After all, he had been working so hard since enrolling in medical school, with barely a break. “I like to plan ahead,” he said, and so he made the arrangements for a month-long trip to Europe and Asia, right after learning where he had matched, and before he was to begin the residency. Jairo landed a surgery residency at Western Michigan University.

“I’m interested in general surgery with a specialization in plastic surgery,” he said. “I appreciate the aspect of being the treatment as a surgeon, of being the last line of defense, and being everything you can be for a patient.” Specializing in plastic surgery is also “a lifestyle choice” for Jairo, who feels that a career in that field would afford him more family time. He said he would like to practice in Florida.

Jairo is nostalgic about his time in Dominica while studying the Foundations of Medicine portion of the curriculum. “It was unique,” he said. “My experience in Dominica is something that I would never want to give up. It truly made me into the person I am today. It was a priceless experience that I feel that I was very blessed to have.” He was active in several student sports groups, playing intramural soccer, football, volleyball and softball.

Born in New Jersey, the 27-year-old spent part of his childhood in Colombia. Relatives from Colombia will be attending his RUSM graduation, together with about 20 other family members. “I’m really thankful to RUSM for the opportunity,” he said. “I was determined to be the best.”

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 98% 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.