News

Ross Student Lends a Helping Hand in Peru

10/08/08

Oct 8, 2008—(North Brunswick, NJ)—Ross University School of Medicine student John Bloodworth recently completed a four-week elective medical rotation at the Posta Clinica at the Santa Rosa De Lima parish in Chimbote, Peru, where he worked with his long-time mentor, Dr. Alfonso Iwanaga Nakamura.

John met Dr. Nakamura several years ago while he was visiting his uncle, who for the last 15 years has been the priest of the Santa Rosa De Lima parish. During his visit John came down with a serious illness; however, since the doctors in Peru were on strike at the time, no one was available to treat him at the local hospital. After finding out about the situation, Dr. Nakamura took John into his home and nursed him back to health with the help of his wife, who is a retired nurse.

“That experience really motivated me to go into medicine,” John explained. “He and I really grew close and he’s been a mentor to me ever since.”

When John learned that foreign rotations could be “green booked” and counted as electives at Ross, he approached Dr. Joe Chu, dean of clinical sciences, to see if he could schedule such a rotation in Peru, and quickly received approval.

“This was an opportunity that I definitely wouldn’t have been exposed to back in the U.S.,” he explained. “It was the best learning experience and environment I could have imagined. In addition to [Dr. Nakamura’s] work at the parish, he also runs the clinic for the nearby Universidad Nacional Del Santa, sees private patients in his home and visits the disabled. It was wonderful to be guided by him through each patient’s diagnosis and treatment.”

Although John is still deciding exactly what field of medicine he wants to specialize in, after his visit to Peru he is leaning in the direction of family medicine.

“After witnessing the kind of continuity Dr. Nakumura has in his relationships with his patients I really saw how you can treat patients so much better if you get to know them over a long period of time,” he said. “I want to treat patients, not lab values.”

No matter what he decides, John is sure that he will return to Peru after he graduates to assist Dr. Nakumura again.

“I completely intend to return one day and help out with the clinic,” he said.

John hopes that his experience will inspire other students to seek out medical rotation opportunities in places outside of the U.S.

“It was such a no brainer for me to go to Peru and help out down there,” he said. “It would be good for people to know that there are opportunities out there that are beyond the hospitals we have here in the U.S. or Dominica. It’s never too early to start researching and focusing your efforts on what you can do to help people who wouldn’t normally have help.

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. The School of Medicine is located in Dominica, West Indies, with a new clinical education center scheduled to open in Freeport, Grand Bahama, in January 2009. The School of Veterinary Medicine is located in St. Kitts.

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 and 10 provinces of Canada 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.