Keith Frankel

Chief Experience Officer at Firecracker & Host of CreativeMornings Boston. A recovering reality TV producer @MTV.
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Recent Posts

Daily Study Times in Firecracker (Coming Soon)

Posted by Keith Frankel on Jun 28, 2017 1:22:27 PM

Wouldn’t it be cool if every time you came into Firecracker you could set a timer to help pace yourself and keep track of exactly how much time you had available to study that day? Well soon, that’s exactly what you’ll be able to do. In early July, we’ll be launching Daily Study Timers, allowing you to set a daily timer directly from your task list on Today’s To-Dos (video demo below!) Not to be confused with our single review session Shot Clock, the Study Timer will countdown while you’re working through any Firecracker material, as well as pause whenever it notices a period of inactivity. Best yet, whenever you turn off the timer or it naturally comes to an end, you will immediately receive a pop up which gives you a summary of what you completed during the allotted time, such as number of questions answered, topics marked, and notes added.

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Topics: How to Use Firecracker

New Firecracker Products are Here

Posted by Keith Frankel on Feb 10, 2017 12:40:35 PM

Today we’re excited to announce the launch of a new suite of Firecracker products. Until now, all of our features and content were available in two subscriptions: Firecracker MD & DO. These contained everything we’ve ever built: complete topic coverage for Step 1, Step 2, and COMLEX exams, as well Clerkships, Dedicated Test Prep mode, and High Yield mode. Beginning today, though, we’re offering a set of these as standalone products. You can now purchase High Yield only mode as a standalone for Step 1, Step 2, or COMLEX Level 1 exams. These feature a smaller content set and a single board practice exam. In addition, you can also now purchase each of our Clerkships as standalone products, each containing only the relevant topics and a single shelf practice exam to help you as you’re running around the wards.

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Topics: How to Use Firecracker, Clerkships, High Yield

Inclusivity and the Importance of Diversity in Healthcare

Posted by Keith Frankel on Feb 8, 2017 11:54:21 AM

Firecracker’s mission has always been to improve both the accessibility and quality of healthcare around the world, and our chosen path to doing so has been to better train the next generation of life-improving physicians. Over the course of the last seven years, more than 150,000 medical students – all from different ethnic, cultural, and geographic backgrounds – have joined us on this mission. Without each of them, Firecracker would not be where it is today, and the future of healthcare around the world would be just a bit more bleak.

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Topics: Medicine & Healthcare, Diversity, Policy

Our Products: They Are A-Changin’

Posted by Keith Frankel on Feb 3, 2017 2:57:21 PM

For years we’ve considered unbundling the entire suite of Firecracker’s features and content so students could buy exactly what they need, exactly when they need it – all at price points that are fair and reflect those different degrees of access. And believe it or not, we’re finally ready to try it. So beginning next week, in addition to offering our current Firecracker MD & Firecracker DO full-suite products, we’re also going to be offering the following exam-specific standalone products for purchase: 

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Topics: How to Use Firecracker, Clerkships, High Yield

Join and Give

Posted by Keith Frankel on Sep 26, 2016 4:40:52 PM

The debates are tonight, but let’s come together and do some good.

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About Firecracker

Posted by Keith Frankel on Sep 23, 2016 4:52:00 PM
When we reminded users about our Q-bank a couple weeks ago we discovered that some students  didn't know we had a Q-bank. The platform has changed a lot in the past 12 months, so we put together this refresher about Firecracker.
  1. Firecracker is not just a flashcard app.

Many first year students ask us why they should buy Firecracker instead of one of many “other” flashcard apps. While we can understand the confusion (after all, Firecracker does believe in the power of active recall questions in ensuring long-term retention), we nevertheless view it akin to comparing apples and oranges. Firecracker contains a Q-Bank of thousands of board-style clinical vignettes, a dozen prebuilt practice exams,daily patient cases, readable summaries of all of the testable topic areas, a substantially more advanced algorithm, special modes for both High Yield-only studying and dedicated board prep period, integrated note taking capabilities, and automated remediation tasks to shore up any weak areas. That said, for those students who find success with straightforward flashcard apps, we recommend Anki as a great choice. But for students looking for a more comprehensive platform that can be used throughout medical school, Firecracker is a better choice. 

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Topics: How to Use Firecracker, Firecracker algorithm, Q-bank, High Yield

It’s here! The end to our Back to School sale!

Posted by Keith Frankel on Aug 31, 2016 3:30:32 PM

This is your last chance to get Firecracker at the lowest individual student price we plan to offer in 2016: $180/year. Seriously, don’t be a Barbara and get left behind by your peers this early into the year. Get Firecracker now before this discount returns to the upside down place forever… or at least until 2017.

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Topics: Promotions

Firecracker High Yield for Step 2

Posted by Keith Frankel on Aug 26, 2016 1:40:06 PM

We recently launchedFirecracker High Yield for Step 1 and COMLEX Level 1, new additions to both Firecracker MD and DO that allow students to focus on a smaller subsection of the most important content. Since then, we’ve been a bit overwhelmed by the number of requests for a similar High Yield option for Step 2, so we decided to put a rush on it, and today we’re excited to announce the release of High Yield Step 2.

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Topics: USMLE Step 2 CK, Firecracker, High Yield

An Upcoming Change

Posted by Keith Frankel on Aug 25, 2016 12:29:20 PM

We launched Firecracker MD and DO in August of last year. Since then, the breadth of features, quality of content, and accuracy of the algorithm-driven recommendation engine have expanded substantially, all without an increase to our price. Starting in September, though, we are going to be slightly increasing the permanent price of Firecracker (a bit more on that below). But before we do that, we want to give as many students as possible the chance to get Firecracker at a lower price. So, for the final days of August, we’re dropping our base price to the lowest it has ever been$180 for 1 year for all M1's & M2's.

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Topics: Firecracker, Promotions

Get Ready: Dedicated Test Prep Mode

Posted by Keith Frankel on May 6, 2016 3:26:26 PM

After three months of work, we’ve released a huge addition to the Firecracker platform: Dedicated Test Prep Mode. For those of you getting ready for your boards, below is an overview of everything you have to look forward to with this new update.

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Topics: USMLE Step 2 CK, USMLE Step 1, Dedicated Prep

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

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