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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RVUCOM-SU Welcomes Class of 2023 with White Coat Ceremony


L-r: Jenny Nguyen, Birva Patel, and Melody Bedrossian pose for a photo after receiving their white coats.

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine – Southern Utah (RVUCOM-SU) held its White Coat Ceremony at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Ivins, Utah on Saturday, September 21st.

The White Coat Ceremony is a medical school tradition that welcomes new students as they embark on their journey towards practice in the medical field. Keynote speaker Mark Briesacher, MD, spoke to the students about the challenges they will face in healthcare and the importance of always putting their patients first. “Care for them, serve them, [and] listen to them. I know, as a patient myself, I really want to be seen…when I’m receiving care.” As the Senior Vice President and Chief Physician Executive at Intermountain Healthcare, Dr. Briesacher has advanced the organization’s long-standing efforts to be a leader in care that is centered on patient safety, quality, extraordinary experiences, great access, and affordability.

The ceremony was emceed by David J. Park, DO, FAAFP, FACOFP, Vice President and Dean for the Southern Utah Campus. Esteemed speakers included Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of RVU; Thomas N. Told, DO, FACOFP dist., Dean of RVUCOM; Ben Wilde, DO, Vice Chair of the Department of Primary Care Medicine; and Chris Hart, Mayor of Ivins.

Upon being coated by faculty members, the students recited the vision statement that they as a class had written. In it, they pledged to “foster a diverse environment that will enrich our ability to become innovators in holistic care. For ourselves, for our families, for our patients, for our communities, for the science, for the art, for the medicine.”

The Class of 2023 is comprised of 133 students from 19 different states (43% are from Utah), with 12% of the class being first-generation college students. These elite students were selected from a competitive applicant pool of 5,168 candidates. The class is made up of 68% males and 32% females with ages ranging from 22 to 47 years old. The mean MCAT score was 506, and the average cumulative GPA for the class was 3.61.