Episode 10: RUSM Student Saves a Life


Do you ever wonder what you would do in case of an emergency? In this episode, two Ross Med students talk about how they saved a life during an ordinary day at the gym, and how the ABCs they learned early on in their medical training prepared them for the moment.

Episode 10: RUSM Student Saves a Life Transcript

Milena Garcia: Hello everybody welcome back. So this week we're going to be talking about what you would do in case of an emergency. I often ask myself, how would I react, but I freeze. Would I be able to help? What would I do, what would be my reaction. Well, two of our current students quickly found out what their reaction would be when they were presented with an emergency. So with me here today we have Mohammed Abu Gani, and Ian Parker, two current Ross students who were in the right place at the right time to save a life. Guys, welcome. Thanks for joining me. Let's take a moment to have you introduce yourself to our audience Mohammed, we'll start with you, salaam aleikum.

Muhammad Abu Gani: My name is Mohammed and I’m from San Francisco California and part of class 2024.

Ian Parker: Hi guys, thanks for having us. I’m Ian Parker. I'm from Evansville, Indiana. I'm part of the class of 2023

Milena Garcia: And again, thank you for joining us. Let's hear a little bit more about your background. Well, we'll start with you.

Muhammad Abu Gani: So they said, I'm from San Francisco, California. I graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor's and physiology and man chemistry. Prior to starting, I was an EMT for four years. And before I got into Ross, I did MERP, which was very helpful in so many ways. 

Milena Garcia: And MERP. For those of you listening, remember we did an episode. This is our medical education Readiness Program or post back program. So definitely check that out for that episode. What about you, what's your story?

Ian Parker: So I graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in 2014 2015. I'm sorry, with a degree in biophysics Then I went and got my master's degree from Indiana University, Purdue University in Indianapolis. Then after my master's I worked for a couple years as a patient care technician in Indianapolis and I also had the opportunity to work with Indian Health Service out on the Navajo reservation.

RUSM Students Save A Life

Milena Garcia: And here you both are now current students at Ross University School of Medicine going about your day going over to the gym to de-stress during a study break and boom, what happened. Muhammad, what happened at the gym.

Muhammad Abu Gani: What happened at the gym was something I’ll probably never forget walked into the gym. After a long day of studying this way to de-stress,. I just want to work out. I walked in and knew Ian was in one of the rooms. I went into their cardio room and there was an older guy working out on the treadmill sweating. I went to a treadmill next to it and was just working out two minutes to the left and the same older guy he was in his late 60s. He was lying on the floor flat.I walked up to him. I saw the face, like any up seeing the face. It's not something you want to see. So just grab the Ian And that's when he comes in. Then when the patient was a psychotic pale aggravating.

Milena Garcia: All of a sudden you get called over what do you see?

Ian Parker: Yeah, it was. I was actually at the end of my workout. As Muhammad was starting his I just grabbed my bag to walk out and I saw Mohammed running over to the patient and from my experience as a patient care technician. You kind of know when an emergency is happening. So you recognize it. Your mind just switches. My mind just switching the gear like okay this, this is what's going on. I have to go over there. I have a checklist in my mind of a how to assess the patient. What do we have to do, and so we start working on them. I actually thought he was having a seizure, before I realized he was having an EMI so as soon as we recognize the EMI, Muhammad started compressions. I ran downstairs just to alert the staff, like, hey, we're having an event upstairs. Can I have the ED. So I grabbed that, got it on the patient. And that's when we really started working on. I'm just trying to keep them stable until MS could arrive for him.

Milena Garcia: You mentioned that ABC. Can you talk a little bit more about what is that

Ian Parker: So in any kind of emergency care situation, you're taught to assess, like I said, the ABC. That is your airway, the patient's airway; their breathing, and their circulation, and those are the fundamentals basically that that the patient needs to survive and stay alive. So as long as you maintain those three, in theory, the idea is that you can keep the patient alive and we proved that day that that is really all you needed.

Milena Garcia: And let's talk a little bit more about the kind of training you had already talked about being an EMT, he talked about patient care. Can you elaborate a little bit more on what kind of training you both had prior to this? Muhammad, we'll start with you.

Muhammad Abu Gani: For me, during college, I wanted to get some patient contact experience. So the EMT  there for four years gave me a lot of patient contact experiences.: So the first two years of that I did adults and the last two years had them add a new unit, pediatric, so I dealt with a lot of  maternal and babies. So I had a mixture of both adults and kids.

Milena Garcia: It. What about you, what kind of training did you have that help you in the situation?

Ian Parker: So like I mentioned it earlier. After I got my master's degree. I wasn't really sure if medicine was the right field for me. So I wanted to get some patient care experience.I had a friend of mine who is working at Community Hospital South in Indianapolis. So I asked her if there's positions. She said, Oh yeah, come on. So I applied there and I worked there for about two and a half years I worked on their progressive care unit with a wonderful team of nurses and  for those of you who don't know, progressive care unit is basically a step down from ICU, where it's patient doesn't need to be intubated, but they have a severe Cardiac, respiratory or severe bleeding going on, they will come to our floor. It's not like what you see on TV, like with Grey's Anatomy where you know they're in the ED pumping away, but whenever you're on the floor, you're trained to know, okay, this patient’s on the edge, this patient could crash in any minute. So you have to be prepared to respond. What happened to us at the gym was completely not like that where, like you said earlier, we were there on our break where we're not in school mode. We're not prepared for this. In case someone were to have an episode or an EMI we are there just to relax and then just to have see the patient on the ground and then knowing we have to respond to it was definitely a shock.

Milena Garcia: I applaud you guys for being able to respond so quickly. Again, I feel like I would probably freeze, I think personally. That would be my reaction. So, way to go. Both of you thinking so quickly. Did you find out what happened to the guy after he got taken by the MST Muhammad?

Muhammad Abu Gani: A few days after that I was in the gym at the same time, and the same guy came to the gym staff at the bottom of stairs, and you're like, is he pointing at me? So the guy just came and just gave me a hug, he just came in and just wanted to meet us, me and Ian and know how we look like but, it was a beautiful moment just to see him on his feet. A complete transition in him. Dying, coding, to him on his feet on its own power, it was amazing.

Life-saving Lessons Learned From a RUSM Student

Milena Garcia: Yeah, happy ending to that situation. You guys really were the right place at the right time for him, way to think quickly but Ian. What's the biggest lesson you learned from this episode?

Ian Parker: The biggest thing I took away from this is just how powerful it is to know basic knowledge about CPR. I mentioned Grey's Anatomy earlier, you see it dramatized all the time that you know it's easy to go up and start compressions, or to get the patient stabilized, but whenever you're in that moment. Once the adrenaline starts going, your heart starts pumping. It's very easy for your mind to go blank and like you're talking earlier, you could freeze. You have all this knowledge but you go blank. But what they teach you in CPR is how to overcome that. Go back to the basics. I mentioned that earlier. And it's super easy to get CPR training. I know some people might think, oh, I don't have time for it, it costs too much money to take a class, but it really is the difference between life and death, if you are able to acquire those skills.

Milena Garcia: What about you, Muhammad? What's your biggest lesson?

Muhammad Abu Gani: Biggest lesson of course, CPR should be taught to everyone. And I remember just that week. I would just be grateful for life. You know, like life can be slipped in a second so that whole week I was just appreciating life. Everything is very... I was just really happy when I heard the news back that he was recovering in the hospital in Pittsburgh. It was just rewarding.

Milena Garcia: That should be a lesson for all of us right? Always appreciate your life. Every day is a blessing for sure. Let's talk a little bit more about you guys, why Ross? Ian, why Ross?

Ian Parker: So Ross was actually not on my radar whenever I first started applying for medical school. I wanted to stay in state, I wanted to stay close to my family, but year after year, I was just struggling to get in. It always hurts to hear on the phone admissions department say ‘Oh your application is not good this year, maybe next year. Oh, not this year, maybe next year,’ and it was frustrating, it’s very defeating on my desire to become a physician, but thankfully at the hospital I was working at there are some physicians who actually went to Ross So I started talking with them about what they thought about their experience with Ross. They said they're very happy with education they received and that I should apply there. And so that's when I started thinking, well, you know, why not Ross? So I applied in the, gosh, fall of 2018 and then started in January 2019 and here I am.

Milena Garcia: What is it about you that you think the US schools didn't see about you that Ross did?

Ian Parker: So, my biggest shortcoming was in undergrad. I did not appreciate what schools were looking for. To be honest, I probably wasn't as diligent in my classes as I should. I matured academically later in my undergraduate career where okay, this is when I start really focusing on my classes. Not say that I partied around or anything like that. I just didn't appreciate the work that it took to be recognized by a medical school. That's actually why I decided to pursue a master's degree and work in the hospital was because I wanted to get more experience and show that you know my undergraduate degree shows this but my work and the ethic, I put into applying to medical school shows this.

Milena Garcia: How about you. Why Ross?

Muhammad Abu Gani: Ross alone was on my radar thing as early as my third year in my school in undergrad. I have a lot of Semester friends in undergrad that were pre med and they were applying for US schools and they were getting rejected right and left, it was depressing to see them. So I didn't want to waste time like them when I graduated from undergrad, I didn't want to waste three a month, no happier. So I started looking into Ross. There are a few bloggers that I used to watch, the doctor's name is Emma Crank and a few other bloggers from Ross and I had a friend of mine, her brother graduated from Ross and he's an orthopedic in New Jersey. So I just heard a lot of successful stories that came out of Ross. And it was for me, the path to success through Ross, I could see it. So that's why it just is in my interest in to Ross and walk in the path to my goal. 

Milena Garcia: And we already have 15,000 graduates practicing in the US and Canada. So 15,000 graduates already have been successful based on their story in your own personal stories. What do you guys feel, what does it take to be successful in medical school? Muhammad will start with you. Well, one thing, it's not a walk in the park. You have to be disciplined. You are what you make of it. You come in, you put in the work, you will succeed. Ross is going to give you the opportunity, is going to give you the tools. You just have to put them together as you go along here in this journey.

What it Takes to be Successful in Medical School

Milena Garcia: Ian, what about you, what do you feel it takes to be successful in medical school?

Ian Parker: My response is kind of similar to Muhammad's is. You always have to be focused on your goal, you're accepted by Ross because they thought, ‘Hey, you're good enough to be a physician, you're good enough to handle our program.’ Everyone runs into conflict, whether you have a bad test, you have a bad semester. Everyone has it. And what makes the difference between being successful and not is how you handle that. Are you going to keel over again in the fetal position, crawl under a rock and hide. Or you got to look at it and say, No, screw you. This is my dream. And I'm going to do whatever it takes to get to the end and it sounds cheesy. It sounds simplistic, but that's really what the difference is between whether you walk away with a degree or if you go home.

Milena Garcia: Right, right. I often tell the students that I work with grit, as simplistic as it sounds. Would you agree?

Ian Parker: Absolutely.

Milena Garcia: What's the plan for the future Mohammed. What about residency?

Muhammad Abu Gani: Hopefully after graduate May I end up in ecology program. After that, I end up somewhere near California where my family is

Milena Garcia: What about you, Ian. What do you have planned for the future?

Ian Parker: My future is a little closer than Muhammad’s. So I've been thinking about this a little more than I'm comfortable thinking about, butI would absolutely love to come back to the Midwest, or Indiana. I always thought when I was younger, all you know I want to get away. And, you know, see the world. I've kind of done that over the past few years, and to quote the Wizard of Oz, there's no place like home. There really isn't, so I would love to do residency back here in Indiana. And I'd like to do either internal med or pediatrics.

Milena Garcia: And I wish you both a lot of success with your path. Again, thank you for joining us. I want to give you the opportunity to maybe share a recommendation or advice to our future Rossies. Ian, any last advice?

Ian Parker: The biggest advice I would give is it definitely seems like a challenge, applying for schools, especially Ross, where you're going to an island. For me, it was about a 16 hour flight between four different flights to get down to the island. It's not going to be easy to come home. And you're literally being plucked out of your life you're comfortable with and dropped into the life of the student on an island. You're literally in the middle of nowhere and for a lot of people that might seem challenging or scary, but  like I mentioned earlier, grit is the biggest thing you have to have to succeed in medical school. So if you look at that challenge and say, you know, I might be away, but this is what I have to do now to pursue this degree, to pursue what you want to do, take that leap because I guarantee you, if you take that leap and confidence, you're going to go far.

Milena Garcia: Mohammed. What about you, any advice for future Rossies?

Muhammad Abu Gani: My recommendation for future Ross students is you have to have a good support system. Yeah, find your little max five group of students that you study with, you know, motivate because it can be a lonely path and it's not a walk in the park, as we said, so just finding a little group’s support system makes this easier for you and it's going to be wanting at the end. I highly recommend you take good notes and keep those notes because those notes are going to save you. Here are going to save you a lot of hours of going to look up a lot of details, understand a lot of stuff in rough day and they explained a lot of stuff in detail than the meds. The medical pace is a lot faster. So it will help you a lot. Just take good notes, it will build up your endurance with studying. And when you get into  med school. I mean Ross, then it will be a lot easier for you.

Milena Garcia: Well thank you both for joining me and sharing your experience and sharing your insights and sharing your recommendations. I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Milena Garcia: Ian, you're so close. Almost there. Mohammed. Hey, you’re so close. Thank you very much. Congratulations for doing what you did. We appreciate it. You really did save a life. That's what it's all about. Thank you both. I appreciate it. And for you. You guys at home. Log on for the next episode. Join us next week for our next episode. See you then.