Medical Education Community Collaborates with Khan Academy to Help Prepare Students for New MCAT® Exam
Video competition will curate free online medical education content
Washington, D.C., April 2, 2013—The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), Khan Academy, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced a new collaboration to provide free, online resources to help students prepare for the revised Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®) that will be administered in 2015.
To develop the new content, the three organizations will sponsor a competition to encourage medical students and residents to create educational tutorials (i.e., collections of videos, questions, and articles) about concepts that will be tested by the new MCAT exam. Video submissions are now being accepted online; the deadline for submissions is June 14, 2013. Khan Academy will review the videos and select the winners, who will receive an all-expenses-paid weeklong program as they are trained by Khan Academy staff and scholars. Trainees then will produce the new collection of tutorials on pre-health competencies. Full contest rules, submission guidelines, and criteria for entry can be found at www.khanacademy.org/about/med-competition.
The first tutorials for the new collection are expected to be available in the fall of 2013 through Khan Academy’s online learning library, as well as the Pre-health Collection of the AAMC’s MedEdPORTAL iCollaborative, a free, searchable online repository of instructional materials for teaching pre-health curricula.
“This exciting new collaboration with Khan Academy and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will provide all students with free access to high-quality online educational materials to help them prepare for the revised MCAT exam in 2015,” said Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., president and CEO of the AAMC, the organization that administers the MCAT exam. “We view this effort as an important addition to the work the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals are doing to encourage and attract future physicians from diverse backgrounds, including students from economically and educationally disadvantaged communities.”
“In the past year, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has sponsored Khan Academy to create a significant amount of content, including over 150 medical and health videos. These videos were created by Rishi Desai, M.D., M.P.H., a member of the medical faculty at the Khan Academy,” said Salman Khan, founder and executive director of Khan Academy. “We are excited to grow our medical library by collaborating with both the Association of American Medical Colleges and RWJF. This collaboration is an incredible opportunity to offer free, high-quality online resources for students who are preparing to be the next generation of physicians.”
Announced last year, the revised MCAT exam will include concepts from psychology, sociology, and biology that provide the foundation for learning about the human and social components of health. For the first time, it also will include biochemistry concepts, along with the biology, chemistry, and physics content of the current test. The changes to the MCAT exam acknowledge the importance of biochemistry concepts in medical education, and support a growing body of evidence demonstrating that integrating social and behavioral sciences into medical education curricula and clinical practice can improve health care delivery to patients.
Once developed, the new tutorials are intended to be especially helpful to students who cannot afford to take test preparation courses or who are enrolled in pre-health programs at institutions with limited resources. Though the use of the tutorials will not guarantee success on the new exam, they will serve as a useful addition to the course work and other tools that students use to prepare for the MCAT exam.
Funding to support the competition and the development of the new pre-health content that will be available through Khan Academy’s Web site has been provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio. The Portfolio supports projects that use original, unconventional approaches that lead to breakthrough ideas that can shape the future of health and health care.
“I bet emerging leaders in medicine will want to help create a brand new, free, online medical education of our future. This electronic capability could be a vitally important tool to help train the next generation,” said Michael Painter, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Free, open, online education materials have the disruptive, exciting potential to unleash knowledge and make it available to and affordable for anyone with an Internet connection in the U.S. or anywhere in the world. That seems pretty cool and pretty powerful.”
About the AAMC
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association representing all 141 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and nearly 90 academic and scientific societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC represents 128,000 faculty members, 75,000 medical students, and 110,000 resident physicians. In addition to administering the MCAT exam, the AAMC offers free and low-cost test preparation materials (available in print and online) to help students familiarize themselves with the exam and practice with sample questions.
About Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a mission of providing a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy provides free online educational materials (e.g., instructional videos, assessment exercises, dashboard analytics, teacher tools) that support self-paced, mastery-based education for users of all ages in a scalable way. In the last two years, the organization has reached over 75 million learners, delivered over 240 million lessons, and generated 1 billion exercise problems. Khan Academy covers subjects from basic math to college level biology and art history.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years, the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter or Facebook.