Ross University Blog

White Coats and First Steps: A New Class Begins at RUSM

September 29, 2014

RUSM Dean and Chancellor, Joseph A. Flaherty, MD (back row, third from right), and Dr. Wm. Lynn Weaver, RUSM Senior Associate Dean (back row, third from left), stand with a group of students. New first-semester RUSM students recently took part in the White Coat Ceremony on campus, a rite of passage marking students' entry into the study of medicine.

RUSM Dean and Chancellor, Joseph A. Flaherty, MD (back row, third from right), and Dr. Wm. Lynn Weaver, RUSM Senior Associate Dean (back row, third from left), stand with a group of students. New first-semester RUSM students recently took part in the White Coat Ceremony on campus, a rite of passage marking students' entry into the study of medicine.

On September 12—a Friday—hundreds of newly minted Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) students donned white coats, recited RUSM's Honor Pledge, and said the Morning Prayer of the Physician in unison.  It’s all part of the White Coat Ceremony: a rite of passage that first-semester RUSM students undergo when they arrive at campus, one that signifies their entry into the study of medicine.

Perhaps Dr. Wm. Lynn Weaver, RUSM Senior Associate Dean, said it best. “There are three very special days in a medical student’s life,” he said. “One is when you get that letter of acceptance. And of course there is graduation.

Then there’s White Coat. “That means you’ve started on the road, and you’re no longer students,” he told the crowd of more than 300. “I refer to you as doctors—and I expect you to act professionally and be doctors.”

The keynote address was delivered by 2005 RUSM alumna Dr. Jenny Han,  currently the director at Grady Memorial Outpatient Pulmonary Clinic and an assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine, both in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Han and her husband, Dr. Nazario Villasenor, an anesthesiologist who is also an RUSM graduate, are the parents of triplet toddlers.

“The calling of medicine requires that you invest and become a part of your community,” she told gathered students. “All of you went into medicine to help people. You have to remember to help those around you. It is also important to engage with the Dominican community, to assist with medical clinics on the island and do outreach programs. You will gain so much richness out of life when you invest and serve.”

In attendance at the ceremony were the Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica; the President of Dominica, His Excellency the Hon. Charles Savarin; and other Dominican dignitaries.

RUSM Dean and Chancellor Joseph A. Flaherty, MD, stressed that students can lean on faculty and staff—and each other—for support.

“The faculty and staff members are your friends. This is your new family,” said Dr. Flaherty in his address. “We can help you get through this. Thank you for being here. And welcome.”

…And Then They Were Doctors
In the post above, Dr. Weaver speaks to three special events in a med school student’s life—one of which is graduating. Check out this video on our YouTube channel to watch selected segments of RUSM’s 2014 Graduation Banquet, held for the Class of ’14 at the Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science in Miami, Florida on June 12, 2014.

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In the News: Which RUSM Alum Just Opened Her Own Practice?

September 19, 2014

Another week, another series of news and notes featuring the achievements of Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) alumni. Here’s the latest and greatest from our grads.

Lauren Fletcher Luke, MD, Class of ’09, recently opened her own practice in Louisiana—Women’s Health and Treatment Center of Acadiana, Lafayette. Dr. Luke treats general health and wellness, weight loss, medical-grade aesthetics, and many other conditions. Dr. Luke completed family medicine residency training at University Medical Center, Lafayette, by way of Louisiana State University. She also completed a supplemental one-year internship in pediatrics at University of Buffalo Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, New York, and is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

Joanie Peter, MD, Class of '11, recently joined the medical staff of the Franklin Memorial Hospital Emergency Department, Farmington, Maine. A Durham resident and AAFP member, Dr. Peter completed family medicine residency training, with a selective track in emergency and critical care medicine, at Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC), Lewiston. Dr. Peter earned the Family Medicine Residency Professionalism Award in 2013—an honor granted to CMMC residents who exemplify honesty, altruism, and accountability, among other qualities, during their training.

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Dr. Weaver delivers inspirational talk at American Medical Association Annual Meeting

September 11, 2014

Why Does Medicine Still Inspire? is the title of a talk delivered by Wm. Lynn Weaver, MD, FACS, Ross University School of Medicine’s (RUSM) Senior Associate Dean, Dominica Campus, at the American Medical Association’s Annual Meeting on June 6, 2014, in Chicago.

According to the AMA website, "AMA’s Annual Meeting unites physicians to share their wisdom and insights into what has inspired them throughout their career, impactful moments with patients and their role of physician leadership in furthering health care."

Dr. Weaver related that, "What I want to share with you is not a great success story, not a miracle of modern medicine and technology, and not a miracle of divine intervention. In fact when this story first happened, I felt that I had failed."

To view a video of Dr. Weaver’s presentation, please click here.

Tags: Leadership

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In the News: RUSM Alumni Earn New Positions

September 11, 2014

Recently, some Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) alumni earned jobs at practices in their respective regions—and made it onto the pages of their local newspapers, too. We've culled some of the highlights, which you can read below.

Dr. Jose Murillo (Class of 2010) has joined a new primary care practice recently opened by Baptist Medical Group in Pensacola, Florida. Prior to joining Baptist, Dr. Murillo worked at an urgent care center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He completed his family medicine residency at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Murillo is a Gulf Coast native who is looking forward to returning to the region with his wife and two children to begin serving the Pensacola community.

Dr. Najla Ahmadzia (Class of 2007) has joined the Adventist Health Physicians Network in Hanford, California. Her specialty is internal medicine. She grew up in the Bay Area and completed her undergraduate work at University of California at Santa Cruz. She completed her internship and residency training at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center and practiced at an urgent care center in Bakersfield for two years before coming to Hanford.

Dr. Sean Tubens (Class of 2010) has joined Gifford OB/GYN and Midwifery in Randolph, Vermont. Originally from Baltimore, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Towson University before attending RUSM. He completed his OB/GYN residency at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he was named outstanding resident teacher of the year. Dr. Tubens is a member of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists.

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White Coat speaker Dr. Jenny Han is also the mother of triplet toddlers

September 05, 2014

The White Coat Ceremony for new students at Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) will be held on Friday, September 12, 2014. “This traditional event is always moving and meaningful, as our new medical students don their white coats and become physicians-in-training,” said RUSM’s dean and chancellor, Joseph A. Flaherty, MD.

The guest speaker will be Dr. Jenny Han, a 2005 RUSM graduate who is a pulmonary and critical care specialist who is currently the director at Grady Memorial Outpatient Pulmonary Clinic in Atlanta, GA. She is also an assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Han and her husband, Dr. Nazario Villasenor, an anesthesiologist who is also an RUSM graduate, are the parents of triplet toddlers.

“Like all of RUSM’s more than 11,000 alumni, Dr. Han has an awesome and inspiring story to tell,” Dr. Flaherty said.

Dr. Han, who was born in Philadelphia, began her caregiving career as a substance abuse counselor for teenage girls. She went on to become an EMT and paramedic before finally enrolling in RUSM. She graduated with highest honors and then earned an internal medicine residency placement at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, going on to become chief resident.

During her residency Dr. Han conducted a medical education study for which she received the David C. Leach Award from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in 2010. She completed fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Emory University, where she served as chief fellow and authored two book chapters—one on sepsis that will be published in the new edition of Principles of Critical Care, and one on liver failure for the Textbook of Organ Transplantation, published in 2013. Her main career interests are medical education research and clinical trials in the intensive care unit.

Tags: Campus , Alumni

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