News

Faculty Reach out to Prospective Students in Canada

11/21/13

What is it like for Canadian students to live and study medicine on a Caribbean island, what is the quality of the academic program, and what opportunities are there for graduates to obtain residencies and to practice in the U.S. and Canada? Answers to these questions will be provided by some of those people who know best, at three upcoming Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) information sessions in Canada, including current faculty members who hail from the country.

RUSM professor of pharmacology Alan Bateson, Ph.D., a Canadian citizen, said that prospective students, “first and foremost want to hear about the curriculum and about what their chances are to pursue a medical career in Canada, or in North America. We inform them that at RUSM we place more students in U.S. residencies annually than any other medical school in the world in the past five years. Our students do well. On the Step 1 exam our students’ first time pass rate was 96% in 2012.

“At these information sessions it’s nice for prospective students to meet with faculty members and to know that we are interested in their careers,” Bateson said. “We also talk about extracurricular activities on the island. Most Canadians I know love the outdoors. You can’t ski here and you can’t skate. But we do have intramural street hockey, and you can hike in the tropical rainforest.”

There are between 90 and 150 active members of the RUSM Canadian Students Society on campus, said the group’s faculty advisor Marc Bergeron, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. “We have a Handbook for Canadian Students and we advise our students about processes required to go through the American residency system and to cross over into the Canadian system. We are providing Canadian students with the tools and infrastructure they need, and allowing some of them to go directly into the Canadian system. ” Bergeron noted that, “There are fewer universities per capita in Canada and it’s extremely hard to get into medical school there.”

Jolyne Drummelsmith, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, has been teaching at RUSM since 2008. “I’m also a parent, so I can speak to any questions that prospective students have about that. One of the great things about being here is that there is a school and day care facility on campus,” she said. “It makes it easier to fit family in.” Drummelsmith asserted that, “Our Canadian students do really well. They have the capacity and ability to be doctors, but there are not enough seats in Canadian medical schools. They don’t have to give up. At RUSM we have a tested path that works.”

Leading the RUSM recruitment effort in Canada is Tom Harkness, senior associate director of admissions, who lives in Ontario. “I support Canadian students from enrollment to residency,” he said. “We make sure they have all the resources they need to succeed.”

For details about the information seminars in Canada click: http://www.rossu.edu/medical-school/seminar/index.cfm