Aspiring doctors from the UCF College of Medicine began working alongside area physicians this month when the medical school’s charter class begins its hospital rotations.

The rotations are third-year clerkships that offer the 40 students in the college’s first medical school class the opportunity to work in specialties including neurology, pediatrics, surgery, psychiatry, internal and family medicine and obstetrics and gynecology.

“We are excited as the UCF College of Medicine’s charter class takes its next big step,” said Dr. Deborah German, dean of the UCF College of Medicine and the university’s vice president of medical affairs. “By working with our partners in the community, our medical students gain invaluable day-to-day experience that will help them become healthcare leaders of tomorrow.”

UCF medical students will spend much of their third and fourth years of medical school in hospital rotations, where they study foundational c areas, as well as taking electives. The partnership between community health-care providers and the College of Medicine helps the doctors-in-training gain experience in a variety of medical fields as they figure out which area of specialty they will pursue.

In their first weeks of their clerkships, the medical students will be working across Central Florida – from the Transplant Surgery Unit at Florida Hospital and Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to Osceola Regional Medical Center and the Orlando VA Medical Center.

The UCF College of Medicine was built thanks to innovative partnerships among state and local government, medical and non-medical businesses, community groups, nonprofit organizations, civic groups and individuals who not only said they wanted a medical school, but provided financial support and political will to turn the dream into a reality.

Dozens of community members stepped forward and funded a campaign to provide all members of the charter class with full scholarships worth $160,000 each.

In 2009, UCF became the first medical school in U.S. history to provide full scholarships to its entire charter class.