Ross University Blog

An Evening at the Museum for RUSM Graduates

May 31, 2015

On the eve of the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) Commencement Ceremony a festive reception for graduates and guests was held at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Coconut Grove, Florida. The event, held among the exhibits inside the museum, as well as under a big tent outside, was an enjoyable way to celebrate and network with fellow graduates before the big day.
 

Tags: Graduation

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RUSM White Coat Ceremony Turns Medical Students into Physicians-in-Training

May 28, 2015

Sommerhalder and Veatch, RUSM alumni

Students in the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) Class of 2019 took their first steps toward earning their medical degrees when donned their white coats at on May 15 in the ceremonial White Coat Ceremony, a regular rite of passage among many medical school students. And institutional leadership had some inspiring words to get them started.

“You are a superb group,” Dean and Chancellor Joseph Flaherty, MD, told the group. “You’re in a special place, and we know you are going to succeed.”

What’s the White Coat Ceremony and why is it so significant?

“Sixteen years ago, I attended a White Coat Ceremony. I was in the same seat as all of you,” said RUSM alumnus Nikhil K. Bhayani, MD, a 2003 graduate and guest speaker at the ceremony. “As we don these white coats, they symbolize our commitment to the medical profession.” Dr. Bhayani said. “Wear them with pride.”

Born in Roanoke, Virginia, Dr. Bhayani completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, earning a B.S. in biology with a minor in chemistry. After graduating from RUSM, he went on to complete an internal medicine residency at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center (2006) and an infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Illinois, Chicago (2008). He is board certified in internal medicine as well as infectious diseases and serves on key committees at hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Dr. Bhayani serves as chair of the Department of Adult Medicine at Texas Health Resources Arlington Memorial Hospital.

Kyle Zakkar, Student Government Association President, also chimed in: "We are all here to share the same dream—the dream of becoming a great physician."

The ceremony was attended by the Acting Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica Dr. Collin McIntyre, and the President of Dominica His Excellency Mr. Charles Savarin, as well as other government dignitaries.

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Tags: Campus

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Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof to Deliver Commencement Address

May 26, 2015

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Ross University School of Medicine’s (RUSM) 2015 commencement ceremony will feature guest speaker Nicholas Kristof, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist and noted advocate for global human rights and health. The event will take place Saturday, May 30, at 9 a.m. at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Florida.

“At Ross University, we strive to provide a rich learning experience that encourages our graduates to bring a global perspective and appreciation for diversity to their careers in medicine,” said RUSM dean and chancellor Joseph A. Flaherty, M.D. “These men and women leave Ross as citizens of a changing world, prepared to do their part to improve the health and well-being of the communities in which they practice. We are honored to welcome Nicholas Kristof to share this special day with our graduates and their families; his work to expose and address challenges to human rights and social justice around the world is a wonderful example for our graduates looking to make a difference in the lives around them.” 

Kristof, who has worked at The New York Times since 1984, has been recognized internationally for his reporting on issues such as the Darfur conflict, the pro-democracy student movement in China and human trafficking. He has a large following on social media and writes a twice-weekly column focusing on global health, poverty and gender issues in the developing world.

This year, more than 800 RUSM graduates earned residency positions in hospitals across the United States and Canada. Over two-thirds of those new residents will launch careers in pediatrics, internal medicine and family medicine.

Tags: Graduation

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PROFILE: RUSM Graduation Speaker Nicholas Kristof

May 26, 2015

Award-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof—slated to speak at Ross University School of Medicine’s (RUSM) Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 30—has lived on four continents, reported on six, and traveled to more than 150 countries. During his travels, he’s caught malaria, experienced wars, confronted warlords, and survived an African airplane crash. Kristof not only managed to survive and press on, he’s also won two Pulitzers in the process – while advocating human rights and giving a voice to the voiceless.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu dubbed Kristof as “an honorary African” for his reporting on conflicts there, and President Bill Clinton said that “There is no one in journalism, anywhere in the United States at least, who has done anything like the work he has done to figure out how poor people are actually living around the world, and what their potential is.”

After joining The New York Times in 1984, Kristof served as a correspondent in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo. He has covered presidential politics, interviewed everyone from President Obama to Iranian President Ahmadinejad, and was the first blogger on The New York Times website. A documentary about him, Reporter, executive produced by Ben Affleck, aired on HBO, and he has more than 3 million fans combined on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. He has won several awards, including the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Anne Frank Award and the Fred Cuny Award for Prevention of Armed Conflict. He also serves on the board of Harvard University and the Association of American Rhodes Scholars.

Tags: Graduation

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VIEWPOINT: Teaching Medical Students to be Humanistic Physicians

May 18, 2015

This blog entry was written by Vijay Rajput, MD, FACP, SFHM, Professor and Chair of Medicine at Ross University School of Medicine. Dr. Rajput is also the Medical Director for the Office of Student and Professional Development at RUSM.

In medical schools throughout the world, we teach our students so much science, but there are some factors that we may not be teaching very well. The challenge for a doctor is to do more than just apply information from an evidence-based journal. The challenge is to be a humanistic physician who treats a patient not just as a disease, but as a human being. There is a major difference between treating patients and caring for patients.

Let me give you a startling, but true, example. It is the case of a surgery resident on a surgery rotation who changed the dressing on a leg wound without realizing that the patient was already dead.

A patient can tell within 30 seconds whether a physician cares about him or her. This is where the nonverbal communication is paramount. Obviously, you have to look at the person, and then listen carefully. If the resident in the example above had looked at the patient, and not just at the leg, and had asked, “how do you feel?” it would have been clear that he was not responsive, not breathing, not alive.

How Can Physicians Earn Patients' Trust?

The role of the physician in society has changed. There has been an erosion of trust. What will it take to earn the trust of patients again? Can we, in medical education, provide the training in compassionate communication, professionalism, and the art of observation? My way of looking at it is that a person needs some basic substrate of humanism that has been developed while growing up. But just nature is not enough and just nurture is not enough. I believe that we can incorporate into the four years of medical school the development of a humanistic approach in patient care and teaching.

I am a native of India, where I earned my medical degree. When I immigrated to the U.S., I quickly discovered that while my English skills were quite good, there were many idioms, fine nuances of communication and cultural references whose meaning I did not comprehend, and this presented a problem in understanding my patients. The good news is that it compelled me to pay very close attention to my interactions with them and to make sure that we understood each other correctly. I will never forget the encounter with my first patient in the U.S. When he told me he had passed out the night before I was shocked. In India this phrase means that the person has died. Clearly, this patient was alive, so I had to ask more questions to find out what was going on.

Seeing Your Patients as People Is Paramount

Over the years I have learned from my students, residents and mentors, what characteristics are integral to becoming a humanistic physician and teacher: listening and counseling with empathy, being humble but confident, and seeing a patient’s illness in the context of the patient’s life.

In other words, to be a humanistic physician, you have to open your mind and heart to the people around you.

Tags: Leadership

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CAMPUS DEVELOPMENT: RUSM Opens New Student Center

May 18, 2015

RUSM's new Student Center contains a library, student study space, the Center for Teaching and Learning,  space for a campus store, and food facilities, including a large dining area and space for three vendors.

On May 14, Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) welcomed local dignitaries for the official opening of its new Student Center on the Dominica campus. The Hon. Dr. John C. McIntyre, Acting Prime Minister of Dominica, joined RUSM Dean and Chancellor Joseph A. Flaherty to cut through the ceremonial blue ribbon, marking a significant milestone in the campus’s development.

“Today we celebrate the opening of the student center, a marvelous facility of more than 50,000 square- feet, and an investment of $18 million -- an investment that will surely continue to build on the legacy of excellence in medical education at RUSM and sustain the essential qualities of a rigorous academic education and the value of community as a support for a successful total student experience. It is an honor to share in this celebration and achievement,” said RUSM’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Thomas G. Hollinger.

Ribbon cutting for new student center at RUSM
Dr. Thomas G. Hollinger, RUSM Chairman of the Board of Trustees, left, Hon. Dr. John C. McIntyre, Acting Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dean and Chancellor Joseph A. Flaherty, MD, and Interim Campus Dean Dr. Stanley J. White

Designed to provide gathering spaces that promote collaboration among students and faculty, the Student Center is the largest building on campus and is intended to become the hub for the RUSM community as well as a welcoming facility for visitors. It contains the library, student study space, multipurpose rooms, the Center for Teaching and Learning, food facilities, including a large dining area and space for three vendors, space for a campus store and offices for the departments of Student Affairs and Student Services.

Dean Flaherty noted that the planning for the building began four years ago, and that students, faculty and staff had all been engaged in the planning. He also acknowledged that the government of Dominica “has been a stalwart supporter.”

Student Center study space
The new building includes study space for current students (pictured above), plus a library, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and more.

Also present for the historic occasion were His Excellency the President of Dominica Charles Savarin and Interim Campus Dean Dr. Stanley J. White. Many local dignitaries, student representatives, faculty and colleagues also attended, including Dr. Dorian Shillingford, head of the Dominica Medical Board.

In addition, fourth semester student Samar Haroun addressed the group. “I believe this is the beginning of a new and even brighter future,” she said. “This new structure brought together larger, fully-equipped, accessible resources for students.”

Tags: Campus

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ALUMNI NEWS: Ross Grad Named to Editorial Board for Psychiatry Journal

May 15, 2015

RUSM grad Janet Charoensook
RUSM graduate Janet Charoensook, MD, was recently appointed to the editorial board of the American Journal of PsychiatryResidents' Journal.

First-year psychiatry resident Dr. Janet Charoensook of UC Riverside School of Medicine (UCR SOM) has been recently appointed to the editorial board of the American Journal of Psychiatry—Residents' Journal. Dr. Charoensook was one of the first four students to join the UCR SOM Psychiatry Residency Program in 2014.

Her responsibilities as a member of the editorial board include manuscript review and acceptance, peer review, brainstorming ideas, and more. Dr. Charoensook was raised in Los Angeles, Calif. She earned her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) in 2014.

“We are ecstatic that Janet has been named associate editor,” said Gerald A. Maguire, chair of the UCR SOM Psychiatry Residency Program. “It is truly remarkable that a resident in her first year of training has been named to this important academic position. We are very proud of Janet’s appointment and we have no doubt she will serve admirably in this vital capacity.”

Read more alumni news on the RUSM blog.

Tags: Alumni , Residency

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NEW RESOURCE: Introducing the RUSM Guide for Parents!

May 03, 2015

RUSM

Parents of prospective Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) have written in to us, asking if we could create a resource just for them—a place on the web that has everything they need to know about RUSM, all in one place. And we take these requests seriously. After all, we realize that medical school is a major commitment—for many who come to RUSM, pursuing a medical degree is a family affair, with the student drawing inspiration and encouragement from their family back home.

Well, we listened. We’re proud to introduce the RUSM Guide for Parents—a comprehensive set of web pages that take a closer look at our institutional outcomes, campus and culture, mission, and curriculum. This section shines a spotlight on how our medical school works, the quality of education we provide, our US clinical program, and our basic sciences campus in Dominica. Not only that, but we’ll share a few special facts about attending medical school at RUSM that might just surprise you.

Check out the RUSM Guide for Parents here.

 

Tags: Residency , USMLE , Campus , Admissions

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