Ross University Blog

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Why Did Associate Professor Robert Sasso, MD, Choose RUSM Over a US Teaching Job?

January 08, 2015

RUSM Associate Professor Robert Sasso, MD

It's a refrain perhaps common to many physicians: As a medical school student in the early 1980s, Robert Sasso didn't know what kind of doctor he wanted to be. He credits the clinical stage of his medical education—particularly his surgery rotation—as being key to him figuring it out.

"When I started scrubbing in for cases, I was hooked," Dr. Sasso says. "Operating was amazing. I remember thinking 'You can cure these people. You can take away their disease and pain.' At that point, I was in."

Dr. Sasso, now an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Medicine at Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), ultimately decided to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology. There was something fascinating to him about the science surrounding that field—the different methodologies and processes. Plus, it helped him provide continuity of care, maintaining a balance between seeing patients in the office and treating them in the operating room.

The Epitome of His Career

Dr. Sasso graduated college from Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, as valedictorian (for the second time—he was also valedictorian of his high school class). He earned his medical degree from Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, and completed an OB/GYN internship and residency at University of Utah Medical Center, followed by a one-year fellowship in reproductive surgery and infertility at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, FL.

His medical career in the US spanned two decades—including a stint as Adjunct Assistant Professor at Dartmouth Medical Center, Lebanon, NH—capped off by him establishing an infertility/IVF center in South Portland, Maine, in 2010. "I truly felt like that was the epitome of what I could achieve as a non-reproductive endocrinologist," he says.

An Inspiring Mission at RUSM

Dr. Sasso grew interested in teaching, and started searching for positions. Though he could have likely secured a teaching job in the US, Dr. Sasso came across an open position at RUSM in the Department of Clinical Medicine. He found the institution's mission to be an inspiring one, and joined RUSM as an Associate Professor in March 2012.

"RUSM is helping to train a whole new generation of physicians," he says—something he understands is a big responsibility. It's also one that he takes very seriously. "I'm taking what I've learned over my entire career and trying to inculcate that into the students," he says. "It's not just about knowledge—it's also about how to act like a physician, and how to be ethical."

Clearly, his students appreciate his efforts. At the 2014 RUSM Leadership Conference, held in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Dr. Sasso was presented with the Golden Stethoscope Award, a student's choice award for clinical teaching. "That's the best part of my job, honestly—when I get to hear a 'thank you' from the students," he says. "That's why the Golden Stethoscope is so rewarding: It comes directly from them."

Dr. Sasso currently chairs the school's Faculty Senate and is Director of Medical Simulation in the Department of Clinical Medicine. He is also Vice Chairman of the Admissions Committee, a member of the Institutional Review Board Committee, and is advisor for both the RUSM OB/GYN club and the Public Health Club.

He has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters on both basic science research concepts and reproductive surgery. Currently, Dr. Sasso is actively involved in developing high-level educational research at RUSM. His goal is to produce publishable research that will be pertinent and useful to current and future students alike.

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