Shands and COM welcome new residents

UF’s 250 newest residents walked through the Shands at UF atrium on Friday, June 27, anxiously preparing for July 1—their first day as doctors—and were greeted with smiles by staff members from the College of Medicine.

“Welcome to Gainesville,” said Janis P. Smith, benefits coordinator for the COM, as she greeted the residents at the welcome table where they signed in.

The New Housestaff Fair, put together by Shands with help of the COM, was held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., to help the residents get situated before starting the new chapter in their life.

“The fair is an opportunity for the residents to take care of everything in one day instead of running around the COM trying to figure out things, like, what type of health insurance they have or information about prescriptions,” said Sharron Wallace, the coordinator for housestaff affairs at Shands. “It’s like one-stop shopping.”

Answering the questions from residents and making sure they know their way around Shands and the COM was the main purpose of the fair, said Freddy L. Jones, benefits counselor for the COM. It’ll be difficult to figure things out once they start rotation.

“Hopefully residents get all the information they need,” Jones said. “We want them to be set after today.”

And that’s exactly what the fair provided.

Dr. Penelope Thomas, first-year radiology resident, said she’s grateful for the New Housestaff Fair. She’s ready to begin her residency on July 1.

“There a lot of services here, and it helps since we have so much to do, even though the lines are really long,” she said with a laugh.