Resident Testimonials

Residents in HospitalWe asked our residents: what do you like most about the UF Neurology program?

“UF Neurology was a breath of fresh air during my interview trail. Everyone from the faculty to the residents were welcoming and made me feel at ease during a stressful online interview season. They understood the complexities that came with a unique interview season and delivered an excellent sense of the culture and the exceptional academics. This, in combination with a diverse range of clinical exposure solidified UF as #1 on my rank list.” – Claudia Hernandez, PGY1

“I chose the University of Florida because I felt very comfortable during my interview while meeting such distinguished faculty. The collegiate atmosphere of Gainesville is unlike any other. Growing up in Florida and knowing the impact the Shands hospital system has on my community made it an easy choice.” – Ziyad Aboudan, PGY1

“I chose UF because it is one of the nation’s top neurology programs, with exceptional academics and a focus on patient care. I was immediately drawn to UF’s warm culture and philosophy that ‘the patient is the Sun and we orbit around the patient.’ Rigorous academics are critical to training, but this training must be combined with a focus on the patient, because our training is always with the objective of providing the best patient care possible. UF’s combination of academic excellence and focus on patient care is unmatched by any other program in the country. I’m excited and proud to be a part of the UF team.” – Freddy Abraham, PGY1

“The UF Neurology program quickly rose to the top of my list during the application process. UF Neurology had incredible opportunities for clinical training and research. It was clear that working at UF Shands would give me the breadth and depth of exposure I would need to excel as a neurologist. In addition, the faculty and residents were so approachable leading up the interview day and afterwards. There was a clear and direct vision for the program. Education at every level was emphasized, in addition to building residents as the next generation of educators. As I reflected on UF, I knew that it was a program with the right people and environment to help me become the best neurologist I can be.” – Ramsha Farrukh, PGY1

“I chose the UF Neurology program because of the people and highly supportive culture! I was also drawn by the individualization of training, the state-of-the-art facilities, and extensive research, teaching, and leadership. I was also looking for a program that valued community outreach and was very impressed by their role in offering neurological care to the medically under-served through the UF Mobile Outreach Clinic!” – Jessie Walker, PGY1

“The UF neurology residency program impressed me on the interview trail! I was drawn to it because of the friendliness of the residents and the energy that the faculty had about education. It seemed like a great place to get excellent training in a supportive environment!” – Kristin Hedtke, PGY1

“I chose UF Neurology after a three week stint of zero degree weather this past winter in Illinois. Equally important as the weather, however, are the top-notch facilities and the unique neuromedicine hospital. On my interview day, everyone I met was friendly and the resident culture seemed very supportive. Being one of only a few academic centers in Florida, the clinical training here is very strong with a wide variety of cases coming from all over the state and numerous fellowship opportunities available if you want to further specialize.” – Riley Van Velsor, PGY1

“From the Chief to the residents, the visionary spirit is strongly present at UF. A contagious passion for neurology and the care of people, combined with a culture that values the uniqueness of every resident, is what made me choose UF. The facilities are the best microglia and the faculty are the most supportive rich club that any node could ask for.” – Marcos Santana Firme, PGY1

“UF Neurology has the most welcoming culture and is full of camaraderie. When it came to choosing a residency program, UF was the obvious choice because of its emphasis on education, outstanding reputation, diverse pathology and positive atmosphere.” – Briana Wasserstrom, PGY2

“The gorgeous weather initially piqued my curiosity. The structured mentorship, outstanding academics, and clear evidence of a tightly knit community allowed me to decidedly rank UF #1 on my list. Being a part of this team is something I take great pride in and wholeheartedly cherish.” – Gabe Swords, PGY2

“UF Neurology had everything that I was looking for in a residency program. Everyone is intelligent, friendly, and genuinely interested in creating a supportive learning atmosphere. The hospitals see a wide variety of cases, and the department offers research and clinical training in many subspecialties of particular interest to me. Gainesville provides an excellent quality of life, with warm weather, low housing prices, and short commutes.” – Heather Panic, PGY2

“My interview at UF was my very first one, and it left a lasting impression on me. The collegiality amongst the residents and the entire neurology department and the beautiful green city of Gainesville made me instantly feel at home, and I was overall very impressed with the program’s growth mindset and the way new ideas for improvement were met with tangible results. I quickly realized that UF’s catchment area affords a huge diversity and complexity of patient cases, and this in combination with the high emphasis on teaching ensured me that after training here I would finish residency as a well-prepared, excellent neurologist. After seeing how beautiful the neuromedicine hospital was and how genuinely pleased the neurology residents were with their training at UF, it instantly rose to the top of my list.” – Tiffany Eisenbach, PGY2

“UF Neurology provides its residents with world class faculty and facilities, which make for an excellent learning experience. Faculty members from all subspecialties are brought in from top academic centers in the U.S. to educate residents through both formal didactics and teaching at the bedside. The state of the art facilities and technology provide a unique one stop shop for multidisciplinary care of patients with debilitating neurological diseases. Additionally, UF Health’s massive catchment area in the southeast makes for a broad variety of pathology that helps residents get exposed to both common and rare diseases.” – Vlad Korenblit, PGY2

“Having been a UF undergraduate and knowing the resources we had then, returning here seemed to make a lot of sense. The new facilities and the Gainesville weather only add to the programs appeal. And of course, when meeting the incredible faculty and current residents, I knew it was a place I would feel comfortable learning and growing as both an individual and physician!” – Edna Johnson, PGY2

“This is a community in which everyone is dedicated to teach and help each other to become the best versions of yourself. Everyone has one common objective and that is to provide the best patient care possible.” – Lizmarie Tirado-Castro, PGY2

“I fell in love with UF after doing a Neuroradiology rotation here as a fourth-year. I got to learn about the incredible team-based and patient-focused dynamic at this Institution through the neuroradiology team, and talking with other medical students. I was looking for a place where I could receive exceptional training while still feeling welcomed and part of a family. Based on the feedback I got from one close friend who was a PGY1 at the time, and my experience during interview season, I decided that UF would definitely meet my expectations. In addition, it gave me the opportunity to be close to my

home in Miami, being only a few hours away from my parents for a relative short drive when craving Cuban food (goals for times after-COVID19).” – Lorena Figueredo Rivas, PGY2

“While on my away rotation at UF I was impressed by many aspects of the program and the department. For starters, the quality of teaching was superb, and teaching was clearly a priority throughout the course of a typical day as opposed to being reserved for down time and didactics. The didactics themselves were well organized along themes; each talk was well put together with valuable information. Outside of the educational aspects, I was also impressed by the sense of community within the program and department. The attendings, residents, and mid-level providers all had great working relationships and clearly knew each other well. The residents had each other’s backs. They also took an interest in me and my fellow rotators; I made personal connections that lasted even after my rotation ended. Ultimately I chose UF because it combined the best of learning and professional growth with personal community and training environment.” – Crystal Yu, PGY3

“I chose the UF Neurology Residency Program because of the collegial atmosphere which exuded from the residents and staff on interview day. I knew Shands and the University of Florida would provide a wide variety of pathology with the opportunity to learn from some of the most acclaimed physicians in the United States. What sealed the deal for me was the approachability and genuine friendliness of the faculty members, their dedication to the program, and their enthusiasm for mentoring new residents”. – Meghan Humbert, PGY3

“I loved UF because of the diversity of the residents and different sub-specialties that they offered.” – Calvin Hu, PGY3

“The exemplary faculty, outstanding residency curriculum, state-of-the art facilities, and diverse pathology made choosing UF Neurology a no-brainer for me!” – Aisha Elfasi, PGY3

“The contagious atmosphere pushes you to be better, to put your patient first, and to always be of service to others. UFHealth was there for me in medical school after Hurricane Maria and continues to be there today, inspiring me to be outstanding.” –Elsa Rodriguez, PGY3

“I loved the environment that the people of UF Neurology created. Getting to know everyone I found that this program was the one where I felt most comfortable being myself. I met a diverse group of enthusiastic and insightful individuals who also seemed to love what they do. When I completed a month-long elective with the department as a fourth-year medical student, I found out that these characterizations weren’t just limited to the interview day – this was the day-to-day norm!” – Matt Vasquez, PGY3

“This is a place where both the faculty and residents honor their roles as educators—where you feel that your growth as a physician is a priority. This was apparent even when I rotated here as a visiting fourth-year medical student. The residents go out of their way to help each other on the wards and are a close-knit group during off-duty hours as well. Importantly, with patients frequently coming from afar, drawn by the reputation of Shands Hospital, the diversity of clinical cases is a true asset.” – David Mendoza, PGY3

“UF Neurology stood out significantly on the interview trail as a program that truly cares about its residents. Weekly meetings with the program director to improve the program give residents a chance to make their voice heard! The people in the program, from the chair of the department to my co-residents are some of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and they are all very happy! Big things are happening in Gainesville! The program is growing tremendously, now with a brand new, freestanding neurohospital with a beautiful neurocritical care unit! UF is a funnel center that pulls in a

large volume of diverse cases that will prepare me and my classmates well for fellowship and beyond.” – Brian Coffey, PGY4

“I chose UF Neurology because of the interview experience. Of course I desired training at UF because of their extensive resources and clinical network, their prestigious name and faculty associations, and the many unique opportunities for advanced training, but in the end, I chose it because of how quickly I came to respect and admire the interviewers and faculty during my interview experience.” – Keith Kincaid, PGY4

“I chose UF Gainesville as I was very impressed with their educational program. There is lot of diversity in the program, healthy and harmonious environment, providing good clinical exposure and great research opportunities. It has shaped excellent neurologists and scientists in the past. I found the program leadership very supportive and understanding towards its residents.” – Varun Jain, PGY4

“UF Neurology was the only program that had everything I was looking for: friendly and supportive staff, large catchment area, great research opportunity, state of the art facilities, and located in a livable city. I was impressed with the momentum this program has in the field of neurology and wanted to be a part of it.” – Nick Nelson, PGY4

“I chose UF Neurology because of the faculty, co-residents, and facilities. My goal with residency is to become the best general neurologist I can be, and I am confident that UF will be able to help me achieve my goals. The faculty are extremely welcoming, the residents are all supportive and are truly a family, and the place where we get to train is absolutely top notch.” – Amol Mehta, PGY4

“Opportunities in terms of professional growth are endless, and the department has a resolute commitment to the success of the residents.” – Abdullah Bin Zahid, PGY4