“One of the advantages of Ross is the option to sample medicine at different locations and hospitals around the country,” said Stephens.

Stephens’ strategy appears to have worked as he begins his residency at Saint Francis Medical Center.  He recalls what it was like on the Monday before “Match Day” when medical students throughout the United States were notified whether they matched into a residency through the National Resident Matching Program®.

“It was such a long, arduous road,” said Stephens. “Although that Monday I didn’t know which residency program I had matched into yet, I knew I had a job!”

Stephens advises medical students to “never give up.” It’s a mantra he has applied to his own life.

“For those of us with so-called disabilities, if you persevere long enough, eventually your weakness will become your strength.”

Stephens is hard of hearing and coordinated with RUSM to get the resources he needed to earn his degree, including making arrangements for sign language interpreters from Hands in Motion during his clerkships for clinical training.  

Stephens attributes his success to having a great support system of family and friends.

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.