From white coats to wedding bells
Alumni and faculty sweethearts who met at the College of Medicine share their stories
Feb. 9, 2023 — Although late-night studying and scrubbing up for clinical rotations might not appear romantic, several alumni at the UF College of Medicine found love during the years they spent training to become health care professionals.
From meeting at orientation or during a class in Communicore to bonding during a study session or finding the way to a another’s heart through a home-cooked meal, couples at the college strengthened their connection through a mutual calling to care for patients.
Read about four UF Medicine alumni, including several current faculty members, who found love on campus.
Stacy and Casey Beal, M.D. ’09
Physicians Stacy Beal, M.D. ’09, an associate professor in the department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine, and Casey Beal, M.D. ’09, an associate professor in the department of ophthalmology, met during their medical school orientation, where they bonded over a discussion about boats, watersports and fishing. Stacy Beal recalled that her eventual husband wore reflective sunglasses that she thought looked funny, which he still has to this day. During medical school, she was drawn to the future pediatric ophthalmologist’s even temper. “No matter how tough school was, he would never complain or get upset,” she said. “He is always very positive to be around. I also really loved that he knew how to drive a boat!”
The two became an official couple in the third year of their medical studies, then tied the knot in 2012. Today, the Beals, including their 4- and 7-year-old daughters, enjoy outdoor activities together, including bike riding, swimming, watersports and camping in their RV. They can also often be found tailgating at Florida Gator football games.
Shireen Madani and Steven M. Sims, M.D. ’01
Twenty-five years ago, Shireen Madani, M.D. ’01, and Steven M. Sims, M.D. ’01, met during a party their class hosted as students at the College of Medicine. Madani, now the assistant dean for student affairs for the College of Medicine and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, joked that Sims, a family medicine physician, visited her place when they were students because she had cable TV, so he could watch ESPN and “South Park.” Later this year, the couple will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. They enjoy traveling the world with their family, which includes 17-year-old Zahra and 16-year-old twins Miles and Leila.
Julia Close and Peter M. Gallogly, M.D. ’01
Julia Close, M.D. ’01, the associate dean of graduate medical education at the College of Medicine, admitted she had a hard time remembering the name of her classmate, Peter M. Gallogly, M.D. ’01, when the class of 2001 medical students met during a course in Communicore. Gallogly’s interest in her paid off, however, when he invited Close and her friends to his place one day for homemade gnocchi. “I never forgot his name again,” she said. The couple has now been married for 21 years, and they continue to enjoy spending time outdoors together.
Paul M. Gallogly, M.D. ’98, and Sara Connolly, M.D. ’02
On their first date during medical school, Paul M. Gallogly, M.D. ’98, and Sara Connolly, M.D. ’02, attended a dinner hosted by a pharmaceutical company representative during Gallogly’s urology rotation. “As they say, the rest is history,” he said. Gallogly credits classmate Maria Kelly, M.D. ’02, the assistant dean and chief medical officer of UF Health Physicians, for encouraging him to ask Connolly out on a date. The couple, who has been together for 23 years, got married in fall 2004 — although a busy hurricane season nearly postponed their big day on Florida’s east coast. “Our wedding was in Stuart, but it almost got canceled,” said Gallogly, who is Peter Gallogly’s brother. “The city was hit by back-to-back hurricanes, and the wedding hotel sustained serious damage. Fortunately, the hotel opened back up in time, and with a few minor adjustments, everything was great.” Now married for 18 years, Gallogly, a vitreoretinal surgeon, and Connolly, a pediatrician, live in Jupiter with their children Colin, 14, and Amelia, 12.