Ross Grad Seeks to Make a Difference in Small Kentucky Town


Dr. Judie Kwolek

Dr. Judie Kwolek

North Brunswick, NJ–April 7, 2010—Dr. Judie Kwolek ’05 has joined the medical staff at King's Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, KY. A practicing psychiatrist, Kwolek is excited about the prospect of working in this small town on the Ohio River because it will give her an opportunity to give back to the community.

“There’s a genuine need to help people recognize and be aware of mental illness in this particular area,” she explained. “I’m hoping to make a difference in my patients’ lives and carefully follow their treatment and progress. My goal is to get them on track to where they should be.”

Before joining King’s Daughters Medical Center, Kwolek was chief resident at Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus, NJ, where she specialized in psychiatry.

“I started my residency one month after I graduated from Ross,” she said. “It was an easy progression because I had done my clinical rotations at Bergen Regional and pre-matched for their four-year residency program. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation. I was made chief resident in my third year, overseeing all the research that was done at the hospital, and then in my final year I moved into the chief resident position overseeing the entire program.”

The path that led Kwolek to Ross University School of Medicine was filled with twists and turns. After receiving a BA from New York University she enrolled in a postbaccalaureate premedical program at Columbia University to take the core science courses required for medical school. Once she had fulfilled the requirements, Kwolek and a few friends decided to enroll in another Caribbean medical school to speed up the process.

“We didn’t want to wait to apply to US medical schools and this particular school said if we applied right away we could start in a month. While it sounded like a good idea at the time, it was probably one of the poorest decisions we ever made,” she noted.  “I was unhappy with the education I was getting and started looking into different options. Actually, two of the three of us who originally went to the school transferred to Ross together. Learning from our first mistake, we did a lot of research on all of the schools in the Caribbean. After speaking to many different people and weighing all the pros and cons, Ross really fit the bill.”

Kwolek’s most vivid memory of her time at Ross occurred on September 11, 2001. She had only been on campus for three days and was staying in temporary housing when she learned that the Twin Towers had been attacked.

“My father was in one of the towers at the time, and there I was, three days in Dominica with no access to a telephone or email. The support I received from the students and faculty was amazing. They couldn’t do enough for me and quickly got me access to a phone. Because the circuits were full it took 24 hours to get the news from home that my father had gotten out of the building in time, but that experience is the best way to truly understand what Ross is all about. You get there and you’re part of a family. They take a personal interest from day one.”

Kwolek noted one of the most important things she learned at Ross that has helped her to be successful is to really know herself.

“Medicine is a demanding field. I would tell anyone who wants to become a physician that you have to be willing to put your personal interests aside at any given time. My experience at Ross really helped me to know who I am and what I want. I’m very grateful for that.”

About Ross University School of Medicine
Ross University was founded in 1978 and is a provider of medical and veterinary education offering doctor of medicine and doctor of veterinary medicine degree programs. Located in Dominica, West Indies, the School of Medicine places more graduates into US residencies annually than any other medical school in the world and has clinical education centers in Miami, FL, Saginaw, MI, and Freeport, Grand Bahama. The School of Veterinary Medicine is located in St. Kitts.

Ross University’s administrative offices are located in North Brunswick, NJ. For more information about Ross University, visit or call 732.509.4600/877.ROSS.EDU.