Intro Image
student in white coat

Ryan Azarkhail, ’23, always had a passion for human anatomy, as well as a desire to provide direct patient care combined with hands-on procedures. His interests played a part in the research paper he helped author, “Use of Indocyanine Green Fluorescent Imaging in the Assessment of a Tongue Flap After Lateral Hemiglossectomy,” published in Cureus.

Working in collaboration with a team led by Cleveland Clinic Florida (CCF) surgery resident Lisandro Montorfano, MD, the research deals with the real-time assessment of indocyanine green (ICG) angiography as an imaging modality that can be used to assess intraoperative tissue perfusion, used in this case with reconstruction after tongue cancer surgery. ICG dye has proven to be safe and cost-effective during complex reconstructions, aiding in postoperative recovery.

Ryan was inspired by his experience in clinicals and Dr. Montorfano’s advice: “Be respectful, be curious, ask questions, show interest, be resourceful, know your anatomy, read before your cases, be prepared to answer questions, and stay late for cases. Work hard to make your dreams come true.”

After finishing core rotations at Atlanta Medical Center, Ryan is looking forward to his fourth year at RUSM and elective rotations. His goal is to match into a residency that will allow him to explore innovative medical techniques.

What are his recommendations to fellow Rossies? “Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Push yourself to network with residents, inquire about research opportunities, and put in the extra time and effort to distinguish yourself. You get out what you put in.”



Montorfano L, Bordes S J, Azarkhail R, et al. (May 26, 2021) Use of Indocyanine Green Fluorescent Imaging in the Assessment of a Tongue Flap After Lateral Hemiglossectomy. Cureus 13(5): e15248. doi:10.7759/cureus.15248

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.