Way back in time, in the distant days of 2006, Firecracker's CEO Ben Williams was getting his start as the head of an organization called FIMRC. FIMRC is the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, a non-profit that runs sites and clinics all over the world to provide families with access to medical care.
Developing smart and consistent study habits separates successful med students from the rest of the pack. Sarah is a third-year at Rutgers-NJMS who began using Firecracker about a year ago. Through reviewing first-year materials alongside her second-year coursework, she stamped a very comprehensive knowledgebase into her long-term memory. Sarah's studies resulted in stupendous success on Step 1, and her study strategies are now second-nature for her clinical clerkships. She's written this summary of how she did it for you:
Every year, we survey medical students and doctors about their experiences in school, studying, and working. Our goal is to learn what helps medical students and doctors be successful, how they’re feeling about their vocation and, more broadly, about life in medicine. We’re excited to announce that we’ve just opened our 2016 survey.
"How should I use Firecracker over the summer?"
It's a question we've started receiving quite a bit. Over time, we’ve compiled dozens of in-depth study plans, tens of thousands of verified score reports, and a few hundred million questions completed to provide accurate recommendations for best practices. Still, some of the most illustrative insights into effective study strategies are best directly provided by our valued users. Below are some personal experiences that some of the most successful Firecracker members have shared regarding how to use Firecracker over the summer:
Leading up to 2016, the Firecracker team had been brainstorming how best to engage our community in a more direct and personal level. After much consideration and discussions with our passionate community of students, we've created what we think are a great way of doing this on campus and in person: Firecracker Study Jams.
Last week we held our first ever study jam. Study Jams are monthly in-person and on-campus gatherings hosted by Firecracker tutors to help students discuss medical education, study methods, and study. A Study Jam can be almost anything, from working on case studies and questions together, to discussing the logistics of preparing for the USMLE when you’re already a full time, working doctor. The intent is to help students meet, share knowledge and best practices, and support each other as they’re completing their medical degree or licensure.
We’ve just launched our annual Year in Review Survey. Last year we were able to gather thousands of survey responses from medical students that provided insights into the fascinating lifestyles of medical school students. This year, we hope to do more, learning about life for both medical students and recent medical school graduates: From the ways you manage your time to the study resources you use, we will extrapolate interesting findings from the survey and publish summary statistics later this summer.
It's no longer enough to just be a doctor.
This sentiment echoes loudly throughout the corridors of medicine today. At one point, you could just be a clinician. This has changed. Doctors are no longer able or expected to know everything. Atul Gawande has (rightfully) expressed how the medical culture must shift away from a culture of lone rangers to a pit crew model to limit costs and improve outcomes. With strong data in favor of this model, it is shown that medicine needs technicians, not thinkers.
Topics: Medical Education
No matter what field you want to go into, you have to complete a surgery rotation. And it can be the most painful experience of your life, or you can learn from it. So no matter your future career, it’s worth making the best of it. It will be more tolerable, even enjoyable, and you’ll learn more.
Third year has finally arrived. You get to do what you’ve always wanted to do: see patients. Step 1 is long gone, and you’ve hopefully had some time to rest and relax before starting clinical rotations.