Ross University Blog

Prep School and Early Learning Center Thrive on RUSM Campus

March 28, 2014

It is a school that is unique in many ways. With more than 70 children, aged 10 months to 14 years, the preparatory school and early learning center on the Dominica campus of Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) is a tremendous boon to the parents, who are RUSM students, faculty members and staff.


“I like the school,” said Jonathan Strickland, a third-semester RUSM student, as he dropped off his three-year-old son Lincoln. “It gives me more time to study and my wife gets a break. They have fun activities, good teachers, and I think the kids get a good social life.” As if to demonstrate his dad’s point, Lincoln waved cheerfully and went to engage in a game with his peers.


Recent renovations to the school expanded the space, created a gazebo, put in new, child-sized restrooms, added a fenced-in area, redecorated with fresh paint, new windows and floors, and more, said Interim Principal Kathryn Weaver. Mrs. Weaver is the wife of RUSM’s Senior Associate Dean Wm. Lynn Weaver, MD, FACS.

“The school is quite diverse,” said Principal Weaver. The children are originally from the U.S., Pakistan, India, Africa, Canada, Greece, Turkey, Finland, and other countries. “The beauty is, because the kids come from all over, they embrace what’s different,” she said. The culture of Dominica is also integrated into the curriculum, she said. A recent school newsletter features an article about the celebration of Dominica’s independence, and of Creole Day festivities two days earlier. Photos show the young students dressed in national Dominican colors and costumes, and performing a traditional dance.

Principal Weaver attended the University of New York at Buffalo, where she earned the credentials of Specialist in Educational Administration, School District Administrator, Master of Library Science, and Bachelor of Arts. Her career as an educator includes serving as a high school interim assistant principal.

“I have a vision,” she said, “Smart boards in every classroom, arts and music programs, a data-driven approach to student achievement. There’s a lot of work to be done.”

For more information about the prep school and early learning center contact: rossprepschool@gmail.com or call 767-255-6436.

Tags: Campus , Dominica

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Daniel Rodrigues Obtains Residency Match in Anesthesiology at University of Manitoba

March 21, 2014

At the age of 24, RUSM graduate Daniel Rodrigues has secured a residency match in his native Canada. He will begin a residency in anesthesiology at the University of Manitoba, his first choice.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “I’m ecstatic. I’ve known that I want to study medicine since I was a junior in high school. And, although I was open to staying in the U.S., the idea was to go back to Winnipeg.”

Rodrigues grew up in Winnipeg and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba. Life on the RUSM Dominica campus was “full of interesting surprises,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect, from the little airport to the winding road to campus. I really liked the nature, the hikes, and the historic places. It made for a lot of good memories.”

In fact, the experience of the daunting hike to Boiling Lake served as an analogy for Rodrigues’s personal statement in the application to the residency program. “Like the hike to Boiling Lake, the medical school journey is one step at a time, with some ups and some downs. It’s difficult, but fun. You really think sometimes that the path is from point A to point B, but it isn’t. It’s full of twists and turns.”

Rodrigues made time for fun on the island by engaging in student clubs, and playing sports, including ball hockey, kickball and soccer. He was a member of the Canadian Students’ Society, Physicians for Human Rights, and the Emergency Medicine Association. Because he wanted to travel and to visit new places, Rodrigues chose to do most of his core and elective rotations in Miami and Chicago. “I loved Miami,” he said, “but I wanted to experience another city, as well. Chicago was wonderful. I got to experience different hospitals, which was nice.”

Back in his native Winnipeg for a rotation in anesthesiology, he said, “I fell in love with it right away. It was mentally stimulating for me.” Now Rodrigues is poised to begin a residency in the field he loves, in the place he has always called home.

Tags: Alumni , Canada , Residency

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RUSM student Edwin “Ned” Palmer matches in Medicine-Pediatrics program at University of Cincinnati

March 21, 2014

Edwin “Ned” Palmer, on track to graduate from RUSM with the class of 2014 and begin a MedPeds residency program at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, is interested in a specialty that serves patients who have never existed before. They are people with developmental problems, and pediatric diseases who are surviving into adulthood thanks to advances in medicine during the past two decades, he explained. “It’s a fascinating area of medicine called transitional care, for an underserved patient population with looming diagnoses from childhood,” Palmer said.

Palmer, a native of Michigan, who earned his undergraduate degree from McGill University in Canada, found the tropical Dominica campus of RUSM “stunningly beautiful, geographically.” But, he said, there was also “asymmetrical distribution of resources in medicine” in the developing country, creating conditions that “we had in the U.S. 40 years ago.” Still, he noted, “You can go to areas in the U.S. that are just as poorly served.”

Always interested in “travel and exploration,” Palmer chose to do an elective in the Himalayas, where he was part of a team “providing primary care for several regions in Northern India,” he said. “We’d go into areas that were geographically isolated, set up full-service clinics, with a pharmacy, and hundreds of patients would come. They were subsistence farmers who had little to no transportation and many walked in.”

Palmer’s global experience with an incredibly diverse population has led him to an awareness that, “There’s a flexibility to human expectation. There’s an understanding that at any moment, anything can go wrong.”

Tags: Alumni , Residency , Ohio

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RUSM’s Maria Uliano gets her 1st Choice Residency Match in her Home Town

March 21, 2014

Maria Uliano, 28, a native of Long Island, N.Y., has achieved her lifelong goal of returning home to complete a residency in Family Medicine at Glen Cove Hospital. The RUSM graduate has matched into her first choice.

Why did she choose RUSM? “It had been my dream to become a doctor since the sixth grade, and it seemed that if anyone would give me the opportunity to work hard, prove myself and to make my dream come true, it would be RUSM,” she said.

Uliano, who earned her undergraduate degree with a major in biology and a minor in English from Stony Brook University in N.Y., found the Dominica campus challenging, at first. However, she said, “I would not trade my experiences for a second. The key to enjoying the island is to maintain a positive attitude. There will be things that go wrong, you won’t have the luxuries you have in the U.S.” The upside is, “You will make lifelong friends, you will have unforgettable experiences, you will study like you have never studied in your life, and you will make your dream come true to become a doctor.”

During her Foundations of Medicine studies on Dominica, Uliano was involved in several clubs and organizations. She was a member of the American Medical Students Association (AMSA), which gave her an opportunity to “participate in health fairs and clinics offered to the under-privileged, to screen for diabetes, and to promote women’s health,” she said. She was also a member of the Italian-American Association, “a social club that allowed us to participate in charity events and to promote environmental awareness,” Uliano said. She added, “I also started a kickball team, which was a lot of fun.”

Speaking about her residency match, Uliano said, “I am interested in Family Medicine because I want to have a strong and personal doctor-patient relationship with all of my patients. I believe it is that relationship that can earn your patients’ trust, which will allow you to be an advocate for your patients and truly make a difference in their lives and their health. I want to help my patients to live long and healthy lives so that they have more time to spend with their families.”

Tags: Alumni , Residency , New York

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Just reading these stories motivates me to apply to RUSM, in addition to going to the conference held in Austin. Excited to start my application this summer. I would greatly love the opportunity to pursue my passion!!!
Elise 7:06PM 03/21/14

Nishma Patel Matches in Psychiatry at University of Saskatchewan

March 21, 2014

This summer, RUSM alumna Nishma Patel will begin her residency training in psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan. Patel, a native of Canada, earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Saskatchewan-Saskatoon. Both of her parents are physicians who practice family medicine in the area. “I got exposure to the field of medicine because of my parents,” she said. “They enjoy what they do and are well-respected in the community. But there is no way a student can go through all of medical school if they’re not really motivated.”

Patel was motivated to become a psychiatrist because, she said, “I am most interested in the interpersonal aspect of the field. Also, this field is growing rapidly and the need for psychiatrists is expanding.” She added that, “The specialty also has some stigma associated with it and I feel that these patients need the help and are not always comfortable in getting it.”

Once she decided to enroll at RUSM, Patel said, the process was quick. “I applied in March, interviewed in April, and started in May.” She enjoyed life on the Dominica campus, she said, “after the initial shock; it was very different from what I was used to. Oddly enough, after the first semester I got so used to it, I ended up loving it.” She served as president of the campus chapter of Physicians for Human Rights for two semesters and was a member of phi delta epsilon, the medical fraternity.

Patel always knew that she would apply for the Canadian Match, and she was able to do all of her core and elective rotations at the Regina General Hospital.

Tags: Alumni , Residency , Canada

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RUSM students David Sommerhalder and his fiancée Ashley Veatch pursue their dream together

March 21, 2014

They both wanted to be doctors, and when a friend at RUSM recommended the institution, they applied and were accepted. Now David Sommerhalder and his fiancée Ashley Veatch have graduated from RUSM and will continue their dream at at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, he in Internal Medicine and she in Family Medicine. 

The couple earned their undergraduate degrees at the University of Texas at Dallas, Sommerhalder with a double major in molecular biology and business administration. He is interested in internal medicine, “because I am a problem solver and I like being able to sit and explain a disease to a patient,” he said.

“Family medicine is my passion,” Veatch said. “I love the diversity of the field and the continuity of patient care. It also allows me to promote patient education and preventive medicine. I have a special love for the geriatric population, as well.”

They felt “lucky to have each other” they said, during their time on the Dominica campus, which they found “great,” “challenging,” and “an adventure.” They were fortunate enough to do all of their clinical rotations together in the New York City area, though, as Veatch put it, “We rotated through all five boroughs.”

“There were frustrating times on the island because it is not the lifestyle we are used to here in the U.S.,” Sommerhalder said. “In retrospect, it has taught us how little we truly need to lead a happy, fulfilling life. It will be a life experience that will help us be better people and better doctors in the future.”

Tags: Alumni , Residency , Louisiana

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Numerous RUSM Alumni Have Earned 2013-14 Chief Resident Positions

March 14, 2014

Each year numerous RUSM alumni are selected as Chief Residents of their residency programs. The following are a selection of 2013-14 Chief Residents in various specialties:

Family Medicine

 

Internal Medicine

 

Pediatrics

 

 

Psychiatry

 

Tags: Alumni , Residency , Illinois , Tennessee , Florida , Michigan , New Jersey , California , New York , Kentucky , Connecticut , North Carolina

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Family Medicine Program at Rush-Copley Medical Center has five RUSM alumni

March 10, 2014

The Rush-Copley Family Medicine Residency Program in Aurora, Illinois now has five medical school graduates from Ross University School of Medicine, including current Chief Resident Dr. Rubi Malczewski.

Tags: Residency , Illinois

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