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ATSU-KCOM student said founding school of osteopathic medicine is best to prepare for future

Erin Jo Ruden, ATSU-KCOM student

Many different factors come into play when a student is choosing where to attend medical school. It could be something like a family connection, or a location, or a conversation with a student ambassador. 

For Erin Jo Ruden, OMS II, her choice of A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) came down to two simple matters: She wanted to become a doctor of osteopathic medicine, and ATSU-KCOM would do the best job preparing her for that future.

“I chose ATSU-KCOM based on the curriculum schedule and exam style,” Ruden said. “I think the school does a great job building test-taking stamina, which will help when I sit for my board exams.”

Ruden, from Fort Dodge, Iowa, has a bachelor’s of science in biology with a minor in psychology, and a master of science in biomedical sciences from Iowa State University. In ATSU-KCOM, she found a medical school which aligns with the type of physician she wants to become.

“Medical mission is something that has always spoken to me,” she said. “ATSU-KCOM is helping me attain that goal by providing me not only medical education, but a whole person approach to health. This approach will help me connect with patients across the world and provide a comprehensive approach to wellness.”

Ruden is vice president of Emergency Medicine Club, secretary of American Medical Association, and a member of Wilderness Medicine, Global Health Club, and Lifestyle Medicine Club. 

“I’ve always had an interest in emergency medicine. On campus, the Emergency Medicine Club organizes numerous labs and lectures that are very relevant to practicing medicine in an emergency department, such as placing chest tubes, intubations, FAST exams, and suture labs,” Ruden said. “They also have a big community presence by maintaining roughly 100 AEDs in the community and providing AED education to different northeast Missouri businesses and organizations.”

She’s also a student ambassador, a position she was inspired to take after her own experiences as a pre-medical student.

“I remember talking to the student ambassadors during my interview day and thinking how helpful they were. They eased my worries about interviews and created a welcoming space. I aspire to be that person for interviewing and prospective students,” Ruden said.

In northeast Missouri, Ruden has found a home away from home. The region’s opportunities for outdoor activities match her interests, and her fellow students have bonded and become a family.

“Running and camping are my two favorite ways to get outside. Missouri has offered a lot of opportunities to explore the outdoors,” she said. “I have a great group of friends who get together to cook at least once a week. These are friendships I know will last a lifetime.”

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