Caridad Hernandez

Associate Professor, Medicine and Medical Education, College of Medicine 2017 Women's History Month

What is your current job title and responsibilities
I am an Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical Education at the UCF College of Medicine. My primary responsibilities center on teaching medical students doctor-patient communication skills, as well as physical examination and diagnostic skills.

What is your history at UCF and before UCF?
I joined the UCF College of Medicine in 2011 and have served as the Director of the Practice of Medicine course since that time. Currently, I also serve as vice-chair of the MD Program Curriculum Committee.

Prior to UCF, I held faculty appointments at the University of Florida and the University of Pittsburgh.

In addition to teaching medical students, I have also been involved in the training of residents and faculty.

What is your academic background?
Barnard College, Columbia University – B.A.
University of California, San Francisco – M.D.
Yale- New Haven Hospital – Internship and Residency, Internal Medicine
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill – Faculty Development Fellowship

What is your favorite UCF memory?
My favorite memory is Match Day each year- that’s the day when students who are about to graduate from med school learn where they will be doing their residency training. I get to teach the students on the first day of formal classes and get to know many of them very well, so it’s really special to see them learn where they will be starting their medical careers.

If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be?
I would make medical education free. Currently, students are graduating with an average debt of nearly $200,000. I believe more would choose careers in primary care and more would choose to work in underserved communities if there weren’t graduating with what is essentially a mortgage.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
We are always learning and sometimes it’s really important to stop and reflect on what we’re doing.

If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
A child care center –although I do not have children of my own, I have come to appreciate that this is one of the major things that affects the quality of life of many of our medical students, residents, and young faculty and staff.

If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
There are a lot of amazing people at UCF that I would enjoy meeting. It would be especially exciting to meet with a UCF alumnus, Albert Manero, who is now the executive director of Limbitless Solutions. I am so impressed by the team he has assembled and by their work. They highlight the fact that you can impact the lives of people through many different fields.

Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
I work with an incredible group of colleagues and their support has been invaluable. I especially want to thank our UCF COM dean, Dr. German, and my chairman, Dr. Ed Ross. They have been incredibly supportive of the direction I’ve taken in my career- and have allowed me to focus on medical education.

Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
I have been fortunate to have had many excellent and inspiring teachers throughout my career but the teacher who had the greatest impact on my life was my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Medina. She was the first person who truly believed in me and told me I could achieve my goals.

What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
My residency training experience was the most important formative experience in my life- again, I had wonderful teachers who helped me develop as a physician.

What is your favorite restaurant or food?
We live in a city where we can easily enjoy a variety of cuisines- I especially enjoy restaurants that feature farm to table ingredients.

What is your favorite movie, book or music?
I love the Sound of Music- always end up watching it over the holidays. I love to read and enjoy reading a number of authors- most recently I have been reading Louise Penny, Jussi Adler-Olsen, and Jacqueline Winspear.

What is your favorite vacation destination?
I love visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands- especially St. John.

Contact Us

Linda Walters, Director of the UCF Center for Success of Women Faculty

Phone: 407-823-1113

Mailing Address
Center for Success of Women Faculty
University of Central Florida
P.O. Box 160955
Orlando, FL 32816-0955

Physical Address
4365 Andromeda Loop N
Millican Hall, Suite 351
Orlando, FL 32816-1997

Internal Mail (UCF)
Center for Success of Women Faculty
MH 351