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UF | College of Medicine - University of Florida
Engage, Innovate, Excel | 2026
Recent achievements, upcoming projects discussed during 2022 State of the College

During “2022: Year in the Rearview,” Dean Colleen Koch, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., and several other leaders from across the college updated faculty, students, trainees and staff on key milestones related to the college’s initiatives and achievements over the past year related to the strategic plan. The speakers also provided a road map on how the College of Medicine is gearing up for the future.

“It is fair to say that for all our technical advantages, the greatest asset we have at the College of Medicine is our people,” Koch said during the event, which was simultaneously livestreamed. “Each one of you is a key driver of our progress. Each one of you is responsible for our success.”

Various departments also held watch parties throughout campus to view the hourlong event and listen to updates on the strategic plan’s seven pillars of education, research, patient care, people, diversity, equity and inclusion, system integration and value. To date, there are more than 41 projects that support the strategic plan, with 51 project champions and 143 accountability team members involved in their execution.

See event highlights »
College implements Well-Being Index targeting precision wellness in residents, fellows

By completing the Well-Being Index questionnaire, a project under the people pillar of the UF College of Medicine strategic plan, residents and fellows can better understand stressors in their lives and gain access to resources to help manage their mental health.

The short, confidential web-based questionnaire, developed for health care professionals and based on research from the Mayo Clinic, will allow residency and fellowship programs across the college to gather anonymized data that can be used to address specific areas of concern regarding the well-being of their trainees.

“Oftentimes, health care professionals in particular feel like they just have to push through, or they downplay their symptoms or their level of distress,” said Lisa Merlo, Ph.D., M.P.E., the project champion and director of wellness programs for the College of Medicine. “The Well-Being Index is a good, objective way of getting feedback on how residents and fellows are doing, which they can track over time to see changes at different stages of their training or careers.”

Learn more »
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at the College of Medicine
A navy blue graphic with flowers that reads, "Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month September 15-October 15."

Each year, the U.S. recognizes Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month, paying tribute to generations of Americans with Spanish or Latino ancestry and celebrating the cultural contributions of Hispanic Americans. The recognition is especially important in medical schools across the country, where Hispanic and Latino student enrollment has been increasing but students are still underrepresented.

According to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges, students of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin accounted for 12.7% of U.S. medical school matriculants in the 2021-22 school year — up from 12% the year prior and 10.7% in 2018-19. While not equivalent yet, the number is rising closer to the percentage of Hispanic and Latino Americans estimated in the country’s 2021 population: 18.9%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In honoring our Hispanic students and their heritage, the UF College of Medicine spoke with two first-year medical students about their cultural identities and experiences as Hispanic Americans in medical school so far.

Read the Q&A »
Residency alumna joins national committee to diversify leaders in research
Kate Hitchcock poses for a photo wearing a white U-F Health lab coat.
Kate Hitchcock, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of radiation oncology, was recently appointed to a National Clinical Trials Network committee tasked with improving diversity and inclusion efforts for national leaders in oncology research.
Meet Dr. Hitchcock »
College to host second annual Gratitude Day
On Oct. 19, faculty, staff and students are invited to pick up a chocolate from their department’s main office or their respective student administration office and share it with a colleague they are grateful for.
View details »
Submissions open for Superior Accomplishment Award nominations
The awards recognize faculty and staff who have gone above and beyond to advance UF’s mission and serve the greater community. Division-level recipients receive $200, then compete for university-level awards, which offer eight $1,000 and eight $2,000 cash awards. Nominations are open until Oct. 14.
Nominate a colleague »
View strategic plan initiatives dashboard
Track progress of initiatives under the strategic plan’s seven pillars.
View the dashboard »
» The UF Mindfulness 360° Practice Group is offered online through Zoom every Monday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. this semester at no cost to the UF community. The initiative aims to build a community of students, faculty and staff who share an interest in practicing and learning about mindfulness.
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Exemplary medical students recognized at 2022 Honors Convocation

At the UF College of Medicine, learners hoping to excel in health care careers understand the importance of humanism and community service. Faculty members and peers recognized 21 medical students who exemplify these qualities during the 2022 Honors Convocation, which took place Sept. 13 at the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building.

The awards and scholarships honor students with a variety of experiences and strengths, including those who have overcome adversity, have a background in military service or education and are committed to supporting the mental well-being of their patients. 

View list of honorees »
Adithya Gopinath looks into a microscope.
Doctoral student in department of neuroscience featured in MBI video series

Adithya Gopinath, a Ph.D. candidate and graduate research assistant in the department of neuroscience, is one of the latest investigators to be featured in MBI Rising Stars, a video series from the McKnight Brain Institute highlighting up-and-coming neuroscience researchers at the University of Florida.

Gopinath works in the labs of Habibeh Khoshbouei, Pharm.D., Ph.D., and Wolfgang Streit, Ph.D., where his research explores the connection between the brain and the peripheral immune system in people with Parkinson’s disease with the goal of developing a blood test to diagnose and monitor the disease and evaluate whether treatments are working.

Meet Adithya »
A woman holds up a plant while she speaks in a greenhouse.
Gardening can cultivate better mental health, study finds

New research suggests that many people may reap mental health benefits from working with plants — even if they’ve never gardened before. In a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, UF scientists found that gardening activities lowered stress, anxiety and depression in healthy women who attended twice-weekly gardening classes. None of the study participants had gardened before.

The study was co-authored by an interdisciplinary team of researchers with the UF/IFAS environmental horticulture department, the UF College of Medicine, the UF Center for Arts in Medicine and the UF Wilmot Botanical Gardens, which also hosted all the study treatment sessions. 

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UF | College of Medicine - University of Florida
Location Dean’s Office | Medical Science Building
Phone (352) 273-7500
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