Much like a tapestry that is woven together from many colorful, individual threads, the community at the UF College of Medicine comprises distinct and diverse voices. Each voice lends its unique value to the greater conversation, and as a result, the quality of patient care and medical education provided at the academic health center continues to advance.
In the stories that follow are a number of threads of our tapestry that, when woven together, connect the history, current state and future goals of the UF College of Medicine.
hen Bill “Willie” Sanders became the first black faculty member at the UF College of Medicine in 1968, he created a legacy of broken barriers and trails blazed, and his impact remains today.
When members of the UF College of Medicine faculty shared their personal histories with discrimination and their desires for a pluralistic, culturally sensitive approach to medicine during the second annual Celebration of Diversity in April, they represented the college’s pursuit of an inclusive and equitable culture.
When Cindy Medina Pabon, MD ’18, delivered her speech at the class of 2018 commencement ceremony in May, she recounted an epiphany she had while working in community medicine: When it comes to patient care, who the patient is matters just as much as their symptoms. This is a lesson she will keep close to her heart as she builds her medical career and forges relationships with her patients.
The UF College of Medicine does not look the same as when it opened its doors in 1956. Today, there is nearly equal gender representation among the medical student population. The class of 2022 includes 67 women and 68 men. Yet, much work remains. The current college faculty is 65 percent men and 89 percent white. With the implementation of several pipeline programs that introduce high school and undergraduate students of minority populations to careers in health care, along with the appointment of UF’s first chief diversity officer, the UF College of Medicine looks forward to a future in which a chorus of diverse voices molds the future of health care.
Made up of more than 100 photos of faculty, staff and students taken by emergency medicine physician and former photojournalist Dr. Giuliano De Portu, this video highlights both the rich diversity and the similarities that unite us all.