5 Questions with Jennifer Jing

Jennifer Jing

Product Manager Thieme | Area9 USMLE® Step 1.

Bio: Jennifer is the product manager for Thieme | Area9 USMLE® Step 1. With a background in anthropology and anatomy, she is passionate about understanding how people learn and improving health literacy.

March 16, 2020 |

Can you tell us about yourself?

My name is Jenn and I’m the product manager for Thieme | Area9 USMLE Step 1. I primarily work at the interface between the medical content and the adaptive product, ensuring that our high-quality Thieme content is leveraged efficiently by Area9’s adaptive algorithm. I work with an international team of developers and engineers – it’s very challenging and exciting as we shape the next generation of test prep for students!

Who helped build this product?

As USMLE Step 1 is the first product of the Thieme|Area9 joint venture, team members from both Thieme and Area9 dedicated their time and skills to build this product.In total, over 40 content experts, medical students, web developers, product developers, implementation experts, engineers, marketing managers, and sales representatives contributed their expertise to help bring this product to life.

Where do you get the questions / content from?

The questions and associated remedial content in this product were written by subject matter experts who are practicing physicians, professors, or researchers. We have the advantage of using high-quality content from Thieme – an award-winning international medical and science publisher – in an innovative, adaptive way unmatched by competitors. The combination of quality content with the latest in learning technology is an added value for students.

After the questions are written, how are they prepared for the adaptive technology?

The first steps to prepare our content for Area9’s adaptive technology occurred as the questions were written. While writing, the question-writers specified “tags” that marked the difficulty level, discipline, organ system, and key topic tested in each question.

This tag information, along with the questions, answer explanations, and any associated images, were all converted into a standardized digital format and imported into Area9’s Rhapsode platform.

After import, a dedicated team of 3rd and 4th year medical students (and a few residents) worked with our editorial staff to review all content within the platform. The students ensured that all questions were concise, relevant to Step 1, and followed a standardized structure. They also checked that the images provided matched the question and that the proper tag structure was in place.

These steps all worked together to prepare the content for optimal function with the adaptive technology.

What other product or products can we expect from Thieme|Area9 in the future?

Right now, we are focusing on continuously refreshing our Step 1 content and evaluating our subject coverage as the exam evolves. We want to make sure that our questions tackle high-yield topics to improve student performance on course exams and on Step 1.

Feel free to contact us with any feedback or suggestions on “tricky” topics you would like to see covered!

Get in contact with us

Are you a medical student and want to write about your USMLE Step 1 experiences or a product review?