Steve Noutang mingled with other potential incoming UF College of Medicine students at a Second Look reception May 6, but he already knows why he likes the school.
“UF is the best school in Florida,” he said. “And just meeting people now — meeting faculty and other students — makes me think I made a good choice.”
Noutang was one of 98 students who attended the college’s Second Look weekend, held May 6 and 7. On Friday evening, the college hosted a welcome reception for the prospective medical students at the Biomedical Science Building Atrium. Saturday’s events included faculty and student presentations, followed by a barbecue lunch.
Throughout the weekend, the college highlighted its strengths and offerings, while the guests had a chance to talk to faculty and students in more depth and with less anxiety than on interview day, said Joseph C. Fantone, M.D., senior associate dean for educational affairs at the college. It also is the last chance the UF College of Medicine has to attract its top picks for its fall medical school class, who are usually weighing acceptances from multiple schools.
Harvard University graduate Annelys Roque is one of those applicants. Growing up in West Palm Beach, she would like to return to Florida, and UF’s research opportunities are especially attractive to her.
“It’s unparalleled in Florida,” she said.
With dozens of specialties and subspecialties, connections to other schools on the campus and rotations at Shands Jacksonville, UF offers students a variety of opportunities and choices, said Michael L. Good, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine. Graduates move on to fill top residency slots nationwide, with many of them are chosen to become chief residents.
“I’m very proud of this college and I’ll say at the outset, I don’t think there is a better place for you to get your medical education,” he told visiting students.
Stephen Pape and his father Greg Pape, M.D., drove seven hours from their home in Marathon in the Florida Keys to attend Second Look day. Stephen wanted to meet his potential future classmates and check out the school with his dad, and the pair were impressed.
“It’s got a good reputation and he will be well prepared to do whatever he wants to do after school,” said Dr. Pape.
Meanwhile, Toni Jackson said she appreciated the warm welcome she received from the college’s office of minority affairs. Originally from Jamaica, she said UF seems committed to offering support and assistance to help students succeed in their studies.
That’s important, she said, because “especially as a minority student, you can feel you are just a small speck in a big pond.”
Despite their hard work and successes, UF College of Medicine students, along with faculty and staff, strive to support each other, said Good. The college focuses on the individual and giving each student the knowledge and support they need to become great physicians, whichever area they opt to go into.
“This is the College of Medicine family,” Good said. “Our first job is to take care of patients, our second job is to take care of each other.”