Bringing Niche Specialties to the Forefront

Written by Catherine Lewis Saenz, Communications Coordinator

In his six years at RVU, David Ross, DO, has stepped into an impressive number of roles. In any given week, Dr. Ross leads the Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track, instructs students in Emergency Medicine and Military Medicine courses, and assists with simulations at the Healthcare Simulation Center. Recently, he has also taken on planning conferences, organizing immersive workshops, and guiding students in their own academic endeavors. Below, we spotlight the most recent events that Dr. Ross took to the next level, and in doing so, provided unique academic experiences for RVU’s students.

Emergency Medicine Bootcamp

In their clinical years, medical students narrow down the specialty they are most interested in for their future residencies. During each spring semester, Dr. Ross coordinates the Emergency Medicine Bootcamp to provide guidance to students interested in the specialty. This year, the event brought in physicians and RVU alumni— including recent graduate Jordan Price, DO ‘20, an EM resident at Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Oklahoma—to discuss aspects of the specialty.

Gannon Sungar, DO, Associate Program Director at Denver Health EM Residency, gave his annual talk on “How to Not Screw Up Your Sub Internship in Emergency Medicine” and Adam Dawson, DO, Associate Program Director at Kingman Regional Medical Center in Arizona, discussed professionalism. The presentations were capped off by a fourth-year student panel discussing how to prepare for EM residency interviews.

The latter part of the bootcamp was reserved for breakout sessions where students were paired with an EM attending or resident for case presentations. This portion of the event, Dr. Ross explained, is quite popular as students are given a sample patient case in advance and students must then present to the attending or resident while in the virtual breakout room. Dr. Ross concluded the event with his presentation on “Chest Pain Diagnoses You Gotta Know in the ED.”

MSK Ultrasound Lab

Sponsored by the Denver Osteopathic Foundation (DOF) and in collaboration with the Colorado Society of Osteopathic Medicine, RVU hosted a clinical skills lab centered on musculoskeletal ultrasound techniques. The lab was one of two Continuing Medical Education (CME) conferences that Dr. Ross helped to plan and implement in 2021. CME events are typically geared toward giving physicians additional training in specific areas; this lab focused specifically on shoulder and knee joint assessments. Ten students from RVUCOM were also in attendance, giving them front-row seats to continuing education for physicians; five students volunteered as ultrasound models.

Student Radiology Lecture

For fourth-year students James Dolan and Emily Gudvangen- Sherwood, radiology is a fascinating specialty, often underrepresented in medical school. As such, students may not consider it when it is time to apply to residency programs. “We wanted to do this mini-series to introduce students to radiology as well as help students understand the anatomic and physiologic processes,” said SD Gudvangen-Sherwood.
Also, “[we] wanted to demonstrate how imaging and critical thinking can solve even the most complex diagnostic questions,” said SD Dolan.

When they approached Dr. Ross with their idea for the mini-series, he immediately got to work on helping them organize and enlisting the help of Randal Anderson, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiology. Together, they reviewed the students’ presentations and promoted what later became a three-part series to fellow students. The Ultrasound Interest Group and the Radiology, Ophthalmology, Anesthesia, Dermatology Club were also brought on board to assist.

“[Drs. Ross and Anderson] supported our passion for radiology and helped make [this] a reality,” said SD Dolan. SD Gudvangen-Sherwood added, “[We] are so grateful for their support!”

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