By Christin Senior | November 28, 2023 1:22 pm
Yasmine Ghattas presenting her research on the impact of exercise among the intellectually disabled community at the 2022 FIRE conference.

With a heart for service and a passion for healing others, fourth-year medical student Yasmine Ghattas has been recognized by the Florida Board of Medicine for her professionalism and dedication to the field as part of the Chairman’s Medical Student Recognition Program.

“Being recognized by the Florida Board of Medicine is an incredible honor that was really only made possible with the unduly support of my peers and faculty,” Ghattas said. 

The program recognizes medical students who have demonstrated extraordinary medical and social competence, are proven compassionate leaders and embody the highest moral and ethical character.  Ghattas will be honored during the Board’s meeting on Dec. 1 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel.

Ghattas is a first-generation immigrant from Egypt, who has lived in several countries including  UAE and Switzerland. Before joining UCF’s medical school, Ghattas attended the New Jersey Institute of Technology, majoring in Biology.

“I chose a career in medicine because I wanted to help inform and be a part of the ever-evolving nature of medicine,” she said. “ I wanted to meet my patients and help uplift them to take their health into their own hands through both more traditional means as well as through innovation and research.”

A former Division I track/field athlete who also played water polo in high school, Yasmine Ghattas coached basketball and softball to children with intellectual disabilities. Led by her passion for sports medicine, as a medical student she researched the impact of moderate exercise among the intellectually disabled  Her findings, published in the Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, showed that participants who exercised more frequently performed better at tasks such as standing up from a seated position compared to those who exercised less.

At UCF, she volunteered with the KNIGHTS Clinic a student-led free clinic that provides healthcare to Orlando’s underserved community. She also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that builds affordable homes for the community and through an honors grant volunteered to teach health education to children in Namibia.

“KNIGHTS Clinic not only provided me a platform to give back to the community,” she said. “I actively learned how to treat and communicate with patients from different backgrounds, and it gave me a better understanding of the struggles of community members through this lived experience. It also challenged me to come up with solutions to help promote better healthcare.”

Dr. Marcy Verduin, the UCF College of Medicine’s associate dean for students and professor of psychiatry congratulated Ghattas on winning the award.

 “Yasmin is an exceptional student with a remarkable ability to accomplish at an incredibly high level,” Dr. Verduin said. “She’s very deserving of this recognition, and I’m so delighted to see her recognized by the Florida Board of Medicine.”

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