Student Voices

David Castillo, M.D. (Class of 2012)

Having played award-winning football for coach Bobby Bowden, David Castillo is one of the College of Medicine’s highest-profile alumni. In October 2013, while he was a resident at the TMH Family Medicine Residency Program, he returned to campus to speak to the Seminole Club. (Oct. 2013, 4m:49s)

Marlisha Jackson, M.D. (Class of 2011)

At the time of this April 2012 interview, Marlisha Jackson had just completed her first year as a family medicine resident at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and had a lot of observations to share with medical students. (2012, 5m:10s)

Tanya Anim, M.D. (Class of 2010)

Tanya Anim received a National Health Service Corps scholarship in 2009. In February 2014, she returned to campus to speak with students in the Rural Health Association about the NHSC. Five months later, she was scheduled to join the UF Family Medicine Residency Program at the Main Street Clinic as a faculty member, which is part of how she’ll fulfill her requirements for her NHSC scholarship. (Feb. 2014, 43m:28s)

Jimmy Moss, M.D. (Class of 2010)

You’ll see Jimmy Moss elsewhere on this page, for the White Coat Ceremony speech he gave in 2013. This speech is one he gave three years later, at the induction ceremony for MAPS (Minority Association of Premedical Students). He’s a dynamic speaker — and also a generous one. He drove all the way from Jacksonville just to speak with a few dozen undergraduates who are considering careers in health care. And he not only impressed them with his achievements but also shook them up by describing one of his memorable failures. (April 18, 2016, 19m 26s)

Jimmy Moss, M.D. (Class of 2010)

Jimmy Moss (M.D., ’10) earned a standing ovation after his eloquent address to the first-year students. “Everything that’s inside of you is way more important than anything that they can ever teach you,” he said. “The people who taught you how to be brilliant, who taught you how to be resourceful, who taught you how to use your intelligence for a purposeful cause, they’re sitting right behind you” – in the parents’ section. (Aug. 16, 2013, 15m)

Patrick Hawkins, M.D. (Class of 2008)

In 2016, Patrick Hawkins visited the main campus to speak with students who were interested in rural medicine. Like his brother, Nathanael, Patrick grew up in Bonifay – and that’s where he was practicing at the time of this video. (2016, 7m:10s).

Tanya Evers, M.D. (Class of 2008)

At the time of this April 2013 Alumni Reunion interview, Tanya Evers was an OB-GYN faculty member with the Family Medicine Residency Program at TMH. (Her younger daughter appearing in this video, Annelise, was 2.) Tanya did Years 3 and 4 at the Tallahassee campus and did her residency at Vanderbilt. (2013, 3m:52s)

Nathanael Hawkins, M.D. (Class of 2008)

When he was interviewed during Alumni Reunion in April 2013, Nathanael Hawkins was working as an ER doc in two rural towns, Apalachicola and Chipley. He grew up in Bonifay, about an hour and a half west of Tallahassee, and wanted to practice in this area. (2013, 2m:57s)

Sarah & Charles Ritchie, M.D. (Class of 2008)

At the time of this April 2013 Alumni Reunion interview, the Ritchies were at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where Sarah was a hospitalist and Charles was chief resident in the diagnostic radiology residency program. (2013, 2m:26s)

Matt & Stephanie Lee, M.D. (Class of 2006)

In addition to their thoughts on medical education at the College of Medicine, these alumni even provide marital advice for med students. (2011, 11m:20s)

Christienne Alexander M.D. (Class of 2005)

Christienne Alexander (M.D., ’05) always knew she wanted to be a doctor, but if life has taught her anything, it is that you can’t plan it all. From getting rejected by the PIMS program, to graduating with the inaugural College of Medicine class in 2005, and becoming a full-time faculty member, her unending positivity has kept her going through thick and thin. (2017, 8m:30s)

Scott Warren, M.D. (PIMS, 1983)

Before Scott Warren became a physician, he was a defensive end for football coach Bobby Bowden. Originally he was in the PIMS T-81 class but took time off to pursue pro football; so he eventually became a T-83 – that is, transferred to UF in 1983. He did this interview in April 2012, when he was a Jacksonville dermatologist doing Mohs surgery. (2012, 6m:56s)

Father and Son: Rick Sheridan, M.D., and Stephen Sheridan (PIMS, 1976 and Class of 2015)

We cheated on this one. Stephen Sheridan was more than two years away from being an alumnus when he did this interview in April 2013. But he attended an alumni reunion with his father, PIMS graduate Rick Sheridan (look for Rick’s solo interview from 2011), and he said some memorable things – especially about pancakes. (2013, 3m:25s)

Rick Sheridan, M.D. (PIMS, 1976)

Rick Sheridan is a PIMS grad who transferred to UF in 1976. He was interviewed at our Alumni Reunion on April 16, 2011. At that time he was a neonatologist in Tampa as well as a member of the Alumni Board. He’s also the father of Class of 2015 member Stephen Sheridan. (2011, 5m:14s)

Mike Sweeney, M.D. (PIMS, 1975)

Mike Sweeney is a graduate of Florida State’s Program in Medical Sciences (PIMS), predecessor of the College of Medicine.. He’s a retired general and vascular surgeon who practiced in Fort Myers for about 20 years. At the time of the interview, he was chair of the Alumni Board, living in Jacksonville but coming over to Tallahassee often to teach anatomy, etc. He did this interview at our Alumni Reunion on April 14, 2012. (2012, 7m:32s)

Beranton Whisenant, M.D. (PIMS, 1975)

Beranton Whisenant attended FSU’s Program in Medical Sciences through a joint program with Florida A&M University, his undergrad institution. (“It was essentially a two-year program integrated with your undergraduate program, and at the completion of your undergraduate degree you also had completed the first year of medical school.”) He transferred to UF in 1975. At the time of this April 2011 interview, he had been an emergency medicine physician at the UF College of Medicine-Shands Hospital in Jacksonville for 10 years. (2011, 1m:21s)

Susanna Zorn,M.D., Class of 2017

When she became a med student, Susanna brought with her a history of mission work and a passion for serving others. In this interview from May 19, 2017, she focuses on the creation of the Chapman Community Health Program, a partnership between the College of Medicine and Maryland Oaks Crossing, a low-income housing community in Tallahassee.

Tamara Marryshow Granados,M.D., Class of 2017

In her enthusiastic interview May 19, 2017, Tamara admits that she expected medical school to be cutthroat – until she encountered the welcoming, collaborative atmosphere here at FSU. She had started a career in finance but took a leap of faith. Her advice to prospective students: “Take a chance on yourself. Dream big!”

Emily Kaltz, M.D., Class of 2017

Emily talks about what she learned from patients, how her medical education prepared her for becoming a physician, and what it was like on the first day of her OB-GYN rotation when the attending physician had her step up ... and deliver a baby. This interview took place May 19, 2017.

Paulin Gotrace, M.D., Class of 2017

What makes FSU different is the support you get from faculty members and fellow students, Paulin says in this May 19, 2017, interview. He especially appreciates the support he got for an outreach project after a hurricane ripped through his hometown in Haiti.

Clint Dunn, M.D., and Clarissa Lomonaco, M.D., Class of 2016

These two got married during their fourth year and were a real power couple. Both were inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Clarissa was promoted to captain in the Air Force. Clint was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and received the J. Ocie Harris Outstanding Student Award and the Orlando Campus Dean’s Award. They both went into pediatrics. She matched with the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, and he with Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. They did this interview May 20, 2016.

Ivana Simpson, M.D., Class of 2016

Ivana “Ivey” Simpson was a National Health Service Corps scholar, a Summer Research Fellow and an Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society inductee. At the end of her fourth year, she received the Access to Care Award and the ACOG District XII Outstanding Medical Student Achievement Award. One of her clerkship directors called her “the student you dream of having on your rotation.” Ivey matched in OB-GYN at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. She did this interview May 20, 2016.

Kristen Dimas, M.D., Class of 2016

Immokalee was where Kristen Dimas grew up, and it’s where she eventually hopes to practice medicine among migrant families. Her steadfast pursuit of that goal is the reason she received the College of Medicine’s Mission Award. She matched in family medicine with the FSU College of Medicine at Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, not far from Immokalee. She did this interview May 20, 2016.

Alejandro Chavarriaga, M.D., Class of 2016

Childhood asthma gave Alejandro Chavarriaga valuable insights into the world of medicine, but it certainly didn’t slow him down – not as a soccer player and not as a student. At the College of Medicine he was president of his class all four years. And at the end of his fourth year, he received the Individual Achievement Award — and matched in general surgery at Atlanta Medical Center. He did this interview May 20, 2016.

Joanna Meadors Hales, M.D., and J.D. Hales, M.D., Class of 2015

These two high achievers met here at med school; they maintained their relationship even though Joanna was at the Orlando campus and J.D. was at the Daytona Beach campus; and they married just before they headed off to the University of North Carolina for residency. At graduation time, Joanna (who had worked three years at the NIH before med school) received awards for altruism in medicine and excellence in pediatrics; J.D. was recognized for leadership and for being the top student at his regional campus. They did this interview May 15, 2015 — about three weeks after they were married, and one day before they graduated.(10m:34s)

Colin Swigler, M.D., Class of 2014

For a year and a half after college, Colin Swigler worked at Outback Steakhouse — because he had doubts about becoming a physician. Well, he certainly overcame those doubts. Just before graduation, he received the J. Ocie Harris Outstanding Student Award. Then he headed off to the University of Tennessee in Memphis for residency training in orthopedic surgery. But he promises he’ll return to Florida. He did this interview May 23, 2014. (8m:36s)

Brett Thomas, M.D., Class of 2014

Brett Thomas was president of his class all four years, received numerous scholarships and had his name called half a dozen times during the pre-graduation awards ceremony. He matched in the family medicine residency program at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Sale, N.C., but plans to return to Florida. He did this interview April 28, 2014. (10m:14s)

Jason Boothe, M.D., Class of 2013

At the end of his four years in medical school, Jason Boothe received the Altruism in Medicine Award and was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He did this interview May 16, 2013, two days before graduation. (7m:30s)

Laura Davis, M.D., Class of 2013

Laura Davis, who grew up west of Tallahassee in the small town of Blountstown, took home three major honors from the College of Medicine. She received the Mission Award, was named Outstanding Graduate in Family Medicine and was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. She did this interview May 16, 2013. (9m:44s)

Zach Folzenlogen, M.D., Class of 2013

This former graphic designer at the Miami Herald became the first College of Medicine student to match in neuroscience. He was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism honor societies, and he received both the Excellence in Surgery Award and the J. Ocie Harris Outstanding Student Award. He did this interview May 17, 2013. (6m:45s)

Katie Alonso, M.D., Class of 2012

Here’s an excerpt from Katie’s interview: “Having that one-on-one experience with [attending physicians] is irreplaceable. They’re giving every bit of knowledge they have to you. And I don’t think you can get that anywhere else.” (5m:15s)

Ricardo Sequeira, M.D., Class of 2012

Having been an illegal immigrant, Ricardo Sequeira hopes to improve medical care to immigrants and migrant workers. Before medical school, he served as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy. In medical school, he received the Pensacola Regional Campus Dean’s Award and was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He did this interview after he matched in family medicine at Eglin Air Force Base and just before graduation in May 2012. (5m:21s)

Vanessa Escobar, M.D., Class of 2011

At the end of her years in medical school, Vanessa Escobar received the Regional Campus Dean’s Award in Pensacola. She did this interview just before graduation in May 2011. (3m:25s)

Abby Hunter, M.D., Class of 2011

Abby Hunter, who matched in pediatrics at Wake Forest, received the College of Medicine’s J. Ocie Harris Outstanding Student Award and was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. She did this interview just before graduation in May 2011. (7m:35s)

White Coat Excitement (Class of 2021)

Donning a white coat for the first time is a humbling experience for most medical students. Three members of the Florida State University College of Medicine Class of 2021 share their thoughts about the path that brought them to medical school – and their excitement about the upcoming White Coat Ceremony. (2017, 5m:04s)

White Coat Highlights (Class of 2020)

Class of 2020 White Coat Highlights (2016, 2m:23s)

Joseph Chen, White Coat Excitement (Class of 2020)

Class of 2020 student Joseph Chen shares the importance of the white coat to him and his family, and what medical school holds for him. (2016, 1m:28s)

April Graham, White Coat Excitement (Class of 2020)

Class of 2020 student April Graham gives insight into how medical school will help her achieve her goals, and what the white coat means to her. (2016, 1m:38s)

Jacob Hentges, White Coat Excitement (Class of 2020)

Class of 2020 student Jacob Hentges shares his journey to medical school, and what the white coat means to him. (2016, 2m:43s)

Abby Peters, M.D. Speaking at White Coat

Abby (Hunter) Peters, who graduated from the College of Medicine in 2011, received her pediatric residency training at Wake Forest and has just returned — along with her husband, classmate Jeff Peters — to practice in Tallahassee. Here she speaks to the Class of 2018 at their White Coat Ceremony, giving them words of wisdom for the tough years ahead of them. (2014, 14m:25s)

Brett Thomas Speaking at Graduation

Class President Brett Thomas got a standing ovation for his 10-minute reflection on the past four years: “We ultimately learned that a ‘good pathological case’ always came with a price. Sometimes it was a left-behind elderly spouse or a stroke survivor, once a social butterfly, now unable to speak. Somewhere during our third and fourth years, we began to understand the weight of the responsibility we’d soon be carrying. But if not for these experiences, we wouldn’t have received clarity on our specialty choice, met our match or gained the experience to care for our future patients.” (2014, 12m:1s)

Myron Rolle Testifying Before Congress

Myron Rolle, a former college football player and Class of 2017 medical student, delivers his opening statement before the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on College Athletes and Academics. (2014, 5m:5s)

Angela Guzman Speaking at the White Coat Ceremony

During her Gold Humanism Induction Ceremony speech at the White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2017, Angela used the story of a non-compliant patient to remind the first-year students that what ultimately matters is not what you know but what you do. (2013, 8m:33s)