Ross University Blog

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Student Dedicated to Helping Diabetics in Dominica

August 25, 2016

Third-semester Ross student Michael Munoz is currently the clinic coordinator for the Endocrinology Club on the Dominica campus. In this capacity he has been instrumental in organizing four clinics for local community members this semester, alone, while also participating in two other clinics organized by members of other student clubs.

Michael has also donated a meter and testing supplies to two diabetic patients he met, who were not able to afford them, a 70-year-old man and a three-year-old boy. Additionally, he has taken steps to ensure that these people continue to get the supplies that are so critical to their care. Moreover, Michael gives his time to educate patients and their families, and to provide emotional support and reassurance for managing the disease.

“At all of these clinics I have come to see the difference Ross is making here in Dominica with the local population,” Michael said. “The patients and the students get joy from interacting with each other, because the students are given a chance to apply all of their knowledge, while the patients are glad to receive free treatment, and to get a chance to talk about their concerns and to get answers to questions about their health.”

Michael earned his undergraduate degree with a major in chemistry, at Montclair State University in N.J., where he was born and raised. His goal while studying in Dominica is to help create a “self-sustaining program in which diabetics can have more access to information on a variety of topics,” he said.

Tags: Community Service , New Jersey

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EXPERT: Alum Talks with FOX8-TV about Planning for a Healthy School Year

August 23, 2016

Ross alumnus Joshua Dettinger, MD, is featured on FOX8-TV's "House Call" segment, giving parents advice on how to prepare their children for a healthy school year. View



Tags: North Carolina , Alumni

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RESIDENCY: Alumna Shares the Path She Designed to Obtain Her Preferred Residency

August 19, 2016

For just over a month Fusun Dikengil, MD, has been working as an internal medicine resident at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS).

Dikengil is no stranger to UMMS. During her fourth year of medical school, she completed an elective clinical clerkship in pulmonary medicine at the institution and had an opportunity to work on research in microparticle drug delivery systems. Dikengil’s work was recently published in The Journal of Controlled Release.

Fortunate for Dikengil, she landed her first choice residency, keeping her within the vicinity of where she resides. However, Dikengil obtaining her residency top pick was no happy coincidence. She was very strategic about her clinical training experiences to increase her chances of obtaining her preferred residency appointment.

“It is up to students to make the most of the opportunity,” said Dikengil. “That’s what I really got out of my clinical education experience at Ross. I was able to design the experience I wanted.”

Dikengil did just that, she requested to conduct her core clinical clerkships at Jamaica Medical Center (JMC) in Queens, NY. It was there, in an urban and fast-paced environment, where she gained critical clinical skills in family medicine (6 weeks), obstetrics and gynecology (6 weeks), pediatrics (6 weeks), surgery (8 weeks), psychiatry (6 weeks) and internal medicine (12 weeks).

After completing her primary clinical training at JMC, Dikengil scheduled electives in community and university settings to get as much exposure to varying medical environments as possible.

 “Conducting all my cores at one training site helped me learn about how each and every department within the hospital coordinates and works together” said Dikengil. “By conducting my electives all over the Northeast, I got an even richer experience – with exposure to urban, community and rural medicine.”

Dikengil thinks she is a better physician because of the wide ranging medical settings she has experienced. Now as a resident, she possesses the cultural competency and interpersonal skills to relate to her patients of different backgrounds.

“I remember when I first started my medical education on campus. Ross made a promise that they’ll help me get to where I wanted to be and they actually did,” recalled Dikengil. “I have no regrets. Ross was the best choice I ever made.”

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Tags: Residency , Massachusetts

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RESIDENCY: Alumna Took the Fast Track to Ross and Never Looked Back

August 17, 2016

Kofoworola Ojo, MD, recently began the psychiatry residency program at Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) in Staten Island, as she calls it the “number one” specialty in medicine.

“I remember it felt so awesome to match into a residency program. I started medical school about four years ago and the whole process led to where I am now,” said Ojo when remembering how it felt to receive the news that she received a residency appointment through the National Resident Matching Program®. “I’m really happy that I’m at my number one location, New York, and second choice residency.”

In addition to the skills Ojo has gained through her medical education at Ross, perhaps one of the most significant assets she can offer patients is her global perspective that allows her to identify with people from all walks of life. Ojo’s parents are from Nigeria, she was born in England and for much of Ojo’s childhood she was raised in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Since high school Ojo had her sights set on attending Ross. The local university, Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in Teaneck, NJ, offered a program where students could obtain an undergraduate degree in three years and then begin their medical education at Ross, contingent on meeting admissions requirements. 

Ojo admits she had a bumpy start during her first semester, but quickly comments that the remainder of her tenure at Ross was “smooth”. Her clinical training was in New York at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center – Ojo’s first-choice location. She recalls the grueling schedule, “during my surgery clinical clerkship I was on call 24 hours every three days.”

With a promising future ahead, Ojo is looking beyond her residency at RUMC. She plans to conduct a fellowship in addiction or forensic psychiatry.

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Tags: New Jersey , Alumni

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ALUMNI: Ross Grad Selected as 2016 Fellow for Infectious Diseases Society of America

August 16, 2016

Alumnus Nikhil Bhayani has been named a 2016 Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), a Virginia-based organization of physicians, scientists and other healthcare professionals dedicated to promoting health through excellence in infectious diseases research, education, prevention and patient care.

Fellowship in IDSA honors those who have achieved professional excellence and proved significant service to the profession. Dr. Bhayani’s work in antimicrobial stewardship at various medical institutions in North Texas, his service as medical director of infection prevention at local hospitals in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and various articles he’s published in infectious disease journals led him to earn this recognition.

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 Ross, 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.

Dr. Bhayani, a 2003 Ross University School of Medicine graduate, was the guest speaker at Ross’s May 15 White Coat Ceremony.

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Tags: Alumni , Texas

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CHIEF RESIDENTS: Ross Grads Earn Chief Resident Spots for 2016-2017 Residency Year

August 15, 2016

Hundreds of Ross University School of Medicine graduates started residency training in July 2016. In the meantime, many of our graduates who are already deep in their training have earned the distinction of being named chief residents for the 2016-2017 year. Chief residents are entrusted with developing clinical rotation schedules, performing administrative duties, and supervising junior residents, among other responsibilities.

Wondering if someone you know was appointed chief resident recently? Check out the list below.

Is your name missing from this list? If so, please email and we'll make sure it's addressed as soon as possible.

Diagnostic Radiology

  • Tim Fahey, MD, Ross Class of 2012: University of Illinois College of Medicine, Peoria, Illinois

Emergency Medicine

  • Anna Ciullo, MD, Ross Class of 2014: Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio

Family Medicine

  • Robert Haas, MD, Ross Class of 2014: St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit, MI
  • Paul Hepworth, MD, Ross Class of 2012: University of Nevada School of Medicine, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Sheena Malik, MD, Ross Class of 2014Kaiser Permanente (Fontana Medical Center), Fontana, CA
  • Ashley Slater, MD, Ross Class of 2013: St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit, MI

Internal Medicine

  • JD Gentry, MD, Ross Class of 2013: University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky
  • Natan Kraitman, MD, Ross Class of 2013: University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky
  • Amanda Liggett, MD, Ross Class of 2012: Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA
  • Vijay Paryani, MD, Ross Class of 2012: University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky
  • Jennifer Segar, MD, Ross Class of 2012: Arizona Health Sciences Center (University of Arizona College of Medicine), Tucson, Arizona

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics

  • Brendan Keleher, MD, Ross Class of 2014: Vidant Medical Center/East Carolina University, Greenville, NC


  • Christopher Hauch, MD, Ross Class of 2014: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 


  • Jennifer Kovatch, MD, Ross Class of 2014: University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
  • Kristen Lee, MD, Ross Class of 2013: St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit, MI


  • Carine Nzodom, Ross Class of 2014: Louisiana State University-Our Lady of the Lake, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Mitesh Patel, Ross Class of 2014: University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY


Tags: Chief Resident , Residency

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ALUMNI: How One Grad Is Putting His Medical Skills to Work at Home and Abroad

August 08, 2016

Faiz Hussain, MD, Ross Class of 2002

Faiz Hussain, MD, Ross Class of 2002

Before he even became a doctor, Faiz Hussain, MD, MPH (’02) knew he wanted to help people. “I had been exposed to different relief organizations, and always thought to myself how great it would be to be able to provide medical relief where there is none at all,” he said. “That was actually the driving factor for me to want to pursue medicine—to be able to do exactly what I’ve had the opportunity to do.” 

Indeed, Hussain has traveled the world bringing medical care to underserved communities as well as areas devastated by natural disasters. Since graduating from Ross University School of Medicine, he’s supported relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the South Asian earthquake of 2005, the Haiti earthquake of 2010, the Pakistan floods in 2010, and more. He also led a medical delegation to the Philippines in 2013 in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. At home, he puts his skills to use in the US Department of Veterans Affairs. “Working with these populations, I realize that this is a passion that has come to fruition,” he said. “I am doing exactly what I wanted to do with the skills and knowledge I invested in.”

Below is a sampling of his efforts— what he remembers, what he’s contributed, and what he’s gained.

September 2005: Hurricane Katrina

Shortly after Hussain finished his internal medicine residency at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, America was hit with the worst natural disaster in recent history: Hurricane Katrina. “It was all about timing,” he said. “I had finished a month later than my peers, and the news was ablaze with the impact that Hurricane Katrina had on so many people. So I, like everyone else, was reading up on it and trying to understand the ramifications of this disaster.”

He did some research and contacted the Mississippi medical board. “I basically shared with them the fact that I just completed my residency, I had a break in my schedule before starting work, and I was available if they needed assistance,” he said. “They immediately processed an emergency state medical license to bring me over so I could help.”

He arrived at Biloxi on the gulf to find a shared relief effort bringing goods, water, food, shelter, and medical care to the people there. “I was assigned to take over a makeshift community clinic that had been set up at the Biloxi community center,” Hussain recalled. “I ran that for about two and a half weeks. That was my initial exposure into the medical relief world.”

October 2005: Kashmir Earthquake 

On his way back home from Biloxi, Hussain had a layover in Houston. He looked up at the television monitors, and saw that a massive earthquake had just hit the Kashmir, Pakistan region, leaving the already impoverished area devastated. “A few days later, I was actually contacted by a subsidiary organization of the World Economic Forum. They said they were familiar with my work in Katrina, and they wanted me to lead a medical team they were planning on deploying to Kashmir,” he said. “Within five days of coming home from Katrina, I was off to Kashmir.”

On site, he worked with a team to set up and establish mobile medical clinics in the valleys of Kashmir. “We set up a surgical tent and makeshift operating rooms, a pharmacy and dispensary, and triage and primary care,” he said. This experience expanded on his time in the aftermath of Katrina because, while floods cause undeniable damage, an earthquake causes even more physical trauma and injuries. “We were there for another two and a half weeks,” he recalled, “working sunrise to sunset.”

2012 and 2013: Nairobi, Kenya 

As a clinical preceptor for third and fourth semester RUSM students, Hussain has hosted two international clinical elective trips to Nairobi. “The efforts there were not limited to addressing an immediate medical need,” he said. “The idea was to do that but also to set up long term sustainable care.”

While in Nairobi, Hussain and the students visited several pockets of underserved populations that were deprived of any real access to medical care. With their entire medical clinic in backpacks, the group visited an area, set up clinics for a duration of about two or three days, packed up, and moved on to the next destination. “We had a good 10 to 12 clinical days in which we’d see about 300 to 400 patients per day,” Hussain recalled, adding that Kenya’s tribal society allowed word to spread like wildfire.

“Word got around that we were providing care, and people would come with their families, neighbors, children—we were literally inundated with case volume, but despite the logistical challenges, not one of us ever felt overworked or tired. It was truly a pleasure to be able to serve these people who really need this kind of care.”

On his second trip to the region, word of their efforts had spread to the University of Nairobi Medical School. “They were so impressed with the initiative that they asked if they could partner with us and send some of their clinical students to work with us,” Hussain said. “It was helpful because we had local medical students and residents that had a greater cultural tie to the patients. They were able to serve as translators and got academic credit. What started out as very small efforts had grown, and were recognized by local academia.”

2013: Camden, New Jersey 

Through RUSM’s 2013 season sponsorship of the Camden Riversharks baseball team, Hussain and other alumni had the opportunity to take part in a community health initiative that brought their health and wellness knowledge to the residents of Camden, New Jersey. “This event recognized that the local community didn’t have access to or encouragement to seek out medical care,” Hussain said.

“So we convened at the ballpark, took in a game, and educated the community about several medical issues affecting them including hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, dementia, and more. We discussed the importance of these conditions as well as what people can do to prevent them.”

Today: Long Beach and Los Angeles, California

In Los Angeles, Hussain donates his time to an organization that runs a community health clinic for the residents of Skid Row each year, providing vital signs screenings, ophthalmology clinics, flu shots and other vaccinations, and more. We’ve been doing this every year for the last 10 years,” he said.

Hussain’s day job is just as influential. After working as a medical director for an occupational medicine group, Hussain realized that he wanted to put his skills to work for America’s veterans. His background in occupational medicine made him a perfect fit to forensically evaluate medical disability claims, and shortly after joining the department in 2010, he became clinical director of the Department of Compensation and Pension with the US Department of Veterans Affairs in Long Beach, CA.

“A lot of the veterans I am seeing now have been deployed to southwest Asia and the Gulf countries,” he said. “Since I have both cultural and clinical ties to that region, I am able to bond with them on a different level than someone who hasn’t had that experience. As the veterans describe their experiences in those regions, I know exactly what they’re talking about because I experienced it myself firsthand. And that fosters a greater understanding and sensitivity to their medical needs.”

Tags: Alumni , Community Service

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ALUMNI: How One Recent Grad Benefits from Lessons Learned in a Former Career

August 04, 2016

Ryan Davis, MD, Ross Class of 2014

Ryan Davis, MD, Ross Class of 2014

Like many Ross graduates, Ryan Blaine Davis, MD (’14) took a nontraditional route on his journey to becoming a physician. But unlike many graduates, Davis took a route that included a detour into banking and real estate. Most surprising of all is that, according to Davis, the skills necessary to be a successful banker aren’t much different from the skills he’s utilizing today as an OB-GYN resident at New York’s Rochester General Health System. Here’s his take on what his nontraditional experience taught him about practicing medicine.

On Trust

"In banking and real estate, it’s all about client relationships. In those businesses, you’re not going to be successful if you don’t have a great relationship with each of your clients. They need to trust you, and they need to feel comfortable referring your services to friends and family. In many ways, medicine is no different—it’s all about the relationships you build with your patients and your team. My background in finance, and in working in a management team, has strengthened my practice of medicine because I know how to build those relationships."

On Caring

"The main thing, across both careers, is being genuine and showing that you really care. In finance and real estate, I was looking out for my clients’ greater good. Though that can hurt you in the short term in finance, in the long run, it will help you. But that’s how I grew up—with the notion that you take care of others. This is exemplified in medicine, especially in the high risk patients we see."

On Maturity

"One of the biggest potential challenges to a first-year resident is if they’ve never had to work before, and all of a sudden they’re thrown into this type of work that is over the top in terms of demands and stress and not sleeping. I see a lot of people getting frustrated in residency because they haven’t had the structure of a real work environment, and they’ve never experienced that kind of accountability before. It’s important for people to realize that a nontraditional background is a huge benefit and asset for those getting into medicine. Those who have done other things or been in the workforce before have a huge leg up and, frankly, are looked upon more favorably than others because of the maturity they gained from that experience. If there’s one thing I can say to students who are graduating, it would be to figure out how to be mature before you get into residency; don’t let residency teach you how to be mature."

On Teamwork

"In today’s business world, it’s all about the team environment. And, sure, it’s definitely a buzzword, but the idea is important. Working in management, and having a team of 15 or 20 people report to me, has taught me how to delegate as a physician. What can I hand off to capable hands, and what do I need to take care of myself? Knowing how to answer those questions has helped me be a better team player."

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Tags: Alumni , Residency

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