Dr. Kiran C. Patel

Meet Darisel Rodriguez

A Childhood Dream Realized

After graduating from the pre-med program at the University of Connecticut, Darisel N. Ventura Rodriguez worked as a mental health specialist and flight attendant for about four years.

“I knew I wanted to become a doctor but wasn’t sure how to start the application process,” says Darisel, who immigrated to Connecticut from the Dominican Republic as a child.


Finding Her Path

Healthcare people shaking hands with gloves symbol of collaboration

That changed when she met a resident doctor at Jackson Memorial Hospital who became her mentor. Together, they developed a plan to improve her academics, ask for letters of recommendation, and boost her study skills.

This mentorship proved fruitful for Darisel. She got accepted into Nova Southeastern University’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine (NSU MD).


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Darisel Ventura Rodriguez professional photo
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During the interview with NSU, I felt very welcome and knew that I could be myself here. I was so happy when I got accepted. I called my mom at 2 a.m. to let her know.

Darisel Ventura Rodriguez | NSU MD M4

Now as a fourth-year medical student, Darisel aims to specialize in general surgery.


“I am surrounded by so many smart people who took the time to get to know me and who became my mentors,” says Darisel. “Faculty encouraged me to pursue research, join groups, and get involved in the community.”

She has conducted research in a variety of areas such as human trafficking, a chronic skin condition, fusion of bones in baby’s skull, COVID-19, mentorship, and medical Spanish.

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The diverse research opportunities at NSU have given me the right foundation to solve problems and validate studies which will prove to my advantage as a physician.

Darisel Ventura Rodriguez | NSU MD M4


A True Talent

Darisel's research has been showcased through posters at regional, national, and international conferences. At NSU’s RISE Conference 2021, she won the Best Poster for Clinical Research Award.

During her first year, Darisel founded the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) chapter at NSU and became a regional co-director for the LMSA southeast region. Today, she serves as vice president of programming for the national organization.

“We conduct medical Spanish workshops, mentor high school students, and encourage students to get excited about science,” says Darisel.

While at NSU, Darisel’s interests in becoming a doctor have expanded.

“I seek to represent my Spanish-speaking community which statistically has poorer health outcomes,” she says. “I also want to provide compassionate up-to-date patient-centered care and my research experience at NSU has trained me to do this.”


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NSU is one of my greatest blessings. I grew from a young person who needed guidance to someone who is guiding others. I have come full circle.

Darisel Ventura Rodriguez | NSU MD M4