Went down to Gainesville on Thursday. Lexie and I ate BBQ before heading out to La Chua trail where we saw HUGE alligators several feet from us. It was cool and a little scary. Then we went to Lake Wauburg to kayak. UF students hosted a welcome dinner at The Swamp. UF threw me a curveball: my socks were blown off by almost everything. Almost.
Interview Day was long. There were tons of presentations. They had the normal curriculum and financial aid presentations. They also had presentations on the simulation center. research, office of diversity and other things that I can’t currently remember. A unique part of the day was when a physician presented one patient’s story to the group and we had the opportunity to ask the patient questions and see the relationship between the patient and their UF physician. Had two 50-minute interviews.
Pros: The community and school pride. P/F courses (like CU, Case, and Emory) help foster collaboration. Both students and faculty seem to both love what they are doing and love the university. Everything was orange and blue down to the m&ms. Going along with school pride theme, I found that most M1s and M4s attend Gator football games. (I guess they tend to be a little busier during M2 and M3.) A large proportion of the student body are gator alums so the school pride is huge. I miss being in the thick of a school pride environment, like the one that defines Duke undergrad culture/Cameron Crazies, which is something I would definitely get at UF. The curriculum is patient-centered: ~20% of courses are PBL and 80% lectures. Students have 3 preceptorships over course of M1 and M2. The 1-2 week preceptorships don’t have to be done in Gainesville–can be done anywhere. There are student-run clinics. Gainesvills is bike-friendly, particularly around the med center. Brand new med facilities with one building that just opened this past summer and one that will house a new Heart and Vascular Hospital and Neuromedicine Hospital. In general, I really enjoyed the atmosphere and pride of UF Health–both the student body and faculty.
Cons: Gainesville. Lexie took me to a wide variety of areas (midtown, downtown, out of town) and I still don’t particularly like Gainesville. It’s swampy FL: no hills and hot. It’s also a college town and doesn’t have everything that a larger city has to offer. It seems like moving to a college town would assist the process of getting sucked back into a university bubble. Since I probably won’t be able to afford UC Denver, I’m looking into postponing my move out to CO for 5 years (aka try to do residency in CO or elsewhere out west). Only one student matched to CO in 2015 and most students stayed in-state. So now I need to start looking at where students match (read: how many went to CO, Oregon, Washington, etc.) Car is necessary (although a car will be necessary for any of the places I’ve interviewed at).