Hard Work Pays Off
Now that Rejath Jose is in his third year of medical school, the College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) student has already realized his dream of becoming a published researcher.
A member of the first cohort of students in the newly formed Engineering in Medicine initiative, led by Milan Toma, Ph.D., assistant professor of clinical sciences at NYITCOM, Jose and his research partner Faiz Syed teamed up with students from the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences. The interdisciplinary team created an abdominal constrictor belt that provides a compressive force to prevent falls in patients with orthostatic hypotension—low blood pressure from standing still.
“This program is a unique opportunity for medical students and students from other New York Tech schools and colleges to collaborate and learn from each other while also creating something that could help patients in the future,” Jose says.
The effort was worth his while. The team published the findings of their research in the April 26, 2022, issue of Materials, with Jose and Syed listed as co-first authors.
“It felt great to see something I have worked on for over a year published in a journal and to know that my hard work paid off,” says Jose.
He credits Toma’s “amazing” mentorship for sharpening his research skills and sparking his love for the “detective work” that’s given him an eye toward pursuing the field of internal medicine.
“Professor Toma gave us the autonomy we needed to create the idea and use our medical knowledge to come up with a study plan, then guided us through the process of statistical analysis and writing,” Jose says. He notes that NYITCOM’s physiology coursework gave him a solid understanding of the human vasculature and fluid dynamics needed to complete their project.
Originally from Kerala, India, Jose was 11 when his family moved to Queens, N.Y. He always knew he wanted to pursue medicine and decided on osteopathic medicine because of its focus on holistic medicine. He chose New York Tech's dual seven-year B.S./D.O. program for its stellar reputation, its campus, and notable faculty.
Jose’s undergraduate training in life sciences did not disappoint. The small class sizes and attentive faculty served him well. “I felt like I received a personalized undergraduate education and was impressed by the research opportunities as well as extracurricular events,” he says.
In 2020 and 2021, NYITCOM’s Translating Osteopathic Understanding into Community Health (TOUCH) Program awarded Jose the Gold Tier award for completing more than 75 hours of community service annually. His service included volunteering at the Community Free Clinic in Central Islip and providing free COVID-19 testing at the Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc. As a medical student, Jose volunteers with NYITCOM’s Rock Steady Boxing program in the Adele Smithers Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Center, among other programs.