Osmosis News

Year in Review: 2019 at Osmosis

Osmosis Team
Published on Dec 31, 2019. Updated on Jan 16, 2020.

In our final blog post of the decade, we’d like to look back at the most exciting year yet for Osmosis! We’ve organized this retrospective according to the six Osmosis values which inform everything that we do. Thank you to all of our Osmosis learners for your support in 2019!

Start with the Heart

The Osmosis team genuinely cares about each other, Osmosis learners, and improving access to medical and health education worldwide. Here are just a few ways in which we Started with the Heart this year... 

Osmosis E-Cards

This year, Osmosis launched a massive selection of e-cards you can send for free from the Osmosis platform. New cards are added every month, and they’re the perfect way to send a quick note of appreciation to a classmate or mentor. Send one today!

Connected with Osmosis learners worldwide

This year, learners from more than 50 countries around the world reached out to us to share stories of why they learn by Osmosis.


Osmosis also celebrated the second year of our annual Osmosis Medical Education Fellowship (OMEF) program, which saw close to 100 medical students from over 10 countries join the team as ambassadors for the best learning experience possible. Many of the posts you see on this blog were written by members of the OMEF program. Thank you for all of your hard work!

In October, the Osmosis Marketing team braved the snow in Chicago to host a meet-up for medical students in the area, including at our partner institutions of University of Illinois-Chicago and Rush Medical College. It was great getting to know this friendly, supportive, and dedicated community of Osmosis learners.

Monthly webinars

This year, doctors on the Osmosis team and in our network delivered a record number of webinars on crucial topics in health and medical education. 

Our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rishi Desai, spoke on many different subjects related to clinical practice, which you can watch in our Clinician’s Corner video series on the Osmosis platform. Dr. Justin Ling provided tips for acing USMLE® Step 1 questions, and Osmosis collaborator Dr. Armando Hasudungan shared his advice on how to be a learner and an educator

During Match Week, Rishi, Dr. Sean Tackett, and Dr. Amin Azzam participated in a webinar with Dr. Lilja Solnes and Dr. Jesse S. Moore. Together, the four clinicians discussed the Match and shared their wisdom to help you optimize your chances for success in the Match

Most recently, Dr. Maddison Caterine, our Head of Question Writing, just wrapped up a series of webinars on How to Ace the USMLE® Step 1 that focuses on strategic approaches to Step 1-style practice questions. Check them out on the Events page!

Online courses

The Osmosis Research team debuted two online courses this year. Dr. Sean Tackett launched the first Osmosis University course, How to Learn in Medical School, and Dr. Amin Azzam led a summer course on Wikipedia Editing

These courses have been very well-received by Osmosis learners. You can enroll in How to Learn in Medical School today, and if you’re looking for a summer learning opportunity in 2020, keep an eye out for Amin’s course!

Care for Caregivers

At Osmosis, we firmly believe that clinicians who practice self-care are in the best position to care for their own patients. We surveyed Osmosis learners  around the world and found that 93.9% of students admit to stress having a negative impact on their education in some way, but only 34% have sought professional help for stress management. 

Learn more about our Care for Caregivers efforts here.

Osmosis team milestones: 3 weddings, 2 babies, 8 new doctors, and one Iron Woman!

Time for a few personal milestones from the Osmosis team! 

Three members of the Osmosis team got married this year. Congratulations to Kaia (Video Illustrator) and Cat, Vince (Director of Video Production) and Jenn, and Jessica (Video Illustrator) and Josh!



Two new babies were welcomed into the Osmosis family in 2019. Congratulations to Liz (Video Illustrator) & John and Michael (Partnerships Manager) & Jessica on the arrival of your adorable children!

Eight members of the Osmosis script writing team graduated medical school this year. Congratulations on your monumental achievements—the people in your care will be lucky to have you! 

Finally, Osmosis illustrator Pauline Rowsome put her whole heart into training for a Half Iron Man, and lived to tell the tale. Huge congratulations—you’re an inspiration to everyone on the team!

Spread Joy

Osmosis constantly strives to bring joy to our learners and team with content and activities that make learning fun, including...

The Back-to-School Competition

This summer, Osmosis learners went head-to-head to see which US institution had the most diverse learners. Congratulations to our top three:

The Scavenger Hunt

The Osmosis Scavenger Hunt saw Osmosis learners explore the platform for clues to win a year-long Osmosis Prime membership. We received hundreds of entries and participants had a great time completing the challenge. 

We were extremely pleased to learn that social media management platform Hootsuite recognized the Scavenger Hunt as one of the 20 Most Creative Social Media Campaigns of 2019!

Have Each Other’s Backs

Improving the way the world learns medicine is tough work. Our teammates and learners can trust Osmosis to be there for them as they strive to reach their goals.

The Osmosis Health Education Impact Scholarship

This year, we awarded six future health professionals individual scholarships for telling us how they plan to embody the six Osmosis Values in their clinical practice. We received hundreds of incredible submissions, many of which you’ll be able to watch on Osmosis.org in 2020!

Diversity, equity, & inclusion

Osmosis team members Katie Murphy (Customer Success Manager), Dr. Kara Lukasiewicz (Video Quality Manager), and Hillary Acer (Director of People Operations) have been leading the charge on improving diversity, equity, and inclusion at Osmosis. 

As a diverse organization with team members from around the world, we want to make sure that’s reflected in all of the content we produce, whether that’s expanding our range of characters to represent a greater range of demographics, or adjusting the language in our videos.

Imagine More

Creativity infuses everything we do at Osmosis. We’re constantly drawing new connections and innovating to bring our learners the best experience possible.

$4 million in Series A funding

This year, Osmosis secured $4 million in Series A investor funding. These funds enabled us to take things to the next level in 2019, and will fuel our efforts well into 2020 and beyond. Thank you to our lead investors at Felicis Ventures and existing investors for believing in and supporting Osmosis’s mission to provide the world’s clinicians and caregivers with the best learning experience possible. 

TEDx Talk & Thought Leadership 

Right around the time we hit 1 million YouTube subscribers, Osmosis co-founder and CEO Shiv Gaglani delivered a fascinating TEDx talk on his experiences as a medical student and his vision for a future in which everyone who cares for someone will learn by Osmosis. Check it out here!


Tanner Marshall, Creative Director at Osmosis, delivered a talk on Osmosis at Baltimore's Betamore Pitch Competition.

Dr. Rishi Desai also presented Osmosis to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Board of Pediatrics on the forward-thinking subject of online training for physicians. 

Owen Willis, our Chief Operations Officer, also gave a presentation to the ABMS on the link between crowdsourcing and machine learning and how Osmosis uses these to provide our learners with the best experience possible.

Osmosis Director of Video Production Dr. Vince Waldman delivered a well-received talk at Stanford University in October: Vaccinating the Public Against Incorrect Health Information with Knowledge Shots.

Video update notifications

Osmosis continues to pioneer features that enable us to provide the best learning experience possible. To this end, Osmosis learners will now be notified by email when a video they’ve previously watched receives a significant update. Updated videos include:

Stay tuned for even more video updates in 2020!

Open your Arms

Osmosis content and product makes learning approachable. This year, we opened our arms to millions of new Osmosis learners, as well as health professionals and university faculty.

A huge increase in Osmosis learners

Osmosis experienced massive growth this year. 20% of US medical schools have provided Osmosis Prime memberships for their students and faculty—with more on the way!

Osmosis also hit many major milestones on our social channels this year, including…

We also launched brand new Instagram and Facebook pages for nurses who learn by Osmosis. Thank you for following us this year— we can’t wait to share brand new content with you in 2020! 


Learn, Serve, Lead: The Annual AAMC Meeting

This year’s AAMC was the best one yet for Osmosis. We had many fascinating conversations, forged new friendships, and learned a lot about the future of medical education. Learn more about our experience at the conference in this blog post. We’re already looking forward to Learn, Serve, Lead 2020!

Reach Further

We’re obsessed with improving our platform so we can touch more lives and have a greater impact. The Osmosis platform grew leaps and bounds this year, offering more content and functionality than ever before, and the most polished learning experience yet.

Comprehensive coverage of pathology, physiology, and pharmacology

The Osmosis Content team absolutely knocked it out of the park this year, producing over 660,242 words of video for the Osmosis platform, or about 3 days of video. That’s huge! Since early in 2019, we’ve been able to say with confidence that we offer comprehensive coverage of the pathology, physiology, and pharmacology you need to know for USMLE® Step 1, other exams, and your curriculum. 

A newly-completed Clinical Reasoning library

Recently, the Content team also wrapped up work on Osmosis’s Clinical Reasoning videos. These videos are designed to help you apply all the knowledge you learned for Step 1 and put it into action in the clinic. Don’t sleep on these videos—they’ll be hugely helpful during your clerkships and when you’re taking USMLE® Step 2. 

Custom Playlists

The Osmosis video experience got some significant upgrades this year. One of the biggest (and most requested!) changes was how Playlists are managed on the platform. Check out this blog post to learn what Custom Playlists are and how they’re going to change the way you learn by Osmosis. 

Launch of Osmosis High-Yield Notes

This summer, print editions of Osmosis High-Yield Notes arrived on the Osmosis Bookshop. The print division of the Osmosis Content team worked incredibly hard on these notes to provide you with a more streamlined, helpful alternative to books like First Aid. Check them out and order a copy today!

A more focused experience for all types of Osmosis learners

Last but by no means least: this year we launched brand new products for future nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, pharmacists, and allied health professionals. 

Thanks for reading Osmosis’s 2019 Year in Review. We’re planning a ton of exciting medical and health-related content for 2020, and can’t wait to share it with you. In the meantime, have a very happy and safe New Year, and wishing you the best learning experience possible in 2020!