Ross University Blog

CANADA: Alums Share 7 Tips on How to Prepare for the Canadian Resident Matching Service

June 05, 2017


Kirsten Yip, MD, and Christopher Navachandrabala, MD, recently matched into residency programs through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS).

Yip is set to begin a family medicine residency program at University of British Columbia (UBC). Likewise, Navachandrabala is entering the same specialty, beginning his career at Dalhousie University.

See below for their personal views on how to get ready for CaRMS.


Plan Ahead

You need strong organizational skills and to know your timelines. You often need to complete administrative requirements a year in advance.

Use Available Resources

Students should familiarize themselves with the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) and create an account on their portal. The MCC is the leading body in Canada that evaluates physicians in the country and maintains a national registry of their credentials throughout their careers. Students should also create an account with the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada’s (AFMC) student portal, a necessary step to register for elective clerkships in the nation. 

Kill the Exams

The Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) and the National Assessment Collaboration Examination (NAC) are mandatory if you would like to apply to a Canadian residency program (completing the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I (MCCQE1) before applications are due will help if you have time to do it). 

It is over simplistic to say the USMLE® Step and Canadian exams are alike. Moreover, you ought not to try to rely on USMLE® Step study aids as reasonable preparation for the Canadian exams. They are different beasts.

Gain Canadian Clinical Experience

Schedule electives and get Canadian letters of recommendation. Most, if not all, residency programs look for Canadian experience in your application. Some programs have an IMG Clinical Assessment Program (CAP) that will give you an advantage over other applicants.  

“Instead of using the AFMC student portal to obtain an elective clerkship, I entered the Rural Ontario Medical Program,” says Navachandrabala. “I was fortunate enough to complete two Canadian electives and I got a letter of recommendation from each of them.”

Attend Canadian Conferences

It is relatively inexpensive to join the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). The Annual Meeting and General Council is typically free to attend and you learn about the most pressing medical and healthcare issues in Canada. 

“I attended the College of Family Physician of Canada’s Family Medicine Forum and there were info booths representing every Canadian family medicine residency program,” says Yip. “I was able to speak one-on-one with the program director of UBC.”

Write Original Personal Statements

A generic personal statement is “kryptonite” and programs know when they are reading one. Read the requirements for personal statements. For example, the personal statement requirements often have different questions or even say to whom to address. Creating individualized statements is tedious but it will pay off if you can thoroughly express your connection and commitment to the program, school and province.  

Apply, Apply, Apply

Apply to as many Canadian residency programs as you can, provided you are willing to practice at each particular place.


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Tags: Canada , CaRMS , Residency , Match

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VIDEO: Alumna Recounts Her Road to a Triple Board Residency

May 17, 2017


Myrline Rose Belzince talks with Ross at Flushing Hospital Medical Center. Belzince is set to begin a triple board residency at Tulane University School of Medicine. After successfully completing the five-year program she will be board-eligible in pediatrics, child and adolescent psychiatry, and adult psychiatry. Read more about Belzince's story.

Tags: Match , New York , Louisiana

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Drive and Passion Earns Ross Student a Triple Board Residency and Fuels A Mission to Uplift Women

May 04, 2017

Myrline Rose Belzince is a 2017 Ross graduate who is poised to begin a triple board residency. She also is the author of <em>Beauty by Divine Design: You are Already Beautiful! Stop Trying</em>, published by WestBow.

Myrline Rose Belzince is a 2017 Ross graduate who is poised to begin a triple board residency. She also is the author of Beauty by Divine Design: You are Already Beautiful! Stop Trying, published by WestBow.

Anyone in need of some inspiration should pause to learn Myrline Rose Belzince's story. She is in the final stages of her medical education and is in position to begin a coveted Triple Board Residency Program at Tulane University School of Medicine. At the end of the 5-year training program specializing in pediatrics, general psychiatry, and child and adolescent psychiatry, Belzince will be board-eligible in all three disciplines. If all you were to know of Belzince were her current achievements and future potential that would be enough to celebrate. However, you may be astounded to learn about her journey from orphan to physician and her crusade to help women improve their self-image.

Humble Beginnings

Belzince was born in a rural region in Haiti. At age 7, her mother died and her father was not present in her life. Raised by relatives for the remainder of her childhood, Belzince was not privileged to enjoy the amenities common to children in the United States.
At age 11, Belzince's family moved to the island nation's capital Port-au-Prince to continue her schooling. According to Belzince, that is when she became keenly aware of her economic status. She began to compare herself with the other female students her age outfitted in jewelry and other nice accessories - even some classmates were chauffeured to and from school.

Courage to Change

Later, she followed her family members to the United States at age 20. After two years of living with her sister while working a minimum wage administrative job, Belzince decided to live on her own - to chart a new path.

She eventually earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts in Boston and a master's degree from New York University. 
After years of hard work, Belzince found herself in an established 10-year nursing career. Yet still, with all of her accomplishments, she felt unfulfilled.
"There was a part of me that was not satisfied with what I was doing. I worked with great people and I had wonderful experiences, but something was missing," said Belzince. "In order to make the impact that I wanted to have, I had to take a leap."
Although Belzince took a leap of faith to leave a stable career and go to medical school, some questioned her decision.
"A lot of people thought I was crazy," said Belzince. "But I knew it would be alright because I was going to work hard for it. Going to medical school was one of the best decisions I have made."

Road to Residency

Belzince recalls some of the challenging moments of medical school. "Medical school is tough, it's hard. There were nights when I asked myself, 'What were you thinking?' or 'What is wrong with you?'"
"Especially for me, I left a career. I left what was 'secure' and, at times, I felt like I knew nothing," Belzince explains.
According to Belzince, all of her doubts disappeared when she would interact with patients and build relationships with them. "All the long study nights were worth it," she said.
She attributes her support system and faith for helping her get through medical school.
On the Monday of Match Week at 11 a.m. EST, all medical students who entered into the National Resident Matching Program are notified whether they obtained a residency position. While most medical students are hovering over their electronic devices waiting for the official email notification that determines their fate to reach their inboxes, Belzince could not bring herself to look. She initially distracted herself with cooking and contrived household chores until she could no longer resist.
"Finally, at 11:17 a.m. EST, I decided to be a big girl and open my email," said Belzince. "And it read, 'Congratulations, you matched!' I didn't know if I should cry or laugh."

Message of Empowerment

"I had to jump, so I could tell all of the girls and women with similar stories that they could do it too," said Belzince when taking a deeper reflection on her motivation to make the bold move to begin a new career.
Belzince's desire to help other women thrive has been the undercurrent throughout her adult life - propelling Belzince to where she is now.
"What my MD degree and journey represent to me is that every girl and woman can achieve what they want," said Belzince. "If they are willing to sacrifice for it, it is attainable."
Challenging women to stop being self-critical, even self-deprecating, is what inspired Belzince to author her book, Beauty by Divine Design: You are Already Beautiful! Stop Trying. The book was re-published this year by WestBow Press.
"The inspiration for the book is to tell other girls and women that they are beautiful," said Belzince.
"I struggled a lot with low self-esteem and that coupled with the rejection from my biological father resulted in a very unhealthy view of myself," admitted Belzince. "Then I realized I was not alone. There are lots of girls and women dealing with similar struggles."
Belzince added that she wrote the book to share how her faith has helped her to overcome challenges and become a new beautiful woman. Her book focuses on biblical scriptures to help women modify their thinking. She notes Psalm 139 as a favorite that has helped transform her life.
Today, Belzince is a motivational speaker, sharing her story with women's groups and young girls.


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Tags: Match , Psychiatry , Pediatrics , Louisiana

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MATCH: Student Earns Anesthesiology Residency at Hometown Hospital

April 26, 2017

Dr. Joseph Mongone (RUSM ‘16) grew up in New Hyde Park, a town on Long Island, in New York. He never could have imagined that now, at the age of 28, he would be a physician, returning home to begin a residency in Anesthesiology at his hometown hospital, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine/ North Shore-LIJ in New Hyde Park. “I am beyond excited to have matched there,” he said. “I’m thrilled to be starting my residency so close to home and in an environment that I am so familiar and comfortable with and I know will provide me with amazing clinical training and opportunity.”

Dr. Mongone earned his undergraduate degree in Health Science from Boston University, but he said that he didn’t have a clear career path at the time. He began working in the NICU at Winthrop University Hospital in Long Island and found that he liked the environment. It inspired him to complete his pre-med requirements through a post-baccalaureate program, Sciences for the Health Professions Certificate at Farmingdale State College in Farmingdale, NY.

Why did he choose Ross? “I chose Ross University because after doing research into the school, interacting and working with residents who were Ross graduates, and hearing the positive experiences they had, I felt that it was the best place for a non-traditional student like myself to begin my journey to becoming a physician,” he said.

What most attracted him to anesthesiology, he said, “is the very unique role that anesthesiologists fill every day. It is up to the anesthesiologist to understand, comfort, and reassure patients while they are about to experience one of the scariest moments of their lives in undergoing surgery. To be able to make patients feel comfortable and reassured in their greatest time of fear and need is something I look forward to doing on an every-day basis during my career as an anesthesiologist.” 


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Tags: Match , Anesthesiology , New York

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MATCH: Alumni are a Match Made on Campus

April 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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Tags: Match , New Jersey , Internal Medicine , Psychiatry

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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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MATCH: Q&A with Mehran Giblin, MD

March 26, 2017

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

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

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

ROSS: Where did you complete your undergraduate studies?

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

Where did you grow up?

GIBLIN: Vancouver, Canada

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

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

How would you describe your experiences in Dominica?

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

Were you involved in any student clubs or activities?

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

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Tags: Family Medicine , Canada , Match

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MATCH: Ross Student Earns Residency in Diagnostic Radiology

March 22, 2017

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

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

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

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Tags: Miami , Michigan , Match

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

March 21, 2017

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

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

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

ROSS: Where did you complete your undergraduate studies?

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

ROSS: Where did you grow up?

ARAFA: I grew up in Los Angeles, California

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

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

ROSS: How would you describe your experiences in Dominica?

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

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

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

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

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

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Tags: California , Match , Internal Medicine

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

March 20, 2017

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

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

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

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


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

March 17, 2017

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

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

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

Tags: New York , Match

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

March 17, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: California , Match

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MATCH: Ross Graduate Seizes Opportunity with Open Arms

March 15, 2017

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

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

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

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

Tags: California , Match , Internal Medicine

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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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MATCH: Alum Recounts Steps to Beginning Dream Career in Radiology

June 03, 2016

Soon to begin the Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program at Geisinger Health System in Dansville, PA., RUSM graduate, Jeffrey Ortiz, recalls his pathway to becoming a physician.
“I was an X-ray tech before starting Ross,” says Ortiz. “I knew right away I wanted to attend medical school to become a radiologist. Finally, I’m here.”

Ortiz attributes his decision to attend RUSM to a serendipitous meeting with a friend he reconnected with at a social engagement.

Tweet: Ignore the naysayers! Words of wisdom by #RUSM alum who is set to begin radiology residency. @RossMedSchool

“My friend shared his experience at Ross and from then on I began to learn more about the institution while completing my undergraduate degree,” said Ortiz. “Then fast forward a bit, I applied and got accepted. I’m forever grateful to Ross.”

“From the beginning of medical school, we’re told it is hard to match and you have to work hard. For four years, you have that going through your mind,” said Ortiz. “Now, I’m finally here. It’s a dream come true. It’s surreal.”

Ortiz’s advice to aspiring physicians: Ignore the naysayers.

“There are naysayers along the way,” said Ortiz. “Anyone can do it. You just have to work hard, put your mind to it and get through it.”

The Elizabeth, NJ native plans to hone his skills in interventional radiology, allowing him to maintain patient care.


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Tags: Match , New Jersey , Radiology

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Couple Enrolled into RUSM Engaged, Now Married with MD Degree and Residency

May 27, 2016

Daniel Piotter is a recent RUSM graduate who will begin a Family Medicine residency at Louisiana State
University – Shreveport (LSU Shreveport).
"It's a big relief," says Piotter when asked how it felt to have successfully gone through the National Resident Matching Program® to obtain a residency. 
"It's a huge, huge relief," chimes in his wife, Tierney, who is also a RUSM graduate starting a pediatric residency at LSU Shreveport on July 1.
The Piotters met in a biology class at San Francisco State University while completing their undergraduate degree. They later engaged and then enrolled together at RUSM.
Tierney admits there was some initial hesitation about attending a medical school outside of the United States, but her due diligence quickly diminished her concerns.
"We definitely did our research before going. We knew we had what it takes to become doctors and believed Ross would give us the tools that would get us to where we are now," said Tierney. "We are happy the way it turned out," said Tierney.
"Yes, we are!" interjects Daniel.
Eventually, Daniel is looking to complete a fellowship in sports medicine and Tierney looks forward to beginning a career as a general pediatrician.

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Tags: Match , Couples , Louisana

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PROFILE: Meet the 46-Year-Old Grad Who Matched in Family Medicine

May 19, 2016

After having careers in the real estate industry and the U.S. Air Force, Joyce Haynes Busch decided it wasn’t too late to pursue her dream of becoming a physician. So that’s exactly what she did. This month, the 46-year-old will graduate from Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), with a residency in family medicine lined up at the University of Arkansas Southwest in Texarkana, AR.

As a widow and single mother, Busch’s journey has by no means been easy. But her commitment to her dream and her children only made her work that much harder.

“I knew I had to finish what I started, completing my Doctor of Medicine degree,” Busch said.

Read her story on


Tags: Match , Residency , Graduates

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MATCH: Alum Earns Radiology Residency in Spite of “So-called Disability”

May 09, 2016

Johnathon Stephens is returning to his hometown of Peoria, IL to begin his career in radiology.

Although Stephens has found his way back to his native roots, he strategically selected clerkships in different regions to receive his medical training, including sites in Florida, Michigan, and Illinois.

“One of the advantages of Ross is the option to sample medicine at different locations and hospitals around the country,” said Stephens.

Stephens’ strategy appears to have worked as he begins his residency at Saint Francis Medical Center.  He recalls what it was like on the Monday before “Match Day” when medical students throughout the United States were notified whether they matched into a residency through the National Resident Matching Program®.

“It was such a long, arduous road,” said Stephens. “Although that Monday I didn’t know which residency program I had matched into yet, I knew I had a job!”

Stephens advises medical students to “never give up.” It’s a mantra he has applied to his own life.

“For those of us with so-called disabilities, if you persevere long enough, eventually your weakness will become your strength.”

Stephens is hard of hearing and coordinated with RUSM to get the resources he needed to earn his degree, including making arrangements for sign language interpreters from Hands in Motion during his clerkships for clinical training.  

Stephens attributes his success to having a great support system of family and friends.

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Tags: Alumni , Residency , Match , Illinois

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