My Experience in the Osmosis Medical Education Fellowship Program
Published on Jun 5, 2020. Updated on Sep 15, 2020.
My name is Ashley Kennon. I am a third-year medical student at UT Health McGovern in Houston, Texas, and a current participant in the Osmosis Medical Education Fellowship (OMEF) program. I discovered Osmosis on YouTube before coming to medical school, and I enjoyed learning about my own health from their colorful animated videos. It wasn’t until my second semester of first year, when my school started organ systems, that I realized Osmosis was also a healthcare education platform. At that point, I set up an account, and began using Osmosis as my favorite go-to study resource. For me, the videos, patient encounter links, and question bank were what made the Osmosis platform my ideal study place.
I believe in the values behind Osmosis
I came to medical school because I want to be a good doctor. To me, a good doctor is someone who cares about their patients personally, not just professionally. I try to keep the personal care of patients as a primary focus during my studies by:
Learning about the patient experience of illness, in addition to the medical components of the disease.
Learning and processing medical information with the intention of sharing and explaining that same information to my future patients and their families.
Osmosis stands out to me as the study resource that mostly closely shares my values. On point one, I wanted to learn medicine with a patient focused lens- and Osmosis creates videos for healthcare students that are patient experience-centered. Instead of writing slides with objective bullet points, Osmosis explains an illness by visually demonstrating the symptoms on a model patient. This way, when I am studying, I am not trying to remember a collection of facts—I am remembering a person and the experience they went through. The patient encounter links help with hearing and remembering the patient experience. On some topics, Osmosis has found and included a link to YouTube videos of patients telling their own stories- their health experience in their own words. Patient stories are a powerful tool for learning, both in the mind and in the heart.
Start with the heartTo me, “start with the heart” means letting the things we care about motivate us. By starting with my heart, I try to remember the people whose lives I will touch and heal using the information I am learning. I try to focus on the humanity of medicine to keep my heart caring- and thus keep myself motivated. And I believe Osmosis videos help me to remember the people in the midst of all the medicine.
On point two, I wanted to learn medicine with the intention of sharing that information with others- and Osmosis already creates and shares many medical education videos on YouTube for patients and families to learn from. Osmosis is the only resource that I can use both to learn from and to teach with. I imagine the day when I am sitting with a patient and I get to say, “in the same way that I learned about your condition, you will learn about your condition—let’s watch this video together.”
Reach furtherTo me, “reach further” means finding a need and working hard to meet that need. Osmosis thought all people, healthcare students and patients, would benefit from having a visual-based medical education resource, so they worked hard to make the platform a reality. I also believe medical education is important, so I make the most of my spare time in medical school to invest in the OMEF program and my own personal outreach projects.
When the OMEF program was first announced, I was already an avid daily user of, and huge advocate for, the Osmosis platform. From what I understood, Osmosis was looking for a focus group of healthcare students who could give feedback and recommendations on how the Osmosis platform could continue improving. I wanted to be part of the program for two primary reasons:
I already admired the Osmosis values and mission—“Everyone who cares for someone will learn by Osmosis”—and I wanted to be a part of carrying that forward.
I wanted to be a part of a medical education group that is teaching and sharing in a way that I want to teach and share in the future.
My personal growth in the OMEF programOver the past three semesters of working with the OMEF program, my primary role as an OMEF has grown and changed. OMEFs give monthly feedback to the Osmosis team through monthly meetings and topic specific surveys. OMEFs are also peer-to-peer advocates, sharing the Osmosis platform with our classmates. And as the Osmosis team has become more familiar with the OMEF team, we have been given the opportunity to help one-on-one with special projects related to the platform. For example, I was part of a small project meant to find new patient experience videos on YouTube to pair with our Osmosis videos. That project has been one of my OMEF highlights—as I mentioned earlier, the patient experience videos were one of the aspects of the Osmosis platform that stood out to me as being patient-centered—and now I was able to directly contribute to expanding that part of the Osmosis platform. It was such a rewarding experience!
The future of Osmosis
My hope for the future of Osmosis is that they can continue making and sharing videos for patients and their families. In the same way that the Osmosis platform has developed a comprehensive library of healthcare education videos, I hope that Osmosis will one day release a comprehensive library of patient education videos. Osmosis has the unique opportunity to change and improve the future of patient education by becoming a reliable, accessible, and engaging resource that doctors can routinely share with their patients.
My hope for the future of the OMEF program is that Osmosis continues to seek feedback from healthcare students, that the OMEF community continues to strengthen the friendships it has made between students all over the globe, and that the Osmosis team continues to find new ways of including OMEFs in special projects- because we want to be a part of building this great platform.I think Osmosis is great, and I am proud to be part of making it even better!
Ashley Kennon is a third-year student at UTHealth McGovern Medical School in Houston, Texas. She interested in applying to Pediatrics, mostly because during her Inpatient Pediatrics rotation she met many families who were scared, confused, and eager for words of comfort, encouragement, and explanation. Her desire to share and teach medical information was perfectly suited to talking with and educating parents about their child’s illness. Ashley is a creative spirit. She like to bake and paint and color (the paintings in the illustration above are hers!) and felt that this expressive side of her was most embraced in Pediatrics. The framed paintings in the illustration above (L–R: "Start With the Heart,” “Reach Further,” and “Hope”) are some examples of her artwork.
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