Ryan Ortizo recently became co-president of the Emergency Medical Student Association at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. As co-president, the Saipan native will be working closely with several emergency physicians and students as they explore their vocation in the medical field.
According to the university’s website, the group’s purpose is to cultivate interest in and increase knowledge about a career in emergency medicine, with emphasis on learning skills, to assist with current academic and clinical skills.
“My role as co-president include planning educational and informational events for medical students to learn more about the work, the responsibilities, and typical lifestyle that emergency medicine has to offer,” he told Saipan Tribune in an email.
Ortizo said he is humbled by the opportunity and hopes to learn imperative medical skills and further develop a deeper understanding of how “this particular field of medicine functions.”
“I think part of the educational process of becoming a mature physician involves not only learning the theory and clinical techniques they teach you in class, but also going out and experiencing the greater scope of medicine and exploring the plethora of medical specialties out there.”
The Mount Carmel School alumnus described his new role as “an extension to my education.”
Ortizo utilizes much of his free time working with various student organizations and volunteering his services as a medical student in the community.
His mother, Myrna, told Saipan Tribune that she feels “blessed and I am so happy and proud of his accomplishment. My son Ryan has earned his success because of his determination, character, focus, hard work, and courage.”
Ortizo remains active on campus while juggling his academic responsibilities as well. He is involved in several organizations on campus, including the American Medical Student Association, where he serves as the Community and Public Health Action Committee representative of the local chapter. As a representative, Ortizo has planned several events for his school, such as conducting free blood pressure screening drives and holding informational sessions on issues revolving around nutrition and its wider impact on community health.
Ortizo also acts as conduit between the student body and student health services, which helps make decisions on student health care policies.
These experiences, he said, has provided him with valuable skills for his medical profession.
Ortizo hopes that CNMI youth “remember that time is a precious thing” while pursuing their academic and vocational goals.
“Lost time is never found again. Learn to manage your time. Do what’s important now, and you’ll find yourself with a lot more time later.”
“I would encourage all students interested in a medical career to volunteer and see if they enjoy this profession as much as I do,” he added.