UF College of Medicine Helps Pace Girls Explore Careers in Health Care

August 05, 2022
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Pace Alachua girls took a field trip to the UF College of Medicine July 26. The event, hosted by the college’s Women in Medicine and Science advisory board and Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, along with the Medi-Gators Virtual Shadowing Program run through the department of neurology, was designed to inspire the next generation of female physicians and scientists, showing them the breadth of opportunities in health care.

La’nya, a 14-year-old Pace girl, peered into the mouth of a mannequin and inserted an intubation tube. Across the room, Don’nyia examined her own cells beneath a microscope.

“I hope they get to see how many different career paths there are in medicine,” said Stacy Beal, M.D. ’09, chair of the advisory board for Women in Medicine and Science. “They can see that, as a woman, their opportunities are endless.”

Undergraduate and gap-year volunteers from Medi-Gators organized 18 tables, each with hands-on activities that offered the girls a taste of the medical field. Alyson Moriarty, director of Medi-Gators, announced when it was time to rotate, playing a heartbeat sound over the speaker. With each rotation, the girls explored cardiology, urology, pathology and more.

“I hope this event motivates them,” Moriarty said. “A lot of the girls might not have doctors or health care professionals in their families, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible for them.”