Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) graduate Carrie Worley, ’21, remembers her anticipation on the Monday of Match Week, waiting for the news of her residency match while at her home in Franklin, Ohio, just outside of Dayton. “I was praying that my application would be competitive, but you never know. My parents drove in from Indiana to watch me open my assignment email with my husband. When I found out that I matched at Kettering Health in the Dayton area—my first choice—I was overwhelmed with joy and relief. This area is where my husband’s family lives and it’s our home. We’re so glad to be here and this is where we want to stay.”
Scaling a few obstacles to reach her goal
Growing up in Indiana, Worley worked as a medical scribe hoping to go to medical school but was waitlisted at several U.S. schools. Thrilled to be accepted at RUSM, she immediately learned she was pregnant and decided to put medical school on hold.
One year later, starting med school at RUSM wasn’t easy with a four-month-old baby but Worley drew inspiration from her classmates.
“I met a lot of students at RUSM who are considered ‘non-traditional’ and aren’t going to med school straight out of college. They’ve had other careers or are starting families. Medicine is their calling, so they are driven to succeed, no matter what obstacles they face. We had a lot in common and I felt more confident knowing they had many of the same experiences. Studying and working alongside these dedicated future doctors is truly inspiring; it made me realize I could do it too, even as a new mom.”
That helped later in med school when Worley faced a hurdle. “I had a strange pain in my lower right side when we were on the island. When I returned to the U.S., I was still having pain. But I was focused on studying for my United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) Step 1 exam, so I dismissed it.” Soon, the pain got much worse. “I told my husband, ‘Honey, we’re going to have to drive to the hospital.’ The doctors found that I had a ruptured appendix. I was hospitalized for 17 days—the doctors there saved my life. It’s an amazing blessing that the hospital was Kettering Health, where I matched for my residency. The hospital made a big impression on me!”
Matching at her first choice to practice Internal Medicine
She was especially grateful that she matched at Kettering Health because she knew the location near their home would mean a lot to her husband and family.
Worley now looks forward to finally being able to practice Internal Medicine in a clinical setting when she begins her residency in July 2022. “Internal Medicine was my first interest, because, if you’re seeing three patients for heart failure, it’s not the same for any of them—each has separate issues that need to be solved with a plan that has to be tailored to the individual.” She enjoys working with patients and families and, in the future, hopes to help each connect better while patients are in the hospital.
Feeling prepared for residency
Reflecting on her medical school journey, Worley believes that her education prepared her well for this moment. “If you can make it through RUSM, you absolutely deserve to be in residency. The rigor of RUSM education helps you to be prepared for the challenges you’ll encounter as a resident.”
What advice does she have for RUSM students? “Do everything you can to show that you are a well-rounded candidate on your residency application because that’s the way to stand out. Do as many practice questions as possible for your basic science exams and USMLE Step exams so you’ll know which topics you need to focus on to increase your scores. Worley also has advice for going through the match experience: “Find a mentor who can go to bat for you and personally vouch for you. The way to get through med school and match is to persevere. Keep on walking and push forward to reach your goal.”