Academic Health Center: Education
The University of Florida Academic Health Center — the most comprehensive academic health center in the Southeast — is dedicated to high-quality programs of education, research, patient care, and public service.
The Academic Health Center encompasses the colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Health Professions, and Veterinary Medicine, as well as the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and an academic campus in Jacksonville offering graduate education programs in dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy. Patient-care activities are provided by UF Health through teaching hospitals and a network of clinics in Gainesville and Jacksonville.
The Academic Health Center also has a statewide presence through satellite medical, dental, and nursing clinics staffed by UF health professionals, and affiliations with community-based health-care facilities stretching from Hialeah and Miami to the Florida Panhandle. The colleges teach the full continuum of higher education from undergraduates to professional students to advanced postdoctoral students.
Facts and Accomplishments
- UF Health Shands Hospital, UF Health Jacksonville and several UF Health programs have earned “Magnet” designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
- UF Health Shands Hospital ranks in seven specialties in U.S. News & World Report’s 2011-2012 America’s Best Hospitals.
- UF Health Shands Children's Hospital was recognized in six specialties in the 2011-2012 U.S. News rankings of Best Children’s Hospitals.
- The College of Pharmacy is one of the nation’s top 15 pharmacy schools, according to U.S. News & World Report. The College of Medicine has been one of the top 50 medical schools for the past eight years.
- The Health Science Center has 6,572 students and 1,214 residents
The University of Florida College of Dentistry, which admitted its first class in 1972, educates Florida's future dentists and dental specialists through its 16 degree and certificate programs. Florida's only public dental school, the college currently ranks seventh among the 56 dental schools in the U.S. in federal funding for research. It is nationally recognized for its oral health research, emphasizing infectious diseases in dentistry, bone biology, pain and neurosciences, craniofacial studies, biomaterials, cancer and translational research to improve clinical and dental care.
The UF College of Medicine, founded in 1956, encompasses 28 clinical and basic science departments staffed by 1,240 full-time faculty members on the Gainesville campus. In addition, UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville is home to 15 departments and 351 full-time faculty members. The college attracts more than $300 million in external grants and contracts for research per year and is the leading educator of outstanding physicians, physician assistants and biomedical scientists for the state of Florida. Through UF Health and a network of UF Health Physicians clinics, College of Medicine physicians provide cutting-edge care to residents of Florida and to patients around the world who travel to Gainesville and Jacksonville for specialized care.
Founded in 1956, the College of Nursing is the most recognized educational institution for nursing in Florida and enjoys a growing national reputation. Offering baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees, UF nursing education programs produce leaders, scholars and clinicians who promote quality patient care and influence health policy. The college is a leader in technology in the classroom and initiatives linking students to diverse and international populations. The college has 70 faculty members and about 700 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students, including approximately 200 doctoral students in three departments: adult and elderly nursing; health care environments and systems; and women's, children's, and family nursing.
The College of Pharmacy, the oldest college in the Health Science Center, was established in 1923. Today, ranked among the top colleges of pharmacy in the nation, the college bestows the Pharm.D. professional degree, and the M.S. and Ph.D. graduate degrees. The college has five research departments, highly successful in attracting extramural research support, that are an integral part of the Health Science Center: Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, Pharmaceutics, and Pharmacodynamics. In addition to research, the college has educational programs enhanced through online technologies that allow students anywhere to earn an advanced degree. The entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy program is taught to UF students in four Florida cities. Working pharmacists anywhere in North America also can study where they live, participating in clinical practice sites, to enhance their bachelor's in pharmacy to a UF Pharm.D. degree. The college has been nationally recognized for "Excellence in Distance Education" for its online master's programs in a wide variety of pharmacy disciplines that reach students worldwide.
The College of Public Health and Health Professions is a unique educational institution that combines the health professions disciplines' care of the individual patient with the population perspective of public health. The college offers a bachelor of health science degree with two majors; six master's degree programs; seven Ph.D. programs; and two professional degree programs. College researchers are working to solve complex health problems, whether it is tracking health outcomes, studying ways to keep the brain nimble in old age, or developing rehabilitation treatments, to name a few. Faculty members treat thousands of patients a year, providing psychology, and speech and hearing services.
The College of Veterinary Medicine, the state's only veterinary college, ranks among the nation's top 10 schools in U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1977, the college fields a professional veterinary education program, including residency training in eight disciplines, as well as graduate programs (M.S., Ph.D.) in veterinary medical science. With 108 faculty, the college has special clinical and research strength in food animal medicine, aquatic medicine, environmental toxicology, large animal medicine and surgery, small animal medicine and surgery, theriogenology and wildlife and zoological medicine. In its association with UF's Institute of Food and Animal Science, the college provides Extension veterinary services to owners of commercial livestock herds throughout the state.
The Office of Interprofessional Education works with the colleges of the Academic Health Center to develop learning opportunities that transcend college boundaries. These joint educational experiences result in health professionals who can communicate effectively with other health care providers and who can work effectively in health care teams, leading to higher quality, safer clinical care.
In health care, simulation is increasingly regarded as an invaluable patient safety tool. Simulated environments enable health care providers to gain experience and skills in responding to rare, life-threatening situations, performing a new procedure for the first time or before encountering real patients, among others. Simulations span the physicality-virtuality continuum, from hands-on training on mannequin patient simulators to web-enabled simulations, virtual humans and mixed reality simulators. Simulation can be used for formative and summative assessment of clinical skills as well as an evaluative tool for new procedures, methods, processes and policies without placing actual patients at risk.