Ross University Blog

THE CLINICAL YEARS: The Top 7 Skills Clinical Students Need to Succeed

February 04, 2016

Vijay Rajput, MD, professor and chairman of medicineDean and Chancellor Joseph A. Flaherty, MD
In a follow up to a popular blog Dean and Chancellor Joseph A. Flaherty, MD (left) chatted recently with Vijay Rajput, MD (right), Professor and Chairman of Medicine and Medical Director, Office for Student Professional Development, about tips to help students make the most of their medical school experience.

In our recent blog, The Top Seven Survival Skills Medical Students Need to Succeed, we focused on the Foundations of Medicine portion of the program.

But you'll need different strategies for success during the clinical years. So Dean Joseph A. Flaherty, MD, sat down with Vijay Rajput, MD, Chairman of Medicine and Medical Director for the Office for Student and Professional Development, to compile some tips to help you make the most of your clerkships.

Check out the tips below.

FLAHERTY: It’s important in the clinical years to learn to ask for and receive feedback, and accept it without being defensive. Use it and learn from it. It’s a really good trait and it doesn’t come naturally.

RAJPUT: Ask, “How am I doing?” “Are there things I should be doing differently?” Get regular feedback on your performance.

RAJPUT: You must continue to learn from your patients. Read about the diseases you see in your clerkships. Study more about them when you have down time during your calls and in between rounds. Go to your clinical conference, morning reports, and grand rounds.

FLAHERTY: Learn how to handle the fear of failure and how to cope with poor performance. These things will happen throughout your practice of medicine. Some days won’t be so good. You have to convert your thinking from competition to success. Understand that your learning and knowledge is to prepare yourself to become a good doctor, not to be competitive with other students.

RAJPUT: Dress and act professionally. If the pilot on your plane showed up in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, you’d think twice. When you’re a doctor, think of yourself as a pilot. Do you tip the pilot? Do your job well and don’t expect rewards. Medicine is a high-level profession. Always take the high road. Even minor lapses in judgment can be detrimental to your career. Be aware of your image both inside and outside of the work environment.

FLAHERTY: Make the lives of your resident and attending easier. But do it without drawing attention to yourself. Be extra considerate. In clinical clerkships you have to try harder and go the extra mile for the people who are going to evaluate you.

RAJPUT: Make your resident and attending look good. Do more than you have to in order to make the patients feel more comfortable. Open the milk carton for an elderly patient when you are with your patient for clinical care.

RAJPUT: Understand that modern medicine is teamwork. Be a team player. You can’t practice medicine alone. In a clinic or on the floor, meet and greet everyone, and introduce yourself. Allow people to take credit for the work of the team. Use the word “we” rather than “I” when managing a patient with a team of residents and interns.

FLAHERTY: Make your first priority matching into any accredited residency program in the US.

RAJPUT: Have realistic expectations.

FLAHERTY: What counts are your grades and your track record. There are ways of predicting what specialty you can match into based on your USMLE® Step scores, and you have to take those predictions seriously. It’s crucial that you obtain a match on your first attempt. Every year that passes will make it more difficult.

RAJPUT: You should have a parallel plan, whether you’re going for orthopedics or surgery.

FLAHERTY: Some students have a go-for-broke attitude; the only type of doctor they want to be is a neurosurgeon, and if they can’t be that they’d rather be an accountant. We are obligated to encourage students to match into any residency. Apply for OB-GYN and also apply for family medicine, in only those family medicine programs that will train you in OB-GYN. Make sure you match. Period.

To recap, here are the top seven skills medical students need to succeed in the clinical years:

  1. Ask for and receive feedback.
  2. Continue to learn from your patients.
  3. Learn how to handle the fear of failure and how to cope with poor performance.
  4. Dress and act professionally.
  5. Make the lives of your resident and attending easier.
  6. Be a team player.
  7. Make your first priority matching into any accredited residency program in the US.

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Tags: Leadership , Clinical Program

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CLINICALS: Take an Extended Look at Our BQNJ Clinical Track

January 19, 2016

Our clinical sciences curriculum is stronger than ever, in large part because all clinical students complete their clinical rotations in our "tracked" clinical programs. This means that as a Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) clinical student, you'll do all six of your core rotations within the same geographic area—and in some tracks, at the same hospital.

Let's take a closer look at one of our tracks. This one, called the BQNJ track (Brooklyn, Queens, and New Jersey), is on the East Coast and gives RUSM students the opportunity to complete rotations at three major area hospitals in the New York metropolitan area: Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center (Brooklyn, NY), Hoboken University Medical Center (Hoboken, NJ) and St. John's Episcopal Hospital (Far Rockaway, NY).

Detailed Look: Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center

Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center (Brookdale) is one of Brooklyn's largest voluntary nonprofit teaching hospitals and a regional tertiary care center. Brookdale provides general and specialized inpatient care to thousands of people every year. It provides 24-hour emergency services, numerous outpatient programs and long-term specialty care.

RUSM clinical students can complete their internal medicine, surgery, and pediatrics cores at Brookdale.

Brookdale at a Glance

  • One of Brooklyn's largest full-service Emergency Departments (ED)
  • 530-bed not-for-profit teaching hospital
  • Home to a Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory featuring high-tech imaging equipment
  • A regionally recognized Level I Trauma Center
  • A New York State Department of Health-designated Stroke Center
  • Brookdale's Schulman and Scachne Institute for Nursing and Rehabilitation specializes in rehabilitative medicine and long-term specialty care
  • Pediatric department provides a wide range of services for children from birth to adolescence, as well as a pediatric sleep center for children with sleep disorders and comprehensive pediatric oncology and sickle cell disease divisions

Detailed Look: Hoboken University Medical Center

Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC) provides advanced medical technologies in support of its medical staff, nursing team, and other caregivers, to enable quality care to citizens of Hoboken and the surrounding communities.

RUSM clinical students can complete their family medicine cores at HUMC.

HUMC at a Glance

  • A 333-bed hospital with a 34-bay ED
  • Has been awarded the Silver Award from the American Heart and Stroke Association for dedication to improving quality of care for stroke patients
  • Was ranked in the top ten in for care quality among all hospitals in the state of New Jersey with 350 beds or fewer
  • Features a dedicated OB/GYN ED
  • Specialties include inpatient rehabilitation, transitional care, and child/adult behavioral health
  • Includes divisions for women's care, wound care, and numerous surgical subspecialties

Detailed Look: St. John's Episcopal Hospital

St. John's Episcopal Hospital (SJEH) serves the entirety of the Rockaway and Five Towns communities in New York.

RUSM clinical students can complete their OB/GYN and psychiatry cores at SJEH.

SJEH at a Glance

  • SJEH's Department of Psychiatry provides the community with comprehensive psychiatric and mental health care services
  • Psychiatry services include a wide range of inpatient and outpatient programs for short- and long-term needs for all ages
  • Offers two dedicated inpatient units for admitted psychiatric patients, each with a chief psychiatrist, a dedicated psychiatrist, and a staff of nurses, psychologists, and social workers
  • Includes 18 beds for general psych unit, and 25 beds primarily for geriatric patients
  • SJEH's OB/GYN Department provides comprehensive care for women of all ages
  • OB/GYN services includes well-woman visits and screenings, routine and high-risk obstetrics, reproductive endocrinology/infertility services, minimally invasive surgery, and gynecological oncology

Program ACGME Approvals and Notes About Licensure

  • Brookdale is actively involved as a major teaching hospital, sponsoring Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-approved programs in internal medicine, surgery and pediatrics.
  • HUMC is actively involved as a major teaching hospital, sponsoring Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-approved program in family medicine.
  • SJEH is actively involved as a major teaching hospital sponsoring Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-approved programs in psychiatry.
  • All rotations meet the requirements for the California Business and Professional Code for residency training and licensure.
  • SJEH is a participating hospital under the ACGME-approved program in family medicine at South Nassau Communities Hospital. OB/GYN falls under the family medicine umbrella.
  • Texas requires that rotations be completed at a hospital where a residency program is in place for that specialty (either ACGME or AOA). Internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry and family medicine meet this requirement. Ultimately, RUSM graduates can obtain licensure in Texas after completion of an ACGME-approved residency program and obtaining board certification in that specialty.

Tags: Clinical Program , New York , New Jersey

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THE TOP 15 FROM 2015: Some of Our Favorite Stories This Year

December 22, 2015

As 2015 draws to a close, we're looking back at some of our most interesting and exciting stories. From clinical updates to student and graduate success stories, help us say goodbye to 2015 with some of our favorite posts from this year!

MATCH: 800+ RUSM Grads Earn Residencies in 2015, Breaking Institutional Records

We're very proud to announce that more than 800 Ross University School of Medicine graduates earned residency appointments in 2015. Our alumni earned residencies in very competitive specialties—like ophthalmology, neurology, and surgery—while also obtaining placements in primary care programs, like internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine. With our new residency total, we’ve broken institutional records for the second year in a row. >> Read More

OPPORTUNITY: RUSM Students Join US Navy Ship COMFORT Clinics on Medical Mission in Dominica

About 900 Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) students joined medical personnel from the US Navy’s hospital ship USNS COMFORT to provide health services to people in Dominica while the ship was docked there between July 28 and Aug. 6. >> Read More

ALUMNI PROFILE: One Grad's Path from Teacher, to Student, to Resident of the Year

Ray King, MD, PhD, a RUSM Class of 2010 graduate, was just named Resident of the Year at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Georgia Regents University, Augusta. Dr. King is the chief resident in surgery, and is just about to complete his training. It goes without saying that we’re immensely proud of Dr. King’s accomplishment, but—given the caliber of our students and graduates—we also aren’t that surprised. What might surprise you, though, is the path he ultimately took to become a physician. Because it’s the opposite of what you’d expect. >> Read More

CLINICAL SPOTLIGHT: Making Our Strong Clinical Program Even Stronger

We’re excited about some of the great new developments in the clinical program at Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM). From dedicated student support teams to new U.S. regional hubs that serve as convenient, single-location “academic homes” for our clinical students, there’s a lot for our students to look forward to—and even more enhancements headed your way in the future. >> Read More

ADMISSIONS ADVICE: Steps for Success on Your Medical School Interview

The medical school interview is a crucial component of the admissions process, and can make or break your candidacy for medical school. Your credentials and accomplishments on paper have gotten you this far—now, the school is asking for the opportunity to get to know you in person. That’s a big deal. We sat down with Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) Graduate Admissions Advisor Matt Fessler, who had some helpful suggestions on how to prepare and conduct yourself to ensure you will stand out in your interview. >> Read More

CHIEF RESIDENTS: RUSM Grads Earn Chief Resident Spots for 2015-2016 Residency Year

Hundreds of Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) graduates started residency training just a few months ago, in July. 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 2015-2016 year. Chief residents are generally appointed by the program director of a given residency program, and they’re entrusted with developing clinical rotation schedules, performing administrative duties, and supervising junior residents, among other responsibilities. Curious whether a friend or classmate of yours was appointed chief resident recently? Check out the list. >> Read More

STUDENTS: RUSM Clinical Student Gets Published on Major Healthcare Blog

The first time Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) clinical student Marc Katz submitted a piece of his writing to—a popular,  influential healthcare blog run by New Hampshire-based internal medicine physician Kevin Pho —he didn’t think much of it. The day after he submitted the post, he was surprised to see he had already gotten an email back saying his story was accepted. His initial thought? “Well…I guess people are going to see this now,” he laughs. >> Read More 

ALUMNI PROFILE: RUSM Grad Who Completed MERP Is Now Chief Resident in Surgery

Sola Fasusi, MD, readily admits that when he found out that he’d been recommended to the Medical Education Readiness Program (MERP), his pride took a hit. He had already had been waitlisted at two United States medical schools, had taken the MCAT twice, and had applied to Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) only after a friend mentioned the school in passing. He was granted conditional acceptance to RUSM, on the condition that he successfully complete MERP before starting as a first-semester med student. “It was a shot to my ego,” remembers Dr. Fasusi. “But it fueled a fire in me, and I realized I had two decisions: either wait to see if I could possibly get into one of those two US medical schools, or take the RUSM opportunity now.” He chose the latter. And he’s glad he did. >> Read More

CLINICAL SPOTLIGHT: St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Pontiac

Established in 1927, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO) is a long-time healthcare provider in Oakland County. A 443-bed comprehensive community and teaching hospital, SJMO is ranked in the top five percent of hospitals across the nation for clinical excellence and women’s health, and has earned a position among the top 50 US cardiovascular programs. >> Read More

VIEWPOINT: Faculty Member Sees an "Unbelievable" Transformation at RUSM

Davendra Sharma, MBBS, DM, professor and interim chair of behavioral sciences, has been at Ross University School of Medicine for over 20 years. Here, he explains not only the great transformations taking place on campus, but also his unique path from skeptic outsider to passionate advocate of the university. "We have grown as a force that is beyond comparison. We have something that goes beyond materialism. We have the commitment. We have the love for our students. That is what this school is all about, or I would not have been here so long." >> Read More

MATCH: Surgery Residency Brings RUSM Student Closer to Dream Career

Shortly after attending the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) Match Celebration in New York on March 21, Jairo Espinosa, who is scheduled to graduate in May, plans to do some traveling. Completing his last clinical clerkship had been “very, very surreal,” he said. “It was a crazy feeling.” After all, he had been working so hard since enrolling in medical school, with barely a break. “I like to plan ahead,” he said, and so he made the arrangements for a month-long trip to Europe and Asia, right after learning where he had matched, and before he was to begin the residency. Jairo landed a surgery residency at Western Michigan University. >> Read More

CARMS: Two Tragic Stories Started This New Resident on Her Path to Practice Medicine

For January 2015 graduate Sisi Li—like many of her classmates at Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM)—the seeds that would ultimately grow into a calling to practice medicine were planted early in life, when she was still a young child. But unlike other RUSM graduates, her path to practice didn’t start with toy stethoscopes or stuffed animals standing in for patients. Instead, it started with her hearing two tragic stories that impacted her family before she was ever born—stories that affected her more than she knew at the time. >> Read More

CLINICALS: RUSM Offers United Kingdom-New Jersey Clinical Track

Ross University School of Medicine is excited to announce the new United Kingdom and New Jersey track program, dubbed the UKNJ Track. Students will spend 24 straight weeks each in the United Kingdom and in New Jersey hospitals. Students will complete surgery, pediatrics and OB/GYN clinical rotations at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, just outside of London. >> Read More

RESCUE: RUSM Faculty Save a Passenger's Life on a Plane

“Is there a doctor in the house?” is something most of us have heard only in a scene in a movie, but for two Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) physician colleagues, the urgent announcement, “Is there a doctor on the plane?” was very real. They were flying home from the RUSM Leadership Conference, held Sept. 17-19 in Cancun, Mexico. Sean Gnecco, MD, RUSM Associate Professor in the Internal Medicine Foundations program, and Assistant Dean for Clinical Sciences, Iriana Hammel, MD, FACP, AGSF, heeded the call for a doctor immediately. >> Read More

MATCH: RUSM Student Lands Her First Choice for Residency

Marcella Perez, set to graduate in May 2015 from Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), plans to bring 25 family members to the commencement ceremony in Coral Gables, Florida. She was born and raised in New Jersey, and some relatives are coming from there, some from Tampa, and some from as far away as Colombia. And after Perez's successful Match today—at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School's Family Medicine Program, her first choice—she and her family have even more to celebrate. >> Read More

Tags: Admissions , Alumni , Canada , Clinical Program , MERP , New Jersey , New York , Residency

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LOOKING BACK: End-of-Year Message from Dean Flaherty 2015

December 18, 2015

Sommerhalder and Veatch, RUSM alumni
Joseph A. Flaherty, MD, dean and chancellor of Ross University School of Medicine

As the year 2015 comes to a close my overarching thought is a resounding thank you to every one of our Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) students, colleagues, faculty, administrators and sister schools for helping us through what might otherwise have been a most difficult year, because of Tropical Storm Erika in Dominica, and its aftermath, in August. The sense of mission and shared values was never more evident. With it came that strong feeling of kinship with all of us in Miramar, in Dominica, New Jersey and Chicago. I am particularly grateful to the Dominica colleagues and faculty who went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that classes began as scheduled.

A Look Back at Academic Success and Support

In other areas it was also a very successful year, for which I want to thank all of our dedicated colleagues. As of 2017, one hundred percent of all RUSM clinical students are now in tracks and are on schedule to complete their entire third year of medical school within 48 weeks. We have made dramatic improvement in reducing the attrition of our students and that means more and more of them will achieve their dream of becoming a physician. We are giving a pronounced look to at-risk students to see what resources they need to succeed. This support includes an increase in the use of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), the implementation of a strong mandatory mentoring program, and required targeted remediation for students whose scores are unsatisfactory in particular disciplines. On a positive note we continue to see strong student outcomes, thanks to continued collaboration among colleagues in the Basic Sciences and Clinical programs.

New Student Center Opens, Becomes Hub for Student Community

One of the year’s highlights was the official opening of the new Student Center on the Dominica campus on May 14, marking a significant milestone in the campus’s development. The 50,000 square-foot facility represents an investment of $18 million. It is the largest building on campus and has quickly become the hub for the RUSM community as well as a welcoming facility for visitors. It houses the library, student study space, multipurpose rooms, the Center for Teaching and Learning, food facilities, including a large dining area and space for three vendors, space for a campus store and offices for the departments of Student Affairs and Student Services.

RUSM Students Volunteer to Support US Navy Medical Mission

Another highlight of 2015 was the opportunity for about 900 RUSM students to volunteer to join medical personnel from the US Navy’s hospital ship USNS COMFORT to provide health services to people in Dominica while the ship was docked there between July 28 and Aug. 6. The students were able to get early clinical exposure alongside practicing physicians, and exposure to patients in an underserved healthcare setting. These experiences will contribute to the continued development of important traits good physicians need, including empathy and a sense of service.

Making Clinicals Even More Productive for Our Students

I am very grateful to the colleagues in our clinical team for the careful reviews they have conducted at many clinical sites, and the feedback they have provided to the institutions to make them most productive for our students. They have outlined a week-by-week didactic series in each of the clinical clerkships. This is a tremendous achievement, and one that will greatly benefit our students.

A Record-Setting Year for Residencies

The most exciting news of the year is that RUSM has set another record in the number of residency appointments earned by our graduates, with 830 in 2015, the highest number in our school’s history, even though the last three years, from 2012 to 2014, have all been record-setters for us. This phenomenal trend of continually increasing numbers of successful RUSM graduates is what we work so hard to achieve. We look towards 2016 to face new challenges, ever vigilant for new opportunities.

I wish you all a good holiday season and a very happy New Year.

Tags: Leadership , Clinical Program , Student Services , Academics , USMLE , Residency

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ALUMNI: For This Grad, First-Choice Residency Is the Role of a Lifetime

December 15, 2015

Ary Kian, RUSM alumnus, is undergoing a psychiatry residency at Kaiser Permanente
RUSM graduate Ary Kian, MD (above) is undergoing a psychiatry residency at Kaiser Permanente, Fontana, Calif.

“My role is the healer, or the person who will help,” says Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) alumnus Ary Kian, MD, as he draws upon his former acting experience and makes an analogy between the dynamics of the patient-physician relationship and the interaction among cast members in theater. “Everyone has a role, especially if family members are involved. By listening and responding to patients’ stories, I can gather their histories and create an environment in which they feel safe and comfortable.” Dr. Kian is a psychiatry resident at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, Calif. and for him, it’s the role of a lifetime.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in media arts and communications, Dr, Kian knew he wanted to become a doctor, but he thought that avenue might be closed. He was working as a waiter, taking premed courses, and struggling to make ends meet, when he saw a RUSM seminar at his university. Immediately he thought it was a perfect fit.

“I was an alternative student, and they are looking for more things than your MCAT score,” he says.  

A Medical School Experience That Opened Doors to Opportunity

Once in Dominica, Dr. Kian found that he possessed more than enthusiasm. He had a knack for understanding the brain’s inner workings. In fact, he did so well in his neuroscience courses that he became the neuroscience teaching assistant (TA) in his final semester. That experience, he says, opened doors and led him to consider specializing in psychiatry.

He knew he had made the right choice when he cared for a patient from El Salvador during his clinical rotations at RUSM-affiliated Kern Medical Center (KMC) in Bakersfield, Calif. The woman had come to the United States as a teenager fleeing her country’s civil war and worked in the fields of California. “She had witnessed father and brothers getting killed in front of her,” recalls Dr. Kian. “Later, as an adult she started seeing visions of them telling her to kill herself and come join them.” She was considering taking their advice, but fortunately she went to Kern for help instead.

Dr. Kian worked with her and prescribed antidepressant and antipsychotic medications, which elevated her moods. “She started becoming lively and happy and attending church again,” he says. “Seeing her transformation was a solidifying moment for me. I said, ‘I need to do this.’”

Currently, Dr. Kian is receiving training in inpatient and outpatient neurology, emergency medicine, and family medicine at Kaiser. After six months, he will spend another six months training in inpatient psychiatry. He says that he enjoys the autonomy he receives, and values being able to work in an environment that serves a predominantly Hispanic population where he can work to address the healthcare system’s mental health disparities.

"Ross Students Would Have All the Answers"

Kaiser was his first-choice residency. He believes that he was able to match there through a combination of persistence, teaching experience, and research experience, which included completing eight research protocols during his third-year clinical rotations at Kern. One of his studies, which looked at vitamin B12 supplementation in patients with treatment-resistant depression, received awards and resulted in Kian presenting his findings at the Pacific Rim College of Psychiatry in Vancouver, B.C. During residency interviews, he says, “people were impressed by how much research I had done. But there is so much pathology at Kern it was easy to do it there.”

Dr. Kian says that RUSM prepared him well for his residency. “I always felt like Ross [University School of Medicine] wanted us to outshine other interns because we were foreign grads. And we did. When we were asked things like ‘name five rashes in pediatrics patients’ the Ross [University School of Medicine] students would all have the answers.”

Ultimately, Dr. Kian hopes to remain at Kaiser working as an adult psychiatrist specializing in forensics or addiction. “I love the field. I love neuroscience and I enjoy working with psychiatry patients,” he says. “They are very interesting, and they like to work hard, receive help, and be listened to. I like the interactions I have with them. It’s a joy.”

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Tags: Alumni , Clinical Program , Residency

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STUDENT SUPPORT: RUSM Enhances USMLE Test Prep Services

November 08, 2015

At Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), we strive to offer support services geared toward maximizing students' potential for success in medical school. On that note, we are pleased to announce that we have several enhancements to the RUSM/Becker USMLE Review program which we are offering to students ranging from basic sciences to clinical sciences. These valuable resources are included as part of a student's educational fee.

Here is a brief description of the new additions:

Basic Science Students: Step 1 Review Components

Semester 01 Students

  • Becker USMLE Step 1 eCoach: Access to more than 220 hours of online lectures for 24 months.
  • Becker USMLE Step 1 Question Bank: Access to more than 2,100 questions for 24 months.

Semester 03 - 05 Students

  • UWorld USMLE Step 1 Question Bank: Access to more than 2,000 questions for 12 months.

Semester 4X - 05 Students

  • Becker Live Online USMLE Step 1 Reviews: Access to 300 hours of interactive lectures across all basic sciences subjects that culminates with an additional 30 hours of integrated cases with Dr. Lionel Raymon.
  • Becker Diagnostic Exam: Access to 3 blocks of 44 questions per block (132 items total) delivered using an exam-like interface and providing feedback by organ system and discipline.
  • Becker Live Online USMLE Step 1 Integrated Final Review: Access to 110 hours of interactive Step 1 live lectures for pathophysiology, pharmacology, and integrated cases with Dr. Lionel Raymon
  • Becker Live Online Integrated Cases with Dr. Lionel Raymon: Access to 30 hours of interactive and engaging basic sciences material that help pull concepts together and maximize students’ understanding and performance.
  • Becker Live USMLE Step 1 Reviews (in USA) Providing RUSM Group Tuition Rates: Access to a live course that has 275 hours of interactive lectures delivered at a Becker facility in New York, Texas or Illinois. 
    • New York & Chicago RUSM Group Rate of $1,599
    • Dallas RUSM Group Rate of $2,150 (Commuter +Meals), $2,950 (Double Accommodations) and $4,250 (Single Accommodations)

Clinical Science Students: Step 2CK and Step 2CS Review Components

Beginning of Clinical Tracks

  • Becker USMLE Step 2 CK eCoach:  Access to 200 hours of online lectures across eight volumes of interactive eBooks for 24 months.
  • UWorld USMLE Step 2CK Question Bank: Access to more than 2,000 questions for the duration of the subscription. Students who began their tracks January 2015 and forward will receive a 12-month subscription to U-World. Students who began tracks from September 2014 through December 2015 will receive a 6-month subscription. Students may activate the subscription at will, though once activated the subscription begins and cannot be temporarily suspended.  For example, if a student with a 12 month subscription activates on 11/01/15, the subscription expires on 10/31/16.  
  • Becker Live Online USMLE Step 2 CK Intensive Reviews: Access to 104 hours of interactive live online lectures that start on dates corresponding to RUSM clinical tracks. 
  • Becker Live USMLE Step 2CS Clinical Skills Assessment: Provides a 4-hour testing session covering 6 standardized patient encounters in a test-like setting. Locations include Chicago, Detroit, New York City and South Florida. Additional locations will be added throughout this academic year for California, Georgia, and Washington DC.

A personalized e-mail from Becker regarding access information to UWorld and Becker resources will be sent directly to current RUSM students. Students currently in clinical tracks will also receive access to UWorld. Please note that students who have already purchased UWorld will not be provided a refund for this subscription.

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CLINICALS: RUSM Offers United Kingdom-New Jersey Clinical Track

November 03, 2015

Ross University School of Medicine is excited to announce the new United Kingdom and New Jersey track program, dubbed the UKNJ Track. Students will spend 24 straight weeks each in the United Kingdom and in New Jersey hospitals. Students will complete surgery, pediatrics and OB/GYN clinical rotations at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, just outside of London. Students will also complete family medicine clinical rotations at Hoboken University Medical Center, Internal Medicine at Raritan Bay Medical Center, and Psychiatry at Bergen Regional Medical Center.

  • Queen’s Hospital in Romford is actively involved as a major teaching hospital sponsoring educational programs in surgery, pediatrics, and OB/GYN.
  • Hoboken University Medical Center is actively involved as a major teaching hospital sponsoring Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-approved programs in family medicine.
  • Raritan Bay Medical Center is actively involved as a major teaching hospital sponsoring Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-approved programs in internal medicine.
  • Bergen Regional Medical Center is actively involved as a major teaching hospital sponsoring Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-approved programs in psychiatry.
  • Due to reciprocity of medical school quality, teaching, etc., UK cores are considered equivalent to USA ACGME-accredited rotations (although not technically “Greenbook”). Therefore, students who complete some or all their cores in the UK are eligible for licensure in the USA. 

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RUSM Announces New Clinical Agreement with Western Connecticut Health Network

September 08, 2015

Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) is pleased to announce a new clinical affiliation agreement with Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN), giving RUSM students even more options for clinical training and core or elective rotations. This agreement places students at either Danbury Hospital or Norwalk Hospital, both operated by WHCN, and effectively adds 24 more slots for core rotations, as well as additional slots for fourth-year electives and 24 slots in a WCHM-run, fourth-year global health elective.

“As our students know, we place strong emphasis on our students’ clinical educations, starting with their very first semester here at RUSM,” said Joseph A. Flaherty, MD, dean and chancellor. “This new agreement gives even more students the opportunity to complete core rotations in learning environments in the Connecticut area.”

Clinical Rotations at Danbury Hospital

Danbury Hospital is a 371-bed, regional medical center and university teaching hospital associated with Yale University School of Medicine, the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and the University of Vermont College of Medicine. This year, U.S. News and World Report ranked Danbury among the top three hospitals in Connecticut, and the facility is one of seven that exceeded expected standards of care in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure, and knee replacement.

Clinical Rotations at Norwalk Hospital

Norwalk Hospital, a teaching facility for Yale School of Medicine, is a 328-bed acute care community teaching hospital that serves a population of roughly 250,000 in lower Fairfield County, Connecticut. Signature clinical programs include cancer, cardiovascular, digestive diseases, emergency care, orthopedics/neurospine, and women’s/children’s services. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, the hospital earned the Healthgrades® Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence, and was listed as one of America’s best hospitals for stroke care by Healthgrades in late 2012.

Optional Global Health Elective

Both hospitals offer RUSM students the opportunity to travel to established clinical sites abroad via a fourth-year global health elective operated by WCHN schools. These rotations, which last for up to six weeks, allow students to globally enrich their clinical education by engaging in cultural and educational exchanges that characterize the concept of global health. Sites abroad in the past have included Uganda, Vietnam, China, and Russia.

In addition to WCHN hospitals, clinical students can also complete elective rotations in Connecticut at St. Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury. Learn more about RUSM’s clinical affiliates here.

Other Posts and Pages About Our Clinical Network

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CLINICAL UPDATE: What's Coming Up for RUSM's Clinical Program?

August 07, 2015

RUSM clinical students in rotations

A number of Caribbean medical schools can claim a solid basic science program that prepares students to perform well on US licensing exams. That’s certainly important, but what about the clinical years? For students at Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), their clinical training in the United States lasts longer than the time they spend in Dominica acquiring the basic science knowledge. Knowing that, and knowing the importance that a strong clinical education plays in making students competitive for residency, RUSM has made significant improvements to help ensure that their clinical experiences are more powerful, convenient, and engaging.

Read on to learn what’s coming up for our clinical students—and what’s already in place for those who are just about to wrap up the Foundations of Medicine (basic sciences) portion of their medical education.

An “Absolutely Fantastic” Clinical Experience for RUSM Students

RUSM clinical students using advanced techAside from our students, there may be no one more excited about the clinical strides we’ve made than Gary Belotzerkovsky, assistant dean for clinical student affairs.  

“The clinical program at RUSM is looking absolutely fantastic,” said Belotzerkovsky. “We focus on three key components of a RUSM student’s clinical experience—the educational quality of the clinical site, convenience for our clinical students, and support services. I’m excited to say that we’re delivering on all fronts.”

If you’re currently a RUSM clinical student (or are about to become one), odds are you’ve at least heard of Belotzerkovsky—though his role generally revolves around strategically evolving RUSM’s clinical program to meet the needs of RUSM students, he also takes the time to personally help individual students as they’re planning or scheduling rotations. In one notable instance, a student was having trouble scheduling elective rotations with a hospital. Belotzerkovsky hopped on the phone with the student and hospital—the issue was resolved that day.

“I love my job, and love working with our students,” Belotzerkovsky says. “As we continue evolving the clinical program here at RUSM, one goal is for us to help make sure that students don’t have any problems while scheduling clinicals. But if they do, they can count on their dedicated team of advisors here at RUSM to help guide them through the process.”


A Dedicated Support Team That Follows You Through Clinicals

That team of advisors that Belotzerkovsky is referring to is part of the Rely on Students Services (ROSS) Model, an institutional initiative that sets every RUSM clinical student up with a dedicated team of support staff:  a financial aid advisor, two clinical advisor(s), and other professionals who can support students during the clinical years.

“This team of advisors is with the student for the entirety of the last two years of medical school,” Belotzerkovsky says. “It’s our way of making sure that no matter where you are in the clinical program, you’ll have someone to help guide you every step of the way.”

Learn more about the ROSS Model here.

Academic Homes for Our Clinical Students: All Students Now on Tracked Rotations

Perhaps most exciting to Belotzerkovsky is that now, all incoming RUSM clinical students are automatically placed on one of our new “clinical tracks”—a term that refers to teaching hospitals, ones affiliated with RUSM, that are all clustered around the same geographical area. For example, RUSM’s New York clinical track is made up of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, and New York Methodist Hospital. A clinical student entering his or her third year of medical school can complete all third-year core rotations at one of these hospitals.

Years ago, RUSM clinical students had to move around during their third and fourth years. Those days are past.

View the list of RUSM-affiliated hospitals here.

The benefit of completing all of your core rotations at just one site? Students not only can focus on their clinical training without having to worry about moving from location to location, but this also gives them the opportunity to establish long-lasting relationships with residents, program directors, and other colleagues at the site.

“It creates true continuity for a third-year clinical student—they complete all of their cores at one site, rather than shuttling around from hospital to hospital,” Belotzerkovsky says. “Plus, with a tracked site, it means the clinical students there have a centralized location for studying for their licensure exams and working with fellow students on preparing for USMLE Step 2 CS.”

Get more details about our tracked clinical rotations.

RUSM clinical students moving up

What’s Coming Up in RUSM’s Clinical Program?

Belotzerkovsky and his team are constantly making improvements to RUSM’s clinical program. For example, Belotzerkovsky and his team are continually working with hospitals to develop additional clinical tracks across the United States, with the goal of giving clinical students more regional options—and more locational convenience.Here’s a brief snapshot of what’s coming up in the near term.

  • New NJ/NY clinical track. RUSM has partnered with several hospitals in the New York/New Jersey area to create the BQNJ (Brooklyn-Queens-New Jersey) Track. This partnership provides additional opportunities for a significant number of RUSM students, with a 48-week tracked curriculum across the six core disciplines at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center for internal medicine, surgery and pediatrics, Hoboken University Medical Center for family medicine, and St. John’s Episcopal Hospital for OB/GYN and psychiatry. This track will be available in October 2015.
  • For students looking for a New York-only experience, RUSM is pleased to announce a full track program with several hospitals in the New York area. Referred to as the JFK Track, this partnership provides additional opportunities for a significant number of RUSM students with a 48-week tracked curriculum across the six core disciplines at South Nassau Communities Hospital for surgery, pediatrics, OB/GYN and family medicine and St. John’s Episcopal Hospital for internal medicine and psychiatry. This track also will be available in October 2015.
  • More convenience: Soon, thanks to an online clinical scheduling platform currently in development, third-year students will be able to log in to a sophisticated database to schedule their core rotations at RUSM clinical tracks. Fourth-year clinical students can also see what electives are available at RUSM affiliate sites using this system.
  • Additional elective sites: The clinical team continues to explore additional elective-only affiliate sites—primarily ones accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) that offer both residency and fellowship programs.

Tags: Clinical Program , Student Services

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PROFILE: RUSM Clinical Student Gets Published on Major Healthcare Blog

June 25, 2015

Clinical student Marc Katz
RUSM clinical student Marc Katz recently had a post from his blog, MyKittyKatz, featured on KevinMD.

The first time Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) clinical student Marc Katz submitted a piece of his writing to—a popular,  influential healthcare blog run by New Hampshire-based internal medicine physician Kevin Pho —he didn’t think much of it.

That was back in 2012. At the time, Katz’s blog—which he describes now as half motivational, half “things I wish I had known before I went to medical school”—was still in its infancy. In his first entry, written just days before his flight to the RUSM campus, Katz covers some of the anxieties he felt as the first day of medical school approached—anxieties that he thought would resonate with other prospective students.

He closed out that first post with some words of encouragement. “I had to take the MCAT twice, and applied to 28 medical schools, but all it took was one acceptance to make it all worthwhile,” he wrote. “If you have explored medicine and decided that it is the path for you, don’t let anyone discourage you from it. Own it and do whatever it takes to succeed. It is what I intend to do starting on my first day of class down in Dominica.”

The day after he submitted that blog post to, he was surprised to see he had already gotten an email back saying his story was accepted.

His initial thought? “Well…I guess people are going to see this now,” he laughs.

Years later, Katz is still blogging, and his work is still getting recognized. In fact, one of Katz’s recent pieces—titled “Doctors: Now is the time to develop your style with patients” —just appeared on KevinMD on June 11 of this year.

His Blog’s Mission: To Motivate Other Medical School Students

To Katz, it’s far too easy for med school students, especially those attending international or Caribbean medical schools, to get discouraged before they even get started on becoming physicians. Part of the reason that Katz’s blog exists is to help other students shake off that discouragement.

“There are going to be tons of people when you apply to medical school or for residency who say that you shouldn’t do this because the industry’s changing, or that you just aren’t good enough,” Katz says. “I want to be one more person, on their side, to say that you are smart enough. That you can do this.”

That theme—the idea that for every person who tries to discourage someone from fulfilling their dream, there’s another person willing to offer encouragement—is something that really resonates with Katz, given the circumstances behind how he ultimately enrolled at RUSM.

“When I started applying to medical school, my philosophy going into it was that it only takes one yes for all of the nos to not matter,” he says. “I just needed one acceptance, and that acceptance was Ross. They gave me the opportunity that those other schools did not. They gave me the possibility of becoming a doctor.”

In addition to motivational entries, Katz’s blog covers tips and helpful practices for current and prospective medical school students—posts like “The Medical Student’s Guide to Clinical Rotations” or a story about Katz’s three favorite study aids for the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE).

RUSM clinical students Marc Katz and Roshan Asrani
RUSM clinical student Marc Katz (above, right, pictured with fellow student Roshan Asrani) recently had his writing featured on, a popular physician-run blog.

Leveraging His Blog for Practice

It wasn’t until people—mainly students from RUSM and other Caribbean medical schools—started coming up to him and saying “Wait, you’re Marc Katz? I’ve read your writing!” that he really understood what a big deal it was that his post landed on KevinMD.

“What’s really amazing about being posted on Kevin’s blog is the reach,” says Katz, who is undergoing his core rotations at New York Methodist Hospital. “Doctors who’ve been practicing for years. Residents. Nurses. Physicians’ assistants. I’ve had all of these people, from all walks of life in healthcare, writing back and saying thanks, I needed this motivation today. Or keep it up.

Though Katz would like to publish a book at some point in his life (“maybe after residency,” he laughs—Katz is still in the middle of his clinical rotations, currently at New York Methodist Hospital), he’s busy thinking about how he can use his blog once he completes his clinical rotations, earns his medical degree, and enters residency.

“Being a fan of technology, I love the idea that I can potentially blog as a resident, or as a practicing physician,” he says. And he already has some ideas. For example, what if he was able to point one of his patients to his blog for supplemental medical advice?

“I always say When I’m a doctor, I’m going to strive to explain everything to my patients,” he says. “So if one of my future patients wants more information—on ways to get their weight under control, ways to control your glycemic index, whatever it may be—I could point them to my blog, where they’d get some additive content to help them maintain their health.”

RUSM clinical students Mahir Maruf and Marc Katz
Marc Katz (above, right, along with fellow student Mahir Maruf) is currently in his third year of clinicals. Right now, he's rotating at New York Methodist Hospital.

Keeping an Eye on the Prize: Residency in the US

Katz’s blog, coupled with his clinical rotations in New York, certainly keeps him busy.

“I feel like, every day during clinicals, I become slightly less useless,” he jokes. “When I first started my family medicine rotation, I was loaded up with all of this information for USMLE Step 1. Then you start ro tations, the doctor looks at you and says ‘Okay, this guy has asthma. How are you going to treat him?’ That’s a very basic question, one that any fourth-year student could readily answer…but as a fresh third year med student just starting clinical rotations it’s overwhelming because you know so much and yet you still know so little.”

Like Kevin Pho, Katz plans to practice internal medicine—an area that would allow him to study and treat a wide variety of diseases. “Internal medicine is an exciting specialty in and of itself,” he says. “You get to treat and learn and see everything—from cardiology to pulmonology, from nephrology to gastroenterology. You get to do everything.” He’s angling to stay in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, where he has family.

For prospective med school students considering RUSM, Katz has one more piece of advice.

“Much like the actual practice of medicine, you have to take it upon yourself to go out and learn some things on your own,” he says. “But if you’re ready to be a doctor, and you want to start medical school right now—apply.”

Read More of Marc's Writing on His Blog

MyKittyKatz - Marc's BlogWant to read more of Marc Katz’s writing? Check out his blog, MyKatz, or follow him on Twitter at @MarcKittyKatz.




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Tags: Clinical Program , Students

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EVENT RECAP: Education Summit and Clinical Track Fair Support Student Success

April 13, 2015

RUSM Education Summit
Drs. Jim Tysinger, seated left, Maureen Hall, and Jim Grogan. Standing: Drs. Stan White and Alison Dobbie.

“The theme was Supporting Student Success—and that’s exactly what the event was all about!” said Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) Dean and Chancellor Joseph A. Flaherty, MD. The event that Dean Flaherty's referring to was the Education Summit and Clinical Track Fair, held on RUSM’s Dominica campus on March 26 and 27.

“Our clinical chairs, deans and program directors, and basic science colleagues collaborated throughout, in the lectures, discussions, workshops and meetings," Dr. Flaherty said. After the meetings, the educators made themselves available to students at the Clinical Track Fair.

Want to learn more about RUSM's single-location clinical tracks? Check out this related post.

Presenters Speak About Constant Improvement, Preparing for Practice

Interim Senior Associate Campus Dean Dr. Stan White set the tone in his welcoming remarks when he asserted that RUSM’s effort is “not just about helping struggling students; it’s about equipping all our students to do better.” He thanked Maureen Hall, MD, Interim Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, and Jim Grogan, PhD, Associate Dean of Curriculum, for putting together an exciting and interactive program for the faculty and visiting clinical colleagues.

Plenary Speaker Jim Tysinger, PhD, a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) in San Antonio, delivered a presentation on the topic of advising students and teaching them how to apply study skills and learning strategies to improve their performance and outcomes. “It’s not just a question of passing the exam, but of preparing for practice,” Tysinger said.


Awards Given to RUSM Basic Sciences and Clinical Faculty

A summit highlight was the faculty recognition awards presentation. For academic leadership, the award was given to Dr. Louise Hawley, Professor and Chair of Microbiology, who was retiring after 12 years at RUSM. For clinical curriculum development, the award went to Dr. Hedda Dyer, for her work with the community clinics’ program, Princess Margaret Hospital, and the Infirmary for the elderly. Dr. Valarie Thomas, Center for Teaching and Learning, received the award for student support. For module leadership, the award went to Dr. Mary Moore.

RUSM Education Summit
RUSM student Keely Johnson with Robert Dean, MD, RUSM clerkship director for OB/GYN.

The Clinical Track Fair attracted a large number of students. They had opportunities to hear from the clinical chairs, and others, including Vice Dean Peter Goetz and Gary Belotzerkovsky, Assistant Dean, Clinical Student Affairs. Students were able to get expert advice, and to have their individual questions answered.

“This was incredibly useful,” said Keely Johnson, a third-semester RUSM student who made the rounds of all the information tables, listened intently, took notes and asked questions. “I’m interested in international medicine. I kind of have an idea of what I want to do and where I want to go,” she said. “I would like to have an OB/GYN practice in California.”


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CLINICAL SPOTLIGHT: Making Our Strong Clinical Program Even Stronger

February 20, 2015

We’re excited about some of the great new developments in the clinical program at Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM). From dedicated student support teams to new U.S. regional hubs that serve as convenient, single-location “academic homes” for our clinical students, there’s a lot for our students to look forward to—and even more enhancements headed your way in the future.

New Single-Location Clinical Rotation Opportunities for Medical School Students

Since our founding about 40 years ago, RUSM clinical administrators have worked hard to identify and partner with United States teaching hospitals that meet our standards for excellence. That hasn’t changed: We’re proud to continue offering our students clinical placements at quality clinical sites across the United States, plus options for rotations in Canada and the United Kingdom.

What has changed? Notably, in recent months, we’ve been giving students the opportunity to complete all third-year clinical rotations—the “core” disciplines of medicine, like internal medicine, surgery, and pediatrics—at a single location, rather than at multiple hospitals. That’s because we believe that our students shouldn’t have to worry about the outside distractions that come with moving from site to site, having to find a place to live, and learning the ins and outs at a new hospital.

Single-location clinical opportunities are available in:

New York

  • St. John's Episcopal Hospital, Far Rockaway
  • Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Queens
  • New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn


  • West Suburban Medical Center, Oak Park
  • Mount Sinai Hospital, Chicago
  • St. Anthony Hospital, Chicago


  • Kern Medical Center, Bakersfield
  • California Hospital Medical Center, Los Angeles



  • Center for Haitian Studies, Miami
  • Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston


  • Prince George Hospital Center, Cheverly
  • Beltway Track, which includes four hospitals—Saint Agnes Hospital, Baltimore; Prince George Hospital Center; Holy Cross Hospital, Silver Spring; and St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Washington, DC)


  • Atlanta Medical Center, Atlanta

New and Expanded Affiliations Add Value to Clinical Program

Over the last few years, we’ve started or expanded clinical education affiliations with a number of highly regarded teaching hospitals.

  • RUSM entered into a 10-year affiliation agreement with Kern Medical Center (KMC) in Bakersfield, Calif., to offer about 100 core clinical rotation slots annually for RUSM students. This partnership, initiated in 2012, is the largest clinical affiliation in RUSM’s history. KMC, established in 1867, is a 222-bed acute care teaching hospital that serves about 650,000 area residents. KMC provides care for more than 16,000 inpatients annually, and experiences 43,000 Emergency Room visits per year. Per the agreement, RUSM clinical students can complete all third-year rotations at KMC.
  • Atlanta Medical Center (AMC) joined the RUSM clinical network in 2013. A 762-bed acute care hospital and a leading provider of advanced medical care to the metro Atlanta area, AMC is the second largest licensed-bed hospital in Georgia and a Level 1 trauma center. RUSM clinical students can complete all of their third-year rotations at AMC. The hospital is widely recognized for its women’s services program and for outstanding performance in the treatment of stroke patients. The hospital has campuses in downtown Atlanta and East Point, GA.
  • We expanded our affiliation with Cleveland Clinic Florida, one of the campuses of the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, in 2013. This strengthened agreement gives RUSM students the option of completing internal medicine and surgery training at this Weston-based teaching hospital.  With the addition of the internal medicine and surgery clerkships, RUSM students can choose from nearly 30 clinical clerkships at Cleveland Clinic Florida, including anesthesiology, infectious disease, neurology, plastic surgery, and pulmonary medicine.

Supporting Our Students During Clinicals

As you may have guessed, you’ll be very busy as a RUSM clinical student, and it can be challenging to progress through clinical rotations while staying connected, staying on track to earn your medical degree, and preparing to enter residency. To help support our students during the clinical program, we’ve implemented the Rely On Student Service (ROSS) model. This student support feature links every RUSM clinical student with his/her own team of dedicated advisors, from financial counselors to writers from our Office for Student Professional Development. Clinical students can also leverage innovative digital technologies to further enrich their clinical experience. 

 There's much more to discover. Keep exploring below.

 Admissions | Foundations of Medicine (Basic Sciences) | Clinical Rotations | Residencies


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CLINICAL SPOTLIGHT: St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Pontiac, MI

January 06, 2015

Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) provides clinical education and training through a network of renowned U.S. teaching hospitals. RUSM partners with institutions that have a strong track record of quality patient care, community service, and U.S.-standard medical education. RUSM aims to maintain a geographically diverse clinical network aligned with the student population, with primary focus on quality over quantity. RUSM’s clinical program constitutes more than half of a student’s medical education, so RUSM is committed to providing clinical experiences that are consistent across sites, with healthcare institutions that meet RUSM’s standards for excellence.

St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital

At a Glance: A Leading Michigan Teaching Hospital

Established in 1927, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO) is a long-time healthcare provider in Oakland County. A 443-bed comprehensive community and teaching hospital, SJMO is ranked in the top five percent of hospitals across the nation for clinical excellence and women’s health, and has earned a position among the top 50 US cardiovascular programs. It has also been recognized as a leader in patient safety and quality, palliative care, pulmonology, and various forms of orthopedic surgery, including knee and hip procedures, joint replacement, and spine surgery. Explore SJMO’s recent quality awards here.

Recently, SJMO was verified as a Level II Trauma Center, a designation reflecting the hospital’s commitment to the highest levels of clinical quality care to seriously injured patients. Staffed by board-certified emergency medicine physicians, the hospital’s Emergency Department sees a yearly average of 52,000 visits. Other hospital features include a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to care for prematurely born or otherwise high-risk infants, a nationally recognized and accredited Cancer Center, a Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine, and a dedicated Joint Care Center.

Medical Education at SJMO

Medical education is central to the mission of SJMO. It is approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to offer residency training in internal medicine, general surgery, radiology, transitional year, and a fellowship in cardiology. More information on medical education at SJMO can be found here.

Highly Advanced Technology

SJMO relies on high-tech, advanced technology to deliver even better healthcare. This includes:

Robotic surgery via the innovative da Vinci® Surgical System. Surgeons at SJMO are able to use this technology to make smaller, more precise incisions during surgical procedures, simply by manipulating controls on the robot. The surgeon remains in control for the entire time.

Through telemedicine, SJMO—the home of the state’s first certified Primary Stroke Center— changed the Michigan landscape of stroke care by creating the Michigan Stroke Network, a network of hospitals that collaborates via telecommunications and information technology to deliver stroke diagnoses and treatment options, even when the patient is far away from the hospital.

SJMO features a highly advanced Simulation Lab, plus a new South Patient Tower that gives clinical staff access to high-tech, patient-centered technologies.

*Please visit this page for detailed information about SJMO’s quality awards.

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Prospective Students Learned Technology is Integrated throughout RUSM’s Curriculum

December 09, 2014

An attendee inserts her hands in robotic arms to mimic surgical incisions.

An attendee inserts her hands in robotic arms to mimic surgical incisions.

Strategic hospital affiliations give students a rich clinical experience


RUSM students gain clinical experience in their first semester. That fact appeared to be the most surprising and exciting information aspiring physicians learned during an interactive open house recently hosted at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO) in Pontiac, MI. Nearly 70 attended the program, including five recently accepted students, to learn more about RUSM directly from the university’s faculty and alumni as well as from current students who are conducting clerkships at SJMO.

The program included a guided tour of the technologically-advanced simulation lab and hands-on demonstrations of innovative robotic equipment used during surgical procedures. Prospective students also had the opportunity to listen to a panel discussion and have questions answered about RUSM’s curriculum, campus life, student outcomes and more.

The SJMO simulation lab, “the most special tour feature” as commented by one attendee, provided realistic experiences for prospective students. Guests performed ultrasounds on the simulator, passed plastic blocks with laparoscopic instruments, maneuvered robotic surgical arms and evaluated SimMan® for an asthma attack.

Want to get an up-close look at SJMO's facilities and try out simulation technology? Join us for our Clinical Experience event at SJMO on Saturday, Oct. 8. Learn more and sign up here.
“The simulation part of the tour gave students insight into what kinds of technology they would encounter in their first two years of medical school and beyond,” said Dave Pederson, director of the Center for Excellence in Simulation Education at RUSM.

“The clinical experience at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland is an example of what many RUSM students may undergo during their clerkships,” said Peter Goetz, vice dean of administration at RUSM.

SJMO is a RUSM-affiliate teaching hospital where a significant number of RUSM students conduct all of their core rotations (e.g., Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Surgery) during the third and fourth years of their medical school journey. One of the major reasons that RUSM established a relationship with SJMO is its similar focus on incorporating technology in medical education. 

Attendees were also able to experience what robotic surgery entails through the da Vinci® Surgical System. Prospective students manipulated mechanical hand controls to mimic precise incisions made during surgical procedures.

The event concluded with a reception where prospective students were able to get additional questions answered during individual discussions with RUSM faculty, administration, alumni and students.

Your Turn! Tour SJMO, Try Simulation Technology, and More Oct. 8

Get hands-on with SJMO's simulation technology and tour the facility at our Clinical Experience event on Saturday, Oct. 8. Learn more and sign up here.

Tags: Clinical Program , Admissions , Michigan

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STUDENT SUCCESSES: RUSM Student's Clerkship Leads to Poster Presentation, Publication

November 24, 2014

RUSM clinical student Adam Hines
Adam Hines (above), RUSM
Clinical Student

An experience with a difficult patient during a psychiatry rotation became an opportunity for a Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) clinical student to publish and present new research based on the case. 

Adam Hines was completing a rotation at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, NY, when an 84-year-old woman was admitted. “She came in with irritability, depression and delusional behavior, but did not seem to have typical dementia,” he said. “She needed to get neuropsychological testing. She was very difficult to deal with, but I was able to build a rapport with her. The way I approached her was by trying to get to know her on a personal level.” A CT scan revealed that the patient had two calcified meningiomas (tumors). 

Hines drew on the experience as co-author of Meningioma and Psychiatric Symptoms: A Case Report and Review, a poster presented at the annual meeting of the Institute of Psychiatric Services of the American Psychiatric Association held in San Francisco in October. A paper on this topic has also been accepted for publication in The Annals of Clinical Psychiatry. “The poster presentation was a really great experience,” Hines said. “I was able to present to prestigious people and to discuss the case with them.”

A graduate of West Virginia University, Hines enrolled in RUSM in January 2012, after working for two years in a senior position at a home health agency. “I made a lot of sacrifices to go to medical school,” he said. “I gave up a good job. I was married, and I initially moved away from my wife. It was a culture shock to arrive in Dominica, an unfamiliar place. But once orientation started, it was game time, and I hit the ground running.” His wife later joined him, and became involved in the RUSM Spouses Organization. 

Institutional leadership, including RUSM's dean, had kind words for Hines. "We heartily congratulate Adam Hines on his remarkable achievement at this stage of his medical career," said Joseph A. Flaherty, Dean and Chancellor.

"We're glad that Adam's education at St. John's Episcopal has resulted in this poster presentation and the article being accepted for publication," added Gary Belotzerkovsky, Senior Director for Clinical Student Affairs. "These will be great additions to his CV when the time approaches for the Residency Match."

Tags: Clinical Program , Research

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Aspiring Medical School Students Head to RUSM in Miramar for a Look at the Clinical Experience

November 19, 2014

RUSM Clinical Experience
RUSM's Jon Bolaski, EdD, NCC, Graduate
Admissions Advisor and Associate Professor
of Behavioral Sciences (left) speaks with
Stefan Kuster de Souza, 24. Stefan will be attending
RUSM as part of the January 2015 class.

In early November, Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) gave hundreds of prospective students and guests the opportunity to really get an inside look at what it’s like to be a medical school student. For the first time ever, RUSM opened its Miramar location up to the general public at the first RUSM Clinical Experience Open House. Guests toured patient exam facilities, explored the highly advanced simulation technology used throughout much of RUSM’s curriculum, and engaged alumni, deans, and other colleagues in one-on-one and group discussions about the institution’s history and graduate outcomes.

Generally, only current students are allowed access to RUSM’s Miramar location. RUSM students come to Miramar midway through their medical education for six weeks of clinical training in Internal Medicine Foundations after completing their studies in Dominica, as they transition to the clinical years and go on to complete rotations at hospital affiliates in the US.

Joseph A. Flaherty, MD, RUSM dean and chancellor, was on hand at the event for opening remarks. Carey M. James, MBA, RUSM’s associate dean of operations, analysis, and admissions, presented an overview of the school and facilitated a Q&A session with a panel of RUSM colleagues and alumni.

Stefan Kuster de Souza, 24—a native of Brazil and a graduate of Florida International University who will be attending RUSM in January 2015—attended the Open House specifically because he wanted a sneak preview of the simulation technology in play at RUSM. “I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was a child—I used to play with a little medical kit,” he said. “I still have it.”

Also in attendance were people who are already working in healthcare professions. This included a registered nurse and a paramedic with a large metropolitan fire rescue department, both of who said they have always had a desire to be a doctor. Career-changers comprise a significant population of the students at RUSM.

An alumnus on the Q&A panel, Dr. Frederick Scott Ross (2010) is a hospitalist at Cleveland Clinic Florida, where he completed his residency. He described his experiences as a “non-traditional student” older than average, and with a wife and children whom he brought to Dominica. Alumna Dr. Cleopatra Gordon-Pusey (2004) owns a family practice in Pembroke Pines, FL. She talked about her economic challenges as a medical student, recalling days of “eating Ramen noodles on Dominica.”

“I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Gordon-Pusey said.

Tags: Clinical Program , Admissions

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Poster Wins Prize for RUSM Clinical Affiliate at Cardiology Conference

November 07, 2014

Under the supervision of Reid Adams, Director of Simulation Operations at DeVry Institute for Research and Clinical Strategy, several residents from St. Joseph Mercy Oakland recently won a first-place award in a cardiology poster competition. St. Joseph Mercy Oakland is a Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) clinical affiliate.

The poster, “Simulation Training Improves Echocardiography Skills in Cardiology Fellows”, won top marks in the Fellows in Training Poster Competition at the Michigan Chapter of the American College of Cardiology’s 26th Annual Conference. The event was held on Oct. 17-18, 2014.

Adams, who previously served on the technical/operations staff at RUSM’s accredited Simulation Institute, worked with the residents on writing the manuscript, crafting the study design, collecting data, and other elements of the project. Adams is currently working with St. Joseph’s officials on the hospital’s simulation lab.


Tags: Clinical Program

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Getting Everyone on Track - From Peter Goetz, Vice Dean of Administration

April 07, 2014

There are some students at Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) who want the opportunity to move around the U.S. and complete their core rotations at various hospitals, large and small, in rural and urban settings. Still, most of our students prefer to complete tracked core rotations, if not all at one hospital, then in the same geographic area.

We are striving to provide tracked rotations for each and every student and, in the not-so-distant future we hope to achieve this goal. We believe that students should be concentrating on their studies, not worrying about the outside distractions that come with moving repeatedly, having to find a place to live, and having to learn the system at a new hospital.

How does it work? Students who are eligible will receive an application and may choose and rank their preferences and note any extenuating circumstances. The decision is made by RUSM’s clinical leaders, and is based on a number of factors, including requirements to which hospitals and RUSM have mutually agreed.

We also continually strive to have enough fourth-year electives in our inventory to provide students with robust choices, specifically those that are stand-alone Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) electives. While some of our students wish to find electives on their own, at hospitals that offer spots to visiting students, we want to provide enough ACGME opportunities so that students can be scheduled for their entire fourth year.

Additionally, RUSM has expanded international opportunities for clinical students by adding new elective rotations in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, Honduras and the Himalayas.

At RUSM we know how important this is to our students, and it is vitally important to all of us.

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RUSM adds new international clinical rotations

February 14, 2014

RUSM offers a unique learning environment for its students, with high-tech simulation and medical imaging offered within a breathtaking tropical rain forest setting. International experience is a given for pre-clinical students, and many extend their learning to local clinics and hospitals in Dominica. RUSM has been offering electives to Nairobi, Kenya since 2011. Now RUSM is expanding international opportunities for clinical students by adding new elective rotations in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, Honduras and the Himalayas.

The new international electives, which will be available starting in April 2014, will allow students to participate in primary care for patients in an under-resourced setting. Students who have passed USMLE Step 1 and have completed at least one essential core rotation in a primary care specialty will be eligible.

Dr. Rhonda McIntyre, associate clinical professor, said that the new clinical electives were designed in response to the growing demand among students for practical, hands-on experience in under-developed regions. “Diseases that may be encountered include malaria, tuberculosis, fungal and skin infections, malnutrition and HIV, and a range of other conditions that are not as likely to be found in developed countries,” she said. “Participation in the international electives may also enhance our students’ match rate for residency.”

RUSM students have the opportunity to work alongside students from Chamberlain College of Nursing. Betheal Aschenaki, who participated in the Kenya elective, said, “I realized how much I knew as a student and I learned to value the impact we have as physicians. This is one of the reasons I want to go into family medicine.”

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