From medical assistant to medical missions

RCBC 3+1 alum goes global with healthcare skillset

Growing up, Joseph Randazzo, of Delran, had a penchant for the sciences. Through his mother, a registered nurse, he often heard stories and saw firsthand how rewarding a healthcare career could be. Flash forward to 2017. He completed a certified medical assistant course at Rowan College at Burlington County, further fueling his interest in health sciences and eventually leading him to choose RCBC’s 3+1 biology route as a precursor to medical school. 

“After my first term, I could see how my time at RCBC set me up with a good foundation of knowledge to be successful in the anatomy, physiology and biochemistry-heavy course load,” Randazzo recalled. 

Beyond the classroom, Joseph gained as much real-world experience as he could. He initially worked at an urgent care facility and later took his skills to both Honduras and the Dominican Republic, working for the nonprofit One World Surgery. One World Surgery, an organization confronting the global health crisis, delivers surgical care to those who do not have access to or the money to obtain reliable healthcare. 

“During my weeks in Honduras and the Dominican Republic, I was able to record past medical histories, obtain vital signs, sit in on surgical cases, work in the lab to complete blood work and assist the doctors as they saw patients,” Randazzo shared. “In Honduras, there were activities like a group hike and bonfire night, and in the Dominican Republic, we were able to play soccer with the local kids after clinic days and spend time on the beach before having a group dinner at a nice restaurant. In addition to time spent with patients, bonding with other healthcare workers from all parts of the US is a part of these trips I will never forget; you leave at the end of the week feeling like a small family.” 

Randazzo graduated with his bachelor’s degree this past December. He’s now preparing to enter his second term as a medical student at St. George’s University in Grenada. When asked why he chose RCBC to begin his education, he stated that beyond being familiar with the college, he knew of the STEM department’s reputation and that the Rowan University partnership made it an easy decision. 

“The quality of biology and chemistry professors, friendships made and affordability of tuition make me confident that if I had to go back I would 100% choose RCBC again,” Randazzo said. “My favorite moments at RCBC come from the small class sizes and student-to-professor ratios. Being with the same students for several semesters in a row allowed me to make friendships that I still have today. I also felt that I wasn’t just a number in a class but a student that my professors wanted to get to know and have success in their courses.”

As for his future plans, Randazzo is keeping an open mind. He’s interested in the fields of anesthesiology, cardiology and infectious disease. He also hopes to continue completing yearly medical missions. During his free time, he enjoys working out, reading, traveling and trying new foods.

To learn more about RCBC’s 3+1 biology degree, click here