Welcome

Welcome Applicants to the Class of 2026!

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.

~ Alexyss, Emily, Tyler and Christina


Alexyss Rainford

Alexyss Rainford
Alexyss Rainford arainford@ufl.edu

Hi everyone! My name is Alexyss Rainford, I’m from Johns Creek, GA (just outside of Atlanta). I’m a proud Double Gator and graduated in the Spring of 2021 from UF with a major in Health Science and minor in Public Health. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a physician. I grew up in a family of healthcare and public health professionals, which exposed me to this amazing field where you have the opportunity make impacts that can potentially save lives. Throughout undergrad, I also developed a strong interest in public health as I went to Peru with the Gainesville chapter of Doctors Without Borders and participated in an internship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity. I’m not sure what specialty I will end up pursuing just yet, but I know I want to combine my love for medicine, patient interaction, and public health.

I grew up a Gator (I love all Gator sports!), and after spending 4 years at UF for undergrad, I have loved how much the Gator Nation embraced me. UF College of Medicine (COM) was no different. In fact, the UF COM family made me feel at home from the Swamp Social to Interview Day to First Look. My Interview Day nerves were drastically eased by the warmth of the students and faculty I had the chance to interact with. It was evident that everyone here wants to see everyone succeed in all aspects of life and in our futures as physicians, which is so comforting and encouraging. The feeling of belonging and constant support that I have felt since being here has continued to confirm that I made the right choice. I’m so excited to meet all of you and show you why I love UF COM so much! As always, Go Gators!

Undergrad: University of Florida


Emily Astarita

Emily Astarita
Emily Astarita emily.astarita@ufl.edu

Hello! My name is Emily Astarita and I am from Montclair, NJ. My parents moved to Winter Park, FL in 2019. I went to the University of Notre Dame and graduated in 2020 with a degree in Biochemistry. I took a service gap year in San Antonio, TX, working as a medical liaison at a residential facility for special needs children. Unlike most, I did not realize I wanted to go to medical school until college, where my experiences showed me that clinical medicine is the perfect combination of science, service, and problem solving. I am not set on a current specialty yet, but I am interested in surgery.

UF was my very first interview of my virtual cycle and despite everything being online, I was still able to get a feel the inclusive and fun environment at UFCOM. The students and faculty throughout the entire interview process were so welcoming and supportive and I knew right away UFCOM was the right place for me. I am so thankful I get to attend UFCOM and I can’t wait to share my UFCOM love with all of you on your interview day!

Undergrad: University of Notre Dame


Tyler Elliott

Tyler Elliott
Tyler Elliott
tylerelliott1@ufl.edu

Hello! My name is Tyler Elliott and I am from Weston, FL. I attended the University of Central Florida for undergrad, where I earned degrees in Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology, as well as a minor in Medical Sociology. I love spending my time working out or doing some kind of activity outdoors. Though I am currently interested in a multitude of specialties within Internal Medicine, I am looking forward to experiencing all sorts of different things and finding my niche. 

I knew before applying that UF would be at the top of my list for medical schools. That interest was only furthered by the amazing experience I had during my interview day. The overall sense of community and togetherness is second to none, and I could not imagine being anywhere else for these next few years. I can’t wait to meet you all and share my love for the UFCOM!

Undergrad: University of Central Florida


Christina Sedaros

Christina Sedaros
Christina Sedaros csedaros@ufl.edu

Hey y’all! My name is Christina Sedaros and I am thrilled to be one of the first faces to welcome you to UF COM! I am from Melbourne, FL and I attended UF for undergrad, so I am a #DoubleGator (but really, I’ve been a gator since birth). I graduated in December 2020 with my BS in Microbiology and Cell Science. From a very young age, I always had a strong feeling that I wanted to become a doctor, but it wasn’t until I volunteered at Shands Hospital during undergrad that I knew medicine was the only path for me.

UF COM was my first interview, and throughout the entire day (even though I remained isolated in my bedroom), I increasingly felt a sense of comfort and belonging among those I spoke with. My interview day UF COM set a very high standard to which I compared every other school I interviewed with, and this high standard has somehow been exceeded since actually beginning school! The community and acceptance that you will experience on your interview day is very much engrained in each and every person (student and faculty) you will meet at UF. I am so excited to meet you all, and I hope you are able to experience how great the Gator Nation truly is. Go Gators! 

Undergrad: University of Florida


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