Ross University Blog

ALUMNI: Grad Reflects on Medical Relief Work

September 30, 2015

Since graduating from Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) in 2002, Faiz Hussain, MD, MPH, has made medical relief work his personal mission. Upon completing his residency in Internal Medicine from Loma Linda University in 2005, he served as director of a clinic site in the relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina. Subsequently, he made multiple trips to Pakistan, Kashmir, and Haiti as a medical member of disaster response teams, including the South Asian Earthquake in 2005, Haiti Earthquake in 2010, and the Pakistan floods in 2010.  He also led a medical delegation to the Philippines in 2013 in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. “Though I certainly wish these disasters had never occurred in the first place, I am deeply grateful to have been in a position to put what knowledge and skills I had to good use,” he says. For the past five years and more, Hussain has served as Clinical Director of the Department of Compensation and Pension with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Long Beach, Calif.  Previously, he was Medical Director of an Occupational Medicine group in Orange County, Calif.

 

RUSM: Tell us about your current position at the VA.

Hussain: I perform forensic evaluations of medical claims filed against the federal government. Although I feel more like an attorney than a physician, I could not perform this job without a solid medical background. What I enjoy most in this position is serving the veteran population - those who served our country. Secondly, I'm intrigued by the challenge of reviewing and presenting medical evidence as concisely and articulately as possible.


RUSM: What led you to pursue a career in medicine?


Hussain: I’ve always had a fondness for travel and I sought a career that would blend this passion along with my passion to serve others. Medicine has helped me accomplish exactly that. It is such a portable skill; you could literally be dropped off anywhere in the world at any time and have an immediate and measurable impact upon those around you. 


RUSM: What led you to choose RUSM and how well do you feel it prepared you for what you are doing now? 

Hussain: Education has always been at the core of my professional goals.  I had exceptional clinical training both during my 3rd and 4th year clerkships as well as during residency at the University of Utah and Loma Linda University Schools of Medicine. I vividly recall how a single attending physician could make all the difference in a clinical rotation experience. Someone who takes pride in imparting knowledge instills a greater thirst for knowledge in his or her students.  I’ve tried to embrace this spirit as a teaching attending for RUSM and Chamberlain College of Nursing students on international clinical electives in Kenya, where we set up mobile medical clinics in various pockets within Nairobi.  Living in Dominica and participating in community-based projects was also invaluable. It heightened my cultural sensitivity and fostered my commitment to the global application of medicine. 


RUSM: You are very active in the RUSM alumni network. What motivated this involvement and what do you tell prospective students? 

Hussain: Having had these amazing experiences, I wanted to share my passion with others. RUSM continues to forge relations with major academic institutions nationwide.  In this light, I’ve had the pleasure of serving as an alumni ambassador while liaising with undergraduate medical advisors on tours of our beautiful campus. Additionally, I’ve been invited to offer pearls of wisdom and advice while addressing the incoming 1st semester class during orientation week in Dominica to help assuage the anxieties and uncertainties commonly experienced by new students. For the last several years, I’ve also participated in RUSM information seminars to help illustrate the tangible successes one can achieve with a RUSM medical degree. To help fortify our basic sciences curriculum, I participated in the RUSM Education Summit in Dominica. I was also invited to represent RUSM on an alumni panel during Congressional meetings in Washington, D.C.  What I share with prospective students is that there is no obstacle that is so insurmountable it cannot be overcome. If medicine is your dream, it is something that can definitely be achieved. RUSM gave me that opportunity when few others would. For this reason, I continue to be grateful and see it as a pleasure to assist others who are in the same position now as I was in several years ago. 

 

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