The good doctor

Published: Feb. 16, 2016 at 1:51 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2016 at 2:18 AM EST
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ORLANDO (Ivanhoe Newswire/WTVM) -- Nearly 50,000 people applied to medical school in 2013. Forty seven percent of the applicants were women, and studies show they still face continuing bias against women in medicine. One woman was able to prove that women are leaders in medicine, and she did so by building a major medical school.

Welcome to the first day of medical school at the University of Central Florida. Nearly 5,000 wanted in. Only 120 made it.

Deborah German, MD, Dean of the University of Central Florida College of Medicine says, "We really do get to work with the very best and brightest that the world has to offer in terms of young people."

By asking just one question, Dean German made it clear what these doctors-to-be will be learning.

"I really ask them to tell me the qualities that they would look for in the good doctor, who would take care for the one person that they love most in the world," she explains.

Erika Cohen, 2nd year medical student says, "My answer was integrity; I thought it was really important to be a woman of your word."

The idea of a "good doctor" puts emphasis on compassionate bed-side manner. It's a very important lesson, and the only one that doesn't involve the latest in high-tech training."

A lot has changed since Dean German became one of a pioneering group of women physicians in the late 1960's. Back then only 10 percent of med students were women. Now, "It is about 50/50, and it's really lovely to see men and women respecting each other, helping each other," Dean German said.

While the numbers of male and female doctors are leveling out, challenges remain.

Cohen says, "Sometimes women just aren't taken as seriously in the field, especially in medicine."

Angel Crotty, 4th year medical student agrees, "I am usually not the first person addressed if there is another male medical student in the room."

"I'm a young blonde female who has always been academically driven, and I wanted to prove to everyone that blondes aren't dumb," says Hart.

As a mother of two who worked her way through the medical field to become dean of a major medical school, German is able to counsel her students on balancing the life of a "good doctor" with that of a good mother.

Dean German says, "What I like to tell my students is, you can have it all, but not necessarily all at once."

With Dean German's help, the doctors of the future will be diverse and compassionate, helping their patients get well and stay well.

When the University of Central Florida opened the doors of its brand new med school in 2009, Dean German did something no other university dean has ever done. She offered full ride scholarships to the first class of 40 medical students, which meant raising 6.4 million dollars — $160,000 per student. She raised all of that money in less than a year.

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