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Student Commencement Speaker: Emma Cronk, MD '19

Growing up in a small farm town in rural Canada, Emma Cronk learned the value of hard work and incredible drive at a young age. She watched her father work their 3,000-acre farmland on a daily basis, and she and her three sisters were routinely up before school doing chores.


Leading a very simple life and inspired by her mother’s saying “we are rich with love,” Emma learned the things you want in life aren’t handed to you; to succeed it takes hard work and perseverance. Emma channeled her work ethic into sports and academics at a young age and eventually joined the women’s basketball team at State University of New York at Binghamton on a full NCAA D1 basketball scholarship.

Her desire to become a physician wasn’t “born” at college, instead, it came after graduation from the State University of New York at Binghamton where she was a Division 1 basketball player, with an incident on a family vacation.  While in Florida, her 18 year-old sister had complications with her recently diagnosed  Graves’ Disease with her already diagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis. Unfortunately, her medications conflicted while on vacation and she was unable to get out of bed due to immense pain. Emma witnessed first-hand the complexity of medicine and at that point she was determined to help people in her future career as an aspiring physician. 

Flash forward to December 2014 when Emma enrolled in the MERP program when referred by Ross University School of Medicine and then May 2015 where she and her then-boyfriend-now-husband landed on Dominica for Emma to begin her basic science coursework. Emma was committed to a rigorous study schedule, but also became involved in the community and school, founding The RUSM Sports Medicine Club, serving as the Co-President during her time on the island, while also serving on the E-Board for PAWS at Ross (which helped find forever homes for stray cats and dogs), and being a member of the Canadian Student Society. Even with her community and club accomplishments, Emma still managed to make Dean's List every semester throughout not only the basic sciences curriculum, but clinical sciences as well. 

Today her journey to becoming a physician, specializing in family medicine and eventually sports medicine, continues. Since finishing up her 4th year electives at Atlanta Medical Center in February, Emma founded the Ross University Family Medicine Interest Group.  Emma was also the recipient of the inaugural American Society for Sports Medicine Medical Student Scholarship Award.  She was also awarded the Empower Scholarships during her time at RUSM, which confirms her strong commitment to not only academics, but her overall commitment and passion for medicine. 

And to Emma the hours of studying, intense coursework and rotations, it has all been worth it.  It’s with great excitement, Emma's next chapter will be starting this July as an incoming resident at her number one choice: Family Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.