Ross University Blog

ALUMNI: Sheryl Recinos, MD, Charted a Bold Plan to Pursue Her Dream

March 29, 2017

 

 

Beating the Odds

At just 16, Sheryl Recinos packed her things, left her friends, her family, and the place she called home, and began a cross-country journey that would take her to a new home in southern California. There she would learn to support herself, both financially and emotionally.

“Those were some of the hardest years of my life, but I realize that the struggles that I went through as a teen helped shape me into the person that I am now,” said Sheryl about making the decision to live on her own at such a young age. But the same adversity that made for a trying childhood also taught Sheryl how to thrive amid challenging circumstances.

As an adult, Sheryl translated the grit she developed as an LA county teenager into the traditional measures of success. She made good money working as a biology teacher, married her husband Byron, and even went on to graduate school where she earned her MA in education, all while raising three children.

Not until this point in her life, had Sheryl much exposure to the healthcare industry. No one in her circles were physicians. It wasn’t until Sheryl and her husband started a family that her level of interaction with the American healthcare system increased.

Discovering a New Passion

When her first daughter was born, Sheryl developed a connection with a new resident physician who saw her daughter for wellness screenings. It was during these visits that her fascination with medicine started to grow and she discovered that she wanted to pursue medicine.

Not content to dream about what it might be like to become a doctor, Sheryl took a hands-on approach and started volunteering after work at local hospitals. One program in particular really let her get her hands dirty, participating in clinical work alongside doctors and nurses. She even shadowed residents at the University of Southern California to experience what it would be like to train as a doctor.

Sheryl found herself thinking about the volunteer shifts while she was teaching, looking forward to her next opportunity to return to the hospital. “I knew it’s where I belonged,” she said. She continued to volunteer, but each year as she re-signed her teaching contract, she dreamed of being a doctor. Sheryl had worked hard to get to this point in her career, she was successful and had overcome great adversity, but something was pulling her in a new direction.

A Life-changing Decision

The decision to change careers was not without its pressures. She would be leaving a full-time job that supported her family. She may have to leave the place she had long called home. Making matters worse, “Everyone kept telling me I couldn’t do it,” she said, “but my friends and mentors at the hospital said I could.”

With the approval of her children and husband, Sheryl made the decision to begin applying for medical school. She seemed like the perfect candidate: she was published, the holder of multiple degrees, made good grades, and was beaming with confidence and perseverance having overcome so much personal adversity. So, it came as a shock when U.S. medical schools wouldn’t interview her, citing a below-average GPA during the third year of her undergraduate campaign as the primary reason.

After being shut out by U.S. medical schools, Sheryl learned about Ross and its more rounded approach to admissions.

“Sheryl really impressed me because she went through school while raising her family,” said Lori Muramoto, a Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Ross.

Where other medical schools had focused on Sheryl’s below average year during undergrad, Ross took other factors into consideration, such as Sheryl’s post-graduate work, hospital volunteer experience, studies in biology, published article, and personal character.

“She thought that medicine was not going to happen for her, so she earned a master’s degree and worked as a biology teacher to raise her family, " said Muramoto. "She volunteered through the Clinical Care Extender program and was part of its leadership team. She was never a person that let obstacles stand in her way. Whenever she was faced with a challenge, she figured out a way to make it work.”

Making Her Mark in Southern California

After being accepted at Ross, Sheryl’s transition from teacher to student began. “It was overwhelming at first,” she said. Her husband and two of her kids were still stateside for the first few months and she was adjusting to working, studying, and caring for her oldest daughter in Dominica. But Sheryl’s goal never escaped her: she would return to southern California – the place she became an adult, got married, and had kids – to become a physician and serve the community she describes as “her happy place.”

Since earning her M.D. from Ross, Sheryl has returned to southern California for her a Family Medicine residency at the University of California - Riverside where, just a few months from now, Sheryl will complete her training and begin practicing as a licensed family medicine physician.

As Sheryl closes in on accomplishing her dream, she’s paying it forward by mentoring younger students with similar aspirations. Her advice to them is simple but profound:

  • Never lose sight of your ultimate goal – becoming a doctor.
  • Instead of focusing on maximizing your test scores, get out in the community. Volunteer, meet patients, and understand the role you can play.
  • Time is going to pass regardless, just apply and see if you get in.

Thinking about applying for medical school? Learn more from Ross graduates who started their careers in other industries.
 

 

Tags: California , Family Medicine , Career-Changer

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MATCH: Q&A with Mehran Giblin, MD

March 26, 2017

Dr. Mehran Giblin, 35, graduated with an MD degree from Ross University School of Medicine in November, 2016 and has obtained a residency in Internal Medicine at Legacy Emanuel Hospital and Health Center Program in Portland, Oregon. Find out more about him from the Q&A below:


ROSS: Why did you choose Ross University School of Medicine?

GIBLIN: I was ready to take on an exciting and challenging new career and felt that medicine was the right fit. Having been a few years removed from my undergraduate degree with an average GPA I knew that my entry to Canadian or US schools would be difficult. Despite that I stayed committed to my goal of becoming a doctor and decided to search for alternative paths. While researching programs I remembered that a long-time friend had gone to Ross many years prior and decided to reach out to him to ask questions about his experiences as a student in Dominica, residency life, and how he was planning to start his own medical practice. After a great deal of reflection and discussion with my family, I decided to take the leap and applied to Ross University. That was a little over five years ago now, and I haven’t looked back.


ROSS: Where did you complete your undergraduate studies?

GIBLIN: Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Also completed a graduate degree at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in British Columbia


ROSS:
Where did you grow up?

GIBLIN: Vancouver, Canada


ROSS:
What area of medicine are you most interested in? Why?

GIBLIN: I had a genuine interest in almost every aspect of medicine and it was hard to peg down what I would apply to. But Internal medicine eventually developed into a strong choice for me. I liked it because it was an intellectually stimulating branch of medicine and I was intrigued by the variety of diseases I could manage and treat. It was also highly rewarding to work in hospital teams with attendings, residents, and nurses to coordinate the care of patients.


ROSS:
How would you describe your experiences in Dominica?

GIBLIN: I found Dominica to be a unique and incredible place. Like many new Ross students I didn’t fully know what to expect when our turboprop plane first touched down on the island. I certainly hadn’t spent any time living on a rural Caribbean island before. As challenging as the initial move was, my fellow classmates and I settled in surprisingly quickly. Everything on the island was tailored to help me focus on my work. The distractions of city life were absent, and everybody in the Ross community was friendly and committed to making it a positive experience. On occasion there were also opportunities to experience the day-to-day island life. I especially enjoyed going to the open market early on Saturday mornings for fresh mangoes, papayas, and coconuts.


ROSS:
Were you involved in any student clubs or activities?

GIBLIN: I attended Family Medicine club meetings, went on organized trips to elementary schools with the Pediatrics club, and was a teaching assistant in the anatomy lab. In my spare time I played intramural basketball and volleyball, and tried to go to the gym as often as I could.
 

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Tags: Family Medicine , Canada , Match

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MATCH: Ross Student Earns Residency in Diagnostic Radiology

March 22, 2017

Dan Cohen, MD, (Ross ’16) recalled that most of his time on the Dominica campus during the basic science curriculum of his medical education was spent studying. “I thought the island was a beautiful and perfect place to study my basic sciences. The majority of my time was spent studying in the library and at Jenner Hall,” he said. On campus he also served as the vice president of the Neuroscience society. Now his studiousness has paid off and he has matched at Henry Ford Hospital Detroit Michigan for transitional year, a required preliminary intern year and then he will move on to a residency in diagnostic radiology at the University of Florida  in Gainesville.

Dr. Cohen grew up in Miami, FL and Grand Rapids, MI and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where he learned about Ross through the Premedical Honor Society Alpha Epsilon Delta. He graduated from Ross last November and then, “focused completely on my interviews for the Match,” he said.  While awaiting the results of Match Day he worked at an urgent care and orthopedic clinic.

The area of medicine that Dr. Cohen is most interested in is Interventional Radiology. “It is the perfect combination of medicine and diagnostics,” he said. “I would get the opportunity to read my own diagnostic images and be able to perform minimally invasive endovascular procedures.  I would also get to follow up with my patients in out-patient interventional radiology clinic. This is a very new, innovative and interesting field in medicine.“
 

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Tags: Miami , Michigan , Match

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MATCH: Q&A with Ross Alumna who Earned an Internal Medicine Residency

March 21, 2017

Iman Arafa, 25, graduated with an MD degree from Ross University School of Medicine in November, 2016 and has obtained a residency in Internal Medicine at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Find out more about her from the Q & A below.

ROSS: Why did you choose Ross University School of Medicine?

ARAFA: Ross was always a good choice for me because my cousin was currently attending when I was
looking into it and my sister and I had previously gone to two information seminars, so I was
pretty confident and educated about what I was applying for. I also applied to Ross because
my MCAT scores were not US med school competitive and I knew I'd have better chances
there.


ROSS: Where did you complete your undergraduate studies?


ARAFA: I majored in public health policy at University of California, Irvine


ROSS: Where did you grow up?

ARAFA: I grew up in Los Angeles, California


ROSS: What area of medicine are you most interested in? Why?

ARAFA: I love internal medicine because of the broad range of pathology and patient population that
you get exposed to. I specifically am interested in being a hospitalist because I love working
hands-on in the hospital in acute care settings. It fascinates me how complex the body is and
how it truly does take a lot to make us sick, so it's crucial to understand the reasoning behind
every patient’s illness and presentation.


ROSS: How would you describe your experiences in Dominica?

ARAFA: I had an amazing time while living in Dominica for 16 months. I experienced medical school
with my best friend who also happens to be my older sister. We were roommates again and
were shoulders for each other to laugh and cry on. We also developed so many life-long
friendships on the island and a renewed appreciation for our surroundings. The campus and
its facilities were constantly being renewed and amazing things kept happening for us. Even
though some of the most stressful moments in my life happened on that island, it was always
nice to take a moment and walk a few steps to watch the sun set over the beautiful Atlantic
Ocean.


ROSS: Were you involved in any student clubs or activities?

ARAFA: I was involved in several student clubs on campus including the ER club which offered many
workshops to gain skills and exposure to common procedures that are done in the ER. I was
also an active member of the Ross internal medicine and neuroscience club where I tutored
my peers in neuroanatomy and neuropathophysiology. As an Arab American Muslim, I was also
part of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) where we would fundraise and make trips to
the Carib territory to help diagnose and treat natives who otherwise have no other or very
limited access to healthcare.


ROSS: Where have you done your core and elective rotations?

ARAFA: I did all my core rotations and most of my electives at California Hospital Medical Center In
the heart of downtown Los Angeles. I did two electives at Norwalk and Danbury hospital in
Connecticut.

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Tags: California , Match , Internal Medicine

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MATCH: Soon-to-Be Surgery Resident Says Transfer to Ross was "Best Career Choice"

March 20, 2017

Ross University School of Medicine alumna Eliza Slama, MD, (Ross ’16) has been working as a volunteer since she was a teenager, to help underserved people around the world in numerous capacities. She has participated in mission trips to countries including Peru, India, and the Dominican Republic. Now she has achieved her long-held goal and has obtained a residency in Categorical Surgery at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

“Surgery is my passion, global surgery actually,” she said. “To me, the goal of surgery is to definitively fix the patient, and I like that aspect of it. In addition to this, I appreciate that surgery cannot be done on autopilot; for example, something that may appear like a simple surgery, never is because everyone’s anatomy is so different. Also, I enjoy working in a team setting. I hope to use the experience that I have gained from attending an international medical school, along with the expertise I gain in residency, and the knowledge from my Master’s in Public Health program to help me practice surgery on a global scale in developing countries, or at least improve the surgical conditions internationally.” While waiting to begin her residency Dr. Slama is pursuing an MPH degree with a focus in global health at George Washington University in Washington, DC, which she anticipates being awarded in May.

Dr. Slama considers Florida her home. She moved to the state with her family when she was in high school, and went on to complete her undergraduate studies at Florida State University in Tallahassee, with bachelors’ degrees in both biology and Spanish. Originally she enrolled in another international medical school, she noted, but, “While I was already rotating in the United States with my prior school, I felt that Ross University had a broader clinical network, and decided to transfer to Ross,” she said.” By broad clinical network I mean they have rotation sites at many places across the United States, as well as rotations where there are residency programs, which I found to be a key choice in my transfer, as well as places where international medical graduates were matching for residency. I think transferring to Ross has been the best career choice I have made.”

There are already a number of publications on her CV, of which Dr. Slama is a co-author. She also won an award for a poster she presented at the Ross Leadership Conference in Cancun, Mexico in 2016.
 

 

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Tags: Florida , Match , Surgery

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MATCH: Alum Creates “Saving Lives” App, Matches in Family Medicine

March 17, 2017

Ross University School of Medicine alumnus Michael Nemirovsky, MD, (Ross ’15) from Brooklyn, NY, has pre-matched into an unopposed Family Medicine residency at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, in Utica NY, where he will start his residency on July 1, 2017. Recently, he created the idea and storyboard for a CPR game application which he titled “Saving Lives” and presented it at the 2017 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare Conference Serious Games and Virtual Environments Showcase and Arcade. He received the runner-up award for the best in show for the student category. 

Dr. Nemirovsky, who earned his undergraduate degree from Hunter College in NY, with a major in biochemistry, is currently a Patient Safety Fellow at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, NY, where he also did all of his third year clinical rotations as a student. During his tenure at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Dr. Nemirovsky not only found his desired career path of Family Medicine, he said, but he also discovered a new interest in teaching. In his capacity of being a Patient Safety Fellow, Dr. Nemirovsky worked on building a new simulation lab, and created educational curriculums for various departments in the hospital.

“Going to Ross and working as a Patient Safety Fellow has not only given me a strong foundation in medicine but has also helped me develop a strong work ethic and discover interests such as teaching that I never knew I had,” Dr. Nemirovsky said.
 

Tags: New York , Match

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MATCH: Husband and Wife Couple Earn Psychiatry Residencies at UCLA-Kern

March 17, 2017

Minal Bhatia, MD (Ross ’16) and Angad Kahlon, MD (Ross ’17) both grew up in California’s Central Valley region. Although they lived only about 30 miles apart from each other, they didn’t meet until they were very far from home. They met as students on the Dominica campus of Ross University School of Medicine. She graduated last November, and he was awarded his MD degree in January. They married in December and have now succeeded in the couples’ match to obtain residency placements together in their chosen specialty of psychiatry. They matched at their first choice, UCLA-Kern Psychiatry Residency Program at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, CA.

“I met my husband at the Sikh Student Association club at RUSM at the end of my third semester, the end of his first,” Dr. Bhatia, a native of Fresno, CA related. “We started dating in 2014, during my fourth semester, his second, and throughout the rest of our medical school journey. He is my rock, and we have supported each other through all the ups and downs of medical school.”

Dr. Kahlon grew up in the town of Selma, CA, in the San Joaquin Valley. “Selma is small farming community south of Fresno, CA,” he said.  He went on to complete his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Irvine and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 2011. He then attended the Pre-Professional Health Academic Program (PHAP) at California State University, East Bay to fulfill his medical school entrance requirements. His wife, Dr. Bhatia, graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences with an emphasis on Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior in June 2012. Dr. Bhatia started at RUSM in September 2012.

Among their common interests is the medical field to which they wish to devote their professional careers: psychiatry. “Psychiatry is an aspect of medicine that is always growing,” explained Dr. Bhatia. “Psychiatry has such a stigma attached to what is known as mental illness that so many people shy away from receiving treatment due to shame. I want to help erase that stigma and want people to know that these mental illnesses are as real as congestive heart failure or as a pulmonary embolism.”  

Dr. Kahlon said that, ”The area of medicine I am most interested in is psychiatry. Many times I saw mental health issues not being addressed and a patient’s psychical illness taking a toll as a result. During a psych consult, I was able to build such great relationships with patients and find out so much about them. Moreover, the amount of research and new findings that are coming out of the field are amazing and I want to be a part of this movement. I want to help eliminate the stigma that surrounds mental health issues. I want to educate not only my own patients but also citizens of the community. Awareness is key and I feel it can help alleviate some of the stigma.”

Looking back at their time on the Dominica campus, the couple has many positive things to say. “I absolutely loved my experience in Dominica,” Dr. Bhatia said. “I felt that RUSM provided the perfect study environment with no distractions. I studied in the cubicles in the library every day for my four semesters, and grew to know all the students around me. I felt that everyone at RUSM was a little family, and felt comfort in knowing that everyone was going through the same rigorous curriculum together. I enjoyed my little study breaks to the beach, which were much needed for the hectic medical school curriculum.”

Dr. Kahlon echoed these sentiments. “Overall, my experience was great on the island of Dominica and I wouldn’t replace it for the world. I was able to focus on my studies and had everything I needed available to me. The campus was very advanced and the study lounges were perfect to study long hours. The faculty and staff at RUSM were very helpful and responsive to all students. Certain faculty that I worked with would put in late hours with me before exams and stay as long as I needed. Moreover, I was able to meet some amazing people whom I can call my lifetime friends, most importantly my wife.”
 

Tags: California , Match

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NEWS: Ross Appoints William F. Owen, MD, as Dean and Chancellor

March 16, 2017

William F. Owen, MD

William F. Owen, MD

Ross has appointed William Owen, MD, as dean and chancellor. Dr. Owen replaces retiring dean Joseph A. Flaherty, M.D., who joined Ross six years ago from the University of Illinois College of Medicine where he served as dean.

“We are pleased to bring a leader of Dr. Owen’s caliber to Ross,” said Lisa Wardell, chief executive officer of DeVry Education Group. “I am thrilled to be working with Dr. Owen to build upon Dr. Flaherty's legacy at Ross and to continue to improve our student experience. His dedication to social justice and educational opportunity align well with the Ross mission, and his experience in U.S. academic medicine will be invaluable to the medical school and its students.”

Most recently, Dr. Owen served as dean of medical sciences for American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, a medical school in DeVry Education Group. He was formerly the chancellor and senior vice president of health affairs at the University of Tennessee, where he was responsible for the College of Medicine and its five other health professional colleges. He has also served as president of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, the health education and medical component of Rutgers University, the state’s largest institution of higher education. In this role, Dr. Owen led two allopathic medical schools, an osteopathic medical school, five other health professional schools and several teaching hospitals.

A graduate of Phillips Academy, Brown University and Tufts University (Doctor of Medicine, with honors), Dr. Owen trained in internal medicine and nephrology at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow. He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed articles, chapters and books, and has been awarded more than $10 million in individual research grants.
 

Tags: Dean , News

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MATCH: Ross Graduate Seizes Opportunity with Open Arms

March 15, 2017

Atul Bali, MD (Ross ’16) said that when Ross University School of Medicine offered him a spot he “seized the opportunity with open arms.” Dr. Bali, 25, has now obtained a residency in Internal Medicine. On Friday, March 17 he will learn where he matched. He received 33 offers for interviews, accepted 18 of those offers, and then ultimately ranked 15 programs. He matched at his number one choice, the program at Drexel University/Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia. “It’s a wonderful feeling,” he said.

Why did he choose Ross? He related that, “The program at Ross is one which I was familiar with having known several close family friends that graduated from the school.” As an undergraduate at the University of California, Irvine, he was a collegiate athlete and as a consequence, he said his GPA “was just a tad bit lower than required for acceptance into a US MD program.”

A native of Modesto, in Northern California, Dr. Bali is interested in cardiology, a fellowship of Internal Medicine. “I'm interested in cardiology, with further subspecialty training in interventional cardiology with a specific interest in structural heart disease interventions,” he said. “I find that specialties that are fundamentally rooted in physiology appeal to me greatly,” he said. “Furthermore, cardiac diagnoses can be quickly made from a physical exam which is considered to be a dying art in modern medicine. I really enjoy that cardiology still has strong foundations with the physical exam. Lastly cardiology is the only field where the practitioner admits his or her own patient, interprets the radiology themselves and if need be, the cardiologist can perform minimally invasive yet life-saving procedures. It’s a beautiful union of all aspects of medicine. ”

About his time spent on the Dominica campus Dr. Bali said, “I found it to be a brilliant experience and am planning a trip back soon. It was wonderful. I could not have chosen a more serene and simple location to begin my medical career. There were no distractions and one can completely immerse oneself in studies and the purity of nature.” He noted that, “The Salybia Mission Project was a big part of my experience on island. I have always been one for public service and to be able to give back to the indigenous folk who so graciously accepted us as part of the Dominican community was very fulfilling.”

Tags: California , Match , Internal Medicine

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SCHOLARSHIPS: Student Inspired to Help Children in Underserved Communities

March 10, 2017

Rutuja Bhalerao, Ross student and recipient of the Community Health Leadership Award

Rutuja Bhalerao, Ross student and recipient of the Community Health Leadership Award

At the time, Rutuja Bhalerao didn’t know that the frequent relocations she had throughout her childhood along with her family would lead to the pursuit of a career in medicine. But looking back, it’s made all the difference.

A 2015 graduate of the University of California-Irvine, Rutuja is a recipient of the Community Health Leadership Award, a Ross scholarship that recognizes students who have made significant contributions to their communities through volunteer work or research. Here, Rutuja talks about why she chose Ross, first impressions and her passion for pediatrics.

What inspired you to pursue your MD?

While growing up, I had the opportunity to live in many different places that helped expose me to different cultures, such as India, Philadelphia, Oklahoma, as well as California. Living in some of the rural communities had provided me with an eye-opening experience as to the need for primary healthcare. While gaining exposure to the medical field during my undergraduate career, my interest in pursuing medicine grew, specifically in pediatrics. In addition, I have always wanted to travel and eventually become involved with Doctors Without Borders. Upon graduation, I hope to pursue that dream so that I am able to do my part in helping many of the underserved communities that I have come across while constantly moving.

Any memorable experiences with pediatrics before medical school?

I served as a board member of an organization called Team Kid Power (KiPOW), which provides early nutritional education in low-income area elementary schools, as a preventative measure against childhood obesity. Each week, I’d go into classrooms and give an interactive lesson on healthy eating and living habits, as well as exercise and eat lunch with them, which helped them learn by example.

My work truly came to fruition when the mother of a student, Mia, thanked me for helping her daughter understand the importance of healthy eating. That was when I realized that I really could make a difference in these children’s lifestyles, and those of their families.

Why did you choose Ross?

My brother is a fourth-year Ross student, and I’d also heard from multiple people about how Ross provides an excellent education and prepares you well for the USMLE®. And the beautiful location of Dominica was a plus!

First impressions of Ross?

My experience has been exceptional so far. Both the faculty and students are eager to make sure that you understand the material. Ross provides you resources that you may need to make sure you’re succeeding and that you’re comfortable while you’re here in Dominica. For example, they have a mentorship program where you are paired with a professor to make sure you’re on track. I’ve also been able to explore the island, from visiting the landmarks and beaches to enjoying local food and tea. I’ve truly received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

What makes you proud to be a Ross student?

I’m inspired by the fact that students and faculty take the time to go to local clinics to offer health care and look out for their community. As we’re pursuing medical education abroad, we’re provided with new experiences every day, which allow us to grow, learn and adapt in a community that we now call home.

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Tags: California , Pediatrics , Students , Scholarships

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY: Ross Recognizes Women in Medicine

March 08, 2017

 

 

                
        


              
   


     

             

 

Tags: Women in Medicine

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ALUMNI: No Practice Met All of Her Patients’ Needs—So She Started Her Own

March 06, 2017

Kimberly Jean had a vision.

The 2011 Ross graduate knew so many women whose health concerns didn’t fit neatly into just one box. Low energy, weight gain, painful periods, stress, mood changes—whatever the combination, these all-too-common symptoms were eating into their daily lives.

Yet, primary care visits for these women often yielded little but frustration. Patients struggled to articulate their stories to well-meaning but frazzled physicians, constrained by short appointment lengths. “I knew there were services that women needed but just didn’t have anywhere to go for it,” Dr. Jean said.

The solution? Start a new practice—one that wouldn’t limit women by their symptoms, or by the time it took to understand them.

Committing to Her Patients

ReVitaJuve—a linguistic blend of revitalization and rejuvenation—has been open for just six months in Allentown, Pennsylvania, but Dr. Jean’s practice has already attracted a bevy of patients. With an emphasis on women’s hormone wellness, functional medicine, and mental health, ReVitaJuve is an integrated specialty practice that caters to women with concerns ranging from anxiety to infertility.

Here in her sunny office, Dr. Jean offers her patients customized treatments and recommendations, but not before employing her most important tool—a listening ear. She starts by scheduling about 45-60 minutes for each appointment, a stark contrast to the 7-minute visits from when she worked in a conventional practice setting.

“My patient are my best source to figure out what’s wrong and which direction to go,” explained Dr. Jean. “Not only that—in order for patients to trust me, I need to get to know them. I need them to understand that I’m committed to them, and if I don’t know their story, it won’t go very far.”

By taking the time for a comprehensive patient history, Dr. Jean is able to tap into aspects of her patients’ lives that she wasn’t able to before, from their sleeping habits to their strategies for self-care. She’ll do additional testing as needed, such as hormone or neurotransmitter tests, but said often simple lifestyle changes can represent a big part of her treatment plans. It all depends on the patient’s individual situation.

“Many of my patients are leaders in their fields, whether they’re CEO of a company, or a manager at a business,” Dr. Jean said. “They’re in these high-ranking positions, where they have to take care of other people, whether it’s at work or at home. And they just forget the simple things they need to do for themselves to make sure they’re okay to take care of someone else.”

Designing Her Career

Dr. Jean’s training has prepared her well for such a multifaceted field. While she initially considered OB-GYN residency programs, she chose family medicine so that she could have the flexibility to pursue her many passions, including mental health, women’s health and holistic medicine.

In fact, her residency program at Robert Wood Johnson in Somerset, New Jersey allowed her to do just that. “RWJ offered integrated fellowship tracks within the family medicine curriculum, and I chose the reproductive health track,” said Dr. Jean. “So throughout my three years of training, I had extra clinical experience and exposure to the women’s health field, which was amazing. I was able to treat women throughout their hormonal lifespan—including family planning, hormonal therapies, ultrasounds, and some surgery.”

After residency, Dr. Jean worked for a hospital network in the Lehigh Valley area of eastern Pennsylvania, until she started a family and decided that she wanted to spend more time with her little one. That was when she realized this could be a great opportunity to set her own hours and pursue her passions—by starting her own practice.

Dr. Jean’s journey to business owner didn’t come without its challenges. She did intensive research on all the aspects of running a business, from finding office space to hiring a website designer—while caring for her new baby. All along, though, Dr. Jean had a clear vision. All she needed to do was carry out the steps to enact it into reality.

“It was tough, but I cultivated this practice in my mind,” said Dr. Jean. “The whole process has been such an exponential mental and spiritual self-growth for me.”

The Physician She Envisioned Herself to Be

Dr. Jean is a graduate of Villanova University in Pennsylvania, where she pursued a pre-med track, majoring in biology and minoring in cognitive science and psychology. She got her first introduction to Ross through a family friend who was also a Ross graduate.

“My friend spoke very highly of Ross, saying it was a very challenging program. And after graduating, she earned a great residency. That was my experience as well,” said Dr. Jean. “If you go to Ross, and you’re focused, you’ll become the physician that you envision yourself to be.”

If she had to sum up her journey thus far in one word, it would be rewarding. “What I’ve learned along the way has been priceless,” Dr. Jean said. “I’m so thankful for all the people I’ve met who have mentored me, for all the professors at Ross for teaching me everything I know, for everyone in residency. The gratitude is just immense.”

Looking back, Dr. Jean said she never expected to have opened her own practice just five years after graduation.

“To see your dreams come to fruition, it feels so good,” Dr. Jean said. “It really does.”

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