By Wendy Sarubbi | July 8, 2015 1:12 pm

The new class of 17 internal medicine residents at The UCF College of Medicine hail from as close as Orlando and as far as Pakistan. They arrived on the Lake Nona campus in late June for their residency orientation, meeting each other for the first time, and getting acquainted with their faculty and chief residents.

“These 17 young physicians are going to be a wonderful addition to the Central Florida community,” said Residency Program Director Dr. Abdo Asmar, who is also a core faculty member with the medical school. “I’m looking forward to guiding them through the program, and developing them to become doctors that I would be proud to have care for my family.”

For some residents, the journey to Medical City was a short one. University of Florida undergrad alum, Dr. Jorge Morales was raised in Altamonte Springs, and attended medical school at St. Matthew’s University in Grand Cayman. He says he is happy to return to Central Florida for his graduate medical education.  “It’s nice being in Orlando close to family, and I get to serve the community I was raised in” he said, adding that UCF was his first choice, after meeting current residents during his interviews at Osceola Regional Medical Center. “I got to see the program first-hand, and I really fell in love with the people and the way that everything was set up”

UCF’s residency program is a partnership with Osceola Regional and the Orlando VA Medical Center.

New resident Dr. Dana Peronne continues her training in the sunshine state after attending The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine campus in Bradenton. She said she was seeking a university-based residency in primary care. “It was important for me to stay in the state of Florida and be close to family,” she said. “I liked that this was an academic institution with such a big name behind it. That was really important to me”

A few residents made the trek across the globe to train at UCF. Arfa Maiz comes from the Army Medical College in Pakistan, where she helped care for military personnel in one of the most dangerous parts of the world.  “We worked with a lot of active soldiers in areas where there was a lot of terrorist activity,” she said, adding that UCF was her first choice because of it’s partnership with the Orlando VA. “I’m really excited about serving a veteran population,” she said.

One of the 17 residents is quite familiar with UCF, because he just graduated from the College of Medicine’s third M.D. class in May. Dr. Giorgio Guiulfo says he’s looking forward to helping build  the new residency program just as he did the young medical school. “I know the faculty and staff are working hard to make this program a success,” he said. “I’m excited to contribute to the ground floor of what I know will be one of Florida’s premier internal medicine residencies.”

During the week-long orientation, new residents learned logistical details of the program, and also received essential training in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and Basic Life Support (BLS.) Orientation closed with a Q&A panel with current residents, who have now advanced to their second year. “Our current residents have been really great with helping the new residents get on their feet,” said Mary Beth Harris, UCF’s assistant director of graduate medical education.


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