Student Spotlight

Chauncey R. Syposs IV, OMS III

Class of 2019

  • Hometown: Buffalo, NY
  • Undergraduate Studies: Undergrad: Biology and Philosophy (Canisius College); Graduate: Human Anatomy and Cellular Biology (University of Buffalo School of Medicine)
  • Clubs and Activities: Multicultural Club, acting Treasurer and Secretary, Students for Choice

Why did you choose RVU? RVU had a great reputation for its board scores and the structure of its curriculum. Being less than an hour...
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Faculty Spotlight

Rachel M.A. Linger, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology

  • Hometown: Dunkirk, MD
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelors of Science in Biology with high honors in Zoology (University of Maryland)
  • Graduate Studies: Doctoral degree in Pharmacology (University of Colorado); Post-Doctoral Fellowship investigating novel biologic targets for new therapies in lung cancer and leukemia

What class do you teach? Pharmacology in both the COM and MSBS programs; pharmacology is taught as separate courses...
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Honors Tracks

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine has developed four specialized educational tracks to enable students to enhance the focus of their general medical education.

The Global Medicine Honors Track is an elective track for those students who have a strong desire to serve in an international capacity, whether full-time or on a volunteer basis. This track provides a survey, exposure, and clinical education surrounding multiple aspects of global medicine. It is designed to span 3.5 years of formal osteopathic education.

During the first two years of medical school, students will pursue a minimum of 80 additional hours of medical education, which include the principles and goals of global health, the burden of disease in both developing and already developed countries, comparative health systems, global ethics,research and programs to control disease, specific case studies, tropical diseases, and other selected topics in global medicine. These topics are presented through the use of a variety of didactic presentations, directed student learning activities, class projects, standardized patient encounters, and clinical hands-on experience.

Students are encouraged to participate in and present global related research/scholarly activities while in the track.

During the last two years, students are expected to successfully complete three international clinical and/or research rotations. They may set up their own experiences or they may participate in RVU-sponsored medical outreach trips. Students will incur additional costs for these rotations, but student loan funding is available to those who apply.

Acceptance to the global medicine track involves an application process that occurs during the end of the first semester. Students must be capable of handling the extra workload and participation in all activities is expected. Approximately 12 students will be selected for each class. Grading is pass/fail.

Learn more about the Global Medicine: Community and Medical Outreach Program.

This is an elective enrichment track in addition to the core curriculum, for those RVUCOM students who are slated to enter active duty service—Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines—and those who exhibit a high level of academic achievement, express a strong interest and can be accommodated. RVUCOM is committed to medical support of our military through its educational mission and capabilities.

This track will function in conjunction where possible with other COM enrichment tracks where synergies are evident and possible. These primarily involve certain transdisciplinary areas of study including emerging infectious diseases, public health/epidemiology and debilitating or lethal endemic diseases found in salient regions of the world.

However, the Military Track will also incorporate sessions and experiences related to Medical Corps Officer military obligations, leadership/discipline, harsh military environments/field exercises, disasters, stabilization/evacuation and triage in combat environments on land, sea and air.

A former military Surgeon General serves as consultant to this track. Liaison with leaders/military officers at US posts, bases, medical centers, hospitals and other sites will occur in order to achieve the goals and objectives of this track. Expert guest military officers and appropriate civilian physician/teachers will be engaged and hosted on campus and elsewhere.

It is the stated intent of RVUCOM to contribute in a significant fashion to force conservation and military physician support of the United States Armed Services in the modern era.

The Physician-Scientist Honors Track is designed to provide curricular training to qualified and interested students and will enhance their opportunities to pursue careers in academic medicine. There is a recognized need to increase the number of physician-scientists in all clinical fields, as biomedical research competencies continue to be under-represented in osteopathic medical school curricula and training.

Participation in the Physician-Scientist Honors Track will provide basic training in the knowledge and skills necessary for success as an academic physician, including: research types (basic science, clinical, translational, educational, public health, etc.), experimental design, data analysis, the granting process, and proficiency in presentation skills. The Physician-Scientist Honors Track is designed to span 7 semesters of the core osteopathic medical education and will not extend the students’ academic program length. Students are required to present a poster or oral presentation at the College’s Annual Research Day, write a grant at the end of academic Year Two, and complete three research rotations during academic Years Three and Four.

Admission to the Physician-Scientist Honors Track is by application, with the following eligibility requirements: interest in a career in academic medicine and demonstration of academic ability by achieving a minimal 80% GPA during the first semester at RVUCOM. Applicants may also undergo an entrance interview by Track faculty. Preferred qualifications include: an undergraduate degree in a scientific discipline (biological or physical science); previous experience in a research laboratory; and/or previous experience in a graduate degree program in in a discipline with relevance to the biomedical sciences. No more than 8 students will be selected for each class.

The delivery of quality medical care in health systems with varying degrees of resources is the focus of the curriculum for the Rural and Wilderness Medicine Honors Track. Training and experience above and beyond the standard medical school curriculum are necessary to produce physicians who have the confidence and skill to practice in the rural and remote regions of our country. Participants will be given a robust extracurricular education of procedural skills in medicine and surgery that will better prepare them for residency training and practice. The instruction format for this track is totally clinical, and will be taught by instructors with years of practical experience in the field. The track will also cover preventive medicine and public health subjects.

Physicians practicing in a rural or wilderness setting must be skilled in stabilizing and transporting critically ill and injured patients to urban medical centers. Much of the track material will cover life and limb threatening emergencies. The R&WM participants will be expected to complete rotations through urban trauma centers, stroke centers and large emergency departments in their third and fourth years of clinical experiences. All the primary care rotations such as family medicine will be taken in rural critical access hospitals and clinics. It is equally essential that the student learn ultrasonography and endoscopy along with in other diagnostic procedures common in rural or frontier practices. During the first two years of medical education this training will occur using simulators, cadavers, and shadowing opportunities. Direct patient contact will be more common during the third and fourth year clinical rotations, where students will travel to rural critical access hospitals for many of their core rotations.

R&WM track students participate in two capstone courses. Capstone I is a 3-4 day exercise with rural EMS, Fire Department, and Search and Rescue services in Southwestern Wyoming. Students are expected to function with emergency personnel performing real-life scenarios in on-scene settings. Capstone II is a 4-5 day exercise that takes place at a ranch in the Northwest Colorado mountains. Students are exposed to common ranching practices including veterinary medicine, and common injuries encountered in the wild. Since a physician must be able to survive in the wilderness so others may live, skills such as signaling, navigation, and outdoor survival will be covered along with emergency stabilization and transport skills.

To be considered for the program students must be committed to rural and remote practice and be capable of handling the extra work load. They also must undergo an entrance interview by R&WM students and faculty to be selected. No more than 12 students will be selected for each class. Grading is pass/fail and attendance is mandatory to all meetings.