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Interview with Ross University School of Medicine

By: Charyse Magdangal

 

1. What is your name, your professional title, and your relationship to the

University?

My name is Erin Healey, I am the Senior Associate Director of Admissions for Ross

University. This is my passion. Higher education has been my career for a long

time.

 

2. What are some essential problems in the healthcare field (clinically or policy-

wise) and how is Ross University working to change that?

Family and Primary Care. We see a lot of students going into that for Residency

placements. There is such a variety, and our students have the scores to get into

almost any program. You see a lot that have a true passion for Family and

Primary Care, and that’s where the need is right now.

 

3. What is a brief description of the application process?

We’re not on AMCAAS. We have our own application on our website, and that’s

where students will upload any of their documents and their written statement.

We have a holistic admission process, so that means we are looking at

everything. We are looking at grades, MCAT score, clinical experiences, written

statement, and everything that comes in your resume. We’re looking at

everything at the same time. We don’t use the GPA and the MCAT as a cutoff.

 

4. Are there any special programs for which this medical school is noted?

We have a commitment to teaching first experience. Our campus has grant-

writing and research. The faculty is in the classrooms, and they have office hours.

They will be accessible to you all of the time. We are the only school in the

Caribbean that does Organ and Systems based curriculum, which is similar to

Stanford and Harvard. We’re also known for true academic leadership. Our

Dean, Dean Joe Flarity, was the former Dean for the University of Illinois School

of Medicine. We are also known for our clinical affiliates. We are known for all

clinical all the time. You’re going to have clinical experiences during your basic

sciences.

 

5. What sets your curriculum apart from other Medical schools?

It’s the Organ and Systems based. The trend right now in the US is the Organ and

Systems based, and that is what we’ve gone to. All of your content will be put

together. So instead of immunology or pathology, you’re going to study the

digestive system, the renal system, and the nervous system. That’s how you’re

going to get your education. Because that’s how its taught and practiced. We’re

the only school in the Caribbean that does that.

We also have a center for teaching and learning which is a lot about cognitive

skill-based learning. The kinesthetic and phototactile learners really get down

into it to find out how you learn so you can maximize your classwork.

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6. How would you describe the academic environment?

It’s community based. There are stories, more often than not, about people who

might have fallen behind in their small, problem-based learning group, and those

in their group help them get through. There is almost an attitude of “we’re in

this together”. Being down in Dominica facilitates community, because you’re

not flying home, and you’re not going home after classes. Down in Dominica,

you’re down there by yourself, so it encourages and motivates people to become

a part of the community.

 

7. How are students evaluated academically? How are clinical evaluations

performed?

It’s a grading system after the first semester. The first semester is pass/fail- it’s

anatomy- and it’s pass fail, and after that it’s a grading system.

 

8. How do clinical rotations work?

Your clinicals will be done in the US. For us, we have the shortest time outside

the US. Our clinical affiliate includes Atlanta Medical Center here in Georgia.

Clinical evaluations are going to be graded. There are preceptors at every one of

their locations, and they have coursework on top of their clinical sessions.

 

9. What are the current tuition and fees?

We’re actually pretty competitive when it comes to out of state public or a

private institution. We’re very competitive. We’re recognized by the

Department of Education which means students will typically fill out the FAFSA,

and they will find out how they’re eligible for loans and programs. We also have

multiple scholarship programs. We have our most up-to-date tuition costs and

fees up on our website.

 

10. Does your school provide housing?

We have on-campus housing. But also our “off-campus housing” is right across

the street and goes up into the hills. It’s very close.

 

11. What does a well-rounded student mean to you?

We have the whole holistic thing going. We are really looking at that. We’re

looking for people who have the passion and the drive. The interview is a really

important part of the application process. Candidates will interview with their

regional admissions representative. We’re looking for that special something,

and it’s hard to put a finger on it. It’s definitely someone who has the basic

foundation, but it’s not going to be based on a specific GPA or a specific MCAT.

It’s also a lot of personality, because we are going to provide the resources to

make you a great physician.

 

12. Is there any special advice you would give to someone applying to your school?

One, don’t rush. Don’t rush. Don’t rush. Take in every moment now. You have to

concentrate, because you have to be successful in the now to get to the place in

the future. I have students all the time that are trying to meet deadlines, and

they’re just not making them, because they’re concentrating too far out here,

and not performing well here. They’re just checking things off. “Oh, I took

Biology. I took Organic Chemistry.” But how did you do in the moment there?

How did you do in those courses? You want to be able to understand the

information. Revel in the moment. Revel in the classes. Learn it to observe it.

Learn it to be able to practice it.