Dr. Pam Ross, M.D., UTC alumna and Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Virginia Health System, recently attended a breakfast with UTC chemistry majors to discuss the medical school application process and respond to questions about emergency medicine.

Dr Pam Ross (center) with UTC Chemistry students

Ross, a 1987 UTC graduate with a BA Chemistry, was visiting Chattanooga to accept the African American Achievement Award in Health bestowed by the UTC Alumni Council.

During the breakfast, Ross explained why she wanted to be a doctor and her experience in emergency medicine.  She commented that she was a “jack of all trades but an expert in none” as an ER doctor.  She related stories of cases in the ER and spoke of training the residents in specific techniques.

“Medical school is like taking sips from a fire hydrant,” Ross said.

Ross sits on the medical school admissions committee at UVA and she said they are looking for students who have breadth, life experience and exposure to community service.   She advised students to follow their passion, even if it means taking a break before medical school.

“All of these things will make you a better doctor,” she explained.

Ross learned recently she will be on the big screen when the 2012 Sundance Film Festival premieres ESCAPE FIRE:  The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare. Director Matthew Heineman thanked Ross for her role in the movie, which explores the broken medical system and “a movement to bring innovative methods of prevention and healing.”

Ross is a distinguished diplomate of the Leadership in Academic Medicine Faculty Leadership Program; she serves as a member of the UVA Compassionate Care Council; and she is the chair of the Minority Recruitment Task Force.  Ross is a distinguished Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and former chair of the Health Task Force of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a globally prominent service organization.  She was one of 150 physicians across the US invited by President Barack Obama to the White House Rose Garden when he presented “Doctors for Health Care Reform” to the nation.

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