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MCAT Training Camp: Final Reflections

Jul 23, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Khan Academy MCAT Competition 2013 Finalist Video

Khan Academy recently held a national MCAT Video Competition, a collaboration between Khan Academy, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Of 67 submissions, 15 were selected for an all-expenses-paid weeklong training program facilitated by Khan Academy staff and scholars to create educational tutorials for concepts that will be tested by the new MCAT2015 exam, including human behavior, social sciences, inequality, and diversity. In this post, Khan Academy medical fellow and Pioneer grantee, Rishi Desai, MD, MPH, reflects on the training camp.

By Rishi Desai

The training camp ended, and I feel incredibly mixed. The only feeling of sadness comes from seeing folks head home after having gotten to know them quite well. But having this group, each focused exclusively on figuring out how to share the beauty of the biological, physical, and social sciences through videos, is a truly unique experience. To have us all hanging out together in one hotel for a week is about as intimate and organic as it gets. We started out the week as strangers, and we emerged as brothers and sisters.

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What’s Next Health: Flipping the Visit

Jul 18, 2013, 3:00 PM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Rishi Desai, medical fellow at the Khan Academy Rishi Desai, medical fellow at the Khan Academy

Each month, What’s Next Health talks with leading thinkers about the future of health and health care. Recently, we talked with Sal Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, who shared his vision for “reimagining education” and what that means for health and health care. Khan Academy medical fellow and Pioneer grantee, Rishi Desai, MD, MPH, shares thoughts on how Khan Academy's approach to learning can help transform the patient experience.

By Rishi Desai

In my pediatric clinic, I generally get 20 minutes with each patient, which is long by many standards. I spend most of that time asking questions and sharing a treatment plan, leaving only two or three minutes to really talk with people about my assessment and address their thoughts and concerns. As a result, patients (in my case, a child and their accompanying adult) too often go away unconvinced or confused about what to do next.

But what if we flipped the visit? What if I could spend time quietly listening to a patient who comes to me already informed and prepared to talk about her child's health and any issues she might be facing? What if the doctor/patient visit allowed us to build better trust—to work as partners instead of me “giving a lecture”?

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Khan Academy MCAT Video Competition: And the winners are….

Jun 27, 2013, 11:00 AM, Posted by Mike Painter

Mike Painter, senior program officer Mike Painter, senior program officer
Rishi Desai, medical fellow at Khan Academy Rishi Desai, medical fellow at Khan Academy

The Khan Academy, AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced the winners of the Khan Academy MCAT Video Competition today. Our goal was to identify up to 15 individuals who demonstrated particular skill, aptitude, and passion for making compelling online educational videos that will help prepare viewers for the Medical College Admissions Test. 

It was a challenging challenge, to say the least. Participants had to prepare and submit three educational videos on MCAT material along with 10 related questions about their video topics. The winners will have the opportunity to attend an all-expenses-paid Khan Academy boot camp in the San Francisco Bay Area from July 14-21 to hone their video-making skills.

The competition was popular—67 individuals submitted videos and questions. Entrants included undergrads, medical students, nurses, MDs, PhDs and faculty from 22 states, D.C. and one territory. Over a recent weekend, the judges inhaled all 67 submissions—about 200 videos and 600 questions—and identified the lucky 15 winners. 

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Return to Oz: Behind the Curtain at Khan Academy

Jun 6, 2013, 11:00 AM, Posted by Mike Painter

Dr. Paul Wang addresses students at Stanford Medical School Dr. Paul Wang addresses students at Stanford Medical School

I recently stepped out of my largely virtual, long distance relationship with the Khan Academy and went behind the wizard’s curtain to see how it’s actually done.  Certainly, we here at RWJF have met many Khan personalities in real life, including Sal, himself, as well as Dr. Rishi Desai, who leads the Khan Healthcare and Medicine Initiative. However, it's one thing to meet individuals outside of their natural habitat—and quite another to track them back to their offices in Mountain View, California, and see what gives. 

From SFO, I carefully followed my Droid Navigator’s directions off Highway 101 into a warren of non-descript low-slung office buildings—non-descript except for the telltale proliferation of Google signs and young adults riding colorful Google bikes.  I drove around to the back of several of those complexes and finally found the correct numbered grouping.  It really could have been any office or doctors’ office complex in the U.S.  The Khan suite is on the second floor. 

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Introducing What’s Next Health: Conversations with Pioneers

May 15, 2013, 2:15 PM, Posted by Brian C. Quinn

Brian Quinn, assistant vice president, Research and Evaluation Brian Quinn, assistant vice president, Research and Evaluation

One of the best things about our jobs at Pioneer is that we get to have conversations with interesting people doing interesting things. As we network with these visionary thinkers, we want to share some of the great stuff we’re learning and hearing with you—to bring value to the work you’re doing. That’s why I’m pleased to introduce What's Next Health: Conversations with Pioneers, a new series here at RWJF that explores the future of health and health care, asks the big questions, and looks to the cutting-edge for solutions.

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