Ross University Blog

MATCH: Alumni are a Match Made on Campus

April 19, 2017

Medical school is not usually thought of as a romantic place where one is likely to meet his or her match, but that’s exactly what happened to Ross alumni Tracey Dabal, MD, and Blaise Carney, MD. “Blaise and I met briefly during orientation week but we really go to know each other sitting together in lecture,” said Dr. Dabal. They experienced life on campus in Dominica, completed their clinical rotations in the US, and both graduated with MD degrees in November 2016. Now, having succeeded in the Couple’s Match, they will soon start residencies at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, he in psychiatry, and she in internal medicine.

Dr. Dabal did her undergraduate studies at Montclair State University in her home state of NJ, graduating Magna cum Laude with a degree in biochemistry. “While medical school is demanding, Dominica provided beautiful moments of escape in the quiet of sunsets and the balmy salt air,” she said. “I am grateful that I was able to experience the beauty of the Caribbean, not only with Blaise, but surrounded by people who shared my passion.” She also served as president of the Oncology Society on campus and as a member of the Honor Council.

A native of Seattle, Washington, Dr. Carney earned his BA in psychology at the University of Washington in his home city. He did not excel as an undergraduate but he felt that he was academically prepared to do well in medical school. He was right. “I think Ross is a place for second chances,” he said. He explained his deep-seated interest in psychiatry this way: “I think mental health work is community work, which has always been extremely compelling to me. It is my interest in understanding the lives of others that has led me to pursue a career in medicine.” About Dominica he said, “It was awesome. I didn’t need to own a car on the island. I lived walking distance to a farmer’s market, and everything is basically on the beach.” 

Drs. Dabal and Carney met as students, and now, as physicians, they continue together on their professional and personal paths.
 

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Tags: Match , New Jersey , Internal Medicine , Psychiatry

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ADVICE: 10 Tips for Ross Clinical Students

April 16, 2017

Current and future clinical students may want to take heed of the advice below by Vijay Rajput, MD, Ross professor and chair of Medicine and associate dean of Academic and Student Affairs, and fourth-year Ross student Kyle Waisanen.


  1. Create a blueprint. Be proactive and think one step ahead for all clinical clerkship and elective assignments. Seek advice from a clinical advisor; guidance from an Office of Student Professional Development (OSPD) or Internal Medicine Foundation (IMF) clerkship mentor; or direction from a faculty member and have a plan for both your core and elective rotations.
  2. Make a study plan.  Do this at the beginning of each core rotation and be realistic. Develop the habit of studying a minimum of two hours every day during your core rotations. Put this time on your calendar, the same calendar on which you list dates with family and friends. This will help tremendously on your core clerkship subject examination (SCE) and the United States Licensing Medical Exam® (USMLE) Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) exam.
  3. Choose two or three resources from the Ross curriculum. There are many resources out there; online videos, forums, textbooks, review books. Choose only two or three that you feel give you a well-rounded overview of the specialty topics and that you can complete from beginning to end during the rotation. You can find a list of Ross-recommended resources in your IMF training materials to use for reference. Develop your own product, where you transfer notes from the resources   that can be reviewed two times before SCEs and two times prior to USMLE Step 2 CK. This is in addition to the multiple choice questions from the question banks.
  4. Share clinical cases with peers. Learn from your fellow students outside the classroom. Talk about the patient cases you have each encountered.
  5. Learn from your mistakes. Think about what happened when you were studying for USMLE Step 1, what worked for you and what didn’t. Make the necessary adjustments for USMLE Step 2 CK and SCE preparation. Whether you had a hard time completing question banks, used too many resources, or encountered external stressors, learn from these experiences in order to improve your score going forward.
  6. Arrange to take Internal Medicine (IM) and Family Medicine (FM) sub-internships prior to Step 2 CK study breaks. Schedule an internal medicine sub-internship or family medicine sub-internship for the month before you plan on taking your dedicated study break for USMLE Step 2 CK. The timing and content of this rotation can help you to get into the mindset of practicing general medicine which may prove to be beneficial in helping to succeed on USMLE Step 2 CK. More than half of USMLE Step 2CK questions are from IM, FM and EM.
  7. Take Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) seriously. It is not just assessing your communication skills but also your abilities in data gathering and clinical reasoning. Find a study partner, review the First Aid for USMLE Step 2 CS, and put in the work. There is no secret or shortcut you can use to pass this test. Focus on practicing repetition of standardized patient encounters and practice 10-minute note-writing. Use the Becker Mock CS test and/or Ross Mock CS as a screening test. It is a great tool to assess your competencies in communication and clinical reasoning. 
  8. Join a national medical specialty association for the specialty in which you will be applying during match and attend one of their meetings. These medical associations are in place to connect their members and advance their specialty. Most of the associations offer a discounted price for medical students and some, like the ACP offer a free membership. Use this connection to meet other medical students, residents, practicing physicians, and program directors who have similar interests.
  9. Find an interesting topic or case report during your third or fourth years and write an abstract/presentation with residents and/or faculty. Once you have found your special case or topic, reach out to someone whom you can use as a mentor to help with the process of creating an abstract or case report. Ask an attending or resident if he or she thinks it would be a good subject for a case report or research project. When you have a completed project, submit it to different local, regional, and national meetings as a poster or presentation. This is the icing on the cake for students who have done well.
  10. Re-charge your batteries. Schedule time to be with family and friends during your routine study time. You need to have time away from medicine. Staying in contact with the regular world outside of a hospital or clinic will help prevent burn out or emotional exhaustion.  

 

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Tags: Clinical Science

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IN THE NEWS: CNN Highlights Image of Ross Alumna and Female Surgeon Peers

April 12, 2017

Ross alumna Laura Edwards, MD, is completing a general surgery residency at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Edwards, along with female colleagues in the program and their attending, were inspired by the recent New Yorker cover that brings a heightened awareness of female surgeons around the globe. To give homage to the recent illustration, Dr. Edwards and her peers offered their real life rendition to CNN - and it was featured by the network.
 

 
(Dr. Edwards is the second from the left of the gloved surgeon)

Tags: Diversity , Surgery

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MATCH: Q&A with Student Set to Begin an Internal Medicine Residency

April 03, 2017

Ryan Bartscherer celebrates with his wife, Ashley, at a Ross reception at Times Square.

Ryan Bartscherer celebrates with his wife, Ashley, at a Ross reception at Times Square.

Recently, Ross hosted a reception at Times Square in New York to celebrate students who matched into a residency program. During the event, Ross had a chat with Ryan Bartscherer, who is a native of Montville, NJ, to discuss his experiences that led to an Internal Medicine residency at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut
 
 
ROSS:
Considering what you know now, what would you say to your younger self - that person who was just beginning his medical education?
 
BARTSCHERER: I would tell that person (who I was back then) to relax. You are going to make it. I would reassure him that he is putting in the work that is needed. I would encourage him to make sure he takes everything he could with him from the basic sciences program and apply it in clinical practice.
 
ROSS: Did you have many people who questioned why you were going to school in the Caribbean?
 
BARTSCHERER: To be quite honest, I did not have many friends who were going into medicine. I was a pioneer of sorts among my circle of friends. Therefore, not too many people had an opinion either way about whether I pursued my medical degree at a US school or in the Caribbean.
 
I did enough research on my own to feel comfortable with my decision - I looked into match rates and other outcomes that were important coming out of school. I felt confident I was up for the challenge.
 
ROSS: So, if you did not know many people in the field of medicine, what influenced you to become a physician?
 
BARTSCHERER: I was initially in electrical engineering. I found that sitting in a cubicle all day was not really for me - I liked to be around people and interacting with them. Engineering was too impersonal for me.
 
I ended up tearing my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and had a bad recovery and awful experience with physicians. I decided I could do it better. I could be the type of physician who really understands what patients are going through and help them get better - instead of making the experience more miserable.
 
ROSS: Why do you think you were successful in earning a residency position?
 
BARTSCHERER: I really applied myself during the clinical years. I consistently worked hard and put in the work to make sure I got great recommendation letters.
 
Also, having a fair amount of confidence during residency interviews is key. Some I know did not do well because of their lack of interpersonal skills. It had nothing to do with their board scores.
 
ROSS: Where did you conduct your clinical clerkships?
 
BARTSCHERER: My core clerkships were at St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Queens, NY. From there, I ventured out for most of my electives - cardiology at NYU Lutheran Medical Center, electives that were sub-categories of Internal Medicine at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, Michigan. Michigan was beautiful; I had a great time there. The attending physicians were very enthusiastic about teaching. I also conducted electives in Connecticut at Norwalk Hospital and Danbury Hospital.
 
It was fantastic to experience the many places that I would not have normally considered. Conducting my clinical training at various hospital sites gave me the opportunity to engage with different attending physicians, see the varying types of patients and learn in contrasting socio-economic settings.

 

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Tags: Internal Medicine , Match , Connecticut

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