Medical student wins national education contest

July 11, 2014 | News, UToday, Medicine and Life Sciences
By Aimee Portala

John Luckoski, a second-year UT medical student, won an academic contest sponsored by Khan Academy. The contest is part of an initiative 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 educational content, Khan Academy, in collaboration with the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, designed a competition to encourage medical students and residents to create tutorials about concepts that will be featured on the updated MCAT.

Luckoski, a tutor for UT’s Academic Enrichment Center, learned about the contest in the midst of working on an initiative to create a library of video tutorial clips for first-year medical students.

“This year, I had begun making short videos covering our medical school lectures. When I got an email about the contest, it seemed right in line with what I had already been doing,” Luckoski said.

As a winner, Luckoski will travel to California from July 13 to 20 to receive training from Khan Academy scholars. Along with other trainees, he will assist in producing the new collection of tutorials on pre-health competencies.

“Khan Academy is really on the forefront of revolutionizing education. I’m looking forward to meeting the other contest winners and collaborating with them, as well as the academy,” Luckoski said.

During his summer preceptorship with the Academic Enrichment Center, he will continue to add to the library of videos; topics being included are cellular and molecular biology and neuroscience.

“This summer, I am creating a more comprehensive library of YouTube videos,” Luckoski said. “The center has been great in providing all the technologies I’ve needed — a new laptop, microphone and drawing tablet.”

He is interested in eventually becoming a trauma surgeon, but has other aspirations as well.

“Being a tutor has convinced me that I want to devote as much time as I can to being an educator as well as being a physician. There’s a limited number of lives I could save in my own lifespan, but if I get to teach students how to take care of people, I feel like that perpetuates my ability to help others far beyond what I could do with my own two hands,” Luckoski said.

In addition to his work with the Academic Enrichment Center, Luckoski is president of Ethics Club, an active American Medical Association member, a volunteer for UT’s Community Care Clinic, and a member of Docapella, a men’s a capella group on Health Science Campus. He also is involved with creating a new student organization looking to better involve pre-clinical medical students with UT’s Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center.

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