The UCF College of Medicine “beat every medical school in the world” in a recent online academic medicine poster competition from Cureus, The New e-Journal of Medicine.

UCF submitted 70 posters on topics ranging from transplantation to public health, beating out medical schools from Stanford, University of Washington, Vanderbilt, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Yale and Case Western. Cureus President Tobin Arthur sent an email to one of UCF’s winning students, congratulating the medical school on its strong showing. “What a great job by you and your peers,” Arthur wrote. “We’d love to come throw a party at UCF and give the dean a plaque commemorating the fact that you guys beat every medical school in the world for this competition!”

Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine,  said she was thrilled with UCF’s winning performance, nothing that “I am particularly happy that we were ahead of all of my alma maters.”

Six UCF students received multiple awards.

  • Second-year student Rabia Zafar won first place in the neurology category and second place in allergy/immunology.
  •  Fourth-year student Elona Rrapo won first place in the “other” category and third place in HIV/AIDS.
  • Fourth-year student Rafik Zarifa won second in psychiatry and second in quality improvement.
  • Fourth-year student Shawna Bellew won third place in internal medicine and third place in OB/GYN.
  • Third-year student Christina Hsu won third place for her poster in general surgery and third place in public health.
  • Here are all the winning UCF students in their categories of research.


    Rabia Zafar, second place

    Diabetes & Endocrinology

    Racha Khalaf, first place

    Environmental Health

    Glenn Gookin, second place

    General Surgery

    Christina Hsu, third place


    Sarina Amin, second place


    Elona Rrapo, third place

    Infectious Disease

    Brittany Pease, second place

    Internal Medicine

    Brian Mayrsohn, second place

    Shawna Bellew, third place


    Rabia Zafar, first place


    Eric Gelman, second place

    Shawna Bellew, third place


    Elona Rrapo, first place

    Cassandra Dennys, second place

    Pain Management

    Malgorzata Krzyszczak, second place


    Rafik Zarifa, second place


    Alexa Rodriguez, third place

    Public Health

    Christina Hsu, third place

    Quality Improvement

    Rafik Zarifa, second place

    Radiation Oncology

    Margaret Kozak, first place


    Zaw Maung, second place

    For more information on the competition, go to