Growing up in India, Dr. Chandra S. Pemmasani’s initial plan wasn’t to become a CEO. He wanted to be a physician. Undeterred by his lack of financial means, Dr. Pemmasani was accepted into Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad after ranking 27th out of 60,000 on the medical school entrance examination (EAMCET), recognized as one of the most competitive examinations in India. After graduation, he was set to complete his residency in the United States. All he needed was to pass the notoriously difficult United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE).
He borrowed thousands of dollars for exam prep tools but didn’t find them to be useful in providing the kind of case-based, active learning that would ingrain concepts into his mind. Several of his fellow aspiring physicians were in the same position and were looking for help. This inspired him to write 200 pages of case-based scenarios for the USMLE. After passing the test, Dr. Pemmasani sent his guide to several publishers, but they told him to come back when he finished medical training.
Wanting to help his colleagues as soon as possible, Dr. Pemmasani instead turned to the internet. With the support of family and friends, he developed several online exam review products—all while maintaining his full residency schedule. At the age of 25, he founded his company, USMLEWorld (rebranded as UWorld in 2014), with his brother, Ravi, a software engineer, playing a key role in building the technology systems and managing company operations.
After completing his residency in internal medicine at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania, Dr. Pemmasani earned the highest percentile scores in most board examinations. He moved to Dallas in 2010, where he established the corporate headquarters of UWorld.
A company that started from a university dorm room now employs 350+ people and has evolved into the leading force for medical and nursing education. Seven years after its launch, UWorld has achieved more than 90% market share in the educational segment and trains more than 120,000 medical students and residents annually.
According to Dr. Pemmasani, “The success of UWorld was built upon hard work, dedication, focus, and a passion for training future physicians well. We have made the learning process interactive, easy, and enjoyable, and have built an exceptional company with a solid foundation and outstanding products.”
To serve the online learning needs of more students in their career and educational aspirations, UWorld has recently acquired Themis Bar Review for law students, Roger CPA for accountants, and RxPrep for aspiring pharmacists. UWorld intends to grow to reach a wider span of students across multiple verticals.