Developing The Next Generation Of Care Providers: Interview With’s Director Of Student Success, Caleb Furnas

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Below is our recent interview with Caleb Furnas, Director of Student Success at Osmosis:

Q: How did you begin working at Osmosis?

A: I reached out to Shiv and Ryan, the co-founders and CEO & CTO, respectively, shortly after they went through the DreamIt Health tech incubator here in Philadelphia, which is my hometown. I had previously worked at a startup doing mission-driven work–we made tax software for low-income families–and the Osmosis product and the vision really appealed to me. During our first meeting, Shiv sold me on the company and his vision during an hour-long walk around the Philadelphia Zoo.

Q: What does your day-to-day look like?

A: On any given day I’ll meet with faculty at our 40+ partner schools, where we’ll discuss how best to implement Osmosis within the context of their curriculum. Based on feedback from sessions like these, I might also meet with our Product and Management teams to discuss requirements for upcoming development or strategies about new video content. As I’m writing this today, for instance, I used usage data and qualitative feedback to plan our next quarter for the Customer Success team. I also manage a team that provides direct support to students and faculty around the world, so I might meet with them about introducing a new tool or refining how we support our students. And, like everyone else, I try my best to keep on top of email and Slack.

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Q: What is one of the most surprising things about working with health professional students and schools?

A: Early on, Shiv and I took a trip to the Ross University School of Medicine in the Carribean where I met hundreds of students in person for the first time. I came away deeply impressed by the diversity of these students and the drive they had to become clinicians. I’ve worked with thousands of students since then and have always been impressed by the passion that they have for becoming healthcare providers. In a world that feels increasing cynical, it’s rewarding, on a personal level, to connect with so many young people who want to make a positive impact. With regard to schools, I’m continually impressed by the challenges they face, of keeping up with medical knowledge, providing expert instruction, and keeping abreast of technology, all within the context of fairly traditional institutional machinery.

Q: How does Osmosis differentiate itself with regards to Student Success?

A: We really want to make education more efficient and joyful for our learners and educators, and that underpins all the work that we do. So whether we’re working with a first-year student on a free trial or dean at a major medical school, we use those values to drive our work and the relationships that we build. We even made a video about our values, as a guide for ourselves and our learners.

Q: What are your clients saying about you?

A: Every student is different but most say that our large video library (1,300+ videos) and web- and mobile-learning platform have made medicine easier to understand and that our platform as a whole has streamlined how they study. You can hear our students describe Osmosis in their own words here.

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Q: What’s the best thing about Osmosis that people might not know about?

A: That our team is second to none in terms of kindness and aptitude and that working with people like this is its own reward.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: To help grow this company for years to come so that we can have a lasting impact. One of our investors talks about his former company being his proudest legacy–and I feel lucky to have found a similar opportunity here at Osmosis.