Resident Testimonials

We asked our residents: what do you like most about the UF Neurology program?

“I remember saying, “Wow. UF’s program is phenomenal!” when I called my mother to tell her how the interview went. I was so impressed not only by the friendliness of the faculty and residents but how devoted they were to treating neurological conditions in their local community. I appreciated the great breath of sub-specialty exposure and UF’s commitment to medical education. I realized that I would learn so much here and would have a supportive community cheering me on!” – Brianna Alex, PGY1Briana and Liz

“Throughout my interview journey I sensed that Gainesville was a truly unique environment in which I could find not only highly accoladed and innovative teachers driving me to professional excellence, but also experienced personal mentors skilled in the art of medicine and how to do your best as a caretaker of fellow human beings. I found that many residency programs had those people under the same roof. At the University of Florida Gainesville, it felt like both of those qualities were found in every single person I met. When they say there is a warm and welcoming atmosphere here, they do not just mean the weather.” – David Emch, PGY1

“I remember the excitement that I felt when I was offered an interview at UF because I knew they had a strong reputation both as a neurology residency program and as an academic institution. During my interview day, I felt like everyone in the department was passionate about the work that they do and were excited to work with and teach residents. I knew then that this was the place for me. I think from every angle UF neurology is an amazing program, whether you are interested in academia, community service, or just being the best clinician you can be.” – Leonid Gozman, PGY1

“After my interview with UF Health, I remember immediately thinking to myself: here is an environment where I could thrive. Even though it was a virtual interview, I got a sense of the camaraderie and empathy everyone has for each other. Also, I admire the commitment to doing better and excelling beyond where we are now. I trust the faculty and all of my co-residents will make my time as a Gator exciting and life-defining.” – Karina Maria Rodriguez, PGY1

burgundy“I chose the UF neurology program because I was impressed by the distinguished faculty members’ dedication to teaching during my interview and 4-week away rotation. Each faculty member was welcoming and listened attentively to my presentations, taking their time to answer my questions while challenging me to think critically and participate in patient care. Similarly, each resident I met during the interview and away rotation was friendly and encouraging. Each person’s smile and positive attitude felt contagious. Since I enjoyed every day that I had spent at UF, it was easy for me to choose wanting to spend my years training here too.” – Neha Pirwani, PGY1

“I am excited for residency at UF because of the environment and people I came to know during my 4th year away rotation in Gainesville. I was impressed by the educational atmosphere that was created by all the residents and attendings that I interacted with, and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. For someone like myself who is undecided on which fellowship I wish to pursue after residency, UF offers exposure to many subspecialties and routinely graduates residents who match into many different subspecialties.” – Bill Remley, PGY1

“On my interview trail, UF stood out as a genuinely supportive program with excellent peer camaraderie and faculty mentorship. I was also impressed by the research options and dedicated tracks, brand new facilities, excellent subspecialty exposure, and the large catchment area. UF had everything I was looking

for in a training program with the added bonus of being located in an affordable college town and only an hour drive to either coast.” – Rory Weston, 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, PGY2

“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, PGY2

“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, PGY2

“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, PGY2

“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, PGY2

“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, PGY2

“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, PGY2

“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, 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, PGY3

“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, PGY3

“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, PGY3

“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, PGY3

“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, PGY3

“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, PGY3

“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, PGY3

“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, 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, PGY4

“I loved UF because of the diversity of the residents and different sub-specialties that they offered.” – Calvin Hu, PGY4

“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, PGY4

“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, PGY4

“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, PGY4

“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, PGY4

“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, PGY4