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...
Read More

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...
Read More


Ben Wilde, DO, FAAFP

Vice Chair of the Department of Primary Care Medicine
Assistant Professor of Family Medicine

What class do you teach?
Principles in Clinical Medicine, Osteopathic Principles and Practice, GI II, Repro II, and Medical Outreach Elective in Belize.

Why did you choose to teach at RVUCOM?
Joining the faculty at RVUCOM allowed me to achieve my ideal balance between clinical practice and teaching. Its well-established reputation for academic excellence and student success made RVUCOM the obvious choice.

What do you appreciate most about Utah and the local area?
While the sun-filled days and many outdoor recreational opportunities are a big plus, the thing I love most about living here is the genuine openness and friendliness of the St. George community. Southern Utah is a fantastic place to call home.

What do you do in your spare time?
My spare time is typically centered on my family. My wife and I home-school our five children and absolutely love spending time together as a family: traveling, being outdoors, playing the piano, and reading books aloud in the evening.

What projects and/or research are you currently working on or plan to work on in the future?
Some students and I are currently in collaboration with the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) studying the current usage of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) nationally among various medical specialties. We hope to further explore the impact of the imminent single residency accreditation process on this usage of OMT.

Do you participate in any RVU clubs or organizations? Which ones and why?
I am an advisor for the Student Association of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (SAACOFP), which promotes the benefits and impact students can have pursuing a career in family medicine. Also the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA), which advocates for the osteopathic profession and its students on a state and national level. Both of these organizations are optimally positioned to impact positive change in the future delivery of healthcare. I find it inspiring to see our RVU students making a difference on both the local and national stage.

What is your favorite memory of your own time in medical school?
Medical school was challenging and although the days often seemed to move slowly, the months and years flew by in a blur! My fondest memories of school all tie to the relationships I developed: friendships with my peers and mentorships with key faculty. These made the struggle bearable and shaped the trajectory of my future career.

Outside of RVU, do you participate in any other organization? Which ones and why? 
In the medical field, I actively serve on committees with the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) nationally and on the case development committee with the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME). Each of these service opportunities permits me to contribute to my profession beyond the limits of my geographic region. Outside of medicine, my wife and I are certified mentors with Teaching Self Government, a parenting course designed to unite and support families. We have found that our own family relationships are strengthened each time we teach and mentor others.