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Case Study: Closing Academic Performance Gaps for Rural Medical Students

The University of Alabama Heersink School of Medicine (UAB) is a mission-driven, state-funded medical school with a primary institutional goal to improve health disparities across the state by adding more physicians to its areas of greatest need. As such, the school aims to recruit students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, including from rural and underserved areas. 

To address the need for additional support, in 2017 UAB sought an educational technology partner to support its students during the clinical phase (Year 3 and 4) in preparation for the USMLE Step 2 CK exam. UAB students were given access to OnlineMedEd to support their experiential learning on clinical rotations. Content is delivered as a self-contained learning experience known by the acronym PACE, where students interact with the material in a variety of modes, “P-Prime” Notes, “A-Acquire” Whiteboard Videos, “C-Challenge” Multiple choice challenge questions with built-in explainers, and “E-Enforce”- Memory tools including flashcards, high yield recall tables and charts.

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