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Nice news for once. FAU med program

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Nice news for once. FAU med program

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Different kind of med school is lure at FAU

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Friday, August 10, 2007

BOCA RATON ? Not too long ago, Brad Greenfield was sculpting gardens, Raquel Appas was sinking into pli?s and Michael Demos was training to fly fighter jets.

Now they're embarking on their first year of medical school. And just as their routes into the medical field are unusual, their studies will be different too.

They are some of the members of the first class to study at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University's Boca Raton campus, which welcomed students Thursday.

They will participate in an innovative program that pairs first-year students with local physicians and gives them opportunities to work with patients well before their peers at other schools.

This is the first year students will receive all four years of medical training at FAU. Previously, the university offered only a program for third- and fourth-year students.

In addition to lectures and traditional medical courses, students will spend an afternoon each week working in local doctors' offices, picking up lessons not only in medical practice but what professors call "soft skills," such as developing a good bedside manner.

They'll spend another day working with university faculty at regional hospitals where patients come for chronic illnesses.

Following those patients through their four years of school was a lure for some students and separates the program from others. The school's faculty outnumbers its 32 first-year students, creating small class sizes that allow for greater discussion.

The unusualness of the program attracted many students, including Appas, a ballet dancer who switched to medicine after volunteering at a local hospital.

The former dance major had taken more science courses after a professor's prodding, but it wasn't until she started leading arts and crafts lessons with sick children that she knew medicine was for her.

"I fell in love," she said. "But as a volunteer I couldn't help them. That was the driving force."

Brad Greenfield took a more circuitous route to medicine. The former football player dropped out of college after suffering two concussions, taking away his goal of entering professional sports.

He dabbled in landscaping, modeling and acting before shadowing a doctor friend for a year. As he watched her examine patients, perform procedures and interact with patients, he discovered a passion for medicine. He went back to school, graduating from FAU. Like Appas, choosing a medical school was not a difficult decision.

"I'm not just a number here," he said. "And I won't have to wait two years to meet patients. I'll be practicing as I'm learning."

Marvin Smith is a more traditional medical student with an undergraduate degree in biology and a master's in biomedical science, but when the Suncoast High graduate was applying to medical schools, he was looking for something different.

"This is an opportunity to be a pioneer and help this program into something we're proud of," he said.

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Nice news for once. FAU med program

Believe it or not, another positive article by the PBP with a brief mention about FAU's med program.

Most comments about FIU and UCF.

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