By Wendy Sarubbi | August 5, 2013 1:43 pm

A junior biomedical sciences major who dreams of becoming an orthopedic surgeon is spending her summer in Colorado shadowing sports medicine specialists, including the chief medical officer for the U.S. Olympic team during the 2014 winter games.

“I’m learning something new every day,” said Gabby Ford, who hopes to go to medical school after completing her degree at the UCF College of Medicine’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences. “This is an experience of a lifetime.”

Gabby is an athlete who enjoys running, tennis, snow and wakeboarding and she hopes to specialize in some form of sports medicine, perhaps pediatric orthopedics. Her family spends their summers in Colorado, so she began making inquiries about orthopedic job shadowing opportunities there. She found Dr. Gloria Beim and her Alpine Orthopaedics practice, located on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies. Beim is in charge of medical care for U.S. Olympic athletes at the 2014 winter games in the Russian city of Sochi. She has worked at several past Olympic Games and is well-known expert on how athletics impact a woman’s body. “She’s amazing,” Gabby said of her new mentor. “Watching her in surgery I get the opportunity to see her precision and her ease in the operating room.”

Dr. Beim is even working with a Russian patient this summer to become proficient in the language before the games.

Gabby said the summer experience has helped her solidify her love of orthopedics as she’s watched procedures ranging from an ACL repair to nerve and tendon repairs. “Every day when you come in, you don’t know what it – or the ambulance – will bring,” she said. “We’ve had ATV accidents, car accidents, sports injuries, knees, hips, elbows. That’s why I love orthopedics.”

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