Next up in our series of editor profiles is Van Krueger! Van graduated from Bowdoin College in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and is now pursuing his M.D. at Tulane University School of Medicine. He is a managing editor of Firecracker's medical content!
A little more about Van:
- Born in New London, CT; began elementary school in New Hope, PA; grew up in St. Louis, MO; graduated from the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, NJ. "St. Louis is and always will be my hometown."
- Now lives in New Orleans, LA
- Hobbies include seeing live music ("NOLA is the best city for that"), cooking, running with his dog, playing squash, lacrosse, and watching or listening to Indians games
- Favorite movie is the Rock
- Favorite book is East of Eden by John Steinbeck ("Life-altering book")
- Favorite bands are Mumford and Sons, the Lumineers, and the Beatles
- Favorite foods are lobster, tortellini, and strawberries
- Favorite vacation was traveling through Tanzania, Zambia, and South Africa
Van with family!
We asked Van a few questions about Firecracker, medical education, and the field of medicine more generally.
Q: When and how did you get involved with Firecracker?
A: At the beginning of my second year, Trevor, our editor-in-chief and a year above me at Tulane, sent an email to our class encouraging us to apply to Firecracker. After doing some research on Firecracker, I replied to Trevor asking if I could talk with him about the company and open position. He sold me right off the bat, and I haven't looked back since.
Q: Why do you love Firecracker?
A: I love Firecracker, because I love efficiency. Firecracker allows students to study more efficiently, opening up more time to study, socialize, get involved in clubs, volunteer, etc. Life is too short for passive, random learning. Active, scheduled (i.e. spaced repetition) learning is the only way to effectively learn everything we need to know in medical school without spending 16 hours a day in the library. Plus everyone in the company rocks!
Q: What has been your favorite experience on rotations so far?
A: The most meaningful experience during my clinical rotations has been working with the Consult/Liaison Psychiatry Service at Tulane. The residents and attendings were great. The patients were a real treat to talk with (especially the manics and super acute psychotics). It also stressed to me how important knowing all the psychotropic drugs and how they interact with other medications is, since such a significant percentage of our population is currently prescribed psychiatric drugs.
Q: What would you be doing if you were not in medicine?
A: I would probably be working for a small to medium-sized software company (not unlike Firecracker), probably in Boston or San Francisco, as a project manager/software architect.
Q: If there were one thing you could change about medical education, what would it be and why?
A: I wish medical education was cheaper. The costs of undergraduate medical education (especially tuition at private schools) has to be taken into consideration when deciding on a specialty. This causes medical students to factor compensation into their specialty decision increasingly more than it should.
Q: If there were on thing you could change about the field of medicine in general, what would it be and why?
A: I wish electronic medical records were universally accessible and transferrable. There should be a standard that every hospital can use and that can be accessed by every healthcare provider.
- The Firecracker Team