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Washingtonian Magazine Names Ross Alumnus Top DC Doctor

09/01/10

Curtis L. Whitehair, MD

Curtis L. Whitehair, MD

North Brunswick, NJ – September 1, 2010–Washingtonian magazine recently asked thousands of physicians in the DC area which local doctors they would recommend to their own family members. Among those selected was 2000 Ross alumnus Curtis L. Whitehair, MD, a board-certified physical medicine & rehabilitation specialist who is program director of the Georgetown University Hospital/National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency Training Program, medical director of the NRH’s Outpatient Center for Orthopedic Rehabilitation and Oncology Rehabilitation programs, and medical director of the NRH’s Regional Rehabilitation Network.

“I was very surprised and honored to be included,” said Dr. Whitehair, who was in Boston at Harvard Medical School as part of the Harvard Macy Scholars Program when he heard the news.

A non-traditional medical student, Dr. Whitehair decided to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor when he was 28 years old. “I actually started out as a pre-med major, but changed my course after taking an elective computer class during my freshman year. Eventually, however, I realized I had gone as far as I could in that career, and I didn’t want to wake up when I was 50 and have lost the chance to pursue my original dream of becoming a doctor. So, I decided to switch careers again and go to medical school.”

Dr. Whitehair was actually in the midst of applying to medical schools in the DC area when he stumbled on some information about Ross that he found in the “back of a book.”

“I got waitlisted at a US school and really didn’t want to wait any longer to go to medical school, so I decided to apply to Ross. Interestingly enough, by the time I was notified that I could transfer to that school two years later, I was already back in the States doing my rotations in the DC area. Going to Ross was definitely the right decision for me,” he said.

When asked why he chose to specialize in physical medicine & rehabilitation, Dr. Whitehair explained that he had originally been interested in sports medicine.

“I had no idea rehabilitation medicine even existed,” he said. “I found out about it from my roommate and thought it was fascinating. It just so happened that there was an opening in the residency program at the NRH at the time, which I was accepted into. After that, I never looked back.”  

Physical medicine & rehabilitation is still a relatively new sub-subspecialty, according to Dr. Whitehair, and many medical students are as unaware to its existence as he was—which is something he is trying to change.

As a result, he has helped to create a physical medicine & rehabilitation clerkship program at the NRH, which first introduces medical students to the field, and then allows them to drill down into one specific area.
 
“During the first clerkship, they basically do a mini rotation in four different areas – spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and cardiac rehabilitation. If any of those areas in particular interests them, they can then do an outpatient clerkship which is much more specific to their area of interest,” he said.

Four Ross students participated in these clerkships last year, and Dr. Whitehair hopes that more will follow in their footsteps in the years ahead.

To learn more about Dr. Whitehair, click here.

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 www.RossU.edu or call 732.509.4600/877.ROSS.EDU.

 

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