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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Office of Simulation in Medicine and Surgery

20150804_1stSurgeryRotation_RVU (38)Celebrating ten years in existence, RVU’s simulation program was expanded and renamed the Office of Simulation in Medicine and Surgery (SIMS) in 2019. Over 16,000 square feet of space in Colorado and over 10,000 square feet in Utah is dedicated to hands-on education to all members of the healthcare team, to learners at many stages of their careers. Medical and Physician Assistant students gain experience in ultrasonography, vascular access, sterile surgical technique, perioperative care and simulated hospital rounds. EMS and Paramedic students practice resuscitation techniques, intubation and cricothyrotomy. General Surgery Residents hone their skills at trauma laparotomies, while Family Medicine Residents improve their gynecologic procedural and wound care capabilities. Practicing physicians can refine Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery techniques. Simulation events are being added to the curricula of all programs at RVU at both campuses and included in Special Track Programs, Student Clubs and Organizations and Community Outreach Events. 



RVU’s Office of Simulation in Medicine and Surgery has the distinction of being recognized as a Comprehensive Accredited Education Institute (AEI) by the American College of Surgeons. It is the first osteopathic medical school to receive this prestigious accreditation. Rigorous reporting metrics are involved in the Annual Compliance Report and Accreditation cycles, overseen by the SIMS Advisory Board.  



Acquiring and incorporating various levels of technology every year, RVU faculty often teaches surgical technique using a human-worn, partial task surgical simulator known as a Cut Suit™”. RVU was the first medical school in the country to employ this technology. The Cut Suit is a lifelike, wearable bodysuit that contains battery-operated, blood-filled vessels and organs, producing the accurate look and feel of actual intra-abdominal and intra-thoracic contents. Learners gain realistic surgical experience and confidence. The Cut Suit™ is also used in simulated disaster scenarios and Mass Casualty Incidents, including at an Intensive Surgical Skills Course attended by First Responders and military students and personnel. Numerous interactive electronic mannikins are programmed for Internal Medicine, Obstetric, Pediatric and neonatal case scenarios and simulation competitions. Cadaveric simulations improve training in numerous disciplines. Increasingly, RVU’s 3D printer is utilized for production of anatomical body part facsimiles. 

Standardized Patient Program

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Specially trained actors, Standardized Patients, accurately portray the role of a patient with a specific medical condition. They provide students with direct human interaction in a safe learning environment. Performing a competent physical exam, taking a thorough medical history, and building a rapport with patients are fundamental clinical skills that all graduates should possess. RVU’s Standardized Patient Program’s primary objective is to ensure that all graduates possess these essential skills. Feedback is given by faculty, staff, as well as the standardized Patient Educators, and is valued by students in their health care education.  

Learn more about the Standardized Patient Program



Simulation research is robust at RVU. Researchers at the Office of SIMS present abstracts, posters and papers in many conferences and conventions nationally and internationally. The Office of SIMS assists students in medical simulation research including obtaining equipment, IRB submissions, submitting to conferences, and connecting students with local hospitals, police and fire departments. Interested students can also participate in the Sim Scholar program, providing additional simulation mentoring. Numerous students participate in the annual Simulation Team Competition and can advance to Regional and National events.  


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