MICHAEL R. MIJARES, MD '11
University of Miami
Michael R. Mijares, Md '11
ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY RESIDENT
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND.
Born and raised in Miami, FL, I grew up in a household of Spanish and Cuban heritage. My father did not finish high school and started his own precision sheet metal company in 1979. Four years later, my mother stopped working as an accountant to care for my two younger brothers and me fulltime. Their sacrifices allowed me to focus on my studies, eventually getting into medical school and ultimately, becoming a doctor.
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN MEDICINE?
Growing up, I was an athlete and participated in an array of different sports. I had the somewhat unfortunate experience of sustaining multiple injuries, including broken bones, which landed me in the orthopaedic’s office on numerous occasions. In fact, I had a cast on my right leg for almost my entire fourth grade year from fracturing and re-fracturing my right tibia playing soccer.
I always admired how the orthopaedic doctor examined and treated me and got me back on the playing field. This, combined with my experience every summer working with my Dad in the sheet metal factory assembling parts with my hands, formed my desire to become an orthopaedic surgeon. I could not image doing anything else.
WHAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU THINK OF RUSM?
The colleagues and professors at Ross with whom I had the privilege of forging relationships have shaped much of who I have become as an adult. I can say with confidence, that some of these relationships have turned into friendships that will last for a lifetime. Ross has ultimately provided me with the opportunity to study medicine and pursue my dream of becoming an Orthopaedic Surgeon.
HOW DID YOU COME TO CHOOSE RUSM FOR YOUR MEDICAL EDUCATION? HOW DID THE SCHOOL ALIGN WITH YOUR CAREER GOALS?
Ross University is located on the beautiful, natural island of Dominica. When I was accepted into Ross, I was very excited, as I've always said I would one day live on an island. I was one-step closer to achieving my dream of becoming an Orthopaedic Surgeon. At the same time, I was looking forward to the beach, scuba diving, surfing, and of course studying. Going to an island for medical school actually allowed me to focus on my studies more than I could have imagined. There were minimal distractions and I was able to get down to business. This allowed me to graduate with highest honors.
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING SINCE GRADUATING FROM RUSM?
I scrambled into a preliminary general surgery position, at University of Massachusetts in Worcester, MA. Once completed, I returned to Miami where I spent the next three years conducting orthopaedic research in the university and private setting. These were difficult times in my life, as I entered the match a second time and was unsuccessful. Going to Ross University has taught me to be resilient and to overcome adversity. During this difficult time, I did not give up and continued to pursue my dream of becoming an Orthopaedic Surgeon. I inquired about and completed observerships at several orthopaedic surgery residency programs throughout the country. In 2015, I matched into the prestigious University of Miami's Orthopaedic residency program.
DESCRIBE THE IMPACT OF YOUR WORK.
The goal of orthopaedics and my role as an orthopaedic surgeon is to relieve patients of their musculoskeletal pain, allowing them to return to playing a sport or work, and ultimately becoming functional members of society again. The gratitude from the patients when the end goal is achieved is what makes it all worth it. At Jackson Memorial Hospital, we serve a large indigent population of Miami, whose lives sometimes depend on their ability to work with their extremities. Getting them back to work and being able to provide for their families is something I am very grateful to be able to do for a living.