Rafael Bayramgalin, Md '14
HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON RUSM FOR YOUR MEDICAL EDUCATION?
I decided to pursue my medical education at Ross because it provided me with flexibility on when I could begin my medical education. I was attracted to Ross because I was able to start January rather than delayed an extra year. I was also impressed with the great clinical affiliations RUSM had in many states, allowing me to learn medicine in different parts of the US.
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN MEDICINE?
My grandmother was the only doctor in a rural town in Russia. On many occasions, I saw her taking care of patients because her house also served as a small, two-bed, local hospital. I would spend hours watching as she treated others in her community for a cold or flu, suturing minor wounds and even delivering a baby. When I could, I helped her with bringing water for patients and changing linens on the beds.
My grandmother’s altruism and compassion for others, no matter their circumstances, inspired me to pursue a career in family medicine.
WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AT RUSM?
I had a great experience doing my rotations in seven different states. It broadened my personal and medical horizons. I was able to experience living in different parts of the country, meeting incredible physicians, medical professionals, and making life lasting friendships. Of course, the island life was incredible. Dominica is a beautiful island known for its ecotourism. Hiking to Boiling Lake is definitely a highlight of living in Dominica.
One of my most treasured experiences was at Metropolitan State Hospital, Norwalk, CA. I had an opportunity to work with a music therapy group, which is essentially a band consisting of psychiatric patients. On many occasions, I would substitute for a bass or a guitar player if there was no-one available. It was a unique experience to play music alongside the patients I saw during my daily rounds with my attending.
HOW HAS THIS TRANSITIONED INTO YOUR WORK AS A PHYSICIAN?
Throughout my years at RUSM, I was able to experience medicine in all kinds of settings, from rural to metropolitan. In the end, my experience solidified my choice of matching into a community residency program. Thanks to RUSM's great reputation among medical residencies in USA, I was able to interview at multiple residencies and subsequently match into my top choice.
Now, as a Hospitalist, I work in the medically underserved part of Iowa. Being a physician in a small to medium community has always attracted me. On a daily basis, I treat patients who have a limited access to medical services. It is a rewarding and challenging experience to work in this community while striving for the best outcomes for my patients.
LOOKING AHEAD TO THE NEXT 40 YEARS, WHAT ADVICE TO YOU HAVE FOR US?
I hope that RUSM will continue to provide professional training for the future physicians in its highly dedicated manner.