Fall 2010
Student Spotlight

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Stewart Farr Rasmussen

Stewart Farr Rasmussen hopes for a residency on the West Coast to remain near family. Photo by Laura Levin

Dedicating time to family and medical school

Stewart Farr Rasmussen, of Henderson, Nev. and a Class of 2011 member, graduated from Brigham Young University in 2007 with a degree in physiology and developmental biology.

Why the University of Nevada School of Medicine?

I am a Nevadan and my wife grew up in California so most of our family is on the West Coast. We really wanted to have a close proximity to our extended family. I was accepted to the Nevadans Into Medicine program, where I attended a week-long introductory course and learned all about the School of Medicine. I really liked the small class size, the affordable tuition and low average debt for students, as well as, the campus and faculty.

What is your particular area of clinical or research interest and what steered you toward it?

I initially thought I would go into surgery. During my third year I was exposed to radiology more and realized that interventional radiology was the field I was the most excited about. I really enjoy anatomy and discovered that reading the films was like solving a puzzle. I was also attracted to the field’s use of cutting-edge technology and how radiologists get to work with all types of doctors to help patients.

Best experience afforded to you by the School of Medicine?

I have enjoyed the small class size and the early exposure to clinical experiences. I was lucky to find a great study group that helped me throughout my classes. Having a small class also means you can get personal attention and help from professors. Early clinical exposure is also important. During the first two years when you are stuck in a classroom all day it is easy to forget that you came to medical school to help patients. Having the Student Outreach Clinic and preceptorship experiences during those years helped remind me why I wanted to become a doctor.

What are your interests outside of medicine?

When I have a little extra time I really enjoy reading, woodwork, do-it-yourself house projects, hiking, camping and spending quality time with my family. As a family we enjoy swimming, hiking, having game nights and going on walks together.

Talk about balancing the demands of school and raising a family.

The best trick I have found has been planning ahead and setting aside distinct time for school and study and likewise setting aside time for family. Sundays are always my family day. Even when I have tests on Mondays, I make sure to not touch a thing that has to do with school. I can be gone all week but my family knows that we will be together all day on Sunday. A part of segmenting my time means that I rarely study at home. When I come home I am home and not trying to be a student at all. I am a husband and daddy and that is it. Also having a great wife who supports me in my educational pursuits helps a ton.

What characteristic do you want patients to value in you as their health care physician?

I would like my patients to feel confident that I am dedicated to providing the best care I can. I want them to see me as someone who shows them honesty, trustworthiness and compassion.