August 12, 2011
Talk about a lot of breaking news at the UCF College of Medicine!
We just welcomed our third M.D. class, making our enrollment 180 medical students after just three years…We achieved the much-coveted provisional accreditation from the LCME – the second of third approvals necessary to be a fully accredited college by 2013…Our charter class is doing clerkships in specialties ranging from psychiatry to surgery at local hospitals and clinics…In short, the College of Medicine continues to thrive and grow, thanks in large part to the contributions of our volunteer and affiliated faculty members.
On August 1 we welcomed 80 new M-1 students at our traditional White Coat Ceremony that recognized these aspiring physicians as colleagues dedicated to patient care. Members of the class of 2015 were chosen from 3,329 applicants based on their academic excellence and passion for medicine. Eleven have master’s degrees and three have doctorate degrees. These 40 men and 40 women speak 16 different languages and have volunteered across communities from California to Florida. They have done research on topics ranging from asthma in swimmers to glaucoma and several have already been published in top medical journals. They include a volunteer firefighter, a championship figure skater and a Shakespearean actor. I am eager for all of you to meet these bright future physicians.
Many of these students came to UCF because they were eager to be pioneers who will participate in many firsts at our medical school, our community and the emerging medical city at Lake Nona. We were thrilled so many volunteer and affiliated faculty members were on hand at the White Coat ceremony to welcome our largest class to date. Some of you helped select this class as part of your service on the admissions committee. Others will teach them in classrooms, labs, hospitals and clinics. You, as mentors, are valued teachers of this next generation of healthcare leaders.
Your mentoring has not gone unnoticed. College of Medicine administrators, faculty and students regularly praise the work of our community faculty. On recent evaluations from our Practice of Medicine (P1/P2) module, one student called the preceptor experience “a great opportunity. This is where I learned the most about my clinical skills and my ability to deal with different patients. It was a great experience and is one of the best parts of the curriculum.” Another wrote that working with a physician preceptor “reminded me why I’m in medical school.” Dr. Cari Hernandez recently joined the college as the Module Director for P1/P2 and if you would like to be a small group leader for communication skills or be involved in the Clinical Skills Center, please contact her at Caridad.Hernandez@ucf.edu or at 407-266-1151.
During its accreditation visit and report, the LCME also noted the importance of our volunteer and affiliated faculty members and how they are engaged in creating our “exemplary” curriculum and student review processes. Your commitment and leadership is an integral part of the entire medical school process – from admissions to clerkships.
For that reason, we’re seeking your feedback. What training do you want? What additional resources do you need? How can we do a better job of assisting you in helping our students? We have a quick and easy online questionnaire that will provide us with more insight into the needs of our volunteer and affiliated faculty. Please take a minute to fill out the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Z38PW5P and thank you in advance for participating. Through your feedback, we’ll be able to do our jobs better.
As the new school year begins and our important work continues at what Dr. German likes to call “warp speed,” let me thank you for your commitment, passion, leadership and time. You are making the UCF College of Medicine all it is and all it can be.
Dick “PEP” Peppler, Ph.D.