Tutoring the disadvantaged leads to a career in Anesthesiology
Discover Richard Rousseau’s path from Chicago’s CAHMCP to becoming a doctor and specializing in Anesthesiology.
Chicago Area Health and Medical Careers Program (CAHMCP) is based in Chicago, and offers a culturally sensitive approach to educating and empowering young men and women from underserved and disadvantaged populations. It was in this program, tutoring young men and women in chemistry and biology in preparation for the MCATS, that Richard Rousseau had a light bulb moment. He was also working at a pharmacy at the same time he was teaching immersive science classes at CAHMCP, so it all seemed to come together for him with the realization that he wanted to go to medical school himself.
I heard good things about MUA, so applied and in 2 months I was on my way to Nevis. Everything is very straight forward on the island, and the teachers are really accessible. I lived in an apartment complex that also had upper class students who were also incredibly helpful.
I was a bit of an older student, but never found this to be an issue. I felt very comfortable on the island: it’s so pretty. My family is from Haiti so I felt right at home with the island life and culture.
When I went on to do my clinicals, most of which I did at one hospital in Louisiana, I really loved the fact that I could be so hands on with the patients. We were referred to as “student-doctors” and we didn’t just stand behind the attending resident and watch them… we actually got right in there and did all the work. In my 4th year I did a rotation in anesthesiology and from there I knew that was the area I wanted to practice in. I guess I impressed them enough in this rotation because they ended up hiring me, and it was my first choice.
For students looking at medical school, I tell them for the first 2 years ask a ton of questions about anything, of everyone! Fellow students, teachers and keep those lines of communication open. You will find that people are really willing to help you. Also enjoy it while you are in medical school, because believe it or not it goes really fast. No question about it MUA really prepared me. From doing didactics and clinical skills training on the island I found that when I went on to clinicals I really knew what I was doing. The foundation that MUA gives you is very strong.