Spotlighting the Housestaff Class of 2008

Photo by Priscilla Santos

Stephanie Harrell always knew she wanted to be a doctor. And what began as a childhood joke is now a reality.

“I used to tell my friends, ‘I’ll be your kid’s doctor,’ and now I really am their pediatrician,” said Harrell, who completed her pediatrics residency in June at the College of Medicine and now works in private practice at Pediatric Associates of Ocala. “It’s very special.”

Harrell, who is a proud new mom, said motherhood is helping her to be a better pediatrician.

“Now that I have a son I can sympathize with the parents a lot more, and I can understand their concerns,” said Harrell, who attended medical school at the University of Miami.

While she’s trained to treat sick kids, Harrell said it’s a different story when her own child is ill.

“Even though I knew it was completely normal, I freaked when my son’s umbilical cord fell off,” she said. “You automatically turn off the pediatrician part of your brain. I become the one who needs advice.”

And when those situations occur, she’s glad she can call her fellow gator alumni from residency.

“We all call each other for advice a lot,” she said. “I met such wonderful people during my time at UF.”