The UCF College of Medicine welcomed its second stellar class of 60 medical students Monday, August 2 at the “White Coat Ceremony,” a meaningful tradition in which a medical school welcomes first-year students as colleagues dedicated to patient care.
For a second consecutive year, UCF drew more applications to its medical school than any other public university in Florida. The students admitted were selected from a pool of 3,764 applicants based on their academic excellence and passion for medicine. With the new class, the College of Medicine’s enrollment grows from 41 to 101. These first-year students include 35 women and 25 men and are from California to Tennessee, New York to Florida. Fourteen have Masters degrees; one has a Ph.D. and two have previous military service.
The Class of 2014 includes athletes, artists and adventurers who have participated in sports from underwater hockey to lacrosse, polo to crew. They are painters, dancers, vocalists, piano and flute players. They include a motorcycle enthusiast whose father taught her to ride at 13 and helped turned cycling into a family hobby and a student who grew up in Saudi Arabia, where she made crafts and cookies for soldiers injured during Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. She says interacting with those patients showed her that “my destiny was in medicine.” Another student has been inspired by her younger sister’s battle with leukemia; still another found his medical inspiration after volunteering at a leprosy clinic in India.
Several of the students said the College of Medicine’s high-tech integrated curriculum was a big draw in their decision to come to UCF. “That’s the great thing about this program,” said first-year student Margaret Kozak, a California native, “that it’s so high-tech, so cutting-edge.”
In what has become a College of Medicine tradition, Dr. Deborah German, dean of the college and UCF vice president for medical affairs, asked the students to list the traits of a doctor they would want to treat a seriously ill loved one. The students came up with a white-board full of traits, including, for example, optimistic, flexible, sincere, empathetic and honest. These traits make up “The Good Doctor,” Dr. German told the class. “The Good Doctor lives in each one of you, and like a seed it has been planted today. We will make sure that it grows.”
The college was able to provide some amount of scholarship funds to each of the new students and during the White Coat Ceremony, donors joined Dean German in placing white coats on the students.
When the coating was finished, Dr. Garrett Riggs, assistant professor of Neurology and chairman of the admissions committee that selected the Class of 2014, announced: “Welcome to the next 60 physicians from the UCF College of Medicine.”