Staying involved, staying busy
By Tyler Francischine
For UF College of Medicine student Hunter Pattison, MS4, there’s more to the medical school experience than studying and taking exams.
The Plantation native’s list of involvements and memberships is extensive: president of the Medical College Council, speaker of the American Medical Association’s Medical Student Section and director of the UF Equal Access Clinic Network’s Main Street clinic, to name a few.
“I’ve always been very involved in whatever community I’ve been a part of,” he says. “I get a lot out of being in a variety of leadership roles. I’ve been able to grow and learn and interact with other leaders in our medical school as well.”
Pattison says he owes much credit to the Kenneth H. Leathers Scholarship he received, which affords him the freedom to pursue extra-curricular activities. The scholarship is awarded to second- to fourth-year students who demonstrate academic success, involvement in outside activities and financial need, according to the selection committee.
“The scholarship has been awesome,” he says. “Medical education is still very costly, and this helps alleviate some of that stress. I can diversify my resume and my involvement and put more focus on those things that can make me a better medical student, a better resident and a better physician as well.”
Last year, Pattison served as a medical student volunteer on a global health trip to the Dominican Republic. Along with a team of 30 physicians and students, he traveled to several villages, helping to provide health care to more than 1,300 patients in a week.
Back in Gainesville, he oversees the operations of the Equal Access Clinic at Main Street, part of a network of student-run clinics offering free health care to the underserved.
“We’ve grown to be one of the most successful student-run clinics in the nation,” he says. “Every Thursday, we see about 10 to 20 patients.”
After graduating, he hopes to enter the field of emergency medicine. With its fast-paced working environment and plethora of patient interactions, the field offers Pattison the variety of experiences he desires.
“It combines all the coolest things about every specialty into one,” he says.
When he’s not involved in College of Medicine activities, he likes to travel, go for runs or cook.
“It’s all good stress relief for me,” he says.