Welcome Applicants to the Class of 2024!
The Admissions Welcoming Committee (AWC) is dedicated to providing the same warm and inviting atmosphere to prospective students, alumni, and visitors as we do our friends here in the Gator nation. Through collaborative efforts and teamwork, the AWC aims to enrich the community of the University of Florida College of Medicine by supporting and enhancing the establishment of student connections. AWC welcomes the leadership and diversity of backgrounds, interests, experiences, and ideas of its members, which is essential for showcasing the aspects of the University of Florida College of Medicine that allow this community to flourish. With this in mind, AWC provides a platform for students to share their medical school experience, as well as what it means to be a Gator Doc, to all those who may find themselves in the Swamp.
As your big day approaches, we along with the rest of the committee would like to welcome you wholeheartedly. Congratulations on all you have accomplished thus far, now please allow us to show and share with you our UFCOM family.
~ Michael, Ethan, Torie and Daniel
Hello! My name is Michael Bacchus. I grew up Toronto, and I consider myself a Canadian by heart and Floridian by tan-lines. I attended the University of Central Florida for my bachelor’s degree, where I studied Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Political Science. I have wanted to be a physician for as long as I can remember and for more reasons than I can count. But at its core is the desire to serve others. Regardless of the scale, I find no greater satisfaction than being able to care for and make a difference in the lives of those around me. Simply put, there is nothing that excites me more than the prospect of giving back to my community as a physician.
The medical school application process is both an exciting and emotional time. After I experienced my interview day here at UF, I was left in awe. I knew immediately that the University of Florida was where my heart wanted to be, and I’ve never looked back since! It’s been an absolute privilege and joy to be a Gator, and I can’t wait to help share with you what makes UF COM so special.
Undergrad: University of Central Florida
My hometown is Clifton Park, NY (Upstate NY/Canada depending on where you’re from), but I have spent the last few years becoming less pale living in Florida! For my undergrad studies, I obtained a degree in Biology from the University of Notre Dame (Go Irish!). Though I was taking pre-med requirements, I was unsure on what I wanted to do after college. The summer after my junior year at Notre Dame, I worked at a Type 1 Diabetes Children’s camp in Texas and realized a career in medicine serving others was what I wanted to do and had the passion for. After graduating I moved down to Florida and completed a Master’s in Medical Sciences at the University of South Florida, followed by a year scribing for a primary care clinic.
When I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by UF College of Medicine, it was later in the application cycle and I had already had some interviews at other medical schools. When I visited and had my interview here at UF College of Medicine, I went home telling all my friends and family this was the place for me. No other school made me feel at home with the community the students and faculty offered. I love the humanistic values this school has towards medicine and the genuine, caring people I have as instructors and classmates. I can’t wait to help welcome you and show you why this place is so special. Let’s do this! Go Gators!
Undergrad: University of Notre Dame
I was born and raised in Georgia and in 2016 I graduated from UGA with a degree in Biology. It wasn’t until my junior year of college when I decided to pursue a career in medicine. At the time, I was seeing first-hand how factors such as socioeconomic status, race, and gender were affecting the healthcare of people within my own community and I wanted to be a part of changing that. After graduating, I worked as a medical assistant and phlebotomist, volunteered as a mentor to young at-risk girls in Atlanta, coached and earned a master’s degree in medical sciences. Those experiences solidified the fact that becoming a physician was the best way to combine my passion for the sciences with my love of people.
UF COM was my top choice of medical schools for years and on my interview day, I knew that I was right in thinking so! Not only does UF COM offer many opportunities for me to be the best doctor I can be but also the best human I can be. From the faculty and staff to my fellow classmates, there is never a shortage of love, encouragement, and support. I am beyond grateful to be a part of a community that emphasizes practicing humanism within medicine and placing importance on the wellness of their students. Though I enjoyed being a bulldog, being a gator doc is pretty great! I can’t wait to meet you and share my love of UF COM with you all!
Undergrad: University of Georgia
Hey there! My name is Daniel Valladares and I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. For my undergraduate degree I studied Health Science at UF and was lucky enough to stick around to be a double gator! The pediatric world has always been my home when it comes to medicine. From volunteering in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, to my time spent at Camp Boggy Creek, I find no greater satisfaction then seeing a child go home disease free. Some non-academic interests of mine are gator football games, current events, astrophysics and entrepreneurship and innovation in the healthcare field.
UFCOM was actually my first medical school interview and from the welcome dinner to the closing remarks, no other school made me feel as welcomed. What stood out to me the most was how happy the students were. They were committed to meeting the interviewees regardless of having an exam that day. Even after my interview day had ended, two separate upperclassmen recognized my interview folder and asked how my day went on my walk home. They openly shared their experiences and reassured me that UFCOM really did prioritize the wellness of their students. I am looking forward to sharing all of the wonderful things UFCOM and the Gainesville community have to offer!
Undergrad: University of Florida
Here is what to expect when you come and interview with us:
- Interview Day Agenda (Regular MD Program)- Example
- Interview Day Agenda – Day 2: MD-PhD Applicants
- Directions: Getting-to-Gainesville
- MD Interview Check-In, Admissions Conference room 128: Directions to Harrell Med Education Building Admissions conference room 128
- MD-PhD interview Day 1 meeting place directions (M-100): DIRECTIONS TO COM RECEPTION (MD-PhD Interviews)
Visiting Gainesville some other time? Feel free to stop by our office: Directions to UF COM Admissions HMEB 142