With its second full class, the College of Medicine now has an enrollment of 415 – a 10-fold increase in the five years since its charter class enrolled.

In opening Monday’s event, UCF President John C. Hitt described how far the new medical school has come. “At this time in 2007, we had yet to break ground on the medical college that has made possible this morning’s White Coat Ceremony,” he said. “And it was just four years ago that we moved into a facility that anchors a thriving Medical City that will transform Central Florida’s healthcare, economy and lifestyle in the coming years.”

The incoming class was selected from a pool of 4,171 applicants based on their academic excellence and passion for medicine. The Class of 2018 has 67 men and 53 women and includes five military veterans. Twelve of the incoming students have master’s degrees, one has a doctoral degree, and more than a dozen published scientific research before ever entering medical school. The new medical students include:

  • Varsity athletes in sports that include soccer, tennis, track, wrestling and synchronized swimming
  • A military officer who guarded the U.S. Embassy in Moscow
  • A former hedge fund investor
  • A musician artist who crafted violins for students in rural Utah
  • Two siblings of students who graduated in the College of Medicine’s first two classes
  • One of the first-year students in Luke Pearson, a National Merit Scholar who graduated from the College of Medicine’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences. UCF was the only place Pearson applied for medical school. Minutes after getting his white coat, Pearson said he was speechless. “It’s so exciting,” he said, “I’m so fortunate to be in this position, to become a doctor and serve our community.” As his mother Rosy looked on, she said Luke had announced in kindergarten at the age of 5 that he was going to be a doctor. “Today is a day of dreams coming true,” she said.

    Before she “coated” the students, Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and founding dean of the UCF College of Medicine, taught their first class – The Good Doctor, A UCF Tradition. In the class, Dr. German asks students to envision the person they love. That person is sick with an undiagnosed ailment. What traits do the students want their beloved person’s doctor to have? she asks. As students provide traits, Dr. German writes them on a blackboard that stays on display at the medical school for the students’ entire first year.

    The Class of 2018 came up with traits including “dedicated,” “brave,” “trustworthy,” “knowledgeable,” “intelligent,” “enthusiastic,” “benevolent” and two that drew some chuckles from the crowd – “affordable” and “well-rested.”

    When she was done writing the 37 traits on the board, Dr. German explained why she does The Good Doctor class each year. “I want to show you and the community that you know what it takes to become The Good Doctor,”  she said. “Those traits live and breathe inside of you. It is why you are here. This is your contract with me, your faculty, friends, family, community and each other. With the guidance of the faculty and your own hard work, you will become The Good Doctor.”

    To view a video version of this story, please visit http://youtu.be/PgpvV3MhdpY