Student Spotlight

Rasa Rafie, OMS II

Class of 2022

  • Hometown: San Diego, California
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Cell Molecular Biology (Graduate Studies: Master of Science degree in Global Medicine)
  • Clubs and Activities: Lead Peer Mentor, Member of the Global Medicine Track, Member of the Days of Diversity Committee

Why did you choose RVUCOM? Feeling a sense of community in my medical school was really important to me. I attended a Meet and...
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Faculty Spotlight

Mark Wardle, DO, FAAFP

Director of Medical Spanish Elective on the Southern Utah Campus
Co-Director of the Global Medicine Track on the Southern Utah Campus
Assistant Professor of Primary Care Medicine

  • Hometown: Tracy, California
  • Undergraduate Studies: Zoology and Pre-Med at Brigham Young University
  • Graduate Studies: Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in California; Family Medicine Residency in Utah Valley; and Rural Medicine and Faculty Development Fellowship.

What classes do you teach? I teach in both years of Primary Care Medicine, am the Director of the...
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Joel Roberts, MD

Assistant Professor of Physiology
Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences Program
Physician Assistant Program • (720) 875-2806

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


  • Residency Training
    University of Colorado School of Medicine
    Aurora, CO
  • Internship Training
    Internal Medicine
    St. Joseph Hospital
    Denver, CO
  • Doctor of Medicine
    University of Colorado School of Medicine
    Aurora, CO
  • Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude)
    Azusa Pacific University
    Azusa, CA

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Professional Experience

  • 2017 – Present: Instructor of Physiology
    Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • 2014 – 2015: Instructor of Surgical Clerkship Simulations
    University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • 2014 – 2015: Physician as Educator Course
    University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • 2012: Shadow Experience in Ethiopia
    Cure Hospital
  • 2009 – 2011: Outdoor Educator
    Mission Springs Outdoor Education
  • 2006 – 2009: Teaching Assistant, General Chemistry Lab
    Azusa Pacific University
  • 2006 – 2008: Team Leader
    Team Luke Medical Missions

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Service and Contributions


  • Hidden Curriculum Course Facilitator, University of Colorado School of Medicine (2015-2017)
  • Secondary Screening Committee, University of Colorado School of Medicine (2014-2015)
  • Advisory College Student Advisor, University of Colorado School of Medicine (2014-2015)
  • Volunteer, Klinefelter Syndrome and Associates’ Families Conference (2013)
  • Admissions Committee, University of Colorado School of Medicine (2012-2015)
  • LEADS Track, University of Colorado School of Medicine (2012-2015)
  • All About Couples Group Leader, University of Colorado School of Medicine (2012-2015)
  • JFK Partners Summer Internship, LEADS Track University of Colorado School of Medicine (2012)
  • Volunteer, Paris Elementary School Reading, Writing, and Sports Program (2011-2014)
  • Volunteer, Monterey Bay Horsemanship and Therapeutic Center (2010-2011)
  • Community Advisor, Azusa Pacific University (2007-2008)

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Professional Societies and Affiliations

  • Colorado Medical Society
  • American Society of Anesthesiology

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Honors and Awards

  • Robert Virtue Award
    University of Colorado Anesthesiology Department
  • National Gold Humanism Honor Society
  • Outstanding Senior in Biochemistry Award
    Azusa Pacific University Department of Biology and Chemistry

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Publications and Presentations


  • “Overview of Common Upper Extremity Nerve Blocks”
    Denver Health Hospital
  • “Stepwise Hypotension During C-Section with Epidural Anesthesia in Parturient with Moderate to Severe Rheumatic Mitral Stenosis”
    Western Anesthesia Regional Conference
  • “Understanding Strong Ion Difference”
    University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • “Physiology and Complications of Laparoscopic Surgery”
    Veteran Affairs Hospital
  • “Airway Management”
    Fundamental Critical Care Support Course
  • “Clinical Case Presentations”
    St. Joseph Hospital
  • “Understanding the Health Benefits Exchange”
    LEADS Lecture Series
  • “Tools for Successful Conflict Management”
    LEADS Summer Leadership Seminar Series

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Research and Studies

  • MRI and Anesthesia Safety and Education; University of Colorado Department of Anesthesia Quality Improvement Project (2017)
  • “What to Expect from Anesthesia” section in Pancreatic and Spinal Surgery patient information pamphlet (2017)
  • Impact of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Healthcare Reform on United States Medical Students; University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology. Survey tool developed (2014-2015)
  • JFK Partners FASL and Children With Autism Waiver Participant Experience Interview. Presented to Director of JFK Partners. (2012)

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Biographical Information

Dr. Roberts grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Upon graduation, he moved to Southern California to attend school at Azusa Pacific University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. While in California, he taught outdoor education in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He returned to his home state and earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from University of Colorado School of Medicine.

He decided to join the RVU team because of his love of working with students and having the flexibility to implement new and exciting teaching methods.

When he is not teaching his wonderful students, Dr. Roberts enjoys spending time outdoors with his family and many pets. He also likes hiking, snowboarding, singing, and racquetball. A fun fact about him is that he makes different styles of pizza from scratch.

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