By Wendy Sarubbi | August 7, 2014 1:52 pm

An excited and eager new class of 120 medical students arrived at the UCF College of Medicine campus August 5 ready to soak in everything their first year of medical school has to offer as they participated in a week-long orientation.

Oriantation 10Class of 2018 students became familiar with their curriculum, campus facilities and student organizations – and received their iPad minis that contain e-textbooks, medical software and programs that help with note-taking and time management. The minis are selected because they fit into the pockets of the medical students’ white coats during clinical experiences. This year, the Harriet F. Ginsburg Library staff, which handles the iPad program,  is especially excited because the technology comes with a built-in guarantee of a new iPad in two years. “We worked out this wonderful leasing agreement with our legal counsel and Apple’s legal counsel,” library director Nadine Dexter said of the deal, which has been in the works since December 2013. “They recognize the fact that we need to have the newest devices in the hands of our students every two years.”

The Class of 2018 will be the first to benefit from the leasing agreement. They will exchange this year’s new iPads  in two years for the latest model, which they will be able to keep after graduation. “We know when they go to the hospitals and clinics they’re going to see lots of people walking around with tablets, using them for patient care,” Dexter said. “We want to make sure our students feel properly supplied with the devices they need to be great medical students.”

Oriantation  9As part of orientation, students became familiar with the College of Medicine’s integrated curriculum. Including a team-based learning module that will require them to  identify and solve medical situations they will likely see in the real world. “To be able to work through a problem with classmates, instead of just reading out of a book sounds great.” said Elizabeth Wellings, who did her undergraduate work at the University of Florida and received her Master’s degree from Cornell.

They also reviewed a targeted list of skills they will need to acquire over the next four years – from patient history and exam skills to microbiology, ethics and communication. “I really got a second wind of excitement today,” said first-year M.D. student Blanca Estupinan, who earned her undergraduate degree from Florida State. “They went over 38 objectives that we will master during our time here. It’s exciting to see how much we will be learning over the next four years.”

Oriantation 2At the Student Activities Fair, 2018 class members discovered student interest groups that engage in activities ranging from the arts to global health. “Mission Nutrition” representative, Monica Mattes of the Class of 2017 explained how her group works to influence the College of Medicine community on the importance of good nutrition.  “We’re hoping they keep in the back of their mind that this year is going to start getting really busy, and it’s easy to forget about healthy habits,” she said. “We want our club to stay on their radar, so they’re more prepared going into it.”

Day 1 of orientation also included CPR and first-aid training and a “Med School Survival Forum” with upperclassmen. Classes begin August 11, and with a a diverse class of students from all over the country, the new first-years said they are eager to begin their journey to becoming physicians. “I absolutely loved the school during my interview, so I decided to go on an adventure and come over from Washington,” said Spokane native, Brittany Urso. “I’m really looking forward to learning and growing with my classmates.”

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