May 2, 2018 — Ryan Nall, M.D. ’09, was honored May 2 by the UF College of Medicine class of 2018 with this year’s esteemed Hippocratic Award. A ceremony held at UF Wilmot Gardens gathered faculty, students, friends and family of Nall to honor his impact as an educator, mentor and physician.
Established by the class of 1969, the Hippocratic Award is presented to a UF College of Medicine faculty member who embodies humanism, professionalism and teaching prowess. The award is considered one of the highest honors a graduating class bestows on one of its teacher, and 32 different faculty members have received this honor.
During the ceremony, UF College of Medicine Dean Michael L. Good, M.D., explained the rich history of a small tree that holds a plaque honoring past Hippocratic Award recipients. The tree was a gift from the Greek minister of agriculture, and it bears roots from the same tree under which Hippocrates taught his students medicine in ancient Greece.
Good thanked the class of 2018 for their thoughtfulness in bestowing this award and congratulated Nall, a graduate of the UF College of Medicine.
“This award is about being an excellent educator, doctor and role model,” he said.
A group of nine fourth-year students gathered at the podium to honor Nall with a special presentation. Ned De Leo expressed how lucky he felt to have been in Nall’s small group over the past four years.
“Dr. Nall advises us, in addition to getting the full medical history from a patient, to learn an interesting fact about them as well. He genuinely cares about each patient he treats, and he can connect with people from all walks of life,” De Leo said. “He truly practices what he preaches.”
Student Tenisha Wilson read a quote from Maya Angelou that she said perfectly embodies Nall’s impact: “Your legacy is in the lives you touch.”
“He is the epitome of a great mentor,” Wilson said. “I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from him.”
Student Mindy Wang shared a recording of an original piece she composed for piano titled “A Journey with Dr. Nall.” The song featured a soaring melody that matched the heights she and her classmates have reached, thanks to Nall’s guidance.
“I sat down at my keyboard, reflected on these four years and thought about Dr. Nall’s impact,” she said. “It just all came together.”
Nall accepted a plaque and thanked the class of 2018 for the honor, hugging tightly each one of the nine students from his small group.
“It’s no hard task being motivated and inspired by these students. I’ve enjoyed growing and learning alongside them,” he said. “I know you’re going to go off to residencies and be that shining light for those you care for.”
After the ceremony, Nall stood surrounded by his wife, daughter, colleagues and students. His smile spread to his two flushed cheeks, matching the hue of his pink shirt.
“My heart’s going to explode,” Nall said.
Photos by Mindy C. Miller