I want to pay tribute to all those in the health care profession, especially our dedicated College of Medicine graduates, for their relentless commitment to the health and well-being of our communities. Physicians and PAs, alongside nurses, techs, EMTs and the other professionals on the front lines, are taking on this great scourge, putting the health and safety of their patients and their communities at the forefront, even at the risk of their own safety. As a result, life has become challenging and unpredictable. This hit close to home when Dr. Glenn Barquet, a practicing cardiologist in Miami and a 1997 graduate of the UF College of Medicine, lost his battle with COVID-19 after a monthlong fight. He will be remembered for his steadfast faith and commitment to his family and patients. The College of Medicine faculty, students and alumni join Dr. Barquet’s class in mourning his loss and in reinforcing our commitment to help end this pandemic.
We recognized early, and with startling clarity, the differences in outcomes from COVID-19 due to the underlying disparities in health and other socioeconomic inequities in our society. While we now learn to live, work and care for our patients within the reality of this virus, it is essential that as we practice physical distancing, we also stand together — not just in hope for an end to these unsettling times but also with the intention to change the narrative of endemic racism. We will update you in future communications on the efforts we are taking at the College of Medicine to encourage dialogue, understanding and a true inquisitiveness about our relationships with each other to help initiate specific actions that will benefit our college and the broader community.
Meanwhile, we intrinsically pursue solutions to the pandemic. In this special issue of the Florida Physician, you will see a few examples of how UF College of Medicine faculty and students, our partners at UF Health and alumni across the country have risen to the challenges presented by this unprecedented occasion with innovation, compassion and tireless effort.
In gratitude for your courage, commitment and sacrifice,
Joseph A. Tyndall, MD, MPH
Interim Dean, UF College of Medicine