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Alum Earns Radiology Residency in Spite of “So-called Disability”

Johnathon Stephens is returning to his hometown of Peoria, IL to begin his career in radiology. Although Stephens has found his way back to his native roots, he strategically selected clerkships in different regions to receive his medical training, including sites in Florida, Michigan, and Illinois.

“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.