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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Academic and Career Advising

The Office of Academic Support provides educational support designed to enhance student learning at RVU.  Services are offered through individual consultation tailored to meet the individualized academic needs of the student and integrated with the course curricula.  Regularly scheduled small and large group sessions provide proven strategies to prepare and enhance academic performance.  Services include study skills assessment along with intervention strategies, tutoring, ADA accommodations and preparation for licensure exams.

Trilce Ruiz, M.A.

Trilce joined the RVU family in 2017, and has always been passionate about working with students. She was awarded the prestigious Erasmus International Scholarship from Universidad de Alcalá de Henares in Spain, where she completed her MA in Multilingual & Multicultural Education. She also holds an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Higher Education, Linguistics, and Portuguese from Texas Tech University, gun’s up! She has enjoyed advising a diverse population of pre-med Honors students, and is excited to work with medical students assisting them in developing a concrete plan for the realization of their professional goals. As an advisor, she can provide information on various specialty programs that align with students’ goals-both in terms of education and personal development- as well as gather input from multiple perspectives to help students make informed career decisions. Her goal is to become a valuable resource to students at RVU, and to provide individualized support in academics and career advising. On the weekends, you can find her at the park with her adorable son Lucas and exploring Colorado with her husband.

Judy J. Thornton, M.A.
Director of Educational Support

Judy has been the Director of Educational Support at RVU since 2011. She has been an advisor and educator for 36 years, with 26 of those years as a learning specialist and medical educator.  She has experience in developing and providing individualized learning strategies to meet the needs the academic and career goals of students in a variety of educational settings including public schools, hospital clinics, universities, as well as private settings. Before coming to RVU, she worked as a learning specialist and medical educator at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas, for 8 years then continued her work as a medical educator at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (UC) for two years.  As a medical educator and learning specialist, she has worked with healthcare professional students at all levels of their academic studies in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, physical therapy from first year through residency and provided academic support in an effort to assist them in enhancing their academic performance. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, gardening, and traveling.

One-on-One Consultation

  • Confidential individual consultation regarding learning styles, study skills, time management, and academic performance
  • Diagnostic evaluation of study practices and their effectiveness
  • Structured intervention to increase learning productivity and efficiency
  • Individual preparation for courses, clerkships, and licensure examinations
  • Referrals to on- and off-campus professionals
  • Information about resources to enhance learning
  • Assistance with learning disabilities

Assessment/Individualized Educational Guidance and Planning

  • Study skills strategies
  • Test-taking strategies and test analysis
  • Time management strategies
  • Reading
  • Resources
  • Additional support services

Board Review Preparation

  • Developing individualized study plans
  • Resources via materials, videos, question banks, practice tests
  • Study prep sessions by faculty and outside experts
  • Individualized licensure exam prep support

At RVU, career planning begins at admissions and continues through medical school. Career advisors work collaboratively with students to answer questions and concerns regarding the career decision-making process. Individualized career counseling sessions help students select specialties, create personal statements and CVs, as well as prepare for audition externships, interviews, and residency. Students are directed to useful resources to achieve professional goals and develop meaningful careers.

Individualized, one-on-one advisement is available for the following areas:

  • Create a 4-year career plan
  • Review careers assessments results
  • Explore specialty options and assess compatibility
  • Locate career exploration resources
  • Review Curriculum Vitae (CV) and personal statement
  • Discuss “competitive applicant” strategies
  • Identify effective interviewing preparations
  • Research Residency programs

Available Resources:

Passion is your life juice and, without it, expect a very bland existence- Myrza Sison

The Careers in Medicine (CIM) program is a valuable tool in assisting students in residency exploration. During the first year, students complete the CIM assessments; the results of these assessments provides a platform to grow from. Even though students shouldn’t feel pressured to know what specialty they are interested in at this point of their medical school journey, this data provides a base to work from and to discuss the nuances about each specialty during their advisement appointment. CIM also provides information about all specialties such as competitiveness, length of training, ideal board scores, salary, etc.

Workshops are provided throughout the year to teach students how to utilize the CIM website and its resources. Students that attend the workshops are invited to the exclusive Speaker Series Events in which they are exposed to multiple specialties at one time. This will ultimately provide students with a holistic perspective and early exposure to assist in deciding which specialties they are truly interested in. Furthermore, the speaker series are intended to provide networking opportunities as well. We hope that the wisdom and life experiences of our guest speakers will guide our students to a specialty that will “fit” them best. By devoting time by exploring the CIM websiteattending the CIM workshops and speaker series, students will be better prepared not only for their advising appointments, but be better informed about residency.

Students are required to meet the technical standards set forth by the college/program in which they are enrolled, if applicable, with or without reasonable accommodations. RVU complies with federal and state law prohibiting discrimination against any applicant or enrolled student on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual preference, age, disability, or other protected status. In accordance with its obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 5.04 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, RVU does not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in admission or in access to programs and activities.

A person with a disability is someone who has a physical or mental impairment that limits substantially one or more major life activity, such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, learning, walking, seeing, hearing, breathing, and working; has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment. Although students with temporary illness or injury are not considered disabled by law, every reasonable effort to accommodate their needs will be exercised.

All requests for accommodation are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. This evaluation includes the review of clinical documentation and a determination of the reasonableness of the accommodation requests. Primary clinical documentation or other diagnostic information held by the RVU Disability Officer (the Director of Educational Support) is kept confidential and is released to a third party only with the student’s written permission or as required by law. General information about a student’s disability and accommodation request/s, however, may be shared with other RVU officials or, in limited circumstances, with third parties who have a legitimate need to know. The student’s disabilities file is maintained by the Disability Officer and is held separately from the student’s official academic record.

Although disclosure of a disability may not be necessary or appropriate for some, those who seek reasonable accommodations from RVU must follow the procedures outlined below.

To ensure complete documentation to support your need for accommodations, RVU will need “documentation of recent medical, psychological, psychometric, or educational assessment, including the date administered and evaluated by a qualified professional and the credentials of the professional performing the evaluation and testing. Documentation presented must be not older than 24 months prior to the date of the request for accommodations.”

  • The clinician providing the documentation must be qualified to make the diagnosis in the area of specialization and may not have a personal relationship with the student.
  • Documentation and evaluation conducted by a qualified professional must include:
    • A specific medical diagnosis or the physical, mental or learning disorder
    • A description of how the diagnosis was confirmed based on established diagnostic criteria. Diagnostic testing and methods must be those currently utilized in professional practices within the relevant field
    • A description of how the diagnosis impacts a major life activity including education and the expected duration of the limitation
    • The medical and educational history of the disability.
    • Specific, realistic recommendation(s) for accommodations with a rational for the recommendations.

Request for ADA Accommodations Application (Word)

Welcome to the RVU Peer Tutoring Program! This program is offered at no cost to students. Please use the scheduler below to sign-up for a session with a peer tutor.

  • Available at no cost to students
  • Individual and group sessions available
  • Tutoring supports courses and labs