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Student Testimonial: Brian Nuñez

“I can say with extreme confidence that few [programs] could have provided me with better preparation for medical school than this master’s program.” –Brian Nuñez, online medical physiology and pharmacology master’s degree graduate    

While taking two gap years after completing his bachelor’s degree, Brian Nuñez knew he needed to strengthen his academic background in science-based coursework and sought out a program that would set him apart in the medical school application process. Now working full-time as a medical assistant at a doctor’s office in Gainesville, Florida, while applying to medical school, Nuñez took some time to discuss his experience with UF’s online master’s degree in medical physiology and pharmacology, including why he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to apply to our program, how it helped him educate relatives about their health and how other applicants can succeed. 

Making the Most of Gap Year Studies 

Once he decided to pursue a master’s degree in a medical major before medical school, Nuñez had a few choices to sort through. As he explained, however, the decision wasn’t all that difficult: “I considered programs with other scientific disciplines like microbiology, but no other physiology or pharmacology program that I viewed compared to UF’s. The prestige of this program speaks for itself. Being able to learn such useful and interesting content from some of the best professors that this university has to offer was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Moreover, the flexibility of the online, asynchronous program structure itself made balancing my coursework with the other obligations of a pre-med student a lot easier than if it were structured differently. 

Responsive Faculty and Enlightening Classes    

Nuñez enthused about some of the many advantages he experienced while earning his degree online with UF. “The online class was incredibly user-friendly and easy to navigate. The faculty was incredibly responsive. Dr. Jahn in particular was always available to answer questions over email as well as Zoom calls, and Dr. Sayeski also was accommodating in meeting in-person with me when I had questions about course content. 

“I was surprised with the wide range of topics that were covered, as well as the depth we reached on these topics. The sheer number of drugs we learned about was astounding, and we really gained a very thorough and well-rounded knowledge base of the human body as a whole. I think we learned just as much [online] as we would have if it was in-person.” 

Some courses were among Nuñez’s favorite aspects of the program. Medical Pharmacology & Therapeutics II: Cardiovascular, Renal and Respiratory Systems caught me by surprise with how much I really enjoyed it. Having older family members taking some of the cardiology-related medications mentioned on the list, this course was particularly enlightening for me as it gave me an opportunity to teach my family the specific mechanisms of action of the drugs they’d been taking for years. It left me with an even greater appreciation for the world of pharmacology.  

Immediately Applicable Knowledge 

Though medical school and new roles in the field are among his future goals, Nuñez has already been able to use what he learned to his benefit in his current job. “A lot of the different drugs and medications used in my field are ones about which I’ve learned a lot during my time in the program. While obviously the doctor I work with makes all the clinical decisions, acquired background knowledge on drug names and actions helps me work more efficiently at the office. Also, seeing real-world examples of the different drug effects I’ve studied in class further enriched my educational experience.” 

Glowing Recommendations and Encouragement  

Given his positive thoughts on UF’s online medical physiology and pharmacology master’s degree program, we were keen to ask Nuñez if he would recommend it to others. “I already have done so multiple times,” he explained. “I have some pre-health friends and mentees with a similar gap year plan who have asked me about this program and, upon my description, have enrolled in it. I have other former classmates that have seen me post about my degree on social media and have reached out for more information. In both scenarios, I have had nothing but glowing things to say about this program, and strongly recommend it to anyone who asks about it.”  

To those who apply, Nuñez had this advice: “Put forth into the program however much you want to get out of it. Study diligently, reach out to professors for help and advice, and take full advantage of this opportunity. The professors and program coordinators have carefully crafted this program in a way that provides every student with the opportunity to not only pass, but also excel. The graduate-level experience and knowledge you will gain has the potential to have a monumental impact on your future educational and career options. Immerse yourself into the world of physiology and pharmacology and seize the day!” 

If you’re considering medical school or are looking for career advancement opportunities, UF’s master’s degree program can help you get the attention of the right people! Learn more about our online program or apply now.