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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Profile

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

What classes do you teach?
I teach in both years of Primary Care Medicine, am the Director of the Medical Spanish I and II electives, and I assist Dr. Pryor with the Global Medicine Track. I also help with the Global Medicine Outreach electives.

Why did you choose to teach at RVUCOM?  
I have always loved to teach and after volunteering to supervise medical students on a medical mission to Honduras, I decided to look into teaching full-time. When I saw RVUCOM’s commitment to their students, I knew I wanted to be part of this team.

What do you like most about teaching at RVUCOM?
I love interacting with the students. They are each so amazing, and come with such experience and drive. It is really a privilege to just be around them.

What do you do in your spare time?
Outside of teaching and clinical responsibilities, I enjoy running, swimming, and spending time with my family. We love finding new kid-friendly trails to explore and discovering new parks to conquer. We are also working on creating a garden in our backyard.

What advice do you have for first-year students?
I think the best advice I have given to multiple students is “Med School is not four years of [whatever subject they are struggling with].” Each section of medical school is hard in its own way, but it just keeps getting better. It becomes more clinical, more personal, more interesting, and more tailored to you and your personal goals. Even though four years plus a residency is a long road to travel, and it many not get easier, it does get better.

Fun facts about you.
I love to juggle! Although I’m not a great juggler, I will juggle almost anything, including machetes and fire!  have juggled at high school graduations, Fourth of July parades, and even a wedding. I also enjoy balancing things like a dollar bill on my nose and a kid in a chair on my chin. Now-a-days, I usually only bust out the skills on special occasions, but I do keep a set of juggling balls in my office for when I need a break.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in medicine?
Like many of use, the blend of of science and service that medicine offers has just always felt right. I have wanted to be a doctor since before I can remember. Even as a child, my family would call me “Doctor Mark”. When I was in the first grade, I got a C in handwriting and came home crying.  My mom wiped away my tears and said, “don’t worry, all doctors have bad handwriting!” When people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say that I was going to be a doctor in a small town and deliver babies in trade for chickens. After my residency and fellowship, I opened a practice in small town Moroni, UT, delivered babies, and owned chickens…so I was close!

What is your favorite memory of your own time in medical school?
During medical school, a small group of us would often play ultimate Frisbee. One week, while going in for a catch, my opponent’s knee slammed into my right orbit causing a nice laceration and a lot of bleeding. He took me to the emergency room and while I got stitches, he got one-on-one suture instruction from the physician. Not a bad reward for injuring your classmate! We always laughed about that.