Ross University Blog

CHIEF RESIDENT: Preparation was Key to Alum Landing His Ideal Residency

April 12, 2016

Dr. Grant K. Studebaker, class of 2013, gives his strategy for landing his preferred residency program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Jackson.

RUSM: What attracted you to RUSM?

Studebaker: What stood out for me was that RUSM takes a close look at applicants’ character and previous work experience; it views each student as a person and not just a score.  This approach was particularly evident during my interview.  The interviewer wanted to learn about who I was as a person, what I did in my previous jobs, and why I wanted to be a doctor. The conversation was very personable and not just focused on my academic performance and scores.

RUSM: How did you prepare for the NRMP® Match?

Studebaker: I studied hard at RUSM and for the USMLE® step exams.  I knew that I wanted to do my residency in family medicine so I did my electives in primary care to gain more experience.  When it was time for the Match, I narrowed down my search to my preferred geographical areas and made a list of all family medicine programs in each area, with a focus on academic settings and unopposed programs.  After creating that initial list, I looked closely at faculty, current residents, and the atmosphere of each program to find the one right for me.

RUSM: What are the top two or three ways RUSM helped prepare you for your residency position?

Studebaker: The academic experience at RUSM more than prepared me for success in residency.  Being a “Rossie” is more than just academics, however. By starting in Dominica and then traveling for rotations we learn to overcome any obstacle and adapt to any situation. This prepares us for the rigors of residency and allows us to be very successful.

RUSM: What are the key factors that led to you achieving a chief resident position?

Studebaker: Being named a chief resident was an honor. I believe the unique experience I had at RUSM helped prepare me for this position. During my clinical years, I had to stay very organized to be able to navigate scheduling my rotations, traveling, as well as studying.  Also, by always being in a new place for rotations I learned how to quickly become social and interact with people from various backgrounds.

RUSM: What additional responsibilities have you assumed since becoming a chief resident?

Studebaker: As chief resident, I am responsible for creating the schedules for all other residents.  This is a unique challenge as we are in an incredibly busy program with rotations in various specialties and community services, as well as in our clinic.  At the start of the year I was responsible for academic review and reviewing our residency manual for changes.  I am also responsible for orienting and lecturing to interns at the start of their training.  Once a month, I create a Medical Jeopardy lecture covering the latest Family Medicine Journal.  I also serve on various committees at the hospital and within our program. My most important duty, however, is to act as a liaison between faculty and residents, handling any conflict that arises.  

RUSM: What’s next for you?

Studebaker: After completing my residency program I will stay at the University of Tennessee–Jackson as faculty.


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Tags: Chief Resident , Alumni , Tennessee

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