USF medical students debate future of health care

L to R: USF medical student panelists who led the debate were Michael Perrone, MS1; Alicia Billington, MS2; Nick DeVito, MS3; and Matthew Assing, MS4.

Does the current admissions system to medical schools ensure the best doctors for the future? What do you do if your patient “friends” you on facebook; what role will social media play in health care in the next few years? What about the advantages and disadvantages of at-home screening tests?

These are among the issues that USF medical students — the next generation of doctors — debated with practicing physicians Feb. 8 at the Hillsborough County Medical Association’ general membership meeting.

Kenneth Louis, MD, HCMA President, and Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, CEO of USF Health and dean of the USF College of Medicine, kicked off the lively debate. The event was moderated by fourth-year USF medical student Chad Rudnick and led by the following four panelists: Michael Perrone, 1st year student; Alicia Billington, 2nd year; Nicholas DeVito, 3rd year; and Matthew Assing, 4th year.

More than 75 USF medical students attended the dinner and debate. Several USF medical faculty also attended.

Dr. Kenneth Louis (left), HCMA president, and Dr. Stephen Klasko, CEO of USF Health and dean of COM, kicked off the debate.

“The students enjoy having the opportunity to have their voices and opinions heard by an audience made up of their colleagues and mentors,” student moderator Rudnick said. “The debate illustrates that USF medical students understand that in order to be the best physicians in the future, we must not only be strong in clinical medicine, but also have an understanding of legislative affairs and look for new technologies to better serve our patients.”

Also at the meeting, panelist Alicia Billington was awarded the Cherry, Bekaert & Holland Medical Student Scholarship. The $1500 scholarship is presented yearly to a USF medical student who demonstrates outstanding leadership, participation and citizenship throughout medical school.

Chad Rudnick, MS4, moderated the event.

Dr. Robert Brooks, professor of medicine and public health,  was one of the USF faculty members who attended the debate.

Alicia Billington,  this year’s recipient of the Cherry, Bekaert & Holland Medical Student Scholarship, with HCMA President Dr. Louis, left, and CB&H’s Richard Hedley.

Story by Anne DeLotto Baier, and photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications