Welcome to UCF’s North Florida Regional Medical Center Emergency Medicine Residency! As the chief residents, we are excited to let you know all about our program and why we love training at North Florida. We are truly a family, not only with each other, but with our attendings, nurses, NP/PAs, techs, paramedics, and all the staff which makes going to work every day a joy.

Our emergency department is a fast paced, busy referral center for the entire North Florida network of affiliated hospitals which makes our patient population incredibly sick. We have almost every specialty available for consult, making our hospital a receiving hospital for many rural EDs. Many of our patients haven’t seen a doctor since they were born, so they are incredibly sick by the time they make it to the hospital. We are also a certified stroke center with advanced interventions including interventional mechanical thrombectomy making our hospital the hospital of choice for stroke care in the North Florida region. Hardly a shift goes by without multiple stroke alerts, sepsis alerts, and STEMIs.

We are a 432 bed hospital, soon to be 520 beds, and see approximately 80,000 patients per year between our main emergency department, fast track, and two free standing EDs. Our main department averages between 8%-12% critical care patients each month with 48 ICU/CVICU beds (with another floor under construction), making procedures and resuscitations something you are comfortable with by the end of your intern year! While we do not see in house trauma alerts, there is more than enough trauma to be seen and we supplement it by rotating at a very busy trauma center where you are a full member of the trauma team. With no other surgical residencies in house, there are no competing residents to take procedures; we do all our own reductions, sedations, nerve blocks, ENT procedures, chest tubes, joint aspirations, airways, etc.

On shift, there is always a PGY-2 or PGY-3 in the department to manage the high acuity side. During a resuscitation, our interns take the airway with the attending while the senior resident runs the resuscitation. We ensure that every resident, regardless of class year, gets experience on overnights and at the freestanding ED to make sure they are exposed to all patient populations and acuity.

Our senior residents also lead an ICU team supervising residents from other programs rotating in the ICU and are responsible for some of the most complex cardiac and medical patients in the unit. We are the proceduralists in the hospital! Dr. Stern and his team also help run our state of the art simulation lab where we practice procedures including cricothyrotomy, bronchoscopy, intubation, joint aspiration, thoracotomy, etc every month.

Finally, our attendings are truly invested in us. They volunteer their time to ensure at least 3-4 faculty at every conference and have invested their own private group’s time and energy into improving our experience. There are multiple resident events throughout the year including the winter paintball wellness day and the famous senior education cruise in the Caribbean! We are thrilled to be part of the inaugural class at North Florida and can’t wait for the class of 2023 to join us!

Alex Basara, MD
Medical School: University of Minnesota Medical School
Undergraduate: University of Saint Thomas
Hometown: Andover, MN

About me: Born and raised in Minnesota. Married with two daughters. Interested in informatics and administration.

Hobbies: Cooking, whiskey, travel, hockey, Minnesota sports
Sri Harsha Palakurty, MD

Medical School: USF Health Morsani College of Medicine
Undergraduate: University of South Florida
Hometown: Tampa, Fl

About me: Born and Raised in South India until moving to Tampa, Fl at the age of 8. Gainesville is the smallest town I have lived in. I like exploring and will have a curated list of the restaurants to go to by the time I am done with residency.

Hobbies: Board games, Gym, Outdoors, Breweries, Onewheeling, exploring the city.

Manna Varghese, MD
Medical School: Univ. of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine
Undergraduate: Univ. of Missouri - Kansas City
Hometown: Ellicott City, Maryland

About me: Born and raised in Maryland. Love traveling and hanging out with friends/family. VERY competitive with any type of game. Afraid of dogs/cats and most other animals too.

Hobbies: Baltimore Ravens football, traveling, board/card/group games, reading, baking/cooking