Summer Study Programs

Posted by Joana Murphy on Apr 13, 2017 5:58:07 PM

Many of our school partners ask us how they can utilize Firecracker to help support some students that fell behind a specific course or a few courses during their first year in medical school. Some students can be asked to re-do their first year, but in certain cases where a student only struggled in one course they would like the student to remediate just that specific course. Due to staff constraints and inflexibility of traditional Learning Management Systems (LMS), many schools can't easily leverage the original course material and have no way of monitoring their progress for whatever work they need to complete. 

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Topics: Summer Study Plan, remediation

Firecracker Question Design, Development, and Data

Posted by Nate Green on Mar 22, 2017 12:47:53 PM

If you’ve ever wondered, there’s a lot that goes on behind making a Firecracker question. Here’s a glance into some of the details that go unnoticed. You’ll see how serious (and picky) we are with the process.

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Identifying and remediating at-risk students

Posted by Sean Horgan on Jan 10, 2017 9:35:34 AM

As we turn the corner into 2017, many students and faculty at medical schools shift their focus toward planning for licensing exams. For schools that integrate preparation for these exams into their curriculum, they probably know which students are at risk of underperforming. Here is a screenshot of the dashboard we provide to our partners:

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Topics: USMLE Step 1, At-risk, LCME, Institution Dashboard

Holiday reading list: JAMA Medical Education issue

Posted by Sean Horgan on Dec 23, 2016 10:43:27 AM

In the event that you are looking for some reading over the holidays, we highly recommend the annual Medical Education issue (12/6/2016) of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). You can listen to the Editor's Audio Summary by Robert M. Golub, MD, Deputy Editor of JAMA or read full articles using the online JAMA reader app.

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Topics: Medical Education, JAMA

11 most common "Noncompliance" findings by LCME

Posted by Sean Horgan on Nov 12, 2016 6:00:01 PM

Firecracker is here at AAMC 2016 and we'll be posting some insights from many of the great sessions. One of these sessions was LCME Accreditation: A Tool for Improvement, presented by the following faculty and staff:

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Topics: AAMC, LCME

Come visit Firecracker at the 2016 AAMC Conference in Seattle

Posted by Sean Horgan on Nov 11, 2016 8:56:23 AM

We're excited to launch our new Institution Dashboard at this year's AAMC Conference. Swing by our booth (#429) which is strategically located right across from the food and beverage area. Our team is already on the ground and we'll be there through Tuesday 11/15. You can learn more about our new dashboard and how best to connect with us by visiting our dashboard page:

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Topics: AAMC

The Growing Importance of the Step 2CK

Posted by Yonas Dinkneh on Jul 13, 2015 12:30:00 PM

Source: National Resident Matching Program

The Step 2CK is the second part of the USMLE board exam and is used to assess a medical student’s clinical knowledge. Despite comprising a third of the entire USMLE board exam, the Step 2CK is often regarded as less important than the Step 1, requiring significantly less effort and preparation. I spoke with a residency director who told me that while a strong Step 1 score is important for matching with top-tier residency programs, the need for strong Step 2CK scores is evident. Rising Step 1 scores, combined with ever-increasing competition for a limited number of residency berths, are making the step 2CK more important for all medical students.

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Topics: USMLE Step 2 CK, Firecracker for Schools

Number of Medical Schools and Students on the Rise

Posted by Yonas Dinkneh on Jul 6, 2015 10:29:00 AM

The U.S experienced a surge in the number of medical schools being built during the ‘60s and ‘70s that were followed by a sharp fall in that number during the two decades between the '80s and 2000 when only one medical school was built. Insufficient federal support provided little incentive to found new medical schools leading to a two decade period of nearly static medical school enrollment rates. The New England Journal of Medicine attributed this slump to a physician surplus (in 1990 the U.S had 238 active physicians per 100,000 citizens although only 138 per 100,000 were estimated to be required), but the doctor shortage we are faced with today has necessitated new medical school development.

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Topics: Medical Education, doctor shortage

Why Your Students Aren't Going to Class

Posted by Yonas Dinkneh on Jun 29, 2015 12:43:00 PM

Recently we've spoken to students and medical school administrators who say that attendance and participation in medical school classrooms are on the decline. With fewer students participating, providing interactive and thought-provoking lectures has become more difficult. This begs the question: why, with tuition rates and inter-class competition on the rise, are some students opting out of attending class? The answer is simple—they believe that they can perform better in their classes and on board exams while studying independently. The wide availability of pass/fail courses in medical schools has given students the liberty of studying on their own and they agree overwhelmingly that it is more efficient. With lecture slides, podcasts and course materials readily available online, students can often access all the materials necessary to pass their courses without even attending class, so why bother? Some students view the classroom as an obstacle as opposed to a practical tool.

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Topics: Medical Education, Firecracker for Schools

What Does the King v. Burwell Supreme Court Decision Mean for the Future of American Healthcare?

Posted by Yonas Dinkneh on Jun 25, 2015 2:06:00 PM

This Thursday, for the second time in three years, the Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare, President Obama’s landmark healthcare reform bill, may provide nationwide tax subsidies to low and middle class citizens seeking health insurance. The case King v. Burwell was spurred by a slight miswording of the original 900 page Affordable Care Act document where it stated that subsidies would only be available to those purchasing insurance “on an exchange by the state”. The health care law created marketplaces or “exchanges” where individuals could shop for their health care coverage plan. The lawsuit questioned if the 34 states that chose to maintain a federally-facilitated marketplace, as opposed to establishing a state-based marketplace, could receive essential tax subsidies necessary for affordable health care. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion on the 6-3 decision, with the remaining three conservative Justices dissenting. 

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Topics: Medicine & Healthcare

Welcome to Firecracker

Firecracker is an adaptive learning platform that uses amazing content coupled with spaced repetition to help medical students crush their exams. We offer programs for both individual students, and entire medical schools. If you'd like to learn more contact us at chat@firecracker.me.

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