The first graduates of the College of Medicine’s young internal medicine residency program matched into fellowships December 7 – with a 100 percent match rate for three third-year residents and two chief residents who joined highly competitive programs across the country.

After completing medical school, physicians must enter a graduate medical education program of between three and seven years depending on their specialty. Physicians, particularly in internal medicine, often go on to fellowship training in a subspecialty such as cardiology.

These UCF residents will begin their fellowship training in July 2017:

  • Dr. Gerard Chaaya– Tulane University School of Medicine:  Hematology and Oncology
  • Dr. Bruna Pellini Ferreira – Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis: Hematology and Oncology
  • Dr. Arnaldo Reyes Esteves – University of Florida College of Medicine: Sleep Medicine
  • The residents were in the first cohort of a partnership residency program that began in 2014 between the medical school, Osceola Regional Medical Center and the Orlando VA Medical Center. Since then, the College of Medicine has joined Hospital Corporation of America, owner of Osceola Regional, in creating other residency programs across Central and North Central Florida. By 2020, the UCF-HCA consortium is expected to add 580-plus residency slots to the state to help ease the physician shortage.

    In addition to the 100 percent match rate for residents seeking fellowships, both of UCF’s chief residents who were seeking fellowship training matched. They are:

  • Dr. Noelle Rolle — University of New Mexico: Rheumatology
  • Dr. Kashif Shaikh – Baylor College of Medicine: Rheumatology
  • Dr. Abdo Asmar, program director of the UCF-HCA Consortium Internal Medicine Residency Program in Orlando, applauded the new fellows as pioneers. The three matched residents took a chance on a new program and helped build it from scratch, he said, while the chiefs – who did their residency training elsewhere – developed as leaders and educators through their work with UCF and its partners. He noted that all five matched into highly competitive programs in locations and specialties that were their top choices. “I am so proud of them,” he said. “These are skilled, compassionate physicians who are tomorrow’s health leaders. Through their hard work and that of their faculty members and mentors, they have taken the next step in achieving their dreams. They have been important partners in our journey to improve the health of all.”