To celebrate summer we’re doing a short series of posts interviewing Jamie and Dustyn, the creative awesomeness behind OnlineMedEd’s free videos. Pixie especially really loves the services they provide (both the great wealth of free videos and the additional paid services) and wanted to share it with you, future family doctors. Enjoy the series!
Introductions are In Order
Jamie Fitch is more than just the CEO – he’s a clinical epidemiologist and the other half of OnlineMedEd – so if you’ve ever contacted OME you probably ended up talking with Jamie. In 2013 he & Dr. Williams co-founded the site, and now he devotes his time to improving medical education, one video at a time.
Dr. Dustyn Williams, is an internal medicine hospitalist and clerkship director at Baton Rouge General who acknowledges that medical school sucked, and clinical education not only needs to be improved, it can be. He’s the “content” person, and does all the talking and drawing in the videos.
Mysteriously Awesome Cat. We have no name for the adorable mascot of the website, but both Farrah and Pixie hope they never, ever replace said feline as their logo.
Chatting with OnlineMedEd
When I tell people about OnlineMedEd they don’t believe the videos are entirely free, now and forever. Why did you guys decide to keep the videos free after discovering how willing medical students are to pay for subscriptions?
Medical knowledge should be accessible to everyone and belong to no one. Why restrict access to a tool that will make medical school easier, future doctors better, and the care we deliver superior?
That’s the crux of it. We started as students and suffered like everyone else. Other companies profit by preying on the fear and insecurities of medical students, promising much and delivering little. We wanted to be the solution, not an alternative approach.
So we built something that can enhance the experience of any learner. Get the knowledge you need in an efficient manner so you can get practicing medicine, not struggling to learn the basics. If you want to benefit from the entire program, it’s available with thought and purpose to each resource for less than other folks charge.
In your student study guides you recommend that everyone use a qBank like uWorld and a board prep book, which is a bit unheard of in medical school resources. Why do you do that?
Why do we discuss resources other than our own? Simple – the success of students means more to us than a paid subscription to our service. There are good resources out there; when used correctly they can compliment a course like ours. In our study guide we break it down for people who want to pass versus those who want to augment.
For augmentation (250+), getting multiple perspectives is key.
What do you feel is the strength or advantage OnlineMedEd has over other resources students could use, such as paid video services, board prep books, etcetera?
First, it isn’t the what – it’s the why. We started to make med school easier and help the future doctors of the world take care of human beings. We only became a company so we could grow, sustain the service, and get more people more access. That’s palpable in everything we do.
But more than that, we aren’t just some guys throwing things together. Dustyn is formally trained in medical education, good at it, and getting better every day; thanks to 40k+ monthly active registered users calling out every mistake.
We also follow a different premise; understanding is more important than truth. Politics don’t matter. Doing the right thing for your patient, whether they’re real or on a test, is the ultimate result. We have the freedom to do that as a free-standing company, something a university isn’t able to do. We use that and what research says promotes the best retention and understanding to create a one-stop-shop that lets you customize your education based on what works for you. No one else has the breadth of resources working together to create a blended approach quite like we do.
Collectively, these are key points as most third and fourth year resources approach the material like they did for Step 1; here’s everything you could know, go memorize it. That’s not practical when the pathways change based on patient presentation. You need algorithms that adapt to the situation in front of you, which is something we do really well. This is test prep sure, but it’s life prep too.
We’re trying to get you performing well on the boards AND wards.
More on OnlineMedEd’s Free Videos
Last year I wrote a review about OnlineMedEd’s free videos (read it here) after enjoying them for most of third year, and using the paid services for a few months to prepare for COMLEX Level 2. I was so comfortable with the content and quality of their videos I didn’t bother with the paid board prep program I’d used for Level 1, and did better on Level 2. I even used them during various rotations as a fourth year, to review basics or re-learn specialty-specific things I’d forgotten. And that’s why I wanted to interview them and share their awesomeness with you guys. – Pixie
FYI, later in June they plan to roll out a new iOS flashcard app to supplement their 100% free clinical education videos, and there’s more planned down the road. Be sure to check out their site if you’re a soon-to-be third year who wants to do great on wards and shelf exams, or a fourth year with time before Step 2 / Level 2.
Disclaimer: FMS gets no cash, prizes or perks for this interview series – we just want you guys to do awesome on exams and on the floor.
Check back next week for part two of our chat!