Aug. 2, 2019 — On any long journey, the point at which you begin is just as important and memorable as the final destination. The 137 members of the UF College of Medicine class of 2023 embarked Wednesday on a journey that will bring them closer to achieving their dreams of becoming physicians.
UF College of Medicine interim dean Joseph A. Tyndall, M.D., welcomed the first-year medical students in the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building, providing them with insights into the road ahead.
“There are days you’ll be exhilarated; there are days you’ll cry from what you’ve experienced,” Tyndall said. “These are an important four years of growth.”
Jay Lynch, M.D., Office of Admissions assistant dean and professor of medicine, explained the UF College of Medicine’s educational culture, which values humanism and integrity.
“We take care of one another so we can learn, discover and take care of our patients,” Lynch said.
Donna Parker, M.D. ’90, associate dean for diversity and health equity, shared with the class — of which 35% are underrepresented minorities or disadvantaged students — the college’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in both educational and clinical settings.
“Diversity and inclusion are tools to achieve health equity,” Parker said. “At the UF College of Medicine, we are training you to become physicians who are competent in treating patients from all walks of life.”
On Wednesday afternoon, the students unwrapped gifts from the UF medical alumni: their first stethoscopes. Mark Michels, M.D. ’85, president of the Medical Alumni Board of Directors, explained the significance of this moment.
“The stethoscope is an enduring symbol of our profession that reminds both people on either side of the device of the sacred bond they share,” Michels said.
UF’s newest medical students join this year’s 60 incoming physician assistant students who started their first day June 25. The School of Physician Assistant Studies also presented stethoscopes to the first-year class during orientation, which were purchased through alumni support.