Ross University School of Medicine

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Ross University School of Medicine
Ross University School of Medicine logo
Dedita Scientiae Medendi
Motto in English
Dedicated to the science of healing
TypePrivate, Medical School
Established1978 (1978)
DeanHeidi Chumley, M.D., M.B.A.

Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) is a private medical school. Its main campus is located in Barbados, and separate administrative offices are located in Iselin, New Jersey, and Miramar, Florida, in the United States. Prior to 2019, the university's main campus was in Portsmouth, Dominica but moved to its present location in Barbados in January 2019.[2] RUSM is owned by Adtalem Global Education Inc.



The medical school was founded in 1978 as The University of Dominica School of Medicine by Robert Ross, as a provider of medical education offering Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree programs, due to the scarcity of medical schools and physicians in the U.S., at the time. The university primarily serves students from the United States and Canada. In 1984, the university officially changed its name to Ross University School of Medicine.

Ross University School of Medicine's charter class included twelve students. In 2013, the 10,000th graduate of Ross received their medical degree from the school.

Early years and controversy[edit]

In 1984, NJ Board of Medical Examiners ruled that the Ross University School of Medicine may no longer send students to hospitals in New Jersey for the hands-on part of their training due to significant weaknesses in the educational program.[3] In 1985, California state medical licensing officials (the Board of Medical Quality Assurance), began investigating RUSM, along with other medical schools located in the Caribbean.[4] The officials released a report stating that RUSM had nearly no admissions standards, and that the school was in the business of providing medical degrees to "everyone that wants one."[4] Those events prompted RUSM to agree to implement a number of changes recommended by the California board. RUSM has since graduated over 11,000 practicing physicians eligible to practice in all 50 states.[5]

On June 30, 1990, RUSM obtained recognition from the Medical Board of California.[6] In October 1999, the New York State Department of Education approved RUSM students to complete more than 12 weeks of clinical clerkships in New York State.[7]

In the late 1990s, RUSM expressed interest in opening a U.S.-based medical school in Casper, Wyoming, but accreditation was denied by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the organization that accredits MD-granting medical schools in the United States.[8] Some local individuals welcomed the economic impact of a new medical school on the town, but critics questioned the quality of education at a for-profit institution.[8]

2000 to present[edit]

In 2003, Ross University School of Medicine was acquired by Adtalem Global Education.[9]

In 2017, the school was impacted by Hurricane Maria, when the Category 5 storm made landfall on the island of Dominica. The hurricane knocked out communications, effectively isolating RUSM from the outside world. The campus suffered moderate damage from the effects of Maria. Students and faculty were evacuated from the campus to the U.S. mainland.[10] [11] In October 2017, the university resumed classes aboard the GNV Excellent, an Italian ferry docked off the coast of the island of St. Kitts.[12][13] The ship was reconfigured as an educational venue. In November 2017, Ross University School of Medicine relocated temporarily to Knoxville, Tennessee, for continuation of medical school classes. Lincoln Memorial University (LMU), based in Harrogate, Tennessee, and with operations in Knoxville, provided the operational capacity and the technical capabilities to support RUSM faculty, students, and staff.[14]

Ross University School of Medicine permanently relocated from Dominica to Barbados for the beginning of the 2019 Spring semester due to extensive damage done in Dominica after Hurricane Maria.[15][16]

In 2019, Ross developed partnerships with Dillard University, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and Tuskegee University to "expand the black physician pipeline."[17] They also added partnerships with Cal State Dominguez Hills and Oakwood University to increase physician diversity in the US.[18]

Accreditation and Recognition[edit]

RUSM is accredited by the following agencies:

It is recognized by:

The university also has state-specific recognition and/or approval from Florida,[21] California,[26][27] New Jersey,[28] Indiana [29] and New York.[7][30] Ross University School of Medicine is approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED)[31] to allow students to complete more than 12 weeks of clinical clerkships in New York State. RUSM is one of eight Caribbean medical schools so approved by NYSED.[32]

Student life[edit]


The Ross University School of Medicine pre-clinical campus is located at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre at Two Mile Hill in Barbados.[33] The campus features a medical and anatomical imaging laboratory and a simulation center.[34][35]


The university does not offer traditional dormitory housing options. Most students typically live in off-campus university-approved housing complex within The Villages of Coverley, which features has 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom, and 4 bedroom houses. [36][37]

Academic profile[edit]


Ross University School of Medicine acceptance rate is 42.7%. Students are required to take the MCAT. The average MCAT for admitted students is 493 [38] (25% percentile).[39]

Rankings and reputation[edit]

RUSM was ranked in the top tier of Caribbean Medical Schools by the World Scholarship Forum (2020),[40] and in the top ten in a Money Inc. article in 2019 [5]


RUSM awards a single academic degree: Doctor of Medicine.[33]


The curriculum is composed of the medical sciences curriculum (first two years of the program) and the clinical science curriculum (last two years). The medical sciences portion follows an organ systems-based model.[41] This is the most widely used model in American medical schools.[42] Students at Ross University School of Medicine have the option to choose between two curriculum tracks; Ross+ which requires 5 semesters or 20 months and Standard Acceleration which requires 4 semesters or 16 months. After completing the medical sciences portion of the curriculum, students return to the United States to complete their USMLE Step 1 board exam. After successfully completing the exam, students begin their first clinical clerkship, Internal Medicine Foundations (IMF), at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital in Weston, Florida. RUSM graduates had an NRMP match rate of 95.2% in 2019-2020[43] which is very similar to the historical 92-94% match rate of U.S. allopathic Medical Schools per the National Resident Matching Program®.[44]

The clinical science portion of the program is composed of 90 weeks of clinical clerkships: 48 weeks of required core rotations and 42 weeks of electives [45] with students having the option to complete their clerkships in the United States[46][47][48][49] or the United Kingdom.[50] The university has established contracts with hospitals to accept and place their third and fourth-year medical students in clinical rotations. [51]

Academic outcomes[edit]

According to the US Department of Education, 56.6% of students completed the program on time in 2019.[33]

Pass rates of students and graduates on United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE) in calendar year 2019 were as follows: [33]
Step 1 – Basic Science 96.73%
Step 2 – Clinical Knowledge 96.86%
Step 3 – Clinical Skills 89.93%

The Step 1 and Step 2 CK results are comparable to the pass rates among the 110 ranked medical schools in the U.S. News Best Medical Schools rankings that reported their USMLE pass rates:[52]

Step 1 – Basic Science 96.3%

Step 2 – Clinical Knowledge 96.6%

Student loan debt[edit]

Median student loan debt for those who started in 2012-2013 was $318,071.[53] The US Department of Education reports median student loan debt of Americans who attended was $349,973 in 2019.[54]


Since opening in 1978, the university reports that it has graduated over 15,000 students who are practicing in the US and Canada.[55] A large proportion of the university graduates are primary care physicians which is typical for Caribbean medical schools graduates,[56][57] with 2,611 of those being family medicine doctors.[58] To put these numbers in context, a census conducted in 2016 established there were 985,026 active physicians in the United States.,[59] and it was estimated in 2010 that the active primary care physician population is 209,000.[60] RUSM is the second international school with the greatest amount of licensed physicians in the United States (after St. George's University) per the 2108 FSMB Survey with 9,930 licensed physicians.[61]

Some notable graduates include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Student Consumer Information". Retrieved 4 April 2020.
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  3. ^ Sandra Friedland (23 September 1984). "State Medical Board curbs students from Caribbean schools". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  4. ^ a b Jacobs, Paul (13 September 1985). "State Dubious, Will Monitor Caribbean Medical Schools". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ a b Liz Flynn (2019). "The Top 10 Caribbean Medical Schools in 2019". Money Inc. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  6. ^ "Agenda Item 28C" (PDF). Medical Board of California. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  7. ^ a b "License Requirements". Office of the Professions. New York State Department of Education. Retrieved 15 May 2021. The following schools have been approved...
  8. ^ a b Wright, Elizabeth (27 June 1999). "U.S. Resists For-Profit Medical School". Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ Roach, Ronald (8 May 2003). "DeVry to Purchase Caribbean Medical School". Diverse Education. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Tears as Medical Students Stranded by Hurricane Maria Reunite With Families: 'It's Been Overwhelming'". Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  11. ^ "American Students Evacuated from Dominica". Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  12. ^ Miller, Amy Beth (18 January 2018). "Logan Frazier back in Knoxville for Ross University School of Medical after classes on ship off St. Kitts". Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  13. ^ "Relocating Ross University, Dominica medical students". 11 November 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  14. ^ Schencker, Lisa. "Displaced medical school will relocate from Caribbean cruise ship to Tennessee". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Medical school relocates to Barbados after hurricane". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  16. ^ "Adtalem Global Education Announces Barbados as New Location for Ross University School of Medicine". Adtalem Global Education. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  17. ^ Pluviose, David. "oss University, Dillard Partner to Expand Black Physician Pipeline". Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  19. ^ "Registered Providers with the Barbados Accreditation Council as of October 31, 2020". Barbados Accreditation Council. 31 October 2020. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  20. ^ "Ross University School of Medicine" (PDF). Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  21. ^ a b "Ross University School of Medicine (#2644)". Florida Department of Education. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  22. ^ "Comparability Decisions". United States Department of Education. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  23. ^ "Aid for International Study". United States Department of Education. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  24. ^ "Search the World Directory". World Directory of Medical Schools. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
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  28. ^ "Visiting Students". New Jersey Medical School. Retrieved 17 April 2021. students of...Ross University are approved by the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners to participate in clinical training in the state
  29. ^ "Approved/Disapproved Foreign Medical Schools". Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  30. ^ "NYSED Approved Schools (12-week rule)". University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  31. ^ "NYS Medicine:Application Forms". Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  32. ^ " Office of the Professions".
  33. ^ a b c d "Foreign Medical School Information" (PDF). Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  34. ^ "Ross University Opens New Student Center". Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica. 19 May 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  35. ^ Kerri Gooding (12 January 2019). "Minister impressed with Ross University Anatomy Lab, Simulation Centre". Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  36. ^ "Housing in Barbados". Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  37. ^ "Ross University Students "Rent Rage" – Barbados". 3 January 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  38. ^ "Ross University School of Medicine: What you need to know". Retrieved 17 April 2021. MCAT is one of the Ross Medical School requirements
  39. ^ "Summary of MCAT Total and Section Scores. Percentile Ranks in Effect May 1, 2019 – April 30, 2020". AAMC. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  40. ^ "15 Best Caribbean Medical Schools". World Scholarship Forum. Retrieved 17 April 2021. Group 1: Accreditation, WFME, NCFMEA, NY, CA, Title IV, 50 States
  41. ^ "Interview with Ross University School of Medicine". 28 March 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  42. ^ Dubin, B. (2016). "Innovative Curriculum Prepares Medical Students for a Lifetime of Learning and Patient Care". Missouri Medicine. 113 (3): 170–173. PMC 6140046. PMID 27443039.
  43. ^ "About Ross University School of Medicine Blog What is Match Day". Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  44. ^ "NRMP Main Residency Match Report Shows Record-Highs In Registrants, Positions". National Resident Matching Program. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  45. ^ "Ross Medical School Clinical Rotations". Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  46. ^ "St. Anthony Hospital- Careers". Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  47. ^ "Wellstar - Clerkships". Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  48. ^ "Kern Medical > Academics > Medical Student Education > FAQ". Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  49. ^ "Home / For Healthcare Professionals / Graduate Medical Education / Internal Medicine Residency". University of Maryland Medical School. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  50. ^ "Affiliated Medical Schools". National Health Service of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  51. ^ Hundley, Kris (25 December 2009). "Investigators want to know if the quality of offshore medical schools justifies the cost". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  52. ^ Kowarski, Ilana (4 June 2019). "How to Interpret Med School Licensing Exam Results". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  53. ^ "KNOW BEFORE YOU GO FACT SHEET" (PDF). Ross University School of Medicine. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  54. ^ "Foreign Medical School Information" (PDF). US Department of Education. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  55. ^ "Facts and figures". Ross University School of Medicine. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  56. ^ Kristen Moon. "Will Attending Medical School In The Caribbean Hurt My Chances Of Becoming A U.S. Doctor?". Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  57. ^ Marta van Zanten, John R Boulet (2013). "Medical education in the Caribbean: quantifying the contribution of Caribbean-educated physicians to the primary care workforce in the United States". Academic Medicine : Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. 88 (2): 276–281. doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e31827c6cd3. PMID 23269307. S2CID 205444968.
  58. ^ Robbert J. Duvivier,Elizabeth Wiley and John R. Boulet (30 March 2019). "Supply, distribution and characteristics of international medical graduates in family medicine in the United States: a cross-sectional study". BMC Family Practice. 20 (1): 47. doi:10.1186/s12875-019-0933-8. PMC 6441164. PMID 30927914.
  59. ^ Aaron Young, PhD; Humayun J. Chaudhry, DO, MACP; Xiaomei Pei, PhD; Katie Arnhart, PhD; Michael Dugan, MBA; Scott A. Steingard, DO. "FSMB Census of Licensed Physicians in the United States, 2018" (PDF). FSMB. Retrieved 11 April 2021.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  60. ^ "The Distribution of the U.S. Primary Care Workforce". AHRQ. September 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  61. ^ "FSMB Census of Licensed Physicians in the United States, 2018" (PDF). FSMB. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  62. ^ "Nicole B. Saphier, MD". Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  63. ^ "Michael Williams named president of UNT Health Science Center". Bizjournals. 12 July 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2021.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 15°33′25″N 61°27′30″W / 15.556995°N 61.458431°W / 15.556995; -61.458431