Lincoln Islam

Despite a few bumps in his academic journey, Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) alum Lincoln Islam, MD, refused to give up, continuing to refocus. His perseverance paid off last month when he landed a residency spot in family medicine at Hoboken University Medical Center.  

Early on, Lincoln recalled leaning on newfound friends from the Medical Education Readiness Program (MERP) program when things didn’t go as planned. “They welcomed me with open arms, and it felt like I was with my own family.” And when he received word that his father fell ill before one of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® Step 2 exams, Lincoln remembers his dad’s cherished words. “He said, ‘Don’t worry about me. I’m in safe hands. Go take your exam. Go follow your dream.’ When it gets tough,” Lincoln advised others, “get tougher!”  

Different Viewpoints 

During undergrad, Lincoln traveled to Panama and worked alongside family physicians as they treated patients in impoverished villages, established clinics and cared for the community. “It was life altering to see what happened under those conditions.” Back home, he recalled how the local family physician comforted his immigrant parents when their oldest child died in an accident. “He helped my parents through the grieving process. It’s those experiences that have inspired me to want to make a difference in people’s lives.”   

Those experiences also drove him toward the field of family medicine and when it came time to apply for residency, Lincoln researched several programs. “I kept my eye on the prize and it worked.” The outdoorsy future physician thanked family, friends and the RUSM community for “not looking at me as another number in the system. My classmates and professors encouraged me to not let any failures keep me from earning that MD title. They motivated me to reach my goal. My advice to others is to never be afraid to reach out for help because even the smallest effort can go a long way.”  


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In 2020, 91% of RUSM students passed the initial step of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) on the first attempt. And in 2022-2023, results show yet another strong year for RUSM with a 97% first-time residency attainment rate* thus far. Located on the island of Barbados and with a network of more than 15,000 alumni, RUSM is one of the largest providers of doctors for the U.S. healthcare system. RUSM graduates practice in all 50 states and in Puerto Rico.

*First time residency attainment rate is the percent of students attaining a 2023-24 residency position out of all graduates or expected graduates in 2022-23 who were active applicants in the 2023 NRMP match or who attained a residency position outside the NRMP match.