Harlingen native graduates from UTRGV School of Medicine

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Madeline Elaine Huff, 26, from Harlingen, a 2013 graduate of the Science Academy of South Texas in Mercedes, graduates Saturday from the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine. (Courtesy: David Pike/UTRGV)

HARLINGEN – Is it really happening?

Yes, but “it feels unbelievable,” said Madeline Elaine Huff, when she was about to graduate Saturday from the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine. The ceremony took place at the Region One Education Center in Edinburg.

Huff, a Harlingen native, spent many hours of her formative years in the office of her father, Dr. Thomas Huff, a retired family medicine physician.

“I grew up working in his office, talking to patients, and doing rounds with him in the hospital,” she said. “Whenever someone got hurt or sick in my family, I remember admiring how my dad could always fix the situation no matter the type of illness.”

Huff, 26, spent many long years on her journey to graduation Saturday afternoon.

The 2013 graduate of the Science Academy of South Texas in Mercedes earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Texas State University in San Marcos.

She furthermore earned her master of science of degree in biochemistry from the same institution.

She will now do her residency at the University of Texas – Austin’s Dell Medical School.

And what is her residency in?

Family medicine, but not because of her father.

“When I was doing my rotations third year, I noticed that I really loved everything,” she said. “I was doing all my rotations and I really loved pediatrics, I loved internal medicine, I loved OBGYN.”

At one point she thought she might go into OBGYN, as she loved the idea of advocating for women and women’s health. But then she realized she could do that as a family medicine doctor – and so much more.

“With family medicine you get to see everyone,” she said. “You get to see children and adolescents and adults and geriatrics. So, I think that really appealed to me as well as having that continuity of care and being able to form that long-term relationship with patients.”

She spoke with great exuberance about the training she received at UTRGV School of Medicine.

“These past four years went by so fast,” she said. “I learned so much. COVID really helped the learning process as well because I got to see so many sick patients. And while it was so sad I learned so much from those experiences. I think the school really prepared me for residency with all of my clinical experiences and all of the testing and the knowledge that they provided me. So I’m ready to jump into residency and be a full family medicine doctor.”