Ross University Blog

MATCH: RUSM Residency Celebrations Held in Miami, New York and Chicago

March 30, 2015


Dr. Paula Wales (above, from left), RUSM Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs, and students Anil Rathi and Christie Cherion, who both matched for residencies this year.

Celebrations were held in Miami, New York and Chicago on March 21 to applaud the achievements of Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) graduates who matched into residency programs this year. Hosted by the school and attended by Dean and Chancellor Joseph Flaherty, MD, in Miami, and by his Cabinet members, who were dispersed throughout the locations, the events drew throngs of students, graduates, and guests. The festivities in the three cities were linked electronically by video.

“It was truly heartwarming to share in this joyous moment with hundreds of happy graduates, friends, family, and RUSM colleagues,” said Dean Flaherty.

Anil Rathi, who matched in internal medicine (categorical) at New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, said that he was excited to be headed to NY. “RUSM prepared me well,” he added.

Yeissen and Linda Godinez were successful in attaining residencies through the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP) couples’ match, both in internal medicine, he at Kendall Regional and she at Cleveland Clinic Florida. The couple met in Miami before deciding to enroll in RUSM together. Yeissen said they were happy that “we get to stay home” to do their residencies.

Christie Cherian matched in pediatrics at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga.  “I’m super excited,” she said. “All the years of hard work really paid off.” 

Keep checking the RUSM blog for the latest news on Match results, residency locations/specialties, and more! Read more blog entries here. 


Tags: Residency , Florida

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MATCH: Students, Grads All Smiles at RUSM Residency Reception in NY

March 26, 2015

Katie Angelova
Katie Angelova (left), set to graduate from RUSM at the end of March 2015, matched in psychiatry this year at Richmond University Medical Center, New York. She attended a recent Match reception, held by RUSM, with guest and third-year clinical student Nick Suraci (right).

It’s Saturday night on March 21, less than 24 hours after Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) students learned where they matched for residencies across the United States. At the Pier Sixty waterfront banquet hall in New York City, scores of RUSM students are chatting, cheering, hugging.

Some guests hover by real-time video-linked monitors—installed so students could connect with peers and friends in Illinois and Florida at separate Match receptions—waving to friends hundreds of miles away. Others pose for photos, snack on hors d’oeuvres, and swap stories about how they’d reacted to the good news they received on Friday.

Check out our Match Madness photo gallery on Facebook.

At about the 8:15 PM mark, William Lynn Weaver, MD— Interim Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Sciences—steps to the microphone and starts chanting three words: We are Ross. It takes a few seconds, but slowly, guests stop what they’re doing and join in.

The chanting quiets down. “This is the first step,” Dr. Weaver says. “We want you to be extremely successful, and happy, in what you’re doing.”

RUSM Students, Graduates React to Residency Match

Given the mood at Saturday’s event, there was no shortage of happiness that night.

“I was jumping up and down,” said David Maldow of his initial reaction to learning he matched in radiology at University of Rochester Medical Center in New York—his first choice. “RUSM gave me every opportunity to succeed, and I did—and I’m very, very thankful.”

Alisa Coleman had similar words. “I couldn’t be more excited,” says the RUSM student, who is set to graduate in May 2015. “I’m really proud of all of us.” Coleman also received her first choice in residency, a psychiatry spot at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.

Sommerhalder and Veatch, RUSM alumni
Simon Tiu, MD (above, left), landed a preliminary surgery residency at LSU School of Medicine, New Orleans. Dr. Tiu is pictured with William Lynn Weaver (right), MD, FACS, RUSM Interim Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Sciences.

"I Looked at My Phone and Was Speechless"

It was my number one choice was a fairly common refrain that night. Asif Uddin, MD, who graduated RUSM in November 2014, earned his #1 choice for residency at Kansas University Medical Center in psychiatry/internal medicine.

“I was ecstatic,” Dr. Uddin said. “More in shock than anything.”

The same, perhaps, could be said of November 2014 graduate Simon Tiu, MD, when he learned that had landed his first-choice residency in preliminary surgery at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

“I looked at my phone and was speechless,” he said. “I didn’t know what to think. I’m super stoked, and proud to be a RUSM graduate.”

For Katie Angelova, who will graduate from RUSM at the end of March, successfully matching signified the end of one leg of her journey—and she’s excited to begin the next part. Angelova matched in psychiatry at Richmond University Medical Center, NY.

“The first thing that crossed my mind [when I matched] was that I’ll finally see a paycheck for the first time in years,” she laughed. “Then the excitement came.”

“To RUSM, I just want to say thank you,” she added. “They really got us where we needed to be.”

Tags: Residency , New York

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MATCH: RUSM Student Matches Into Her Favorite Residency Program Back Home in Canada

March 23, 2015

RUSM student Meredith Austin-Appleton
Meredith Austin-Appleton (above) recently matched into her favorite pediatrics residency program back home in Canada.

Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) student Meredith Austin-Appleton, slated to graduate toward the end of March 2015, had convinced herself of one thing early on: Though she wanted to return to her home country of Canada for residency training, she’d be perfectly happy matching for residency in the United States.

It had to be pediatrics, though.

“I always knew I was going to work with children. Pediatrics was my first choice—really my only choice—for residency long before I started medical school,” Austin-Appleton says. “But I’d heard how difficult it was to get a spot in a pediatric residency program back in Canada, and I knew there hadn’t been a match there [from RUSM] in pediatrics for years.”

This year, she says, there were only 13 pediatric residency spots—total—in all of Ontario for international medical graduates (IMGs).  

Applying to Residencies in Both the US and Canada

So Austin-Appleton went through the residency application process, scoring interviews in both Canada and the US for various pediatrics programs. “I’d interviewed at some places in the US that I really liked, and would have been happy at—there, I had a clear idea of what my top program was. But in Canada, I had a very tough time making my rank list,” she says. “I loved them all.”

Her favorite, she says, was McMaster University’s pediatrics program.

On March 4th, 2015—Match Day for those seeking Canadian residencies—Austin-Appleton logged onto the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) to see what was in store for her.

“I’m Still Waiting to Wake Up From This Dream”

She’d matched at McMaster. According to McMaster University’s website, only 13 recent med school graduates were invited to the pediatrics program this year, and she was one of them. Only 4 of those spots at McMaster were dedicated to international medical graduates.

“I’m still in disbelief,” she says. “It wasn’t until I matched at McMaster that I realized how much I really wanted to return to train in Ontario. It’s one of those feelings that seems too good to be true—hence my feeling of disbelief! I’m still waiting to wake up from this dream.”

RUSM Gave Her Opportunity

Austin-Appleton credits RUSM both for guiding her through the residency process and for preparing her for success on the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE). In particular, she singles out Tom Harkness and Chuck Furey, RUSM’s Canadian advisors, for their support. “They’ve been amazing through the whole process,” she says. “Since starting down on the island, they’ve guided us through what steps we needed to take to give ourselves the best chance of matching in Canada.”

Her experience with clinical rotations in the US—at Central Michigan University, in Saginaw, Mich.—was “wonderful,” she says. Even better: She was able to pursue elective rotations back home in Canada, at Western University for pediatric genetics and at Dalhousie University for pediatric endocrinology.

As for the future? Austin-Appleton isn’t sure yet. “I’m considering a fellowship in critical care or emergency medicine,” she says. “But at this point, all doors are open.”

Tags: Residency , Canada , Alumni

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MATCH: RUSM Student Lands Her First Choice for Residency

March 20, 2015

Marcella Perez, RUSM student, matched today
Marcella Perez (above), set to graduate in May 2015, matched into the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School's Family Medicine Program.

Marcella Perez, set to graduate in May 2015 from Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), plans to bring 25 family members to the commencement ceremony in Coral Gables, Florida. She was born and raised in New Jersey, and some relatives are coming from there, some from Tampa, and some from as far away as Colombia.

And after Perez's successful Match today—at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School's Family Medicine Program, her first choice—she and her family have even more to celebrate.

She earned her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, with a major in biomedical engineering and it was always her dream to become a physician. While she was always a good student, she said that her MCAT scores were disappointing, even after two attempts. RUSM gave her an opportunity to enroll and she proved that she was, indeed, a good student, achieving a high GPA and doing well on the United States Medical Licensing Examination® Step exams. “When you have a passion for the material you study, you’re able to do well,” she said.

While on the Dominica campus for the Foundations of Medicine portion of her medical education, Marcella explored the various areas of the profession by joining the student clubs devoted to pediatrics, ob-gyn, and surgery. “I had a great time on the island, hiking and exploring. I miss Dominica,” she said. “I got to participate in community clinics and that was really rewarding,” she noted. “It made me feel really good about why I chose to go into medicine.”

But it was not until Marcella did her second clinical rotation that she knew for sure what area she wanted to pursue. ”When I did my family medicine rotation, I fell in love. Being able to see patients of all ages, and being able to manage a wide variety of medical conditions is really special to family medicine,” she said. “I have a lot of different interests, and that’s one of the reasons I chose family medicine. Within the specialty I can strengthen my areas of interest such as women’s health and geriatrics, while still being a primary care physician and providing care in underserved areas.”

Tags: Residency , Alumni , New Jersey

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MATCH: Surgery Residency Brings RUSM Student Closer to Dream Career

March 20, 2015

Sommerhalder and Veatch, RUSM alumni
Jairo Espinosa (above), slated to graduate RUSM in May 2015, just landed a surgery residency at Western Michigan University.

Shortly after attending the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) Match Celebration in New York on March 21, Jairo Espinosa, who is scheduled to graduate in May, plans to do some traveling. Completing his last clinical clerkship had been “very, very surreal,” he said. “It was a crazy feeling.”

After all, he had been working so hard since enrolling in medical school, with barely a break. “I like to plan ahead,” he said, and so he made the arrangements for a month-long trip to Europe and Asia, right after learning where he had matched, and before he was to begin the residency. Jairo landed a surgery residency at Western Michigan University.

“I’m interested in general surgery with a specialization in plastic surgery,” he said. “I appreciate the aspect of being the treatment as a surgeon, of being the last line of defense, and being everything you can be for a patient.” Specializing in plastic surgery is also “a lifestyle choice” for Jairo, who feels that a career in that field would afford him more family time. He said he would like to practice in Florida.

Jairo is nostalgic about his time in Dominica while studying the Foundations of Medicine portion of the curriculum. “It was unique,” he said. “My experience in Dominica is something that I would never want to give up. It truly made me into the person I am today. It was a priceless experience that I feel that I was very blessed to have.” He was active in several student sports groups, playing intramural soccer, football, volleyball and softball.

Born in New Jersey, the 27-year-old spent part of his childhood in Colombia. Relatives from Colombia will be attending his RUSM graduation, together with about 20 other family members. “I’m really thankful to RUSM for the opportunity,” he said. “I was determined to be the best.”

Tags: Residency , New Jersey , Alumni

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MATCH: RUSM Grads Earn Residencies Throughout the United States

March 20, 2015

Congratulations to all of the Ross University School of Medicine graduates who earned residencies through the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP) this year. For most medical school students, Match Week is the culmination not only of a lengthy and competitive application process, but also of the lifelong dream of becoming a physician—a dream all of our graduates share. You earned this.

“I’m of course proud of our graduates, but I’m not surprised by their success,” says Joseph A. Flaherty, MD, Dean and Chancellor of RUSM. “Our students all possess a rare mix of intelligence, ambition, and tenacity—traits that will serve them well as they embark on their careers in medicine.”

Residency, though still considered a training period, marks a medical school graduate’s first real step into the physician workforce. Under supervision from attending physicians, new residents spend most of their time training in their matched teaching hospitals, gaining in-depth, hands-on working knowledge of their chosen medical discipline, whether it’s internal medicine, surgery, or pediatrics.

This year, more residency spots—30,000+—were available through the NRMP than ever before. Half of the added 600 residency spots were in family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics specialties.

The NRMP notified all candidates Monday, 3/16, whether or not they’d actually matched. For those who did, this week has been a waiting game—until today—to find out where, and in which programs. And today, RUSM graduates logged in to the NRMP database to see where they’d matched.

Matched RUSM grads will begin residency training in July 2015. Now, though, it’s a time to celebrate. Tomorrow, Saturday, March 21, newly minted residents from RUSM will join family, friends, and fellow new residents in New York, Chicago, and Miami to come together and reflect on what they’ve accomplished.

Keep checking back in the coming weeks for more information.

Tags: Alumni , Residency

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LOOKING BACK: Numerous RUSM Graduates Earned Chief Resident Spots in 2014-2015

March 16, 2015

As our next group of graduates prepares for the 2015 Match—slated for March 20 this year—please take a few moments to recognize the many RUSM graduates who, last year, earned chief residency spots during their 2014-2015 training. Chief residents, who are generally appointed by the program director of a given residency program, are entrusted with developing clinical rotation schedules, performing administrative duties, and supervising junior residents, among other responsibilities.

Family Medicine Chief Residents

Internal Medicine Chief Residents




Tags: Alumni , Residency

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DEAN'S VIEWPOINT: Public's Growing Anti-Science Attitude Could Have Consequences for Public Health

March 13, 2015

Dean Joseph A. Flaherty, MD
Dean Joseph A. Flaherty, MD

By Joseph A. Flaherty, MD
Dean and Chancellor, Ross University School of Medicine

There is a growing anti-science attitude by the public that could have dire consequences for public health. Some of these issues have captured today’s headlines. For example, the recent measles outbreak was caused by some people’s refusal to vaccinate against the disease, despite irrefutable medical and historical evidence proving their efficacy and safety. (To read about my take on vaccines, check out my recent blog post on the topic.)

The public’s desire to believe in pseudoscience and panaceas can also be seen by the volume in which they rely on dubious dietary supplements that claim to do everything from improving memory to promoting weight loss. This was exposed last month when New York State’s attorney general ordered four major retailers to cease and desist from selling store-brand herbal supplements.

An investigation had found that most of the products did not contain the ingredients listed on the labels, yet did contain other ingredients that weren’t listed, some of which could prove harmful to people with allergies, or when taken in combination with certain medications. Supplements are not regulated as strictly as prescription medications. Whether or not the supplements had the effects they advertised was not even part of the discussion.

Defining the Physician's Role in Educating Patients

What is the physician’s role and responsibility to his or her patient when it comes to these issues? As a doctor, and as the dean and chancellor of a medical school, I feel that there is an urgent need for us to answer these questions. When I was beginning my medical career, hospitals would educate doctors on how to educate their patients. If you were in pediatrics, you had a well-baby clinic once-a-week for a scheduled visit. You asked, how’s the baby doing? You listened to the parents’ concerns and advised them. Gradually, you educated them about things like vaccination.

Over the years, public sentiment has shifted, and the anti-science attitude, dating back centuries (Galileo was condemned by the Catholic Church for daring to suggest the sun may not rotate around the earth but vice versa) has spawned all kinds of “deniers.” There have been AIDS deniers, climate-change deniers, and now we have vaccination deniers. The search for panaceas has been ubiquitous across time and space; we have always had snake-oil salespeople, and gullible men and women who clamor to purchase their potions and pills.

"An Epidemic of Misinformation"

I think that what we’re seeing now is a lag between real patient education and the public’s desire to be partners with their physicians. The information explosion on the Internet seems to be resulting in an epidemic of misinformation. Add to this the American tradition of independence, of feeling that we can do what we want and no one can tell us otherwise, and the result is that people may go online and only read sites that reinforce their own views. They may fall prey to fear-mongering, in the case of vaccines, and magical, wishful thinking in the case of some supplements.

There is a complexity to science that is not only difficult to present but another cause of concern from the public. Forty years ago, doctors told patients a high-fat diet was the cause of the growing incidence of heart disease in the United States. This has been modified so many times with the introduction of terms such as good and bad fatty acids and by identifying carbohydrates as the main factor common to a metabolic syndrome central to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. However to scientists, this evolution is consistent with good hypotheses-testing and theory-building that advances the field. To the lay person wanting concrete answers, it causes lack of confidence in the medical profession.

Doctors have to educate their patients and to routinely inquire about any dietary supplements that they’re taking. In the current climate of anti-science and pseudo-science, we need to raise our voices in educating patients from the perspective of medical science and its ever-changing findings.


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CaRMS: RUSM Grad Earns Residency in Highly Competitive Neurology Program

March 12, 2015

2015 is going to be a pretty exciting year for Candice Todd, MD. Not only did she match into what she describes as a “world-famous” residency program at University of Toronto, but she’s getting married in just a few months.

Candice Todd, RUSM alumna, recently matched in neurology at U of T
Candice Todd (above), a 2014 RUSM graduate, grabbed a neurology residency at University of Toronto through the 2015 CaRMS Match.

The only twist is that this recent Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) graduate has to miss her graduation ceremony this year. “Because it’s the same day as my wedding,” laughs the Guelph native, who wrapped up studies at RUSM in late 2014. Todd matched in neurology at University of Toronto in the first iteration of the 2015 Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS), grabbing one of two spots dedicated to international medical school graduates. She was one of three thousand applicants to vie for the spot, she says.

Go here to see where else our Canadian grads earned residencies through the CaRMS Match.

Heading Right Back Home for Residency

It’s safe to say she’s pleased—and a bit surprised.

“At U of T, they only interview 13 people [for the neurology program],” she says. “You can understand why I’m very, very shocked about being accepted—I applied through CaRMS thinking I wouldn’t even get an interview there, much less be sitting here right now as a PGY-1 neurology resident.”

The idea, she says, was always to stay close to home during residency. “I didn’t know I’d be this close,” she says. “I’d mentally prepared for the US match, but I’m so excited to stay home in Canada.”

Family Ties Brought Her to Medical School

Her uncle, a physician, served as a mentor of sorts, but Todd’s grandfather was what really drove her toward an interest in medicine.

“My grandfather was really ill,” she says. “He’s someone who was close to me, and I wanted to learn more about his illness.” Her grandfather had chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), a condition that she didn’t know much about at the time.

“I ended up really immersing myself in researching medicine to try and figure out what I could have done—had I been a physician—to provide better care for him,” she says.

Ultimately, her grandfather passed away from pneumonia. But Todd's interest in medicine lingered. “It was that interest in the pathogenesis of respiratory illnesses, the interest in why he had to go for lab tests and how they worked—that’s what really pulled me toward the idea of being a doctor,” she says.

"You really focus on your schooling and education, and [Ross] teaches you a real respect for the field. And sometimes, I do miss waking up and wearing shorts every day."

Candice Todd, '14 RUSM graduate, on how how RUSM "immerses" you in the study of medicine

“Ross Will Test Your Resilience”

On attending a Caribbean medical school like RUSM, she says, she gives one piece of advice: "You really have to want it."

"Ross will test your resilience, your love for the field,” she says. “You have to be 100% committed to becoming a physician."

Supported by what she described as “amazing faculty” and a group of medical school peers who all had exactly the same endgame in mind—earning their Doctor of Medicine (MD) degrees—Todd says that RUSM’s campus environment “immerses” you in the study of medicine.

“It’s sort of a bubble,” she says. “You really focus on your schooling and education, and it teaches you a real respect for the field,” she says. “And sometimes, I do miss waking up and wearing shorts every day.”

An “Awesome” Experience During Clinicals

After completing the Foundations of Medicine (basic sciences) curriculum, Todd headed to the United States to start her clinical rotations. She completed her “cores” in Chicago, Ill., at Norwegian American Hospital; elective rotations took place back in her home country of Canada.
Her experience at Norwegian, she says, was a particularly memorable one.

“That was an awesome clerkship year,” she says. “[Norwegian is] a great hospital—there aren’t any residents there, so it’s really almost like you’re a resident,” she says. “And the city [of Chicago] is amazing.”

RUSM alumna Candice Todd and her husband
Dr. Todd (above, right) and her husband-to-be, Rami Aziz (left). Their wedding is set for May 30, 2015—the same day as RUSM's 2015 graduation ceremony..

Thoughts on Future Careers in Medicine

Though she has some time to decide, Todd is already thinking of her next career steps. Ideally, she’d like to come back home to Guelph to practice neurology, possibly while researching cognitive disorders on the side.

“I earned my master’s degree before medical school, so I have a love of academic research,” she says.

But she has time, and a wedding to hold, before any of that happens. And when that wedding happens, RUSM will be represented—even though she won’t be able to make it to graduation.

“I made best friends for life at Ross,” she says. “Some of them are bridesmaids for the wedding.”


Tags: Alumni , Residency , Canada

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RUSM Grad Garrett Whyne, MD, Going Home to Canada for Residency

March 11, 2015

Garrett Whyne, MD
RUSM graduate Garrett Whyne, MD (above), recently matched in family medicine at Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

“It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had,” said Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) graduate Garrett Whyne, MD, about the moment he learned that he had obtained a residency through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) on March 3, 2015. “I’m really excited. I’m going home.” He will begin a residency in family medicine at Northern Ontario School of Medicine in July. “I like family medicine because I like talking to people and getting to the root of their problems,” he explained.

For the past year, Dr. Whyne was a junior faculty member in the Medical Education Readiness Program (MERP), a program with which he became acquainted as a student. He taught biochemistry and anatomy, and more. “I’ve sort of come full circle,” he said. “I got my start at MERP, and then teaching at MERP helped to get me a residency.” Many hospitals look for residents with the ability to teach, he said, and it was a strong asset for him. “I found that I love teaching and I plan to carry it into my residency, by being involved with students.”

"I took [MERP] as an opportunity to show that I have what it takes, and that I can do this ... I learned how to be a good student and graduated with honors."

RUSM graduate Garrett Whyne, MD, on how MERP helped set him up for medical school success.

Dr. Whyne, 27, a graduate of the University of Guelph, Ontario, is the son of a physician and always had an interest in medicine. Although the path to becoming a physician was sometimes a struggle, he was able to maintain a good attitude, “and I was always very mellow about everything,” he said. When he was given conditional admission to RUSM if he completed the MERP program successfully, he was not discouraged. “I took it as an opportunity to show that I have what it takes, and that I can do this. It was probably the best thing for me. I learned how to be a good student and graduated with honors. I also made friends for life.”

On the Dominica campus, Dr. Whyne took advantage of the island’s natural wonders, together with fellow students, by hiking up to Boiling Lake, going fishing, and more. He also played hockey, football and other sports.

When one of Dr. Whyne’s friends from MERP found himself on the same rotations, they became roommates, and shared expenses and experiences throughout much of the clinical segment of their medical education.

Dr. Whyne is looking forward to a career in family medicine, “maybe starting as part of a group practice,” he said.

Tags: Alumni , Residency , Canada , MERP

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RESIDENCIES: RUSM Grad Excited About Her CaRMS Match at University of Toronto

March 09, 2015

RUSM alumna Rachelle Krause
Rachelle Krause (above), a 2014 graduate of RUSM, matched at University of Toronto in internal medicine during the first iteration of the 2015 CaRMS.

Recent Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) graduate Rachelle Krause, MD—a native of Courtice, roughly 40 miles away from Toronto, Canada—remembers the exact moment she decided to become a physician. It was during an exchange program to South Africa years ago, while she was still in high school.

“That was the first time I saw real poverty—people who had nothing,” says Krause, one of 13 RUSM graduates who matched through the Canadian Resident Matching Service’s (CaRMS) first iteration on March 4, 2015. Krause earned a residency in University of Toronto’s internal medicine program, grabbing one of 12 available IMG slots. She was one of hundreds of applicants to the program.

Further down, check out a video Krause made showing her reaction to the residency news.

Choosing a Career That Could Change Lives

That South Africa exchange trip, she notes, was an important event in her life: one that pointed toward a career that could “have the biggest impact on people’s lives directly, and where I’d be on the front lines delivering that care.”

“I think I could have done lots of things with my life—be a researcher, enter the business world—but for me, being a doctor made sense,” she says. “It just fit.”

Internal medicine, she says, was her goal from the very beginning. Krause is “pumped” to start her residency, and even happier that she earned a placement so close to home.

How RUSM Prepared Her for Success

On her medical school experience, she sums it up nicely: RUSM prepares you, but you don’t always know you’re being prepared while you’re being prepared.

"You get pulled out of your comfort zone,” she says. She’s referring to Dominica—home of RUSM’s technologically advanced basic sciences campus, where RUSM students spend the early part of their medical education. “All of the resilience and resolve you gain from your time on the island is empowering. You’re kind of like a fighter when you come out of the program, and that in itself is a huge component to success—that you’re trained to work really hard for what you want.”

“The rigor of the program is just top-notch,” she adds. “You would never get the amount of exposure to so many different medical scenarios and cultures if you were at any other school. You wouldn’t even get that at a Canadian school.”

The student support she received from RUSM advisors in Canada, she says, also made a difference.

“Every single person’s experience [at RUSM] is going to be completely different, and we always had someone to turn to when we had questions or needed help with something,” she says. “[Advisors will] come down to the island, they’ll visit the town you’re doing clinical rotations in—you can text them, message them, or email them, and you’ll always get an answer.”          

Plans for the Future After Residency

Looking forward, Krause is considering exploring fellowships after completing her residency training. Though she’s still mulling exactly which fellowship she’d like to pursue—she has time, after all—she thinks that the University of Toronto could be a great place to start.

“I can see myself working in Toronto, but I can also see myself working for a smaller community,” she says. Teaching is also a possibility—she was a teaching assistant during her time at RUSM.

Her advice to incoming or prospective students? Believe that you can succeed.

“You just need to mentally make a decision—Yes, I want to go back to Canada, or Yes, I want to get a good residency.”

Tags: Alumni , Residency , Canada

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Canadian RUSM Grads Match in a Variety of Programs, Specialties

March 04, 2015

We’re pleased to announce that 13 Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) students earned residency appointments through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) during its first iteration. From the University of Toronto to McMaster University, RUSM grads matched in a variety of disciplines, including neurology, anatomical pathology (laboratory medicine), psychiatry, internal medicine, and pediatrics.

“I'm very proud that our graduates earned residencies in some very competitive programs throughout Canada in the CaRMS match this year,” says Joseph A. Flaherty, MD, RUSM Dean and Chancellor. “Our students are bright, ambitious, and absolutely committed to mastering the study of medicine, and I'm pleased that program directors in Canada took notice.”

Check out the list below to see where our Canadian grads matched.


 Program  specialty
McMaster University
Pediatrics Hamilton
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Family Medicine Northern Ontario
University of British Columbia Psychiatry Vancouver
University of Saskatchewan
Family Medicine North Battleford
University of Saskatchewan Family Medicine North Battleford
University of Saskatchewan
Family Medicine North Battleford
University of Saskatchewan
Family Medicine Regina
University of Toronto Family Medicine Barrie-Newmarket
University of Toronto
Family Medicine Toronto
University of Toronto Internal Medicine Toronto
University of Toronto Laboratory Medicine Toronto
University of Toronto Laboratory Medicine Toronto
University of Toronto Neurology Toronto


Tags: Canada , Residency , Alumni

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DEAN'S CABINET SPOTLIGHT: Revamped Services Reinforce RUSM’s Focus on Students

March 02, 2015

Dr. Paula Wales leads charge in improving the student experience

From spearheading the launch of a new clinical advising model to participating on the team that brought new curriculum options to students, the improved student experience at Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) can be largely attributed to the expertise and passion of Paula Wales, Ed.D, senior associate dean for Student Affairs.  Although Dr. Wales refuses to take sole credit for the latest quality changes and quickly acknowledges the role of faculty and colleagues in enhancing student services, she is arguably the driving force behind the strides made in recent years. 

Choosing RUSM

Dr. Wales joined the university in 2012 with the idealistic goal of making a difference in medical education, and according to her “the best place to do that was at Ross.”

However, Dr. Wales admits her first interest in RUSM was pure curiosity. She wanted to know what it was about the school that attracted one of the leading medical educators in the United States. At the time, Joseph Flaherty, MD, executive dean and chancellor of RUSM, had recently joined RUSM from the University of Illinois College of Medicine where he was dean. But, the more Dr. Wales learned about RUSM, her curiosity turned into fascination.

“I remember thinking, What’s with this school?” said Dr. Wales. “RUSM students enrolled with lower MCAT scores, but their [United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE)] Step 1 results were comparable to my students at Indiana.”

Although, making the decision to join the RUSM community wasn’t an easy one – she was born and raised in Indiana, she loved working at Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM), her child was in middle school and her husband owned a successful law firm – she was already committed to RUSM’s mission and formed a deep respect for the students’ exuberance toward medical education.

Providing Services that Matter

Dr. Wales was confident she could make significant contributions at RUSM by drawing upon her nearly 20 years of experience at IUSM. While at IUSM, Dr. Wales had several roles in both Student Affairs and Academic Affairs which gives her a holistic view of what is needed to have a seamless and productive student experience.

“The combination of my background in curriculum development and student services allows me to make changes that are meaningful – less arduous,” said Dr. Wales. “Let the students focus on medicine, not figuring out what paperwork to fill out.”

Making meaningful changes is exactly what Dr. Wales has done for the past three years. She first set her sights on enhancing the experience for clinical students. Perhaps, one of the most significant initiatives was the launch of the ROSS Model, an acronym for Rely On Student Service. The new clinical advisory model ensures that students who are dispersed throughout the country keep connected to RUSM, stay on track in terms of their clinical timelines, and receive the career and match advising they need to succeed.

Helping Students Become Doctors

“Students want to be doctors. They can only do that if they graduate and Match,” said Dr. Wales speaking about the National Resident Matching Program® where students are matched into residency positions in the United States to obtain additional clinical training. “We are not done with students when they graduate. We want to help them get jobs, we want to help them match.”

Under Dr. Wales leadership, clinical students have more opportunities to get ready for the Match™. For example, the Office of Student and Professional Development (OSPD) conducts mock interviews – via Skype™ or in person at the administrative office in Miramar, FL – to help students prepare for meetings with residency directors.

 “RUSM isn’t afraid to try new strategies,” said Dr. Wales. Some of the new approaches on the horizon include:

  • Increasing academic advising as the Center for Teaching and Learning will be incorporated into the new ROSS Model to provide continuity of academic guidance from the first semester to the end
  • OSPD advisors meeting with every RUSM student to talk about career plans
  • Providing subject examinations for each discipline to help prepare students for the USMLE

Keeping Students the Priority

Recent surveys indicate students are noticing and responding favorably to the changes.  Perhaps, one of the reasons students are responding well is because Dr. Wales has her finger on the pulse of student issues. She engages with students daily, particularly with those who are trying to overcome challenges.

“Half my time is spent directly with students. I speak with them everyday,” said Dr. Wales. “I often advise students who need extra support in addressing their situation. Our students are really smart and capable, sometimes life gets in the way. It’s fulfilling to help them through it.”

According to Dr. Wales, you have to care for medical students if you want to produce caring doctors. “RUSM is not a machine that churns out physicians,” said Dr. Wales. “RUSM works with students to help them throughout their medical education journey.”

Tags: Student Services

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