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insider - College of Medicine News Resource - University of Florida

Head of the class

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Published: March 26th, 2013 • Category: Students

Jennifer Goetz, who is president of the local Alpha Omega Alpha chapter, and Heather Harrell, M.D., the college’s director of fourth-year programs, welcomed the 29 new honor medical society members. Photo by W. Charles Poulton

UF College of Medicine student Jennifer Goetz recalled meeting her fellow members of the UF College of Medicine class of 2013 at orientation for the first time.

Four years later, she and nearly two dozen of her classmates celebrated their accomplishments at the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society induction banquet March 14.

“For me, this group of students is very inspirational, not just for academics, but for their leadership, service and humanism,” said Goetz, who is president of the local Alpha Omega Alpha chapter.

The UF Beta Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society inducted 22 students, four residents and three faculty members during the event held at the Biomedical Science Building.

Richard B. Gunderman, M.D., Ph.D, who is a professor and vice chairman of the department of radiology at Indiana University, was the guest speaker at the induction banquet. Photo by W. Charles Poulton

Students who rank in the top 25 percent of the class are eligible for membership in Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Selection is subsequently limited to one-sixth of the total class enrollment. The professional medical organization’s criteria for selection include excellence in scholarship, character, service and future potential as a physician.

“These are really the crème de la crème medical students,” said Heather Harrell, M.D., associate professor of medicine, clerkship director and director of fourth-year programs at the UF College of Medicine.

The honor society banquet has been held the evening before Match Day for the past few years to allow families to more easily attend the event, she said.

“We had the best turnout ever this year,” Harrell said. “So many families were there.”

Richard B. Gunderman, M.D., Ph.D, a professor and vice chair of the department of radiology at Indiana University, provided the keynote speech. In addition to his position as department chair, he holds faculty positions in pediatrics, medical education, philosophy, philanthropy and liberal arts.

Michael Good, M.D., dean of the UF College of Medicine, spoke to the new inductees and their families at the end of the banquet. Photo by W. Charles Poulton

Gunderman, a national counselor for the Alpha Omega Alpha organization, spoke about the true meaning of professionalism in medicine. Professionalism is not just looking or acting the part, he told students, but actually being a professional to your core.

“It’s a matter of the heart and the spirit,” Gunderman said.

Following Gunderman’s speech, Goetz introduced the new student members to the honor society.

“They’re a phenomenal group and I’m very proud to be graduating with them in two months,” Goetz said.

Congratulations to the new inductees:


Daniel Rubin, M.D., assistant professor of community health and family medicine
Robert Hollander, M.D., adjunct assistant professor in the department of medicine
Desmond Schatz, M.D., professor and associate chair of the department of pediatrics


Ajay Antony, M.D., department of anesthesiology
Devon Cole, M.D., department of anesthesiology
Morganna Freeman-Keller, M.D., department of medicine
Constance Lee, M.D., department of surgery


Melanie Adamsky
Brendan Browne
Liz Byrne
Rick Cassidy
Matt Clark
Jennifer Goetz
Scott Goldsmith
Jessica Greer
Brett Keeling
Amirah Khan
Lauren Kropp
Lauren Lee
Raj Machhar
Sarah Moum
Amanda Musto
Sara Rodriguez
John Stahl
Zach Stone
Noelle Williams
Erin Wilmer
Justin Woods
Stephanie Yarnell