Ross University Blog

RESIDENCY: Ross Presents 2016 Residency Results and Highlights

September 26, 2016

Hundreds of Ross University School of Medicine graduates attained residencies this year, with the vast majority of them having started their training in July. In total, more than 42,000 medical school graduates registered to apply for residency placements in this year’s National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP) Main Residency Match (The MATCH℠). 

Here are some highlights from the 2016 Ross residency list.

Key Statistics: Ross Residencies by the Numbers

  • 786 Ross graduates attained residencies this year in more than 15 disciplines, including pediatrics, surgery, internal medicine, family medicine, neurology, anesthesiology, radiology, and more. View the full list.
  • 86% of 2015-2016 Ross graduates who applied to residency for the first time in 2016 attained placements.
  • On a related note, 99% of all 2014-2015 Ross graduates who passed their USMLE Step exams on the first attempts attained a residency by April 2016.
  • Ross graduates attained residencies across the United States, placing in 46 US states and territories (this figure includes Washington DC and Puerto Rico). The Association of American Medical Colleges has predicted a nationwide shortage of physicians over the next decade, and we are proud that Ross graduates can potentially make a difference on this issue across such a wide area of the United States.
  • Several Ross graduates from Canada attained residencies through the Canada Resident Matching Service (CaRMS), enabling them to go back to their home country for training.
  • More than two-thirds of Ross graduates who attained residencies in 2016 are in primary care specialties—this includes pediatrics, internal medicine, and family medicine. Ross graduates who complete training in these areas can enter fellowships and subspecialties in areas of their choosing.

Ross Residency Highlights

  • A Ross graduate matched into the neurological surgery program at SUNY Upstate Medical Center. According to the NRMP, only 216 spaces in neurological surgery were available in this year’s MATCH.
  • One of our graduates matched in child neurology at University of Chicago Medical Center.
  • A total of 28 Ross graduates attained diagnostic radiology placements this year.
  • Two Ross graduates attained dermatology residencies. One was at George Washington University in Washington DC, with the other at SUNY Health Sciences Center in Brooklyn, NY.
  • Seven Ross graduates attained residencies in neurology this year, not including the child neurology residency placement listed above.
  • We had a Ross graduate match into the neurology program at the prestigious Duke University Medical Center, ranked the #1 hospital in North Carolina by U.S. News and World Report and nationally ranked in 13 adult specialties (including neurology) and 10 children’s specialties.
  • Two Ross graduates attained placements at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT—one in diagnostic radiology, and the other in internal medicine. According to U.S. News and World Report, Yale-New Haven Hospital is the #1 hospital in Connecticut, and nationally ranked in 11 adult specialties and six children’s specialties.
  • A Ross graduate placed into Stanford as a pathology resident. According to U.S. News and World Report, Stanford University is ranked #2 nationwide for research.
  • Also for pathology, a Ross student attained a residency at Baylor College of Medicine, which is ranked #20 nationwide for research, according to U.S. News and World Report.
  • Two Ross graduates attained residencies at Brown University programs—one in pathology and the other in internal medicine.
  • A Ross graduate attained a general surgery residency at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.
  • Two graduates earned internal medicine residencies at the well-known Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education’s Florida location.
  • Two graduates earned family medicine residencies at Emory University School of Medicine, which is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report in primary care.
  • Three Ross graduates placed at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic’s Florida location in internal medicine.

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Tags: Residency , Match , Canada , New York , Illinois , North Carolina , Connecticut , California , Texas , Florida

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COMMUNITY: Service-Learning Program Helps 'Preserve the Human Part of Medicine'

September 23, 2016

The titular star of TV’s House, MD is a brilliant disease diagnostician—but not a particularly strong people person. That’s probably why Dr. House makes a special guest appearance in the lecture presentation that introduces our Reflective Practice curriculum component—he’s the type of doctor we’re trying not to train at Ross University School of Medicine.

Faculty member Ricardo Hood, MD, one of the program’s coordinators, puts it well: “It’s a person with a disease. Not a disease that happened to have found that person.”

Dr. Hood and fellow faculty Robert Gee, Ed.D. and Nancy Selfridge, MD run the Reflective Practice activity—a mandatory curriculum component that sees Foundations of Medicine students completing a service-learning project in Dominica and journaling their thoughts and emotions. They then submit that journal to a panel of junior faculty members, who select the most impactful for presentation at a special open forum before semester’s end.

The goal? To create physicians who understand that the human side of practicing medicine is just as important as the clinical side.

“It’s an attempt to preserve the human part of medicine as the students develop into physicians,” Dr. Hood said. “We want them to develop into humanistic doctors.”

Treating the Human, Not the Disease

Student projects can be anything from participating in a community health fair to working directly with a patient.

“Projects are centered on the physician-patient relationship and community health,” Dr. Gee said. “One group of students refurbished a playground at an elementary school in the village of Paix Bouche, giving children in the area an opportunity for play and healthy growth.”

The important part, coordinators say, is how the student felt after they completed the project.

An example from Dr. Hood: One student documented her time in a Dominican infirmary. What she did seems simple on its face—she saw a patient there who needed a bath, so she recruited two fellow students and cleaned the patient. It snowballed, and the students bathed other patients in need. Over the course of the project, the student documented everything—how she felt when she arrived at the infirmary, what she was expecting, and what she ultimately did to serve a need.

“For her, the impact was realizing that sometimes, what patients need isn’t necessarily a prescription or a pill,” Dr. Hood said.

These kinds of experiences are ones that the students will take with them, and become more thoughtful, caring doctors.

“This is a very unique opportunity for Ross students, and an incredibly powerful one,” Dr. Gee said.

Reflective learning, Dr. Gee says, allows students to take a step back and expand their worldview. Those who may not have worked with the Dominican community before gain better insight into their lives and the struggles of the patient population. Professionally and emotionally, it helps the students examine their own perspective, recognize their preconceptions, and ultimately create more meaningful connections.

Once the activity has concluded and the focus turns to presentation, a student’s medium for conveying the experience is often as unique as the experience itself.

“Students have submitted everything from PowerPoints to original songs and poems they’ve written,” said Dr. Gee.

Many students put a tremendous amount of effort and thought into the project, Dr. Gee said, which speaks to the impact it’s had on them. And the hope is that the impact will stay with them—that emotional, reflective thought becomes second nature to them as they continue in their medical education and strive to connect with patients of myriad backgrounds and cultures.

“Ultimately, it’s about not just reflection of practice after the fact, but also reflection of practice in the moment,” says Dr. Gee. “The goal is to recognize those moments a little earlier on and make differences in the present to be the best physician you can be.”

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PROFILE: The Patient Experience That Drove This Student to Attend Med School

September 22, 2016

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When Mike Farrell (above) realized that his scope of practice as a chiropractor was limiting how much care he could give to his patients, he took the next step and enrolled in medical school at Ross.

It was the patient Mike Farrell couldn’t help—even though he knew what type of treatment was needed—that ultimately convinced him to enroll in medical school.

Until then, Farrell was loving his career as a chiropractor, complete with his own practice in Amherst, near his hometown of Buffalo, NY. But then, one weekend, he got a phone call from a man whose wife needed immediate care. She had recently undergone surgery on her lumbar spine, Farrell was told, and the plane ride to New York—the couple was going to see their son in a swimming competition—had aggravated her back so badly that she needed to be carried off the plane.

Farrell took the appointment, examined his patient when she arrived, and knew exactly what she needed—some muscle relaxants and injections, plus some medical therapy to calm her down enough to undergo both rehabilitation and some of the chiropractic adjustments he could offer.

But chiropractic’s scope of practice is limited. Farrell couldn’t prescribe those treatments, but a medical doctor could.

“It was a culminating moment,” says Farrell. “I’m looking at her, I know what needs to be done for her, and I don’t have the scope of practice to help her.”

Now a fourth-year student at Ross University School of Medicine, Farrell is well on his way to solving that problem. Via video blogs, Farrell has been chronicling his day-to-day journey through clinical rotations on Ability Science, a website dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of neurological and musculoskeletal health as it relates to quality of life. Check out his vlogs here.

But how'd he end up at Ross?

His Path to Ross

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Farrell and some classmates after participating in the Ross White Coat Ceremony at the beginning of first semester.

At first, Farrell applied at stateside schools, both allopathic and osteopathic, but came up empty—he’d submitted his application a bit late in the enrollment season, and was told to reapply next year. But that wasn’t the answer he wanted, especially because he realized that if he waited for last year, his undergraduate biology and chemistry classes would be outdated and he’d have to retake them. (This is especially notable as at the time, Farrell was teaching anatomy and physiology at the college level.)

Farrell wanted to act now. Luckily, he had another option. A colleague of his pointed him in the direction of a Ross graduate currently practicing as an OB-GYN in Buffalo.

“[The Ross grad] told me her experience was great, she enjoyed the island, she had a good experience finding residency spots, and she thought it would be a great fit for me,” he says.

He called his mentor—a program director at George Washington University’s Spine & Pain Center, where Farrell had completed an externship—and said, “Hey, so I’ve been talking to some people about going to a Caribbean medical school.”

What he heard next shocked him.

“Mike,” his mentor replied, “I went to a Caribbean medical school.”

Thoughts on the Ross Curriculum

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A photo taken during Farrell's first night in Dominica.

After weighing his options, he ultimately chose Ross. After the speedy admissions process, he was on island in mere months after applying. He chose to enter the school’s accelerated curriculum after completing his first semester, meaning he’d finish academic study on the island a full semester early—16 months versus 20. That move isn’t for everyone, he stresses; the school also offers the Ross+ curriculum, which has students completing five on-island semesters as opposed to the four-semester path Farrell took.

“I know some students who did the [Ross+] track and it helped them tremendously,” he says.

On the academic side, Farrell was especially taken by the organ systems-based curriculum taught at Ross—a teaching model more relevant to clinical work that gives you a broad look at how the different systems in the body work together. Farrell actually preferred that method to the traditional curriculum offered at chiropractic school and some medical schools.

“In chiropractic school, you sat in microbiology class,” he explains. “Then you would go to your lecture in biochemistry. Then you would go from bio to neuro, and then from neuro to an adjusting class. Everything was very split up and regimented,” he says. “But it makes more sense that instead of having a lecture that’s just focused on physiology, you have a lecture that looks at the body system, looks at the physiology and chemical processes of that system, and mapped those things out.”

This approach especially helped him when he sat for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE®) Step 1. “I saw the level of integration they want you to have when they’re testing you on these types of things,” he says. “They really want you to be able to synthesize information from the basic sciences all the way up to clinical medicine. I think that’s what Step 1 is really a test of—if you can take those basic sciences facts and apply them to clinical situations, and then use them to care for a real person.”

Close to Home for Clinicals

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Farrell relaxing on a boat during third-semester break.

Now, after less than two years on the island, Farrell’s back in his home state of New York undergoing clinical rotations. He’s already completed all of his core rotations at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center—a feature of the Ross clinical program that he found especially appealing when he applied.

“I had friends who had gone to Caribbean schools who had moved around a lot [during clinicals], and that—and the cost associated with it—wasn’t something I was interested in,” Farrell says.

“But [Ross] explained to me during the interview that they offered track programs, and you can do all of your rotations in one spot.”

Because he was able to do his cores in his home state, Farrell was able to be in his sister’s wedding, serve as the best man in his uncle’s wedding, and meet other family obligations. “The only way I was able to do these things was because of the proximity,” he says.

What’s next? Farrell plans to participate in the 2017 National Resident Matching Program’s Main Residency Match. His goal—perhaps unsurprisingly, given his background—is to match into a physical medicine and rehabilitation residency program.

“With PM&R, it’s not just taking and treating a person’s symptoms,” he says. “It’s looking at those symptoms and exploring how that disease affects a person’s ability to function, how it impacts their life, and how that impact restricts them from doing the things they want to do. That’s what we care about when we talk about health—whether your blood pressure is 130/80 or 135/80 doesn’t really keep me up at night, but what would concern me is if I couldn’t wake up and do all of the things that I wanted to do.”

So at the end of the day, did Farrell make the right call to attend Ross? He thinks so. “My time in the Caribbean—being exposed to island life—has really changed and shaped me as a person, even outside of the actual medical school and the curriculum,” he says. “I have no regrets at all—it was absolutely the right decision.”

Check out Farrell’s vlog on the Ability Science website. You also can follow the website on Twitter or Facebook.

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Ross Presents Success Fulfilling Social Mission at Health Equity Conference

September 19, 2016

Joseph Flaherty, MD<br>
Dean and Chancellor

Joseph Flaherty, MD
Dean and Chancellor

Medical schools with a strong social mission can make significant contributions to addressing the U.S. healthcare system’s most pressing challenges, according to Dr. Joseph A. Flaherty, dean and chancellor of Ross University School of Medicine. Flaherty addressed the 2016 Beyond Flexner Conference on Monday, Sept. 19, in Miami. He said international schools like Ross are helping to increase diversity in the physician workforce and producing large numbers of primary care physicians, many of whom choose to practice in medically underserved areas.

“At Ross, a founding goal was to provide opportunity to nontraditional students. Our student demographics have evolved over the last 35 years to include significant representation by minority students and first-generation immigrants for whom English may not be the first language,” Flaherty said. “Over the last decade the school has added to its original mission a commitment to primary care and an interest in servicing underserved areas. Typically, between 60-75 percent of Ross graduates enter residency in primary care.”

The Beyond Flexner Conference brings together health professionals committed to more equitable healthcare, focusing on social determinants of health, disparity reduction and diversity promotion. Flaherty said that although many medical schools have incorporated social mission, it may be neglected at the expense of clinical care and research activities. However, making socially-engaged outcomes a specific focus of the school may help energize faculty and students and gain support from other stakeholders.

Flaherty said that Ross is fulfilling its mission, citing its contribution to primary care and the demographics of the student body and graduating classes. Non-white students make up more than half of enrollment, and in the five-year period of 2011-2015, 16 percent of graduates reported being a member of an underrepresented minority group. Over the last 10 years, more than 900 Ross graduates who are African-American or Hispanic have entered residency programs across the United States, the majority in primary care.

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ALUMNI: Meet Pathology Resident Marilyn Nedumcheril, MD

September 19, 2016

Ross Alumna Marilyn Nedumcheril, MD, is currently a fourth-year pathology resident at Columbia University Medical Center in New York and will begin a surgical pathology fellowship with the institution in 2017.

Dr. Nedumcheril, a graduate of Temple University, is proud of her choice to pursue medicine. She was once a director at a sleep disorder center where she administered studies, she described it as “just a job.” However now, Dr. Nedumcheril says with confidence that the investments she’s made in time, money, energy and relationships was well worth it. She now has a career and one that she’ll be “happy to be working in for the next 30 years and more.”

Read about Dr. Nedumcheril’s experience below.

Ross: Why did you choose medicine?

Nedumcheril: I'd wanted to become a physician since as early as I can remember. Actually, my first grade teacher wrote in the year book about a student who had longed to be a cardiologist since the first time that she met her. Later, I learned she was talking about me! Though, my interest in medicine has changed since then. I'm not a cardiologist, my specialty is pathology.

I've always looked up to physicians and I've been interested in the human body. That’s why I chose medicine. 

Ross: Is it tough returning to school after having entered the workforce?

Nedumcheril: Going back to school can be very difficult after you've been working for a while. You get used to working. It's nice to have a regular pay check, it's nice to have your life – your routine. Deciding to attend medical school is like putting a pause on your life. Once you start medical school, basically, medicine is the most important thing in your life.

Ross: What would you say to someone who has the passion for medicine, but they're afraid? They fear starting over.

Nedumcheril: For those who are afraid of going into medicine for whatever reasons, I would say, just do it. If that's your passion, pursue it. 

How did you learn about Ross?

Nedumcheril: When I worked at a hospital in Philadelphia, some of the physicians were from Ross. After looking into the school and considering the success of the physicians I knew and that of the other graduates, I thought it would be a good fit for me.

Ross: What was your experience like in Dominica?

Nedumcheril: It was a great experience living in Dominica. The friends that I've made are my friends for life now. The teachers were amazing. The island itself is beautiful. There's so much to do there - when you can find time when you're not studying. The experience was very positive, and I think being able to live in a country like Dominica, you can live anywhere. 

What was clinical training in the United States like after you finished with the basic sciences portion of your medical education in Dominica?

Nedumcheril: The curriculum at Ross actually prepared me for clinical clerkships very well. From my perspective, all of the subjects we learned and the way we were taught is exactly like what’s taught at US medical schools. So, I felt very prepared during my clinical training. And, when I actually went to residency I knew everything I needed to know - I had a good foundation.

Ross: Tell me a bit about your clinical training experience.

Nedumcheril: So, one of the great aspects of Ross is that you get to do the clinical clerkships in different areas, if you prefer to conduct them that way. I chose to spread out my clerkships, just to have more experience at various hospitals and locations. I wanted to see how different hospitals operated. 

How did you come to specialize in pathology?  

Nedumcheril: I had been interested in pathology because my mom's a forensic chemist, and so I'd been exposed to forensic pathology before coming to medical school - the interest was always there. When I was at Ross, the pathology instructors were amazing – they really, really were. They just enhanced my interest in pathology more. Ultimately, I did a clerkship at Saint Agnes Hospital, where I had a very good experience there too. I was very independent. The pathologists really respected my opinions and wanted to know my differentials. All of that led me to focus on pathology. 

Ross: Explain how you prepared for the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP) match process.  

Nedumcheril: The match really was not a problem for me. It was just another application to complete. Ross prepared me for everything I needed to go into the match. I had the clinical clerkships, strong recommendations, and a good idea of what cities I wanted to live in because I had moved around a lot during med school. So, the match process actually wasn't really too bad. I didn't have the same anxiety I think that most people have when they go into the match. 

How many programs did you interview for and did you get your top choice residency?  

Nedumcheril: So for pathology, I interviewed for about 10, and I got my second choice. 

Have you experienced misconceptions about the quality of your education because you’ve trained outside of the United States?

Nedumcheril: Initially, the fact that I’ve received my education abroad is always in the background. So you just have to be better. Eventually, people forget that you're an international medical graduate. They realize you're just as capable, you know the same things, you perform the same way. 

What would you say to someone who's thinking about pursuing a career in medicine?  

Nedumcheril: For people going into medicine or considering it, I think they should definitely look around and try to shadow a physician. They should see what the lifestyle is like, what the job is like. I think you should really look into what schools you want to attend.

Ross: What would you say to someone who is considering Ross?

Nedumcheril: You should go where you think you'll be happy, where your personality fits. Ross worked out well for me because it's a recognized school.

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RECAP: New Students and Special Guests at 2016 White Coat Ceremony

September 16, 2016

Each incoming class at Ross University School of Medicine participates in the traditional White Coat Ceremony, held on the Dominica campus, at which the new medical students are helped by faculty members to don their white coats for the first time.

This semester’s White Coat Ceremony took place on Friday, September 9, 2016 and was attended by several government officials, as well as by the US Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Linda Taglialatela.

Minister of Trade, Energy and Employment and Parliamentary Representative for the Portsmouth Constituency, Ian Douglas, welcomed the new class to Dominica, and to the Portsmouth/Picard area. “Portsmouth is a special place with special magic,” he said. “You have chosen a most excellent place to pursue your medical education.”

Ambassador Taglialatela spoke to the new medical students about public service.  “Take pride in what you do.  Harness what motivates you and make a difference. I serve the public and so will you,” she said.  “I urge you to press ahead. No matter where you serve you will make the world a better place.”

Dean and Chancellor Joseph Flaherty, MD, advised “Stay connected. What’s gotten you here is your individual work. In medicine it’s all team effort that gets you moving forward.” He added, “You’re going to make it. We’re going to make every effort to see that you do.” 

The keynote speaker was alumnus Dr. Hussain Elhalis (RUSM ’10), an ophthalmologist who practices in Ocala, FL. “The journey will not be easy,” he said. “But if you’re up to the challenge, Ross will give you the tools to help you achieve your dreams. Ross provided me with the knowledge to make my own success.”

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RESIDENCY: Alum Earns Radiology Residency by way of Art School in Italy

September 12, 2016

Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

Ross alumnus Rob Forcella, MD, recently began an internal medicine residency at Nassau University Medical Center and is slated to begin his second post graduate year in a radiology residency program at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

Hear from alumni at our New Brunswick Information Seminar on Oct. 27. Read more and sign up here.
However, Forcella’s road to residency was anything but typical. Indeed, his journey started out like most. Forcella was a pre-med student at Farleigh Dickinson University, but that is where the traditional route ended. Forcella went on to art school at the Academy of Applied Art of Naples (L'Accademia Di Belle Arti Di Napoli) in Italy. The beginning of his career includes experience in 3-D animation and the bulk of his professional work was sculpting.

“Medicine, anatomy and human form and function has always been an interest of mine,” said Forcella when asked what prompted him to make the transition from sculpting to medicine. “I don’t see it as an absolute career change. I’ve done anatomy illustration professionally for many years, even throughout art school. So, medicine, anatomy and anatomy physiology was always there.”

Knowing he didn’t take the direct route to medical school and that he would be an “older” candidate (as self-described by Forcella who is in his mid-thirties) at the time of graduation, it made the news of him receiving a residency that much more rewarding.

“Very relieved,” said Forcella when reflecting on the moment he learned about the residency appointments he earned. “It was a sense of relief, a sense of accomplishment.”

Forcella’s advice to students beginning their medical education: Don’t look for instant gratification.

“If instant gratification is what you are looking for, get out now. You’ve chosen a field that requires a lot of work – years. You’re in it for the long haul,” said Forcella. “Know your long-term goals and buckle down, do what has to be done. You will get greater reward from it.”

Meet NJ alumni at our New Brunswick Information Seminar on Oct. 27. Read more and sign up here.

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WATCH: Video from the September 2016 White Coat Ceremony

September 09, 2016

Hussain Elhalis, MD (RUSM ’10), the guest speaker for the September 2016 White Coat Ceremony, is an ophthalmologist practicing cataract, cornea and refractive surgery in Ocala, Florida.

Hussain Elhalis, MD (RUSM ’10), the guest speaker for the September 2016 White Coat Ceremony, is an ophthalmologist practicing cataract, cornea and refractive surgery in Ocala, Florida.

The White Coat Ceremony for Ross University School of Medicine's incoming September 2016 class was held Friday, September 9, 2016 at 2 p.m. ET on the Dominica campus.

The guest speaker, alumnus Dr. Hussain Elhalis (RUSM ’10), is an ophthalmologist practicing cataract, cornea and refractive surgery in Ocala, Florida. He is the co-author of several publications and poster presentations. It is always thrilling and inspirational for the new students to hear from a successful member of our RUSM alumni who, not long ago, was sitting in their seats, and is now a practicing physician. 

Watch the video here.

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STUDENTS: Slam Poet Gets Into the Rhythm of Medical School

September 08, 2016

Daniel Rock, second semester Ross student, with his wife Kate

Daniel Rock, second semester Ross student, with his wife Kate

Meet Daniel Rock, a Ross University School of Medicine student who applied his talent for slam poetry to improve his study skills through the Medical Education Readiness Program (MERP).

Ross: So, poetry and medicine—what’s the connection?
Daniel Rock: During undergrad at Stony Brook University, I used to compete in slam poetry [also known as spoken word or performance poetry]. You have to memorize your poems to perform them, but it’s more than that – we call it knowing something beyond memory. If you’re up there and you’re nervous but you know your poem beyond memory, you’ll still be able to perform and not forget it. So in MERP, I was able to use that skill to help me learn new information—making mnemonics, thinking of a rhyme, tying it to a specific experience. I started learning how to apply that skill in the beginning of MERP, and I’m so much better at it now. I’m able to retain massive amounts of information.

First impression of MERP?
At first it was a little bit of a wakeup call. I went in there with a lot of confidence, and then the first quiz I didn’t do so well. I realized I had to tweak my way of studying. But that’s what MERP is for—it was structured in a way to teach you about yourself and how to study. The professors say this all the time: it’s not just about passing, it’s about learning about yourself and becoming a better student.

What did you learn about yourself?
I realized I was a passive studier. In undergrad I wouldn’t read textbooks, I would just take notes from the lecture and that’s how I got by. I realized I couldn’t do that in MERP because of the degree of information you had to learn.

MERP helped me develop a system that worked for me, using skills I already had. Now I feel so much more prepared than I would’ve been if I had just walked into medical school.

Why did you choose Ross?
I didn’t apply to medical school after undergrad right away because I didn’t have enough clinical experience. So I did graduate research to increase my chances of getting into a stateside school, and I applied about three years after undergrad. It didn’t work out on the first cycle though. So I said, let me give myself another shot. I looked into other options and found out about Ross.

When I got the phone call telling me I’d been accepted to MERP, I was excited because I knew all I needed was a shot. As long as someone was willing to give me a chance, the rest was totally up to me and I knew I could make it happen.

How did you get interested in medicine?
Medicine was something I knew I wanted to do my whole life. I spent three years working in the ER, and 4-5 years in the EMS world. Emergency is what I love to do. I’m a very enthusiastic, dynamic person—I need to be on the run, on the move.

Any advice for other MERP students?
My best friend actually started MERP a few weeks ago. I told her, ‘Give it your all,’ because I can’t tell you how many times I’ll be sitting in class and I’m mentally thanking the professors I have in MERP. Even though it’s a ton of information, I have somewhat of a background because of MERP. I’m able to focus on the things I don’t know and not spend a lot of energy on concepts that I just need to review.

I would also say, ‘Get to know yourself.’ I thought I knew how to study, but MERP showed me that I had so much more potential. I had the passion to become a doctor, but MERP helped me develop the mindset. And I don’t think you can do medicine without both.

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