By Wendy Sarubbi | February 6, 2012 1:49 pm

The UCF College of Medicine shared “information and inspiration” at the annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival honoring the historic town of Eatonville January 27-29.

The college set up a display of materials — from health tips to recipes to information for young people wanting to be doctors — in the festival’s Health Village. M.D. students in white coats handed out information and were actually chased down by people wanting copies of the College of Medicine’s recipe for healthy Anatomy Salad that includes kidney beans, artichoke hearts and heads of broccoli.

“The Zora Festival was an opportunity for us to share with the community,” said Dr. Lisa Barkley, assistant dean for diversity and inclusion. “It was an opportunity to update people on what the college is doing and to help provide healthy living tips. It was an opportunity for us to share information and inspiration.”

The college handed out “So You Want To Be A Doctor?” cards to young people that talked about the traits necessary for success in a medical career and also provided links to valuable online resources. UCF Health physicians provided wellness tips for a healthy 2012 and information on the care they provide at the new facility near the main UCF campus. Faculty and medical students offered encouragement and suggestions for people wanting a career in medicine. A group of young people listened intently as M-2 student Sharise Richardson talked about her own journey to medical school. “You have to focus, focus, focus,” she said.

The event also offered an opportunity for the College of Medicine to network with other community organizations, including Orlando Health, the Orange County Health Department and LYNX.

The Zora Festival, one of Central Florida’s largest festivals, draws more than 70,000 people to the Eatonville community, one of the first incorporated black towns in America. The festival celebrates the life and work of author, (Their Eyes Were Watching God), folklorist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston who grew up in Eatonville.

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