INTRODUCTION: Medical textbooks are an important teaching supplement. Few have junior doctors or medical students ('juniors') as primary contributors. However, the strengths of junior-led face-to-face teaching are now well-established, and we hypothesized that similar advantages would be transferrable to a textbook setting.
METHODS: Juniors were approached to contribute to an independently published medical textbook, with senior clinicians recruited in parallel to ensure factual accuracy. Juniors directed every aspect of textbook writing and the production process. The published book stressed that it was an open collaboration with readers, inviting them to get in touch to evaluate the text and suggest ideas for new titles.
RESULTS: Of 75 respondents, 93 % awarded the first textbook in the series 4 or 5 out of 5 for overall quality. Five other titles have been released, with seven more in development. Over 100 juniors are currently involved, with two students progressing from reviewers to editors after less than a year of mentorship.
CONCLUSION: Juniors can be a motivated, dynamic, innovative group, capable of significant contributions to the medical textbook literature. This initiative has generated a sustainable infrastructure to facilitate junior-led publishing, and has the capacity for expansion to accommodate new initiatives and ideas.