Episode 7: RUSM and TX


The Lone Star state!  In this episode, our Associate Director of Admissions Sarah V. and alumna Dr. Valerie Serrano, '19 share their insights covering everything from attending Ross Med to practicing back in Texas.

Episode 7: RUSM and TX Transcript

Milena Garcia: Hey guys, thank you for joining us for another episode. This week we are going to focus on Texas. It's one of our biggest states, along with New York, New Jersey, Florida, California and Illinois. With me today is my colleague, Sarah Vasudevan, Associate Director of Admissions in Texas and Dr. Valerie Serrano, class of 2019. Let's take a moment to have them introduce themselves. Sarah, how are you?

Sarah Vasudevan: Thank you so much for having me today. As you mentioned, my name is Sarah Vasudevan and I am the Associate Director of Admissions over Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. It’s my pleasure to be here today.

Milena Garcia: Valerie Serrano, thank you for joining us. Let's hear a little bit about you.

Valerie Serrano: Thanks for having me and my name is Valerie Serrano, I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I actually did my undergrad at University of Houston, graduated Ross in 2019 and now I'm a second-year family medicine resident at University of Texas Health Science in San Antonio.

Milena Garcia: Congratulations and thank you both for joining me today. So today we're going to be talking about Texas and Texas is a huge state, and they have many of their own medical schools. In fact, last time I checked, I believe there were 14 medical schools between the MD and the DO programs there. However, even with so many schools there. They're still not able to accommodate all their medical school applicants, Sarah, how do you think we can help the Texas applicants to pursue their dreams to become doctors

Sarah Vasudevan: That's a great question. You know, as you mentioned, with over 14 medical universities, just in Texas, not even discussing how many there are nationwide.There are so many qualified applicants that are just not given an opportunity.  Sometimes it's simply just because of testing scores in your GPA and there's more to an applicant than just those variables. Here at Ross, we give that opportunity to our students that would give them the opportunity to share their stories with us, life happens. You know, sometimes because life and sometimes life just hands us this wonderful deck of cards and we have to roll with that. At, Ross. I've had the pleasure of interviewing so many amazing students who are first generation students to pursue medicine and sometimes it's just a lack of guidance. That has resulted in them not being able to apply to some of these U.S. institutions. And so here at Ross we give that opportunity. I'm excited to be part of that journey.

Texas And The RUSM Interview Process

Milena Garcia: Tell us a little bit about the interview process in Texas

Sarah Vasudevan: Recently, our interview process has changed. Previously, we used to do all in person interviews. But we have moved to a virtual platform for our students. Though we still allow for in person interviews should students wish to do so. We are really trying to accommodate and be flexible with schedules. We know life is busy and so giving the opportunity to use remote technology to see each other face to face, just as we are today and conducting those interviews is the preferred status at this point in time so we have moved to that platform.

Milena Garcia: Dr Serrano, was this the case for you?

Valerie Serrano: Yeah, so just background, you know, I agree. Everyone has their unique circumstances and for myself, it was that my parents were retired by the time I went to college, so I was balancing college, a full time job, and then trying to mix the MCAT, it just did not work for me. And I actually interviewed in Dallas for my Ross interview and I just made a fun weekend trip out of it.

Milena Garcia: This is a typical case that we hear often, right Sarah? When students have to work full-time, or even work part-time while attending full time in school and we understand. Everybody has their story. So that's why we're here. We're here to listen to everyone's stories and in fact we have, what Sarah, about 355 practicing physicians?

Sarah Vasudevan: In Texas, yeah. They just recently announced that we've added some additions to the state of Texas. So we're very excited to have that many practicing physicians in the state of Texas alone. But yes, you're correct 355 now.

Milena Garcia: And counting right?

Sarah Vasudevan: Yes, and counting, of course.

Milena Garcia: So for everyone listening, we did cover in previous episodes, the R&D program,  and the application process. Our graduates are eligible to practice in all 50 states, of course, Texas included, but there are some specific things that we have to do in order to be able to practice in Texas, Sarah, can you cover some of the differences, please?

Sarah Vasudevan: Yeah, one of the main differences in Texas is there is actually a law that states as an international medical graduate, students are not eligible to complete their core rotations in the state of Texas. But they are eligible to complete elective rotations, residency and license here in the state of Texas. So that's the biggest difference at this point. We are hopeful that things will change soon, which will allow for us to have a clinical track here. At this point, unfortunately, our students are not able to do core rotations, but are able to come back and do elective rotations, residency, and license.

Milena Garcia: It's worth saying that we have our own core track rotations as well. So, not to worry. We got you covered. Just not in Texas. Maybe we'll bring you back to do your clinical rotations.

Sarah Vasudevan: In Texas.

Milena Garcia: For your electives, as Sarah was saying, Dr. Serrano. Where did you do your clinical rotations?

Valerie Serrano: So I actually did all my core rotations in South Miami, Florida and I chose to stay there as well. For my electives. I only went to New York for an sub bye. And that was during my fourth year but I never went back to Texas for any electives. So I did a practicing internship for my family medicine rotation. Before I applied to family medicine.

Milena Garcia: That's a strong alliance thing with you. Tell us why you chose Ross?

Valerie Serrano: So I actually had a really great colleague in college that had gone to Ross and I was not familiar, so I messaged her about it and she just spoke very highly of her clinical experience. So I applied and then I was accepted.

Milena Garcia: And how is she doing?

Valerie Serrano: She's doing great. She's actually in Texas as well, finishing her third year family medicine. I haven't spoken to her recently, but I think it's just her being an upper level.

Milena Garcia: And how are you doing with our program?

Valerie Serrano: Really great. I'm still working to become a third year as well.

Milena Garcia: It appears that Ross has prepared you to check all the boxes in Texas.

Valerie Serrano: Ross actually helped because their education met the standards that Texas required for the application. So, as we know, Texas is competitive, you know, in whatever we're looking at. Ross helped me check those boxes. Before I applied for residency, and then it helped because I had multiple interviews in Texas.

Milena Garcia: So what kind of support do we offer for Texas students?

Sarah Vasudevan: That's a great question. So we actually have a dedicated staff member in licensing team there to ensure that all of our students are able to practice where they wish to be. Texas having some specific requirements or requires a little bit more care and dedication and so our team is diligent in making sure that our program is up to standard and that we are allowing our students to meet all of those requirements. And so I'm glad that Dr. Serrano has had the opportunity to experience that. And I hope that we will continue to have more students go through that diligent process.

Milena Garcia: And Dr. Serrano back to you. How was the Texas interview process for you?

Valerie Serrano: It was a lot of fun. So I not only was able to come back to my home state, I was actually able to kind of pick and choose what region. I wanted to go to. I had multiple options and it was always a warm feeling because a lot of the places that I interviewed that already had Ross students match as faculty members. So not only was I interviewed by some Ross alumni, I also was able to meet some that had graduated before

Medical School Loan Payment Programs

Milena Garcia: Dr. Serrano, during one of our previous conversations, you brought up a loan repayment program. And I know debt is of course always in the medical students’ minds. Can you cover a little bit more? I thought that was a great point that you made, and I would like our listeners to know about this program as well.

Valerie Serrano: Absolutely. So as we know, any medical school tuition can be very daunting to think about as you're trying to go into medical school. So just know: it's completely worth it. And at the end, there's multiple programs that can help. The program that I chose was the public service loan forgiveness, and it's sponsored through the federal student loans where we receive most of our loans. And so what it is, is you can start right out of medical school in your first year of residency, and it's an income driven repayment plan and you'll just do a set amount of repayments, and then the rest is forgiven. So it's beneficial because it counts your three years of residency and the payments will be really low. It's just a nice way to knock out a lot of payments

Milena Garcia: That's incredible. And everyone listening, reach out to do some research on these loan repayment programs that are out there.In fact, also Ross, because we are worried about the debt amount that students take on. We offer several scholarships, please look on our website: medical.rossu.edu. Under the scholarship tab, you can see all the other programs that we offer as far as scholarships, as well. I wanted to take a moment and thank you both for being here. What about any last minute suggestions or advice? Sarah?

Sarah Vasudevan: Yeah, my biggest statement of advice too soon to be just don't give up on yourself. You have a dream of becoming a physician. It may have taken me a long way to get here, but there are still opportunities available to you and I'm here to help you. Let Ross be the avenue for you to fulfill your dream of becoming a physician.

Milena Garcia: And where can our listeners get ahold of you?

Sarah Vasudevan: Yeah, I may be reached via email at SVasudevan@Rossu.edu and I'm also available by text or cell at 530-848-0094.

Milena Garcia: Dr. Serrano any recommendations for our future Rossies?

Valerie Serrano: I say if your dream is to become a doctor, never give up. I remind myself, it was just a dream and Ross made it come true. So if it's your dream, stick to it and do what it takes.

Milena Garcia: Thank you. Thank you both. I appreciate you taking your time. Thank you to our listeners here and we'll be back with our next episode next week. Thank you very much. Bye, ladies.