Department of Anesthesiology resident mentors students

Javier Garcia, M.D.

As part of the Medi-Gators mentorship program at the University of Florida College of Medicine, first-year anesthesiology resident Javier Garcia, M.D., is leading a group of medical students and undergraduates in a project designed to enhance patient understanding of the preoperative process.

The project, titled “Preparing for Surgery, an Anesthesia Checklist,” is a video explaining presurgical instructions for UF Health patients scheduled for elective surgeries.

Garcia said he came up with the idea, but it was developed and implemented by the group.

“I’ve always liked doing mentorship,” Garcia said. “I did a lot of it in medical school, and the Medi-Gators program seemed right up my alley. After I signed up, they paired me with a group of students interested in anesthesia.”

Garcia, who has been meeting with his mentorship group on a monthly basis, hopes to expand the project into a formal quality improvement initiative as a comprehensive series of videos explaining all aspects of the perioperative process. He said he’s hopeful that some members of the group will continue to work with him on the project, if possible.

“The main vision is to upload videos that are accessed with QR codes, which can be displayed at the presurgical clinic and integrated into existing informational pamphlets,” he said.

Benjamin Cipion, M.S., is a current medical student at the University of Florida and a member of Garcia’s mentorship group. He said he was attracted to the Medi-Gators program because of the opportunity to get involved in continuity of mentorship between undergrads and physicians.

“I support the idea of mentorship because I’m a product of mentorship,” said Cipion. “I seek out opportunities to mentor because I recognize it as my obligation to pay it forward.”

Cipion, like the other members of his mentorship group, was paired with Garcia because he has an interest in anesthesiology.

"I support the idea of mentorship because I'm a product of mentorship."

Benjamin Cipion, M.S.

Benjamin Cipion, M.S., presents a poster at the 2024 Department of Anesthesiology Celebration of Research.

“I feel like anesthesia is uniquely positioned to see the progression of a patient throughout the perioperative process,” said Cipion. “The anesthesiologist’s interactions with patients are highly impactful, both before and after the procedure. Those moments are short but intense.”

An expo and reception will be held Tuesday, April 9 from 5:00-8:00 PM in the Biomedical Sciences Building to showcase the work of the various Medi-Gators mentorship groups.

“We currently have 40 groups in the program and well over 30 of them have signed up for the expo,” said Hillary Aina, mentorship co-director for the Medi-Gators program. “I’m really excited to see what everyone comes up with.”

Learn more about the Medi-Gators mentorship program.

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