Hello everyone! My name is Brittney Jabot, and I am a senior on the pre-medical track in the University of Florida’s Bachelor of Health Science Honors Program, with a minor in economics. I attended Allen D. Nease High School in St. Augustine, Florida, where I was in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Back then, I considered pursuing a career in healthcare but had no idea where to start. It wasn’t until I got into UF and found the College of Public Health and Health Professions (PHHP) that I decided on a career in medicine.
Being a part of the College of PHHP has greatly influenced my decision to pursue medicine and has forever broadened by perspective on what it means to be a healthcare provider. The classes I have taken have increased my awareness of health disparities, improved my therapeutic communication skills, further developed my leadership qualities, and made me a more culturally competent student. In addition to academic strides, the connections I have made with fellow students, faculty, and alumni in the College of PHHP have enabled me to further pursue my passions in the healthcare field.
One of my passions is quality and patient-centered healthcare. My time as a volunteer at UF Health Shands Hospital, Mayo Clinic, and Flagler Hospital demonstrated how going the extra-mile to ease a patient’s fear impacts their happiness and experience during a scary and stressful time. Working as a UF Health Interdisciplinary Clinical and Academic Program (ICAP) intern further fostered the growth of my passion for patient-centered healthcare, as ICAP focuses on creating the perfect patient experience. As an ICAP intern, I gained experience by guiding patients through the hospital to their appointments, explaining advanced directives, and signing patients up for the online patient-portal database. My favorite rotation was advance directive planning because I got to educate patients about advanced directives and work against the negative stigma involved with death. This rotation sparked my interest in end-of-life care, something I was able to further explore in an independent study with Dr. Moorhouse.
As a future healthcare professional, I understand the importance of medical and public health research. As a sophomore at UF, I joined the Keiser Behavioral Disease Ecology research laboratory to pursue this form of research. I have continued my research with Dr. Keiser as part of the Health Science Honors Program, and am now assessing the behavior of ticks harboring human pathogens for my thesis project. As the pandemic hit the United States, my passion for research expanded, as I became curious how COVID-19 would impact different aspects of public health. My interests in addiction studies and in COVID-19’s public health impact collided when I became an interviewer for the National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) COVID-19 study under Principal Investigator Dr.Linda Cottler. This study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, focuses on drug use in response to COVID-19. As an interviewer, I have interviewed emergency medical services personnel regarding their experiences with opioid overdoses and COVID-19.
In addition to enjoying my time in research and studying, I also love volunteering in the community. I am a part of Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), a pre-professional honor society and service organization. In AED, we volunteer with many organizations in the Gainesville area, one of my favorites being the Climb for Cancer Organization. During my junior year, the Climb for Cancer Organization and select AED members traveled to El Salvador on a medical mission trip. On this trip we volunteered in a free clinic in Intipucá, a small municipality in southwestern El Salvador. This experience showed me disparities in healthcare, how I can make a difference, and how much community matters. I also volunteer my time as a teaching assistant for the emergency medical responder (EMR) course. My curiosity for medicine skyrocketed when I took this elective. I attentively sat as Professor Derek Hunt told stories from his time as a paramedic and I became captivated by the hands-on impact healthcare workers can have. I now try to have a similar impact on new students and show them how much medicine can impact a life.
In my free time, I love to be active and competitive. I play in many intramural sports and I am the Vice President of the three-time national championship winning women’s club flag football team. With graduation approaching and my undergraduate time at UF coming to a close, I am not exactly sure where I will end up, but I look forward with great optimism. My time here at UF has been the most impactful and most exciting part of my life. I am grateful for the experiences, friendships, and memories that I have made. If there is one thing that I have learned from being part of Gator Nation, it is to open yourself up to all that UF has to offer, because the experiences you can have both academically and recreationally at UF are life-changing. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I love sharing my experiences. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.