Aquifer is a unique mission-driven non-profit organization dedicated to delivering the best health care education through collaborative development and research into innovative, high-impact virtual teaching and learning methods.
With 15 million virtual patient cases completed since our founding in 2006, Aquifer is the leader in developing clinical learning tools for health professions education.
Aquifer is used by 96% of U.S. allopathic medical schools, 70% of U.S. osteopathic medical schools, and a growing number of physician assistant, nurse practitioner, and international programs.
Aquifer’s award-winning courses are evidence-based, peer-reviewed, and continuously updated by the Educators Consortium, to support best practices in clinical teaching and learning. Created by educators, for educators—in close collaboration with their national organizations—Aquifer’s courses build essential knowledge and clinical reasoning skills for health professions students, grounded in Aquifer’s pedagogy.
Aqueduct, Aquifer’s proprietary teaching and learning platform, ensures learning is accessible anytime, anywhere.
The Aquifer Educators Consortium forms the bedrock of Aquifer, bringing together more than 300 healthcare educators across disciplines. Aquifer is home to a thriving, collaborative community of healthcare education leaders deeply committed to driving innovation in teaching and learning.
Aquifer, formerly known as MedU, was formally organized in 2006 as a way to share innovative methods in teaching national clerkship curricula comprehensively and consistently.
The idea for Aquifer grew out of work by Dartmouth professors Leslie H. Fall, MD, and Norman Berman, MD, who received a federal grant in 2000 to develop pediatric virtual patient cases. Developed with the support of a consortium of pediatric educators, the new web-based course comprehensively covered the Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics (COMSEP) core pediatric curriculum.
When the federal grants ended in 2006, Drs. Fall and Berman created MedU, a non-profit organization dedicated to delivering the best health care education through collaborative development and research into innovative, high-impact virtual teaching and learning methods.
Additional contributors and new courses followed. Internal Medicine, added in 2007, covered the curriculum outlined by the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM). In 2008, Family Medicine was developed in collaboration with the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM).
In 2009, the Web Initiative for Surgical Education of Medical Doctors (WISE-MD), founded by Tom Riles, MD at New York University, was added to a suite of courses to support the surgery clerkship. In 2011, Radiology was added to the library of courses. Expansion continued with the addition of courses in Geriatrics and Addiction, plus a range of free courses on a variety of cross-disciplinary topics.
In late 2016, Dr. Fall and the Board of Directors recognized the need to expand MedU’s vision, scope, and students. The organization took on the development of a new strategic plan, a new proprietary learning management system, and a new brand. In early 2018, MedU became Aquifer. Aquifer is reaching more constituencies, expanding the range and development of courses, and increasing its impact as it seeks to transform healthcare education.