Ross University Blog

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Alumna Shares Her Ross Experience

June 12, 2017


Alumna Lindsey Ling, MD, shares her Ross experience in the recent Wall Street Journal article, "Overseas Medical Schools Offer Remedy for Shortage of U.S. Doctors: U.S. schools can't keep up with demand for physicians, so international programs are stepping in with American graduates." 

Ling is a family medicine resident at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Jacksonville, FL.

Ling met her husband, Richard P. Bowser, MD, at Ross. He is completing an anesthesiology residency program at the University of Miami. They both graduated with medical degrees from Ross in 2014 and married two years later.

Tags: Florida , Family Medicine , Anesthesiology

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CANADA: Alums Share 7 Tips on How to Prepare for the Canadian Resident Matching Service

June 05, 2017

Kirsten Yip, MD, and Christopher Navachandrabala, MD, recently matched into residency programs through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS).

Yip is set to begin a family medicine residency program at University of British Columbia (UBC). Likewise, Navachandrabala is entering the same specialty, beginning his career at Dalhousie University.

See below for their personal views on how to get ready for CaRMS.


Plan Ahead

You need strong organizational skills and to know your timelines. You often need to complete administrative requirements a year in advance.

Use Available Resources

Students should familiarize themselves with the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) and create an account on their portal. The MCC is the leading body in Canada that evaluates physicians in the country and maintains a national registry of their credentials throughout their careers. Students should also create an account with the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada’s (AFMC) student portal, a necessary step to register for elective clerkships in the nation. 

Kill the Exams

The Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) and the National Assessment Collaboration Examination (NAC) are mandatory if you would like to apply to a Canadian residency program (completing the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I (MCCQE1) before applications are due will help if you have time to do it). 

It is over simplistic to say the USMLE® Step and Canadian exams are alike. Moreover, you ought not to try to rely on USMLE® Step study aids as reasonable preparation for the Canadian exams. They are different beasts.

Gain Canadian Clinical Experience

Schedule electives and get Canadian letters of recommendation. Most, if not all, residency programs look for Canadian experience in your application. Some programs have an IMG Clinical Assessment Program (CAP) that will give you an advantage over other applicants.  

“Instead of using the AFMC student portal to obtain an elective clerkship, I entered the Rural Ontario Medical Program,” says Navachandrabala. “I was fortunate enough to complete two Canadian electives and I got a letter of recommendation from each of them.”

Attend Canadian Conferences

It is relatively inexpensive to join the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). The Annual Meeting and General Council is typically free to attend and you learn about the most pressing medical and healthcare issues in Canada. 

“I attended the College of Family Physician of Canada’s Family Medicine Forum and there were info booths representing every Canadian family medicine residency program,” says Yip. “I was able to speak one-on-one with the program director of UBC.”

Write Original Personal Statements

A generic personal statement is “kryptonite” and programs know when they are reading one. Read the requirements for personal statements. For example, the personal statement requirements often have different questions or even say to whom to address. Creating individualized statements is tedious but it will pay off if you can thoroughly express your connection and commitment to the program, school and province.  

Apply, Apply, Apply

Apply to as many Canadian residency programs as you can, provided you are willing to practice at each particular place.


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Tags: Canada , CaRMS , Residency , Match

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ADMISSIONS: What You Need to Know about Applying to Medical School

May 30, 2017

Carey M. James<br/>Associate Dean of Operations, Analysis and Admissions

Carey M. James
Associate Dean of Operations, Analysis and Admissions

This article was authored by Carey M. James, Associate Dean of Operations, Analysis and Admissions.

What do we look for in a medical student who is applying to Ross University School of Medicine (Ross)?  Our admissions philosophy is that anyone with the requisite ability, character and drive to be a physician deserves an opportunity to pursue his or her dream. We know that there are so many barriers to entry to medical school, things that get in the way, like lack of time, financial resources, and mentorship as pre-medical hopefuls begin their journey in college. While the average age of beginning  medical students in the US is 24 years old, the expectation is that you were always an A student, and never deviated from that since you were 17 or 18 years old. There are no second chances.

At Ross we also recognize that there is a shortage of seats in US and Canadian medical schools, and you need to be consistently competitive from the very beginning to be a viable candidate. There is little room for development as a student or to account for successfully overcoming earlier struggles, when there are more than 50,000 applicants for just 21,000 seats in MD programs in the US.

You are not your MCAT

While US medical schools are trying to become more holistic, our Caribbean medical school has always taken the approach that you are not your MCAT. Of course we look at an applicant’s academic record, but this is just one factor in a number of other skills and traits that we value. At Ross we know that people evolve, that there are those who become brilliant students who were not so their first semester of college. We need to see that there has been improvement, and that a student is ready to excel in medical school now. We can give you feedback and suggest ways in which you can improve your record. Many of our students come to us right out of college, while many others are career-changers, perhaps a few years older, and have spent time in medical and other fields. They are former nurses, paramedics, IT professionals, and more, who came to the decision that becoming a doctor was what they really wanted to do with their lives.

Are you ready to succeed?

Ross' campus in the Commonwealth of Dominica, a beautiful location known as “the nature island,” is an incredible learning environment where students start seeing patients in the second week of classes during the first semester. They see standardized patients, people in clinics and at health fairs, and in the Kalinago territory which is home to the indigenous population. This is a hands-on curriculum on the front-lines of medicine. Students then go on for clinical training in hospitals throughout the US and Canada.

It’s important for us to know that you’re ready to succeed. We look carefully at your letters of recommendation, and at your personal statement. What we want to see is that you have had some exposure to volunteer work in a medical setting, so that you recognize the demands placed on physicians, the daily stresses and the enormous pressures on the profession. The personal admissions interview is also very important, as it gives us a chance to get to know you as an individual, not just a set of data. Our campus community helps define who we are as a school, and develop who you will be as a doctor.  During the admissions process we need to understand who you are as a person, and as a team member.

We are looking for emotional intelligence

The non-cognitive factors we seek in applicants are extremely important. We want you to be adaptable, flexible, not take no for an answer and never quit. In other words, our students must have grit. They also require a tremendous capacity for caring and compassion. These are characteristics that can’t be graded on a test. We are looking for emotional intelligence.

If you overcame a difficult start in college, or spent years in pursuit of a profession that became unrewarding, you don’t have to take yourself out of the game and give up on your desire to become a doctor. Forgive yourself and know that you have options and an opportunity to be excellent. We are here as your advocate. I encourage prospective students to believe in themselves. There are more than 13,000 Ross alumni in all 50 states in the US and in every province in Canada. Our medical school, nearing its 40th anniversary, offers a well-worn path to residency and licensure.


Tags: Admissions

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VIDEO: Ross 2017 Graduation Ceremony

May 25, 2017

Congratulations Ross Class of 2017!


Tags: Graduation

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NEWS: Ross Graduation Ceremony May 20, Live Feed on Facebook

May 18, 2017

Ross graduates from the Class of 2016.

Ross graduates from the Class of 2016.

For the Class of 2017, the final destination of their medical school journey at Ross will be the commencement ceremony May 20 at the University of Miami's Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla. There will be a live stream of the event on the Ross Facebook page or Ustream beginning at 9 a.m.
As hundreds donned in cap and gown anxiously await the start of the processional, there undoubtedly will be many envisioning the first day of their residency program in which most are set to begin just weeks away. Internal Medicine and Family Medicine are again the top two specialties in which many of the newly minted Ross graduates earned residency positions. However, recent Ross graduates also matched through the National Resident Matching Program® in anesthesiology, neurology, orthopedic surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pathology, urology, radiation oncology and in a rare pediatric-emergency program, to name a few.
Whether returning to their hometowns or beginning careers in new regions, the Class of 2017 will have a presence throughout the United States, joining the more than 13,000 existing Ross alumni. Some of the residency programs earned by the latest cohort of graduates are offered by the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education in AZ; Brown University Alpert Medical School in RI; MedStar Georgetown University Medical Center/National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC; University of Texas Medical School in Houston; and Tulane University School of Medicine in LA.
Highlights of the graduation ceremony include remarks by Ross alumnus Sandor Toledo, MD, and a keynote address by Dave Barry, Miami Herald columnist and best-selling author:
Sandor Toledo, MD, (Class of 2017) will begin a general surgery residency at the University of Connecticut Health System.
Toledo is a military veteran who enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from high school. Sandor spent seven years in the Marines and attained the rank of Sergeant. He then went on to pursue higher education, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University (FIU), with majors in biochemistry and psychology, both through the FIU Honors College. He later obtained a master's degree in business administration at FIU while simultaneously enrolled at Ross.
Sandor has held several leadership positions at Ross including Exam Representative, Class Representative, and Student Government Association President. He co-founded the Ross University Veteran's Club and First Pass Effect, a local school rock band.
He is also Founder and Chief Executive Officer of El Carne Express, a Cuban restaurant and food truck. Sandor continues to serve in the military active reserves as a percussionist and guitarist in the 13th Army Band. 
Pulitzer-Prize winner Dave Barry is a syndicated Miami Herald humor columnist and best-selling author. His columns have appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad. He has written a total of 30 books. Two of his books were used as the basis for the CBS TV sitcom Dave's World, starring Harry Anderson. He also plays lead guitar in a literary rock band called the Rock Bottom Remainders, whose other members include Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson and Mitch Albom.
Barry is an entertaining personality who takes on the most difficult issues of our times, yet leaves his readers and audiences laughing. His recent books include Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is much Faster), You Can Date Boys When you’re Forty, Insane City, and I’ll Mature When I’m Dead.

Tags: Graduation

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