Advice for Incoming Students

Tulika-AgarwalHi guys, I’m a first year student and my biggest piece of advice, as cliché as it sounds, is to keep a balance in your life! You and your peers will quickly learn that making friendships, exercising, doing fun things on the weekends, and keeping in touch with family are all crucial to keeping you sane! Its important to study (especially group study), time manage, and feel like you’ve given it your all, but at the end of the day if you don’t make the grade you might have hoped for, remember to just keep swimming. There will always be more information to learn and more resources you could have read, but remember that the first year is about being exposed to all sorts of new information and then applying that information in your second year. Keep in mind the faculty is there for you – they are on your side! I can’t believe it has already been 7 months since I’ve started school! Time seriously flies by so I encourage you to make memories and have fun along the way!

Tulika Agarwal, Physician Assistant class of 2016

PS – ALWAYS bring a jacket, water and more food than you think you need for class

Jessica James 2014The second year of PA school is about transforming your academically attained knowledge into the knowledge necessary to manage patients in a clinical setting. I have spent 12 months prior to this year learning about medicine from textbooks, lecturers, and “hypothetical patients”, now it’s time to apply it to real life situations. Second year can, at times, be extremely overwhelming and daunting but UF has done an exceptional job in preparing me to take on such a challenge. One of the most encouraging things I have experienced this year is being able to recall knowledge I didn’t know I had! There have been numerous moments when I surprised myself by blurting out the correct answer to a clinical question without even thinking about it! UF prides itself in training efficient, competent and confident medical providers. The closer I come to beginning my career, the more I believe in the University of Florida’s ability to produce some of best clinicians around! Go Gators!

Jessica James
Second Year Physician Assistant Student

Tyler CulpepperThe thought of beginning a new advanced degree program after having attended graduate school and entering the work force was a daunting task, especially considering the rigor and financial burden to which I would be committing. As a non-traditional student, taking this side step was neither a conventional nor linear path. The first day I began the M.D. program I found myself surrounded by over 130 very different individuals with at least one thing in common. We were all undertaking the exact same task at the same time. These men and women, varied in age, culture, and experience, had been carefully selected, one by one, to form a cohesive community of diverse, highly functioning individuals. I soon realized that I had over 130 teammates. This concept has been the most important determinate of my success.

The synergy among such industrious individuals combined with an encouraging family environment serves as a solid foundation which cultivates learning, experience, and personal growth. At times my personal experiences are relevant to our learning objectives, and this provides an opportunity for me share my insight. Many times our learning objectives are foreign to me, but they are never foreign to everyone. When I seek help from my class and mentors, the responses are usually overwhelming. With so many resources created by so many talented people, it seems impossible to become lost. Though medical school is challenging, it is not as difficult as I had expected. I had never considered the “family” aspect when thinking about this challenge. It is this camaraderie that softens the hard edges of the academic rigor, nurtures our humanistic convictions, and maintains our focus. I feel strongly that I made the right decision to attend medical school, specifically at the University of Florida. It is difficult to imagine an environment more conducive my classmates’ and my own success.

Tyler Culpepper
M.D. Class of 2018

Brittney picWhen I began the MD-PhD program here at the University of Florida, I was met with a host of mixed emotions. On one hand, I was ecstatic about pursuing my life long dream of becoming a physician scientist, but on the other hand, I was nervous about the rigorous course that was just up ahead. While the transition into medical school can be much like running on a treadmill that is slightly too fast, UF College of Medicine and the UF MD-PhD training program provides a wonderful synergistic environment for students to excel, including the outstanding faculty and mentors, state of the art training facilities, and ground-breaking translational research.

While at times I have felt overwhelmed, I have enjoyed every moment of my time here in the UF MD-PhD training program. I have grown tremendously in knowledge and in character. Through it all you must learn to see the positive out of every situation. If I could offer you some advice, it would be to enjoy this time and to keep sight of your motivation. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Lastly, although the path is strenuous and grueling, learn from every experience because if it were easy, everyone would do it.

Welcome to Gator Nation and best of luck in all of your endeavors.

Brittney Newby – MD-PhD Candidate – UF College of Medicine