When Rabika Aslam was researching medical schools, she was looking for a school that offered smaller class size, a high pass rate on the USMLE Step 1 exam, had full accreditation and a safe location/environment to study in. She found it all at St. Matthew’s University (SMU). Having gone to University of Florida for her undergraduate education, she shares “going to SMU felt like I never left Florida and the island felt safe like Florida”
Rabika was an excellent student throughout the basic sciences program. During her fifth and last semester of basic science, she won the Chancellor’s Award in recognition of achieving the highest GPA in her cohort. She also received the Dean’s Award in recognition of achieving success inside and outside of the classroom. Demonstrated by outstanding GPA, Co-Curricular and extracurricular achievements such as being Vice President for Student Government Association and a teacher’s assistant for multiple courses throughout basic sciences. Rabika was also awarded the Brenden K. Roddy Humanitarian Award by receiving the most nominations from her classmates. This award recognizes the student who has gone above and beyond to help his/her colleagues succeed in their studies at SMU, while being a role model of student success.
When asked about her success, she shares, “the small class size at SMU allowed students to get more attention from professors, and therefore learn more and perform better. I have found that SMU professors are extremely approachable and heavily invested in your success, they want to see you do well!” She also mentioned, “attending all the lectures was also very helpful for me and definitely contributed to my success at SMU. I also met some great classmates who became even better study partners. We weren’t competitive with each other instead it felt like a very collaborative environment.”
Currently, Rabika is in her core clinical rotations doing Internal Medicine at Wyckoff Hospital in New York. She has also completed her Pediatric (which she really loved), family medicine, and psychiatry rotations. “I felt very prepared for clinical sciences because SMU teaches us all the clinical skills we need to perform thorough history and physical exams.”
For those considering coming to SMU, Rabika says, “It is really a wonderful school with amazingly supportive faculty that are always available for you with their open door policy. Your classmates become your family away from home and everyone always tries to help each other out to succeed.” She believes, “SMU gives you the opportunity you need to get you where you want to be, what you do with that opportunity/how you choose to use it is up to you.”