“Cardiology is very competitive, and I chose to do the extra year at Albany to help tip the scales so to speak,” she said. “I feel that having some extra experience under my belt will only benefit my career overall.”

Currently in her final months of a three-year Internal Medicine residency at Mercy Catholic Medical Center in Philadelphia, Zheng feels that having the opportunity to fulfill her medical training – both as a clinical student and resident – at various hospitals across the country has only served to make her a better doctor.

“When I was a student at RUSM, I loved and appreciated going all over the U.S. for my rotations,” she said. “RUSM gave me the opportunity to literally live in over 10 States, and I got to see and experience many different kinds of hospital systems, which strengthened my preparedness and ability to work in different healthcare environments,” she said. “As a result, I felt very prepared for residency. I’m currently top of my class and know my training is largely the reason for that.”

No stranger to the medical field, Zheng’s parents are both successful practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, and following in their footsteps seemed like a natural progression to Zheng. However, her parents’ training and experience was very different from that of a U.S. medical school-style education, leaving Zheng to navigate her entry into medical school largely on her own.

As a pre-med major at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania where she majored in Biology and Chemistry, Zheng was determined to find a way to follow her dream. As chance would have it, a fellow classmate and medical-school hopeful told her about RUSM, and she decided to look into it.

“I went to an Information Seminar and really liked what I heard,” she said. “The fact that RUSM was located in Dominica was especially appealing to me, since I actually grew up in the Caribbean. Going to RUSM helped me be closer to my family. I didn’t apply anywhere else.”

Due to her upbringing, Zheng had no trouble adapting to life in Dominica, and enjoyed her time there immensely.

“I loved it,” she said. “I made wonderful friends at Ross and we took full advantage of all the island had to offer – even the air is fresher in Dominica!”

She continued, “The location aside, the medical education was great and I really appreciated that Ross was able to guide me through every single step. The processes involved are so complicated, but Ross is really good at providing a roadmap and leading you from one step to the next.”

As she looks to the future, Zheng is excited for all that is to come, and grateful to RUSM for giving her the opportunity to follow her dream.

“I’m now in a position to be able to encourage others to take this path. There are so many medical students and interns who want to hear about the steps I and my fellow Ross graduates took to succeed, but I think passion is the key,” she said. “If someone is passionate enough to be in the field of medicine – especially at a time when there is a global pandemic like COVID-19 – if they are still determined to go to medical school they will succeed because their passion will drive them through the entire process.”

When asked what RUSM means to her, Zheng responded, “Ross means family to me. It’s my home away from home. Ross was everything I needed, and gave me everything I wanted.”

In 2020, 91% of RUSM students passed the initial step of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) on the first attempt. And in 2021-2022, results show yet another strong year for RUSM with a 96% 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 2022-23 residency position out of all graduates or expected graduates in 2021-22 who were active applicants in the 2022 NRMP match or who attained a residency position outside the NRMP match.