Ross University Blog

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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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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Tags: USMLE , Clinical Program

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PROFILE: For Alum Eric Wilson, RUSM Opened a Door to Opportunity

September 08, 2015

RUSM alumnus Eric Wilson
Alumnus Eric Wilson, MD (above), Class of 2007, credits Ross University School of Medicine for his success as a sports medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara, CA.

For many years after his undergraduate studies at University of California Davis, Eric Wilson (’07), MD, had given up on his dream of going to medical school—held back by a less-than-stellar GPA.

Then he discovered Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM).

“For me, having the opportunity to realize a dream that I had given up on many years before was just an amazing experience,” he says. “The Admissions Committee at Ross University [School of Medicine] saw some potential in me and opened a door that would have otherwise remained closed.”

Once Dr. Wilson stepped through that door, he never looked back.

Strong USMLE Performance and His First Choice of Residency

He scored competitively on the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE) Step 1 and 2 exams, and completed his residency in internal medicine at University of California San Francisco-Fresno Medical Education Program—his first choice.

“My experience from the moment that I first stepped foot on Dominica to the moment I walked across the stage to accept my diploma was fulfilling, stressful, challenging, difficult, and at times exhausting. But looking back, I would not have changed a single thing,” he says.

Dr. Wilson, now a sports medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, CA,  (Kaiser) credits RUSM for his success, and the ability to pursue his personal passion: tennis medicine.

As a competitive tennis player and a United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) certified teaching professional, Wilson served as a member of the USTA Sport Science Committee, and is actively working toward understanding causes of tennis-related injuries, and how to prevent them.

"My experience from the moment that I first stepped foot on Dominica to the moment I walked across the stage to accept my diploma was fulfilling, stressful, challenging, difficult, and at times exhausting. But looking back, I would not have changed a single thing."

— Eric Wilson, '08 RUSM graduate, on how RUSM helped him achieve his dream

A Continual Source of Inspiration

Working in Kaiser’s department of orthopedics, Dr. Wilson treats a wide range of nonsurgical orthopedic conditions and sports related injuries.

“I work in a very enriching and collegial atmosphere and have the opportunity to interact with patients of all different ages and ethnic backgrounds. I treat their orthopedic conditions, which cause them pain and dysfunction, and to help them return to their desired level of function.” 

Seeing his patients recover remains a continual source of inspiration.

“The power of the body to heal itself never ceases to amaze me, and it is a privilege to support patients during their healing process and see them make a meaningful recovery,” he says.

Final Words of Advice for Medical School Students

And while his daily focus is on his patients, Dr. Wilson is constantly grateful for the opportunity RUSM has given him.

“I’m doing everything I wanted to do thanks to Ross [University School of Medicine], so I certainly owe everything to them.”

His advice to prospective students: never give up.

“If you have the desire and the dream to become a physician, Ross University [School of Medicine] looks to make it possible.”

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Tags: Alumni , California , USMLE

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DEAN’S BLOG: Medical Schools Like RUSM Are Part of the Solution to This US Problem

July 20, 2015

Ross University Dean Joseph A. Flaherty

This post was written by Joseph A. Flaherty, MD, dean and chancellor of Ross University School of Medicine.

An article in The Hill, a leading U.S. publication covering politics, suggests that international medical schools are a critical part of alleviating the looming doctor shortage. Entitled “Discrimination Against Foreign Medical Schools is Bad for Your Health,” it references the prediction that by 2025, the country will be short as many as 90,000 doctors, and points out that the solution to this problem will not come from schools located on American soil alone:

❝[T]here are not enough medical schools in the United States to train an adequate number of physicians needed to provide medical care.  Many talented and hard working Americans who have the calling to go into medicine simply cannot get accepted into medical schools in their own country. To become doctors, those individuals have to go abroad. While there are some medical schools outside the United States that are sub-standard, there are many schools that do a very good job of educating hopeful American doctors.❞

It goes on to say that medical schools “in places like Dominica” do “a great job of preparing their students to practice in the United States.” It also notes the success some schools outside the U.S. have in “educating minorities to become doctors,” an area where “American medical schools are failing miserably.” 

It is past time for leading international medical schools like RUSM to get their due for the contributions we make to the U.S. healthcare system. At RUSM we enroll talented and committed individuals from diverse backgrounds and provide them with a rigorous education. And we get results: a 97% first-time pass rate on Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Exam in 2014, and more than 800 graduates earning residencies this year. A large number of this year’s graduates will enter primary care, practice in high-need areas, or both. We are proud to play our part in helping the U.S. meet its need for physicians.

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USMLE: RUSM’s First-Time Pass Rate on Step 1 Higher Than US, DO Schools

June 15, 2015

RUSM students earn 97% first-time pass rate on USMLE

For the fourth year in a row, Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) students collectively achieved a first-time pass rate on Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE) that is on par with US students who took the exam. RUSM students’ Step 1 first-time pass rate for calendar year 2014 is 97%, topping the rate of US/Canadian schools (96%) and osteopathic schools (93%). Click the chart on the right to zoom in and explore our Step 1 outcomes over the last five years.

What’s Step 1 of the USMLE?

USMLE Step 1 is designed to test the knowledge acquired during the basic science years of medical school. Performance on this exam is an important indicator of a student's competitiveness for residency positions. Graduates of international medical schools must take and pass the USMLE if they want to practice in the United States. RUSM students' success on USMLE Step 1 attests to the university's strong curriculum, dedicated faculty and leadership, and academic support for students.

RUSM Students Perform Well Despite Changes to Test Scoring

It’s notable that for 2014, the USMLE’s administrators raised the minimum passing score for this test. We’re very proud that, despite this change to the test, our students continued to perform very well on this critical licensure exam.

Congratulations to all of our students who successfully completed Step 1, and we wish you well as you gear up for clinical rotations in the United States.

RUSM is currently accepting applications for all future semesters. Get started on your application.


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Tags: USMLE , Admissions

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NEW RESOURCE: Introducing the RUSM Guide for Parents!

May 03, 2015


Parents of prospective Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) have written in to us, asking if we could create a resource just for them—a place on the web that has everything they need to know about RUSM, all in one place. And we take these requests seriously. After all, we realize that medical school is a major commitment—for many who come to RUSM, pursuing a medical degree is a family affair, with the student drawing inspiration and encouragement from their family back home.

Well, we listened. We’re proud to introduce the RUSM Guide for Parents—a comprehensive set of web pages that take a closer look at our institutional outcomes, campus and culture, mission, and curriculum. This section shines a spotlight on how our medical school works, the quality of education we provide, our US clinical program, and our basic sciences campus in Dominica. Not only that, but we’ll share a few special facts about attending medical school at RUSM that might just surprise you.

Check out the RUSM Guide for Parents here.


Tags: Residency , USMLE , Campus , Admissions

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