Ross University Blog

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

April 03, 2017

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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ALUMNI: Ross Grad Earns Competitive Cardiology Fellowship in Home State

February 06, 2017

Stephanie Saucier, MD ('14), set to begin a cardiology fellowship at Hartford Hospital this summer

Stephanie Saucier, MD ('14), set to begin a cardiology fellowship at Hartford Hospital this summer

Growing up with a tight-knit family in Bristol, Connecticut, it was always important to Stephanie Saucier to stay close to home while pursuing her dream career. Thanks to her own hard work and determination, this Class of 2014 Ross graduate is doing just that.

Not only did Dr. Saucier match into a residency program at the University of Connecticut, but in July she’ll start a prestigious cardiology fellowship at Hartford Hospital—just shy of 45 minutes from home.

We caught up with Dr. Saucier to learn more about life after graduation, her time at Ross and her path to a career in cardiology.

What was the initial MATCH™ like for you?
The MATCH™ was a little nerve-wracking because being an international medical grad, you hear all these rumors and you don’t know what it’s going to be like. But once you start getting interviews, a lot of those fears just go away. Ross has made such a great name within residencies at university programs; there are Ross students everywhere. In fact, one of my mentors, the director of cardiology at my hospital, is a Ross grad. There are so many people who’ve come before me who have done such amazing things.

Tell us about your residency. What made the program seem like a great fit for you, and how has your experience been?
I’m a third-year resident in primary care internal medicine at the University of Connecticut. First, I definitely wanted to be in Connecticut. I was born and raised in Bristol, Connecticut and I’m very close with my family and friends. So geography was huge for me. And then UConn has everything you could ever imagine. We rotate through four of the biggest hospitals in the state, and there’s a lot of research opportunities.

In addition to primary care, my program offers fellowship opportunities for those who are interested; about 50 percent of residents in this program go onto fellowships. Also, it’s a smaller program, which was a draw for me, too. I know all of the attending physicians very well, and we have great working relationships. They know who you are from intern year on, and they’re very friendly and open. Everyone’s willing to help each other out, pick up extra shifts, etc. And the program director [Dr. Thomas Lane] is incredible.

What kinds of opportunities have you been involved in? 
I’ve been able to present at two national conferences. I did some research on nuclear imaging (cardiac) PET and SPECT and I presented that at American Society of Nuclear Cardiology Conference in Boca Raton, Florida. My original research was on chest pain observation admissions, ultimately observed and ruled out for a few coronary symptoms—that one I presented at Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care in Miami.

What’s one of your most memorable experiences at Ross?
Discovering cardiology. When we did our cardiology unit, I was just fascinated. It’s such a humbling field—it affects everyone from birth to death, all walks of life. Your heart is so vital to everything you are. You really need to look at the whole person in order to understand cardiology. Plus, research and development in cardiology is always growing.

Why did you choose Ross?
First, I admittedly did not do as well as I would’ve liked on my MCAT, so that hurt my chances for U.S. medical schools. I got lots of advice from people who said, “Do a post-bac year, get a master’s in public health,” etc. to boost my resume before reapplying to a U.S. medical school. But my best friend’s brother had just completed the Foundations of Medicine curriculum at Ross. He said, “You know Steph, you should really look into Ross.” I loved what I saw when I researched it more and when I interviewed. And now, years later, he has done incredibly well. He’s a chief cardiology fellow now and is going into electrophysiology.

What was your campus experience like?
Dominica is an incredibly special place. Your friends and the people you meet at Ross become your lifelong family and confidantes. I actually went back recently to visit a friend who lives in the same apartment complex I lived in. It was amazing because the landlords knew I was coming and they remembered that my favorite island fruit was guava, so they picked some fresh guava and brought it to my friend’s house. It was so touching and really shows how you’re part of a lifelong community as a Ross graduate.

Any advice for current Ross students?
If you’re self-motivated and you have that drive, you’ll do well. Don’t stop working hard. Keep at it, no matter how the road twists and turns. But don’t forget to take a step back every once and awhile, take a day off, enjoy Dominica and the people you’re living with. You’re part of the Ross family. Reach out to your peers and alumni, because we are all willing to help.

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Tags: Alumni , Residency , Fellowship , Connecticut , Cardiology

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ALUMNI: Ross Grad Steven Angus on Residency, Recruitment, and Relying on Your Instincts

January 31, 2017

We all face big decisions in life—and for a medical school student nearing graduation, the hunt for that perfect residency program is pretty high up there on the list.

So here’s a tip from someone who’s actually sat on the recruitment side. Steve Angus (Ross Class of 1997) has interviewed more than 5,000 prospective residents for entry to the internal medicine program at UConn Health in Farmington, CT, and he tells them all the same thing: Trust your instincts. When you find the program that’s right for you, you’ll know it.

“I still remind medical students who I interview today—though you’ll undoubtedly have an Excel spreadsheet with the programs you’re looking at, and you’ll be making this a very cerebral decision—that it’s ultimately more of a gut feeling,” says Angus, who was recently named the designated institutional official (DIO) at UConn. “You go from place to place, meeting different people, seeing how the residents interact with patients and staff, and you develop an instinct.”

That instinct, that gut feeling, is a major part of what helps you predict where you’ll fit in the best.

“I tell all of my applicants that they’ll know where they want to be, and no one’s told me that I’ve been wrong yet,” he said, laughing.

The Proverbial Lightbulb

Falling into the role of a mentor, an advisor, comes naturally to Angus. For the last several years of his professional life, Angus has worn two hats: one when he’s actively seeing and treating patients, and the other when he’s coaching and mentoring residents as director of UConn’s internal medicine program. He’s swapped that second hat for the DIO position, in which he’s charged with having “oversight of all of the residencies and fellowships across the UConn system.” That’s more than 50 training programs and roughly 650 trainees, and it’s his job to ensure those programs are maintaining and upholding accreditation standards set by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

He enjoys it all. But ask him to choose what gives him the most gratification on a personal level, and he’ll probably pick teaching or mentoring every time.

“Certainly, taking care of patients and making them better is a wonderful feeling,” said Angus, “but showing others how to do that—and being present when the proverbial lightbulb goes off for them when they put the pieces together—is something that I find incredibly rewarding.”

On Residency: Tiring, But Immensely Rewarding

It’s probably fitting that Angus discovered his love for teaching during his internal medicine residency, which he completed at University of Connecticut School of Medicine. As a chief resident, he spent most of that final year developing teaching skills and assisting junior residents. Contrast that with his earlier residency years: those were spent learning how to navigate the world after medical school.

Challenging, to be sure, but also completely worth it.

“I don’t think you can be fully prepared for your internship—it’s a tremendous learning experience,” he said. “The hours are sometimes grueling. Tiring, no doubt. But rewarding? Absolutely. This is where you grow as a physician. This is where you learn.”

He earned the residency program director spot in 2005, less than a decade after completing his own training. “It wasn’t all that long ago, but it feels like forever now,” he said. Angus never forgot his roots—UConn, he says, has an “outstanding” track record with inviting graduates of Ross and other Caribbean medical schools to train there. As an added bonus, he enjoys swapping stories with other Ross graduates—and often reminds them their medical and clinical training is all the preparation they’ll need to thrive in residency.

A Familiar Story

How did Ross come up as an option, anyway? His story, Angus says, probably isn’t all that different from students and graduates who take the Caribbean medical school route. He applied to medical schools in the US, was waitlisted (to this day, he never got a firm answer as to why, but he guesses it was due at least in part to supply and demand) and was faced with a crossroads: should he wait to see if his name came off one of those waitlists, or get started on his medical education using the options available to him?

Talking to a Ross student cemented it for him. Angus knew a local physician who had a daughter at Ross—the two got in touch. “I called down to the island, spoke with her, and she told me what a great experience she was having,” he said. “It was talking to people who were there, and had been there, that made me realize that you can get where you want to go through Ross.”

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Tags: Residency , Alumni , Connecticut

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RESIDENCY: Ross Presents 2016 Residency Results and Highlights

September 26, 2016

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

Here are some highlights from the 2016 Ross residency list.

Key Statistics: Ross Residencies by the Numbers

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

Ross Residency Highlights

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

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

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Numerous RUSM Alumni Have Earned 2013-14 Chief Resident Positions

March 14, 2014

Each year numerous RUSM alumni are selected as Chief Residents of their residency programs. The following are a selection of 2013-14 Chief Residents in various specialties:

Family Medicine

 

Internal Medicine

 

Pediatrics

 

 

Psychiatry

 

Tags: Alumni , Residency , Illinois , Tennessee , Florida , Michigan , New Jersey , California , New York , Kentucky , Connecticut , North Carolina

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