other fields as well. I can only hope that eventually, most of the content will be available in multiple languages, making it a perfect complement to any learning process.
While Khan Academy primarily teaches, pharm.academy primarily asks questions. For me, creating the perfect study material wasn't the main objective, as numerous renowned educators and excellent researchers have already written many textbooks we use. They have dedicated decades to researching specific topics or, thanks to their clinical practice, have gained insights into the chapters that I will likely never achieve.