- College of Medicine
UCF College of Medicine students honored the physicians and researchers who have come before them during their third annual Holiday Showcase with performances inspired by the theme “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.” The November 21 event, organized by the medical school’s Arts In Medicine (AIM) organization featured music, dance and poetry and included the sale of prints created by patients from Opening Minds Through Art (OMA,) a program that allows dementia patients to express themselves creatively.
Class of 2017 M.D. student Katie Peacock came up with the theme for the holiday event after seeing a decades-old picture of physicians in an anatomy lab and realizing how far medicine has come. “Especially in this world of medicine, we continue to build on the shoulders of giants,” Peacock said as she introduced the event. “I hope each of you will have your own interpretation of the theme, and feel inspired by it as we open up this holiday season.”
“Residual Volume,” the student a cappella choir, began the showcase with “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent, which highlights the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. “In Rent, the characters sing about a time when people will be living with—not dying from disease,” choir member and first-year M.D. student Jessica Fernandez told the crowd. “The research and medical milestones fighting this scary giant have redefined the implications of an HIV diagnosis.” Fernandez encouraged the audience to “cherish and be thankful for every moment, whether we measure our year in sunsets, smiles, journeys, love or 525,600 minutes.”
Second-year student Priya Katari sang a medley featuring “The Scientist” by Coldplay in tribute to her classmates, teachers and parents who supported her through thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment last year. “I remember looking at my guitar for months, and saying that it I could sing this time next year, that I would do it,” she said. “The support I’ve seen from the COM is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. We are already well on our way to becoming ‘giants’ who will inspire and motivate our patients through hard times, the way so many of you have for me this past year.”
Students, faculty and staff showcased their musical talent on a variety of instruments including piano, French horn, bass, violin, flute, and saxophone. Assistant Dean for Simulation, Dr. Juan Cendan serenaded the crowd with a classical guitar performance of “Excerpts from La Catedrál.” Peacock performed an original dance which interpreted the mistakes of giants in U.S. history that had caused discrimination and injustice. Simon Ho, of the class of 2017, recited an original poem called “Asia America, Where Have You Gone?” about his quest for self-identity as a child of immigrants.
Planners of The Holiday Showcase also had charitable motivations, collecting toys for the Children’s Home Society of Florida and selling 28 prints that raised more than $320 for OMA.
The showcase closed with the a cappella choir singing “Don’t Stop Believing.” Choir member and first-year student Lindsey Woody, introduced the song by saying the students hope one day to become giants for the next generation of physicians and scientists. “As we move forward in our medical careers,” she said, “we must continue believing in ourselves, each other, and the power we have through medicine to make an impact on the lives of others.”