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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Andrew Nigh, MD, FACS

Assistant Professor of Specialty Medicine
Department of Specialty Medicine

Director of Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track – Southern Utah
Tracks and Special Programs • (435) 222-1293
RVUCOM-SU Campus • C-233

Education | Professional Experience | Certifications and Licenses | Service and Contributions | Professional Societies and Affiliations | Honors and Awards | Publications and Presentations | Research Interests | Biographical Information


  • Residency in General Surgery
    Methodist Hospital
  • Doctor of Medicine
    Indiana University
    Indianapolis, IN
  • Bachelor of Science
    Butler University
    Indianapolis, IN

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Professional Experience

  • 2017 – present: Assistant Professor of Specialty Medicine
    Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • 2016 – 2017: Associate Professor of Surgery
    Indiana University School of Medicine
  • 2014 – 2017: Chief Medical Officer
    Indiana University Health West
  • 2005 – 2017: Courtesy Staff
    Indiana University Health North Hospital
  • 2004 – 2017: Attending Staff
    Indiana University Health West Hospital
  • 1985 – 2017: Attending Staff
    Indiana University Health (Methodist Hospital)
  • 1985 – 2017: Trauma Staff
    Methodist Hospital
  • 1997 – 2016: Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery
    Indiana University
  • 1985 – 2012: Physician
    Tower Surgical, Inc.
  • 2009 – 2010: President of Medical Staff
    IU Clarian West
  • 2007 – 2008: Vice President of Medical Staff
    IU Clarian West
  • 2005 – 2006: Chief of Surgery
    Clarian West Medical Center
  • 1999 – 2004: Director
    Winona Bariatric Center

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Certifications and Licenses

  • American Board of Surgery certification (1986, 1994, 2005, 2015)
  • State of Indiana (current)
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support Instructor (current)
  • Advanced Wilderness Life Support (2014-2018)

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Service and Contributions


  • Instructor, ATLS Courses (1986-present)
  • Chief of Credentials Committee, Indiana University Health West (2013-2014)
  • Quality Assurance Committee, Methodist Hospital (1992-1998)
  • Medical Alumni Council, Indiana University (1985-1998)
    • President (1990-1991)
  • Credentials Committee, Methodist Hospital (1992-1996)
  • Treasurer, International Council of Motorsport Sciences (1991-1994)
  • Board of Directors, International Council of Motorsport Sciences (1988-1994)
  • Chairman, Finance, International Council of Motorsport Sciences (1988-1994)
  • Medical Director, International Motor Sports Association (1987-1994)
  • Chapter Counselor, Phi Rho Sigma Medical Fraternity (1984-1994)
  • Member, Performance Institute, Methodist Hospital (1987-1992)

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Professional Societies and Affiliations

  • American College of Surgeons
    • Fellow (1989)
  • Association for Surgical Education (2017)
  • American Society of Physician Leaders (2005)
  • Wilderness Medical Society (1995)
  • American Medical Association (1985)
  • Indiana State Medical Association (1985)
  • Marion County Medical Association (1985)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society (1980)
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (1976)
  • Delta Tau Delta Fraternity (1973)

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Honors and Awards

  • Teaching Award
    Indiana University School of Medicine Board of Trustees
  • Physician Assistant Preceptor of the Year
    Butler University
  • General Surgery Teaching Faculty Award
    Indiana University
  • Excellence in Teaching Medical Students
    Indiana University
    2014, 2016
  • Honorary Member
    Pi Alpha National Honor Society for Physician Assistants

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Publications and Presentations


  • “Wilderness Medicine”
    Phi Rho Sigma
  • “Medical Aspects of Professional Sports Car Racing”
    Phi Rho Sigma
  • “Motorsport Medicine and Biomechanics”
    Surgery Grand Rounds, Indiana University
  • “Motorsport Medicine and Biomechanics”
    Methodist Hospital Trauma Conference
  • “Medical Aspects of Professional Sports Car Racing”
    International Council of Motorsport Sciences Annual Meeting
  • “Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy”
    Lafayette Home Hospital

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Research and Studies

  • Acute Care Surgery
  • Lean Management
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Wilderness Medicine

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Biographical Information

Dr. Nigh grew up near Indianapolis, Indiana. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Butler University and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Indiana University. He completed a residency in general surgery at Methodist Hospital in 1985.

Upon graduating, he joined a general surgery practice in Indianapolis. In 2012, the group merged with Indiana University. Over the last few years, he served as Chief Medical Officer at Indiana University West Hospital. He retired from clinical practice and his position in September to join the faculty of RVU.

He decided to come to RVU because clinical education has always been a big part of his life and career. “The vision and commitment of RVU to education is truly inspiring. I look forward to being part of the program and the opportunity to continue to improve my teaching skills. I’m particularly interested in the Surgery Simulation Lab.”

While he and his wife both grew up in Indiana, they had discovered Southern Utah (and St. George, in particular) in 2003 while on vacation. “We liked the city, the climate, all the parks, and the photography [opportunities].” They bought a house in 2005 and have loved the area ever since.

Dr. Nigh has been married for over 40 years and has two sons. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, backpacking, wilderness medicine, and photography.


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