Ross University Blog

Couple Enrolled into RUSM Engaged, Now Married with MD Degree and Residency

May 27, 2016

Daniel Piotter is a recent RUSM graduate who will begin a Family Medicine residency at Louisiana State
University – Shreveport (LSU Shreveport).
 
"It's a big relief," says Piotter when asked how it felt to have successfully gone through the National Resident Matching Program® to obtain a residency. 
 
"It's a huge, huge relief," chimes in his wife, Tierney, who is also a RUSM graduate starting a pediatric residency at LSU Shreveport on July 1.
 
The Piotters met in a biology class at San Francisco State University while completing their undergraduate degree. They later engaged and then enrolled together at RUSM.
 
Tierney admits there was some initial hesitation about attending a medical school outside of the United States, but her due diligence quickly diminished her concerns.
 
"We definitely did our research before going. We knew we had what it takes to become doctors and believed Ross would give us the tools that would get us to where we are now," said Tierney. "We are happy the way it turned out," said Tierney.
 
"Yes, we are!" interjects Daniel.
 
Eventually, Daniel is looking to complete a fellowship in sports medicine and Tierney looks forward to beginning a career as a general pediatrician.

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Tags: Match , Couples , Louisana

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GRADUATION: RUSM Holds 2016 Commencement Ceremony

May 27, 2016

The Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) 2016 Commencement ceremony held on May 21, in Coral Gables, FL featured keynote speaker Ronan Farrow, a journalist, attorney, human-rights activist and former U.S. government advisor. He talked about what he sees in the world, and how RUSM graduates play a role in making it better. “You are not the typical medical students,” he said. “I hope you keep trailblazing, changing lives and changing the world.”

RUSM’s Dean and Chancellor Joseph Flaherty, MD, addressed the diverse class of graduates, their family members and friends.

“Our newest alumni come from very different cultures, and collectively speak more than 40 languages,” he said. “What they all have in common is that they have what it takes to succeed in medical school, and they are well-prepared to move on to the next step in their journey to becoming a physician. We’re very proud of what RUSM does to address the health care needs of the US.

Dean Flaherty had a few final words of advice for the 2016 graduates:

  1. Stay humble.
  2. Remember that it's about the patients.
  3. Get a life; you're going to need one.

Dr. Melby Philip delivered the new graduate speech. A first-generation Indian-American, she is headed to Mt. Sinai in Chicago to begin her residency. “Congratulations. We did it,” she said to her fellow graduates. “The price we paid over the years has finally paid off. We got to walk across the stage and get that MD.” Dr. Philip gave her colleagues a very good piece of advice. “Remember, a bit of humor and empathy can go a long way,” she said.

During the ceremony Dr. Flaherty was presented with a service award by Steven Riehs, president of RUSM and vice chairman of the board of trustees.

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SCHOLARSHIP: Living Abroad Since Age 15, Aly Klein Finds a Home at RUSM

May 20, 2016

Aly Klein at the RUSM White Coat Ceremony on May 13, 2016.

Aly Klein at the RUSM White Coat Ceremony on May 13, 2016.

“My dad always told me, ‘Don’t be average,’” Aly Klein recalls. “If you’re average—if you do the same things everyone else does and follow the masses—then you won’t go anywhere.”

It’s a message that Klein took to heart.

Born and raised in Brazil, Klein moved to the U.S. to pursue his dream of becoming a physician. Along the way, he became fluent in English, volunteered in emergency rooms and participated in neuroscience research. Now, at 23, Klein is starting at Ross University Medical School (RUSM) with a Community Health Leadership Award scholarship.

There’s a lot of words you could use to describe Aly Klein, but it’s safe to say “average” isn’t one of them.

Committing to Medicine

“I’ve always seen health care as a venue to help your friends, family, community, and get to know people of different cultures,” Klein says.

But his expectation for medical education didn’t match what was available to him in Brazil.

"Ross gave me this opportunity. And like everything else in my life, I'm not wasting any time in going forward with it and achieving my goals."

“In Brazil, students begin their professional programs—including medicine—immediately after high school. I don’t think 17- and 18-year-olds have seen enough of the world yet to be able to make that kind of decision,” Klein said. “You need to be certain that medicine is truly your path, and that you want to dedicate your life to it. That’s why I loved the U.S. model of exploring your skills and interests through a bachelor’s degree before starting medical school.”

At age 15, Klein moved away from his family and friends to spend a year of high school as a foreign exchange student in Texas. His commitment to his educational vision was so strong that he moved back to the U.S. after finishing high school in Brazil, to earn his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas-San Antonio.

While in school, he volunteered at several hospitals in the emergency department—a field he’s gravitated towards ever since he was 14.

A Life-Altering Experience

In July 2007, 14-year-old Klein and his father flew to São Paulo, Brazil, for Klein’s student visa interview to become an exchange student. While waiting to board their flight back home, they heard an explosion from the other side of the airport.

An Airbus A320 had skidded off the runway, crossed the highway and crashed into a nearby office building and gas station. More than 180 people died in what would become the worst air traffic accident in Brazilian history.

In the ensuing chaos, Klein got separated from his father and stood alone, watching the emergency workers arrive at the wreckage. In the midst of a devastating scene, the emergency team was the one source of hope.

“Seeing the emergency crew respond to this horrible accident really opened my eyes to people dedicating their lives to serve those in need,” Klein says. “Their spirit and what they provided—help to people who needed it most—stayed with me.”

“The Best Place for Me”

It was that spirit that kept Klein coming back to the ER—first, as a medical scribe, before being promoted to night shift technician—until just before he left for Dominica.

“It was bittersweet to leave the hospital. I did a little bit of everything, so I got to know a lot of people,” Klein says. “I believe one of the best traits a physician can have is to be a great listener. Not just waiting for someone to finish so you can respond—but really listening.”

In fact, it was through conversations with a colleague at the hospital that Klein learned about RUSM. Having applied to U.S. medical schools without success, Klein was intrigued by the stories from his colleague, an RUSM alum who “had nothing but good things to say about Ross.”

“The more I researched RUSM, the more it seemed like the best place for me,” Klein says. “Diversity has played a huge role in my life—moving to the U.S., meeting new people, experiencing new cultures. RUSM has such a diverse class, and it’s an opportunity for me to take another step in my journey while living abroad again.”

Starting the Next Chapter

From left: Aly Klein, his son Charlie and wife Amber on Dominica.

Now, nearly a month into his time at Dominica, Klein has no regrets. With his wife Amber and three-month-old baby Charlie joining him on the island, he’s got all the support—and motivation—he needs.

“I think of my family at home in Brazil and my family here, and it makes me go that extra mile every day,” said Klein. “Ross gave me this opportunity. And like everything else in my life, I’m not wasting any time in going forward with it and achieving my goals.”

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Tags: Scholarships , Brazil , Texas , Emergency Medicine

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GRADUATION: Ronan Farrow to Give Keynote Speech at RUSM Commencement

May 19, 2016

Journalist, attorney, human-rights activist and former U.S. government advisor Ronan Farrow will serve as 2016 commencement speaker for Ross University School of Medicine's (RUSM) 2016 Graduation Ceremony.

Farrow, the son of actress Mia Farrow, first achieved recognition when he started college at age 11. He went on to graduate from Yale Law School and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He served in the Obama administration as a special advisor for humanitarian and NGO affairs, and later served as special advisor for global youth issues in the U.S. State Department under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Currently an investigative reporter for NBC News, Farrow formerly hosted Ronan Farrow Daily on MSNBC.

RUSM’s commencement will be held on Saturday, May 21, at 9 a.m. EDT at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Florida. 

We'll be livestreaming the graduation ceremony on the day of the event. Access the livestream link here.

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PROFILE: Meet the 46-Year-Old Grad Who Matched in Family Medicine

May 19, 2016

After having careers in the real estate industry and the U.S. Air Force, Joyce Haynes Busch decided it wasn’t too late to pursue her dream of becoming a physician. So that’s exactly what she did. This month, the 46-year-old will graduate from Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), with a residency in family medicine lined up at the University of Arkansas Southwest in Texarkana, AR.

As a widow and single mother, Busch’s journey has by no means been easy. But her commitment to her dream and her children only made her work that much harder.

“I knew I had to finish what I started, completing my Doctor of Medicine degree,” Busch said.

Read her story on BlackDoctor.org.

 

Tags: Match , Residency , Graduates

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WATCH: Video of May 2016 White Coat Ceremony

May 12, 2016

New medical students at Ross University School of Medicine became doctors-in-training at the traditional White Coat Ceremony on May 13, which was streamed live for family and friends.

We recorded the video for you: watch it below.

Tags: Campus , Alumni , White Coat

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Meet White Coat Speaker Dr. Mark Kimpton: RUSM Alum and Faculty Member

May 12, 2016

Dr. Mark Kimpton (RUSM ’94)

Dr. Mark Kimpton (RUSM ’94)

On May 13, 2016, the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) White Coat speaker will be
an alumnus who is now a faculty member. The ceremony for new students will be held on the Dominica campus at 2 p.m. and will be livestreamed on the RUSM website.

Dr. Mark Kimpton graduated from RUSM in 1994. In January of this year he joined the Department of Clinical Medicine as an assistant professor, with a focus on the Enhanced Standardized Patient Program, Small Group Learning-Interview Skills Training, Physical Exam Skills training, and Clinical Simulation training. Dr. Kimpton earned his undergraduate degree at Radford University, Radford VA. He also served in the U.S. ARMY as a combat medical specialist from 1983 to 1989, and was honorably discharged. He is sure to have an inspirational message for the new students, who will be donning their white coats for the first time.

Be sure to tune in to the livestream on May 13 to watch new RUSM students become doctors-in-training and hear Dr. Kimpton's words of encouragement for them. Click here to view the webcast. Please note that the stream will not be available until 1:30 p.m. ET.


 

Tags: White Coat , Faculty , Alumni , Campus

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From Haiti to Minnesota: Alum Set to Begin Surgery Residency at Mayo Clinic

May 11, 2016

“It’s like a boulder came off my back,” said Marc Olivier Duverseau when describing the sense of relief he felt after obtaining a residency position. Duverseau will attend the preliminary surgery program at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Duverseau was born and raised in Haiti and arrived to the United States at age 18 to attend the University of Tampa.

His anxiety about getting into a prominent residency program was in part due to him being an immigrant to the United States. According to Duverseau, a surgery residency is very competitive and he thought being an International Medical Graduate (IMG) would put him further “at odds” of earning a coveted residency position.

There could have been some credence to Duverseau’s concerns. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2015 State Physician Workforce Data Book, Minnesota remains in the bottom half (#33) of the states – at about 16 percent – that have active physicians who are IMGs, in spite of the physician workforce trends that show IMGs playing a critical role in the US Healthcare System.

Duverseau admits that he never gave a second thought to RUSM’s location in the Caribbean. “It didn’t bother me that Ross was in the Caribbean because I knew the second half of the curriculum takes place at US teaching hospitals,” said Duverseau. “Since I grew up on a Caribbean island, moving to another one was easy. When I got there, I adapted in three seconds.”   

Already given thought to what comes next in his career, Duverseau plans to finish a categorical surgery residency and then go on to conduct a fellowship in trauma and critical care. His ultimate dream is to open up the first Intensive Care Unit in Haiti; according to Duverseau, there aren’t any in the country.

Duverseau says this to aspiring physicians considering RUSM: “It doesn’t matter that you will be an IMG. If you have a dream, and if you keep fighting for it, then nothing is going to stop you,” said Duverseau. “One day you’ll match and be the best physician you can possibly be.”

 

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Tags: Alumni , Residency , Minnesota

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Ross University School of Medicine Partners with Monmouth University

May 10, 2016

Lisa Dougherty, national director of admissions at RUSM (left), and Dr. Laura Moriarty, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Monmouth (right), shake hands after signing the articulation agreement.

Lisa Dougherty, national director of admissions at RUSM (left), and Dr. Laura Moriarty, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Monmouth (right), shake hands after signing the articulation agreement.

Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) has entered into an articulation agreement with Monmouth University. Representatives of both institutions gathered on the Monmouth campus in West Long Branch, N.J. to sign the agreement and increase opportunities for qualified students to pursue their dream of becoming a physician.

“I was very impressed by the facilities and the engagement of the faculty at RUSM,” said Dr. Bernadette Dunphy, specialist professor of biology and co-director of the Pre-Professional Health Advisory Committee (PPHAC) at Monmouth. “The education is top-notch, and it gives our students a great opportunity.”

Opportunities for Monmouth Graduates

Under the terms of the articulation agreement, Monmouth graduates interested in applying to medical school will have special opportunities such as:

  • Waived application fee (except where prohibited by law) when applying to RUSM
  • A guaranteed admissions interview with RUSM
  • Priority consideration for scholarships for which they qualify and apply (once an acceptance decision has been made)

In addition, RUSM will hold five open seats in each semester class for eligible applicants from Monmouth until 30 days before the start of the semester.

“Ross University School of Medicine is thrilled to partner with Monmouth University to provide opportunities for aspiring medical students,” said Lisa Dougherty, national director of admissions at RUSM. “At RUSM, we share Monmouth’s core value of ‘Excellence in Teaching and Learning’ and look forward to welcoming students into our learning community.”

“A Great Fit for Our Students”

A group of pre-med advisors hold the pennants of their respective schools during a visit to the RUSM campus. Dr. Bernadette Dunphy is third from the right.

Dr. Dunphy said visiting the campus in Dominica helped her get to know RUSM “beyond the brochure”—a crucial factor when providing guidance for pre-med students. When students are considering going outside the U.S. for medical school, Dr. Dunphy explained, they often don’t have the opportunity to visit, and they want assurance from someone who’s been there.

“After checking out the campus, faculty and housing, it was clear to me that RUSM is a great fit for our students,” she said. “Having this agreement allows us a closer connection with the school and gives our students a personalized experience.”

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RESIDENCY: Why This 2016 Match Loved His Dominica Experience

May 09, 2016

Aniket Sharma, MD (Class of 2015) will begin his internal medicine residency in July 2016.

Aniket Sharma, MD (Class of 2015) will begin his internal medicine residency in July 2016.

Aniket Sharma, MD, a November 2015 graduate, is set to begin his internal medicine residency at the University of Connecticut in July 2016—and he's glad that he chose to attend Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM.).

“RUSM provided me with everything I needed to succeed through medical school and become a physician,” he said.

The 28-year-old was born in India, and moved to Los Angeles with his family at the age of 10. From the time he was in high school, he said, he has known that he wanted to go on to medical school. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Merced.

Why Internal Medicine?

“The area of medicine I am most interested in is internal medicine,” he said, “because it provides me with the ability to treat both acute and chronic illnesses in a variety of clinical settings.  In addition, it also provides residents with a large array of future career possibilities such as entering a fellowship in a subspecialty or working as a hospitalist.

"I am personally interested in entering a fellowship in pulmonary/critical care medicine in the future,” he added.

What Was Dominica Like?

Dr. Sharma enjoyed his time on the Dominica campus, saying, “I loved my experience in Dominica.  The local nationals were always helpful and courteous to the student population.  The island is beautiful; lush rainforests, waterfalls everywhere, the Caribbean right next the campus, and tons of hiking trails around the island.  I personally got scuba-certified while I was on the island.” In addition, he also participated in many student clubs and organizations, including the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), where he was on the governing body, and the Hindu Student Council.

“I am glad that I made the decision that I did,” Dr. Sharma said.

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Tags: Residency , Alumni

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MATCH: Alum Earns Radiology Residency in Spite of “So-called Disability”

May 09, 2016

Johnathon Stephens is returning to his hometown of Peoria, IL to begin his career in radiology.

Although Stephens has found his way back to his native roots, he strategically selected clerkships in different regions to receive his medical training, including sites in Florida, Michigan, and Illinois.

“One of the advantages of Ross is the option to sample medicine at different locations and hospitals around the country,” said Stephens.

Stephens’ strategy appears to have worked as he begins his residency at Saint Francis Medical Center.  He recalls what it was like on the Monday before “Match Day” when medical students throughout the United States were notified whether they matched into a residency through the National Resident Matching Program®.

“It was such a long, arduous road,” said Stephens. “Although that Monday I didn’t know which residency program I had matched into yet, I knew I had a job!”

Stephens advises medical students to “never give up.” It’s a mantra he has applied to his own life.

“For those of us with so-called disabilities, if you persevere long enough, eventually your weakness will become your strength.”

Stephens is hard of hearing and coordinated with RUSM to get the resources he needed to earn his degree, including making arrangements for sign language interpreters from Hands in Motion during his clerkships for clinical training.  

Stephens attributes his success to having a great support system of family and friends.
 

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Tags: Alumni , Residency , Match , Illinois

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Alumna Who Switched from Accounting to Medicine Tells Her Story in Brown Girl Magazine

May 05, 2016

For two years, Anita Mannancheril worked as a public accountant, but she always felt like something was missing—and the missing puzzle piece turned out to be medicine. After realizing she was far more interested in helping a friend work through an illness than she was in accounting, Mannancheril took the plunge and enrolled in Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM).

From the moment she stepped on campus, Mannancheril—a 2012 RUSM grad, now a family medicine physician—knew it was the “perfect” place for her.

Read her story, told from her perspective, in Brown Girl magazine.
 

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How This Canadian Grad’s Clinical Experience Helped Shape Her Residency Choice

May 02, 2016

Stefani Vescio, RUSM Class of 2015

Stefani Vescio, RUSM Class of 2015

When Stefani Vescio originally decided to become a doctor, she had sports medicine in mind. It just seemed to fit: she had played varsity soccer during undergrad at York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto and had “loved” volunteering with a sports medicine physician before starting medical school. After she earned her business degree, she reasoned, perhaps she’d open her own sports medicine practice geared toward female athletes. It was a way of tying her future career to her personal interests.

Given four years to explore different medical disciplines through her training at Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), Vescio’s interests have shifted a bit—expanded, even. She’d still like to work with female athletes, but rotating through her different clinical cores gave her a deeper appreciation for the medical specialty she selected in the end. It was one that opened up more potential opportunities for her future practice.

A New World of Opportunities Within Medicine

That specialty, she says, was family medicine. Vescio, a 2015 RUSM grad currently in pre-residency training (a requirement for international medical school grads), matched into the University of Ottawa’s family medicine program through the first iteration of the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) in March 2016.

Family medicine as a discipline started making sense for her, she says, when she started her RUSM clinical education and began her FM rotation. “I thought family medicine was fascinating,” says Vescio. “It allows for a lot of coordination of care, for building long-term relationships with your patients.”

The breadth of work in family medicine appealed to her, too; she had worked with a family medicine doctor during elective rotations in Toronto, and was able to work with a different type of patient almost every day. It opened her eyes to a world that she hadn’t necessarily considered.

“There’s such a variety of cases,” she says. “On Mondays, we’d be in the hospital during ovarian and breast cancer screening clinics. On Tuesdays, we were in the operating room, assisting a plastic surgeon. And Wednesday through Friday. We were in her office, seeing her regular continuity patients.”

Now, Vescio’s considering a focus on general women’s health as a long-term goal for her future career. She could still treat and care for female athletes, but she could also tackle the preventative side of medicine and focus on treating other medical concerns that females face in general beyond sports.

Opportunity and Support During Clinicals

Vescio singled out her clinical experience during her RUSM education as particularly valuable. She completed her core clinical rotations, plus several electives, at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO) in Pontiac.  

“For me, clerkships were the best,” she says. “I’d rather be learning something while doing it as opposed to learning it from a book.” Plus, she says, some of the residents at SJMO were RUSM graduates, which helped add a degree of familiarity while she was rotating through various core rotations. However, the majority of support during clerkships came from her RUSM peers, who were always willing to provide advice, study tips, and share notes.

“I enjoyed my time at SJMO both because of the students I worked with and because many residents and attendings were invested in teaching," she says. "I felt there was a lot support and opportunity there to learn.”  

Before she started her cores, she took advantage of a unique opportunity at RUSM—a six-week pediatrics rotation in the United Kingdom. Clerkships in the UK are generally more geared toward observation, she says, which made it a “really nice transition into clerkships from basic sciences.” She also had a chance to rotate in Canada—she did three months of electives in her home country, one each at the University of Toronto, the University of Ottawa, and McMaster University. While there, she was in contact with two Canadian RUSM alumni who were able to provide her with useful advice about matching back home.

Vescio also singled out Tom Harkness and Chuck Furey, both part of RUSM’s Canadian admissions team, for helping guide her through the medical school process and being on hand for advice. But if RUSM taught her one thing, she says, it’s that you need to make the best of any opportunity that comes your way, whether it’s a chance to network with a Canadian resident or physician or to see how medicine is practiced in a different country.

“If there’s anything I learned from business school, it’s to network and to make yourself as marketable as possible when looking for that real job,” she says. “And at RUSM—in general—if you’re the kind of person who takes advantage of all opportunities and makes the best of each situation, you can really excel anywhere.”

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Tags: Residency , Canada

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