Khan Academy MCAT Competition: Building Free, Open-Access Medical Education Resources

May 14, 2014, 8:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Rishi Desai Rishi Desai, MD, MPH, Medical Lead at Khan Academy

Rishi Desai, Medical Partnership Program Lead at Khan Academy, works to help Khan Academy connect people to quality information about health and medicine. He is currently a pediatric infectious disease physician, and previously spent two years as an EIS officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

By Rishi Desai

When I think about the new MCAT test that will launch in 2015, it brings back memories of my own late night study sessions in college. Just prior to taking the MCAT, I was enrolled in a particularly tough life sciences course at UCLA where our professor asked us to design an experiment that would “prove” that DNA was the genetic material in cells. We literally had to step into the shoes of historic researchers, think critically, and rediscover the fundamentals for ourselves. Preparing for these classes was tough, but it was worth it because I knew that it would help me understand the material on a very deep level. At Khan Academy we want to help all students truly understand the material and understand how to apply it.

Recently, we teamed up with RWJF and the Association of American Medical Colleges to build the MCAT test prep collection, a free tool available to anyone, anywhere. The idea is to allow students to learn important core health and medicine information online so that they can have meaningful learning experiences in the classroom. The MCAT is based upon foundational scientific concepts that span key areas that are relevant for pre-health students, so it’s a perfect fit for our approach.

Our first MCAT winners were absolutely fantastic, and to help grow the MCAT prep collection with even more top-notch content, we’ve just launched our second annual MCAT competition. Med students, pre-med students, professors and others are invited to submit video tutorials, passage-based quizzes, or articles. Winners will receive training from Khan Academy, and the chance to become a Khan Academy fellow.

Help Khan Academy spread the word! Here’s a video and some quizzes to give you an idea of what we’re looking for.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.