By Eric Eraso | April 29, 2024 10:22 am

Prospective Students Preview UCF M.D. Program

Students from across the United States came to the UCF College of Medicine recently to preview the college before making their final decision on where to get their medical education.

At M.D. Preview, medical schools invite prospective students to campus to give them a feel for what their medical education would look like before they have to commit to a school on May 15.

“Preview provides an opportunity for our accepted students to meet future classmates, get to know some of our faculty and staff, and really imagine themselves as medical students at UCF College of Medicine,” said Dr. Marcy Verduin, associate dean for students. “It’s important to us that they get to experience the curriculum, rather than just hearing about it, so we spend the afternoon in hands-on activities that allow them to be fully immersed.”

Students heard from each academic and student affairs department about how they contribute to student success and had a Q&A with College of Medicine Dean and Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Deborah German.

They conducted ultrasounds on the organs of standardized patients, “saved the lives” of medical mannikins by performing CPR and administered medicine to care for a mannikin with an unusually fast heartbeat, and low blood oxygen.

“The afternoon activities were unique, they didn’t do that at other schools, so it was a cool way to show the facilities and technology here,” said UCF pre-med student Shane Burke, who grew up in Central Florida watching Lake Nona grow from cow pastures into Medical City. Now he wants to become a doctor to serve his hometown.

“The activities were incredible and gave me an idea of what to expect when I engage in clinical skills as a student here,” said Alexandra Bunea, who completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees at UCF. During her time as a UCF student, she fell in love with the community and faculty, and wants to continue to learn from the school that she considers a second home.

“This really blew everyone away, and even convinced someone who was originally planning to attend USF,” she said.

After the activities, students reconvened for a final presentation and Q&A with Dr. Jonathan Kibble, assistant dean for students. He reminded them that the environment and activities they saw are only two thirds of learning – the other third must come from the students themselves.

“We provide the tools and environment for you to learn and grow. What you do with those tools is up to you,” he said.

At the end of the day, prospective Knights were invited to tour the campus with fourth-year medical students and get fitted for their white coat – the symbol of a medical professional and the first step of their medical education.

This incoming class will be the first to experience the UCF College of Medicine’s transformed curriculum, which integrates  lessons about the normal functions of the body with information on diseases that affect those systems.  

This change is intended to strengthen students’ foundational clinical knowledge– including best practices for patient care and new research discoveries – as they enter their third year, where they leave the Lake Nona campus and train in hospitals and out-patient settings.

“One thing that makes UCF unique is your success is our success,” Dr. Verduin told the prospective College of Medicine students. “If our vision is to be this century’s premier medical school, there is only one way to accomplish that – to make sure that each and every one of you is successful. So we are committed to doing all we can to support you in achieving your dreams.  You are our future.”

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