‘My mom is like a superhero’
Celebrating Mother’s Day with one UF College of Medicine mother-daughter duo
May 5, 2022 — First-year physician assistant student Christine Joseph and Madeline Joseph, M.D., FAAP, FACEP, the associate dean for inclusion and equity and a professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, are bonded by more than that special tie between mother and daughter.
A shared love for helping others, exploring the field of medicine and being part of the University of Florida also connect the two women. It can be seen in excited texts sent back and forth about interesting classroom lessons, in old family photographs featuring orange and blue jerseys and in a mutual dedication to improving lives.
Madeline Joseph has devoted decades to the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, rising from a student clerkship director for pediatric emergency medicine to her current role as associate dean. Despite her loyalty, she said she never wanted to force her style or dreams onto her children and did not push them to attend UF. But her daughter, now well on her way to becoming a two-time Gator graduate, still found her own path to the university.
“It’s a blessing to be in an organization that recognizes someone’s talents or gifts and supports them to be their best,” Madeline Joseph said. “I think Christine perhaps saw the joy I have had at UF.”
Christine Joseph said she remembers being a Gator fan since the early 2000s, when Tim Tebow played in the Swamp. She filled her room with Gator decor, begged for a Tebow jersey for Christmas and dreamed of the day she would attend UF as an undergraduate.
Going into college, Christine Joseph said, she didn’t know anything about the PA profession. She wanted to be a doctor like her mom, make decisions and design treatment plans for her future patients.
“My mom is like a superhero … My mom is my biggest inspiration,” Christine Joseph said. “I just naturally became so infatuated with everything she did. I saw her and the impact she had on the students and residents she taught and her patients, and I think I truly wanted that for myself, too.”
But then she shadowed a couple of PAs and appreciated the direct patient care and flexibility in practice, and her dreams shifted.
“I fell in love with the field and I thought, ‘This is exactly what I want to do,’” she said.
Now, the mother-daughter duo spend their spare time inspiring each other, discussing advances in medicine and medical education alike. Christine Joseph said she even proudly brought her full suture kit home to Jacksonville once to show her mom the new skill she had learned.
“It’s reenergizing to me to see her talk so passionately about what she’s learning,” Madeline Joseph said. “From when Christine took her first step and walked, it’s just been so exciting to see her evolution over time.”
The Josephs plan to celebrate this Mother’s Day in Los Angeles with a homemade carrot cake and all their family, including mother and grandmother Fadwa, husband and father Michael, an electrical engineer; elder son and brother Andrew, a second -year medical student and Research Fellow at Nova Southeastern University; and younger son and brother Matthew, a junior studying business at Indiana University.