Student Spotlight

Emilie Mathura, OMS I

Class of 2023

  • Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology
  • Clubs and Activities: Student Government Association, OB/GYN Club, American Medical Women's Association, and Medical Students for Choice.

Why did you choose RVUCOM? The Urban Underserved Track and the sabbatical program which will allow me to complete my Master of Public Health...
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Faculty Spotlight

Cathy Ruff, MS, PA-C

Program Director and Chair of Physician Assistant Studies
Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

  • Hometown: Dearborn, Michigan
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Cellular Biology
  • Graduate Studies: Master of Science degree in Cellular/Molecular Biology. Physician Assistant Training at the University of Colorado Health Science Center.

What class/classes do you teach? I teach professionalism topics, Physical Exam, and small group skills. Why did you choose...
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Message from the President

Greetings from Rocky Vista University (RVU)!

Thank you for visiting our web site.  Whether you are a prospective student seeking information regarding our college of osteopathic medicine, a prospective employee, or simply curious about whom we are, we invite you to explore the information contained in our web site to determine whether you might be a good fit for our community.

RVU is a young, dynamic and innovative university that has accomplished great things in a short amount of time.  We have developed a curriculum that is leading change in medical education.  Our Board scores are among the highest in the nation and we have a 100% residency placement rate for all of our graduating classes including some of the top residency programs in the country. Our curriculum offers specialized tracks in Global, Rural/Wilderness and Military Medicine. In addition, we have recently added an Academic Medicine Physician-Scientist Track for those students who have a strong interest in research.

Veterans Day Celebration

We are proud of the fact that we have among the highest percentage of students on military scholarship of any civilian medical school in the country.  We have partnered with Strategic Operations to pioneer work with the cut suit, a human worn partial task surgical simulator, and have received the designation of being a military friendly school.  Our Surgical Simulation Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons (ACS).  We are the only osteopathic medical school and one of only two medical schools in the Mountain West Region to receive this distinction.

Our successes are a result of our dedicated faculty and staff who are passionate about working with a diverse, robust student body.  Our mission statement reads: “Rocky Vista University provides quality healthcare education while inspiring students to serve with compassion, integrity and excellence.”  These words are more than words stenciled on our walls and printed in our marketing collateral; they are words we live by every day.  The commitment to our mission is evident in collaboration rather than competition among all members of the RVU Community – faculty, staff, students, administrators, and members of our Board of Trustees. This sense of family and pride resonates in the halls of RVU.  Compassion, integrity, and a strong service orientation are traits we seek when selecting members of our community, whether it be students, faculty, or staff.  We actively seek opportunities to serve our community on the local, national and international level and hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards.

We are excited about what we have accomplished and are proud of the achievements of our graduates.  Our strategic vision is strong and we look forward to great things to come.  If our mission resonates with you, we invite you to contact us to learn more and hope to welcome you into the RVU Community in the future.

Warm regards,


Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE


Currently, Dr. Adams is leading the transformation of Rocky Vista University from a single College of Osteopathic Medicine to a Health Sciences University having added additional health science programs in Parker, Colorado and an additional campus in Ivins, Utah.

Dr. Adams came to Rocky Vista University after a distinguished thirty year career in the United States Navy and numerous leadership roles in Osteopathic Education.  While serving in the military, Dr. Adams attained the rank of Rear Admiral and served in a variety of capacities, notably as Command Surgeon for United States Fleet Forces Command, Command Surgeon for Allied Command for Transformation (NATO), and Commander of the Naval Regional Medical Center and Tricare Mid-Atlantic Region in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Upon transitioning from the military, Dr. Adams became Dean and Vice President of Clinical Affairs at Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine where he oversaw the implementation of a learner-centered curriculum, revision of the admissions interview process, expansion of clinical rotations, and the growth of research funding and publications. He expanded the clinical practice and increased faculty positions, resulting in a new employee orientation, departmental retreats and continuing education program development.  Additionally, Dr. Adams directed the development and building of a new campus in Lebanon, Oregon.  The results of which increased the recognition of COMP as having a superior academic profile as reflected in national rankings, in licensure examinations, and in the placement of graduates in postdoctoral residency programs. His passion for residency development quadrupled the number of programs and dramatically increased the number of osteopathic residencies in the region during Dr. Adams’ tenure.

Dr. Adams is a graduate of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University. He completed an anesthesia residency at George Washington University and a family medicine residency at the Charleston Naval Hospital. Dr. Adams completed an Academic Fellowship at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and was Chair of the Council of Osteopathic Postgraduate Training Committee of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). He is a Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives and is board certified in Anesthesiology and Family Medicine. Dr. Adams also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma. He is a past president of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, a member of the AOA, the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, and the American Medical Association (AMA).

Dr. Adams has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, two of which were awarded by AACOM—the Robert A. Kistner Award (2014), presented to individuals who have made a significant contribution to osteopathic medical education, and the Dale Dodson Award (2011), presented by the Assembly of Presidents to a current or past CEO or CAO of an osteopathic medical college who has made a significant contribution to the advancement or support of osteopathic medical education and has gone above and beyond the call of duty in this regard.  The AOA also recognized such dedication awarding Dr. Adams (2016) the Distinguished Service Award and a Presidential Citation (2018).  Dr. Adams served on the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Board of Directors and, most recently, was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) where he was one of the first osteopathic physicians selected to serve on the governing Board of ACGME for the newly established single accreditation system for graduate medical education

Dr. Adams and his wife, Paula, have been married for 45 years and have three children and three grandchildren. Their daughter, Joia, a graduate of WesternU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, is an Internal Medicine resident at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, San Bernardino, CA.

President’s Philosophy Statement
Why We DO What We DO

Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE

“RVU—the Disruptive Model for Healthcare Education in the 21st-Century”

Rocky Vista University (RVU) is a family of dedicated healthcare professionals, educators, and support staff who come to work every day believing that they are a disruptive force in medical education preparing graduates to be leaders as they will practice in an uncertain future of rapidly changing societal expectations and medical technology:

We do this because at the end of every healthcare encounter there is a patient, a family, a community in need of compassionate care from a trusted healer who displays insight, integrity, and excellence in all they do.

Student Focus: We can only achieve our “WHY” by attracting students with outstanding personal and academic qualities and providing an environment to assimilate knowledge, behaviors, and skills necessary for the effective and compassionate practice of medicine in the 21st century. The faculty facilitates learners with their application, integration, and synthesis of basic science into the practice of medicine and research, fostering lifelong learning skills.

Teamwork: Healthcare delivery is a complex process requiring a team approach. RVU’s faculty is in a unique position to empower the graduate by embedding the attributes of effective team membership. The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommendation that healthcare be safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable underlines the need for close coordination and cooperation between healthcare professionals. To practice safe and effective medicine, a physician can no longer stand alone, but must be an integral part of a team and understand the responsibilities of leadership in today’s complex healthcare environment.

Personal and Professional Goal Achievement: The faculty and staff must be excited about their calling and committed to updating their knowledge. We must ensure professional development, research opportunities, and personal growth as academic leaders. This is absolutely necessary if we are to gain momentum needed to be a world-class institution.

We are what we believe we can become.

Respect for Human Dignity: Medical professionals have worked hard to break patterns of social injustice and cultural barriers of prejudice and discrimination. But, we still have not won the battle. The “Golden Rule” has never been more important than it is today. I will not tolerate sexual harassment, hazing, violence, or discrimination of any type. The leadership of RVU must hold the welfare of our staff and students above self-interest, consistently making the correct ethical decision to “D.O. the Right Thing”, not the most expedient or the most popular decision.

Professionalism, Personal Accountability, and Responsibility: A graduate embodying compassion, integrity, and excellence does not happen by accident. Americans are longing for organizations that stand firm on their values. The learning community’s emphasis on truth, honor, and moral courage establishes a benchmark for those who will be trusted with the lives and wellbeing of family members and citizens of the world.

Learning Organizations: In the Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge speaks of a shift of mind, a place where people discover how they create their reality and how they can change it. Such a place requires many curriculum initiatives, small group learning cells, elimination of fear, and propagation of the sharing of individual knowledge, and even missteps (errors). We will use E-ffectiveness, E-fficiency, and E-learning to create a learning culture that will produce the Compassionate Graduate who exemplifies Integrity and Excellence in all they will be called upon to do.