“Various professional offers became available as I moved towards the completion of the degree.”
–Joel Gonzalez, online medical physiology and pharmacology master’s degree graduate
Joel Gonzalez is unquestionably an ambitious professional with a passion for healthcare and higher education. Having recently completed UF’s online Master of Science in Medical Sciences with a concentration in Medical Physiology and Pharmacology, he’s now an adjunct faculty instructor at a South Florida college while simultaneously earning his Master of Health Science (MHS). Gonzalez found our program to be an ideal springboard for his MHS program and an eventual patient-facing role in healthcare.
Gonzalez graciously explained why he decided to earn a medical physiology and pharmacology credential, how UF’s online program continually exceeded his expectations and what “exciting twists” he encountered along the way.
UF Online: The Perfect Choice for His Degree
“As someone working toward a degree in the healthcare field,” Gonzalez began, “having knowledge of how certain medications work and broadening my understanding of those medications was a must for me, as I want to be someone that can properly educate his patients and family members regarding habits that may impact medication effects. I decided to pursue a medical physiology and pharmacology degree to expand my field knowledge.”
When it came to choosing a university for that degree, Gonzalez arrived at his decision effortlessly. “I did not consider any other university. I always knew the University of Florida would be the perfect place to complete this program. I decided to opt for the online medical physiology and pharmacology master’s program because of the flexibility of the courses and the location where I was currently living and working. It was the best decision I have [made] regarding choosing programs.”
Immediately Applicable Career Skills and Knowledge
Gonzalez feels UF’s program prepared him for a stronger career: “Every day, I apply the skills and knowledge I obtained from the medical physiology and pharmacology degree. It taught me the importance of understanding the research behind drug development and its impact on treatment availability. It recreated a medical/professional environment structure like any medical or pharmacy school. It also provided me with a substantial number of resources that have helped me manage the current [MHS] program that I’m completing.”
A Supportive Online Environment Built for Student Success
Gonzalez shared some benefits of our program that he did not anticipate: “I never expected to learn as much and to have such structure, guidance and support throughout the program. I never expected to be as exposed to the day-to-day life of [a] scientist who works on the development of drugs, learn about patient care, science-focused data and clinical applications of all these investigations.”
“As a student or when you become a clinician, you continuously work with patients, diagnosing and treating them with numerous drugs; however, you need to learn the science behind that drug and how it reaches the patient’s hands. UF’s program introduces students to that world. A fantastic experience that would be hard to repeat.”
Gonzalez estimates he learned “probably as much or even more” in our online program than he would’ve if he’d been in a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom: “Face-to-face courses are structured to be listening to your instructor one time. In the online program, I could repeat the videos as often as needed. I could research the topic being discussed and, most importantly, complete those lectures and assignments at any time, anywhere, before the deadline: flexibility that the on-campus program may have difficulty implementing.”
And when Gonzalez needed assistance, it was never difficult to find. “[Professors] were always an email away. I often received answers within minutes to hours of the initial email. It felt as if I was always supported throughout the program,” he said.
Some Exciting Twists in a Wonderful Experience
Gonzalez was delighted by the content of several courses in UF’s online medical physiology and pharmacology program. “Many of the courses had an exciting twist. I never expected to learn about the pharmacology of cannabis, tobacco and vaping [in] an exciting course about these products’ factual benefits and harms. I learned about the molecular approach to drug development and the systemic processes in place in the drug development world. I was also introduced to many once-useful drugs currently out of the market due to their toxic effects. It was overall a wonderful experience.”
Words of Encouragement for Future Students
Gonzalez said he would recommend our online graduate medical physiology and pharmacology program to others “with all certainty.” “The unique program will prepare anyone to become a better provider, student and professional. I assure anyone that they will get out of the program with a vast foundation of medicine and pharmacology that no other program degree or institution could provide to them.”
“It [may] sometimes feel overwhelming because many of the concepts may feel unfamiliar to you,” he added. “Trust the process, study hard and listen to the lectures frequently. If you’re struggling with a course, email early to seek help. Have an open mind and enjoy learning about the fantastic world of medical physiology and pharmacology. You can do it! You only must believe in yourself and follow the process and structure set for you.”