Osmosis Medical Review: Is Osmosis Worth it? (2021)

I’ve been a fan of Osmosis for a couple of years now. It’s helped guide me through a couple of tough med school exams and is still one of my top go-to resources.

Even now as an international medical student entering the later years of my medical degree!

Still, I wanted to dive a little deeper into the platform, try and put aside my bias and weigh up its pros and cons.

Is Osmosis Medical worth it? Let’s find out!

DISCLAIMER: We are not paid by Osmosis Medical, neither is their any affiliate link used in this article. The following is result of personal research and use only.

Is Osmosis Medical Worth It? Key Points

About: Medical education platform offering quality animated videos on core medical subjects, clinical content and more.
Price: $270 for 6 months access. $334 for 1 year access. $478 for 2 years access.
Pros: Great user experience. Feature rich and fully customizable to any learning plan. Huge question bank and flashcard decks.
Cons: Expensive pricing structure. Videos lack the charm or comedy of Picmonic or Sketchy Med.
Verdict: Super comprehensive resource with a ton of features (great for USMLE etc.) but very expensive.
Overall Rating: 3.8/5

What Are The Best Resources For Med School?

We’re on a mission to review all the top resources students can use during their medical education. Our goal is to be transparent, honest and say with clarity what’s really worth spending your money on. You can find all our reviews and current scores on the recommendations page.

What Is Osmosis?

Osmosis Medical (Osmosis) is a medical education platform that offers high quality animated videos on medical school subjects and clinical content.

They have over 1,800 videos covering the following topics:

  • Basic sciences (Anatomy, Biochemistry, Pharmacology etc.)
  • Organ systems (Heme/Onc, MSK, Psychiatry etc.)
  • High yield path review (Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Nephrology etc.)
  • Clinical reasoning (Internal Medicine, Neurology, Biostatistics etc.)

    The full list of their comprehensive medical video library is visible here…
Source: osmosis.org

Here’s how the main website looks…

Source: osmosis.org

Beyond videos, Osmosis also offers the following:

  • 16,000+ USMLE Step 1 flashcards
  • 7200+ USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 case questions
  • High yield notes with 2000+ full color images and tables
  • Workspaces to organize and analyze your course documents
  • Personalized study schedules

The full list of features is available on their Study Tools page.

The paid product, “Osmosis Prime”, gives full access to these features.

The popular Osmosis YouTube channel (1.9M subcribers) provides shorter, free content. They upload every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Who Are Osmosis?

Osmosis was started by Ryan Haynes and Shiv Gaglani, two medical students at John Hopkins.

Their mission is to “to empower the world’s clinicians and caregivers with the best learning experience possible.”

This video, from their YouTube channel, explains more…

Since starting, Osmosis has grown into a 250+ team of illustrators, educators, editors, contributors, support assistants and more, based across the entirety of North America and parts of Europe.

The company has won several awards in the small companies category, including:

  • Best Company For Women 2020
  • Best CEO 2020
  • Best Company Culture 2020
  • Best Company Work-Life Balance 2020
Source: osmosis.org

You can find more information about who they are on the Osmosis About Us page.

Who Is Osmosis For?

Osmosis is intended for the following specialties:

  • Medicine (MO)
  • Medicine (DO)
  • Physician Assistant (PA)
  • Nurse Practicioner (NP)
  • Registered Nursing (RN)
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Other Healthcare Professionals

Despite it being primarily U.S. focused, it is suitable for international students studying the above specialties abroad.

Why Is It Called Osmosis?

The name is a play on “learning by omosis” (knowledge diffusing into your brain) and “social diffusion” (peer-to-peer learning).

The founders give more information about the origins of the name in this interview at the Harvard Macy Institute.

How Is The Osmosis App?

Osmosis has an app on both iOS and Android.

Source: osmosis.org

Full functionality is available to Prime members.

The app has a good 4.4 score on the Appstore…

Source: apps.apple.com

And scores 4.3 on Google Play…

Source: play.google.com

How Does Osmosis Work?

Sign in to Osmosis and answer a few questions related to your studies, and you’ll land on the platforms’ Dashboard.

From here you can do the following:

  • Start watching videos based on your field of study
  • Build and customize playlists
  • Create and complete your own study decks
  • Create your own study schedule
  • Build your own flashcard quizzes from Osmosis’ pre-made cards
  • Build your own question quizzes from Osmosis’ pre-made case questions
  • Create and build your own personal workspace (dragging and dropping your own school’s materials etc.)

Osmosis’ flashcard system is built on evidence-based learning principles. It uses spaced repetition.

You can adjust the settings with your own preferences…

Your progress completing all these activities is tracked by the Dashboard.

The menu bar shows any notifications and your question and flashcard progress.

How Is Osmosis Video Content?

Each video offers clear explanations from native U.S. English speakers with lots of useful diagrams and images.

Here is an example of the Osmosis video style.

What Is Osmosis Prime?

Osmosis Prime is the paid option that gives full access to all the features described above.

In addition to these, Osmosis Prime also offers:

  • Pathology Review
  • The ability to timestamp videos with your own notes
  • How to Learn in Med School course
  • Clinician’s Corner (playlist to help you transition from student to professional)
  • Full customer support
  • Personalized daily reminder emails

More information is provided in the image below…

Source: osmosis.org

Is Osmosis Legit?

Osmosis is definitely legit, I’ve been using it for two years and have found their videos especially helpful.

According to Reviews.io, the platform as a solid 4.44 rating and 88% recommendation score.

Source: reviews.io

Is Osmosis A Scam?

Osmosis is not a scam. Nothing in my research or personal use suggests as much.

Their LinkedIn profile shoes them to be reputable.

How Much Does Osmosis Cost?

The pricing of Osmosis Prime is based on a subscription model.

  • $270 for 6 months access
  • $334 for 1 year access
  • $478 for 2 years access

You can pay using all major credit cards and PayPal.

Is Osmosis Free?

Osmosis offers a 7 day free trial of its Prime features upon sign up.

You can later upgrade if you like the platform.

Sometimes, if you get lucky, you can find videos on your topic for free on the Osmosis website, but this will only be video.

In order to get access to the full notes, question quizzes and flashcards you’ll need to have Prime (paid) membership.

There is no exact number or list available detailing the free videos but you can always search via YouTube and the main website.

Does Osmosis Offer Refunds?

Osmosis offers a full 100% money-back refund for yearly subscriptions made within 7 days of purchase.

All sales of Prime memberships shorter than one year are final.

To request a refunds Osmosis asks you email them via your account.

More details are available on their help section here.

Does Osmosis Have Student Discount?

Osmosis sometimes offers student discounts periodically throughout the year.

In 2019, to celebrate World Student’s Day, they had a 50% off sale for Osmosis Prime.

I’d recommend following them on social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.) and watch out for future discount opportunities.

Does Osmosis Offer Institutional Access?

Osmosis provides an option to purchase Institutional Access.

They ask you to complete a form to request a demo and explore options.

Support will offer a response to any enquiries within 48 hours.

You can make enquiries here.

How Do You Sign Up For Osmosis?

Signing up is easy. Just head to osmosis.org and click the Sign In button in the top right corner.

You can sign up via Facebook, Google or an email account.

Once you enter your details you’ll be sent a verification link by email. You’ll need to click the link there to get started.

From there you’ll get to customize your experience by student or professional.

You’ll then be asked your field of study and what insitution you attend.

There is an option to select Other if you’re a self-learner.

Medical students will also be asked what stage of study they’re in.

Once all that’s done, you can start “osmosing” (searching and watching videos, doing flashcards etc.)

What Are Other Students Saying About Osmosis?

Most reviews I’ve seen from other students using Osmosis are generally positive.

This video from Pevan Mehat gives a good review, he highlights the visual aspect of the videos being a useful feature.

He also says the mnemonics are memorable and that having the ability to instantaneously test yourself after the information is a nice feature.

His one criticism is that they don’t have enough clinical cases.

Reviews in the Reddit community are similarly positive. Several users here say it’s been a highly effective tool in their studying but that you “should split the price” of the Prime option with colleagues in order to save money.

Pharmacology seems to be the subject that most users recommend using Osmosis to learn.

As for my opinion…

Criticism For Osmosis

  • Videos are sometimes lengthy and not available on every topic
  • Videos lack the “character” or “charisma” of mnemonic-based resources like Sketchy Medicine or Picmonic
  • Very expensive compared to similar platforms

Praise For Osmosis

  • Huge number of free videos on YouTube
  • Videos images are well-crafted and mostly high yield
  • Massive high-quality question bank with excellent explanations
  • Integrates with Brosencephalon’s popular Anki deck (although a little outdated)
  • Option to make personalized flashcards from videos
  • Useful workspace option to upload your own documents and chart your progress

Alternatives To Osmosis

Osmosis Vs Lecturio

Osmosis and Lecturio are often compared and share similar features .

Fuctionality:Workspaces, flashcards, quiz builders etc.Lectures, question bank and flashcards.
Customization:Personally timestamp videos, add/edit own notes.More of a generic experience.
Price:$478 (2 years access).$430 (2 years access).
Format:Mnemonics/diagram style “mini” lectures.In-person style lectures.
Review Score:3.8/53.5/5

Osmosis beats Lecturio on two fronts:

  • Greater functionalist
  • Customization

While Lecturio beats Osmosis on:

  • Price
  • In-person style lectures (delivered by University professors)

Osmosis (3.8/5) marginally beats Lecturio (3.5/5) in our points rating.

Is Osmosis Good For USMLE?

Is Osmosis is great for helping students prepare for USMLE.

Most of the content is targeted directly at passing the Step exams, while the quiz and case study questions closely resemble those on the actual exam.

There are reports of students scoring as high as 262 on the USMLE Step 1 detailed on the Osmosis website.

How Best To Use Osmosis? Tips For Using Osmosis:

  • Try and find a colleague who’s willing to split the cost of Osmosis Prime
  • Download the relevant videos on your phone using the mobile app and listen to them on drives/walks to clinic or school
  • Don’t rely on the videos alone always being enough (sometimes you’ll still have to do supplementary reading)

Final Thoughts On Osmosis

I’m a big fan of Osmosis and have a got a lot out of their videos during my medical studies.

Compared to other educational platforms though, they do seem exceptionally expensive.

For that reason, they’re not the best value resource out there for students who are on a tight budget (despite having excellent functionality).

I’ll give Osmosis Medical a final score of 3.8/5.

If you liked this review, you might find the following articles useful: