News

Ross Grad Becomes Only Practicing Neuro-Oncologist in Southern Arizona

11/17/08

November 17, 2008—(North Brunswick, NJ)—Ross University School of Medicine alum Dr. Michael A. Badruddoja holds the distinction of being the only neuro-oncologist in Southern Arizona. He is also the chief of neurology in the Department of Medicine at Tucson Medical Center, a member of the Tucson-based Center for Neurosciences, and is an assistant professor of radiation-oncology/neuro-oncology at the University of Arizona.

A board-certified neurologist, Dr. Badruddoja graduated from Ross University School of Medicine in 1998, and completed his residency training in neurology at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital at the University of Wisconsin in 2002. He completed his fellowship in neuro-oncology at Duke University Medical Center in 2004.

Dr. Badruddoja joined the Department of Oncology at the University of Arizona three years ago when, during a visit with a family member who was being treated for a neck malignancy there, he learned that the head of the department was interested in further developing the neuro-oncology program.

“He wanted someone who was familiar with the type of chemotherapy used for the treatment of primary brain tumors, so everything actually happened through a family member who was being treated by a radiation oncologist who I work with now,” he explained.

He continued, “I’m the only neuro-oncologist in Southern Arizona and there’s only a few neuro-oncologists from Texas to California. It’s a highly-specialized subspecialty of neurology.”

According to Dr. Badruddoja, the reason there are so few neuro-oncology specialists in the U.S. is largely due to a lack of interest. “Not a lot of people are interested in treating the most difficult-to-treat patients—those individuals with primary brain tumors—especially when the majority of them are malignant,” he said.

When asked why he chose this difficult yet worthwhile medical specialty, Dr. Badruddoja responded, “Even before I went to medical school I had actually worked with the Arizona Cancer Center and was interested in this field. I ended up being pulled in that direction thankfully because of a melding of two interests. I had thought about doing hematology- oncology during my internship year at the University of Illinois, but as it turned out I wasn’t really interested in the hematology portion of it, nor was I interested in those types of malignancies. So I just ended up being pulled in this direction. I had some great mentors who helped fuel my interest who were very much an inspiration to me. I would say I found the right fit.”

But while the path that led him to neuro-oncology may have been somewhat winding, the path to becoming a physician was a straight line. “Coming from a family of physicians I suppose it was inbred in me to some extent. Even as a youngster I had always known that becoming a doctor was what I wanted to do,” he said.

Dr. Badruddoja chose to go to Ross largely because it offered him the chance to join an accelerated program that allowed him to finish his courses in just over three years, which was something he could not do at any U.S.-based medical schools.

“The most important thing for me was that Ross allowed me to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish in the timeframe that I had set prior to my going,” he explained “My goal was to be in medical school by the fall of ’95, and I was able to start in January of that year. Because I was able to join the accelerated program I was done with medical school in three and a half years, which is something that I wouldn’t have been able to do had I gone to medical school in the U.S. I also passed all of my boards on the first try.”

Dr. Badruddoja noted that one of the most important things he learned at Ross, which has served him well in his medical career, was “individual autonomy in terms of self-direction.”

He explained, “If you are dedicated and want to succeed the educational structure at Ross really allows you to thrive and do well. For me it was the perfect learning environment.”

About Ross University School of Medicine
Ross University, founded in 1978, is a provider of medical and veterinary education offering doctor of medicine and doctor of veterinary medicine degree programs. The School of Medicine is located in Dominica, West Indies and the School of Veterinary Medicine is located in St. Kitts. Ross will open a new location in Freeport, Grand Bahama in 2009. The first four semesters of pre-clinical training are taught in Dominica over a 16-month period. Students complete their fifth semester, Advanced Introduction to Clinical Medicine, in Miami, Florida; Saginaw, Michigan; or Dominica. Semesters six through ten consist of core and elective clinical rotations in U.S. affiliated teaching hospitals. Ross University graduates are eligible to practice medicine in all 50 U.S. states, Canada and Puerto Rico upon successful completion of the requisite licensing examinations.

Ross University’s administrative offices are located in North Brunswick, NJ. For more information about Ross University, visit www.rossu.edu or call 732.509.4600.