Pre-med, pre-law kick up some old-fashioned rivalry

Spinnaker

It was a warm, sunshine-saturated day as a calm, refreshing winter zephyr blew though the softball field behind Lot 18. This picturesque setting allowed for a blistering brouhaha between two groups of future professionals, heading into professions that tend to not get along: doctors and lawyers.

On one side of the field stood the nation’s future medical professionals, on the other, the people who might someday sue them for malpractice.

The Nov. 14 kickball match between the UNF Pre-Med and Pre-Law societies had all the makings of a deeply emotional, highly competitive and bruising battle royal.

Imagine, then, the disorientation that enveloped your correspondent when it was realized that the pre-med and pre-law societies weren’t bitter antagonists at all. In fact, they were as cordial and compassionate as they were competitive.

“It’s all in good fun,” said Kathy Mince, the president of the UNF Pre-Med society.

Just what kind of twilight zone had your intrepid reporter stepped into?

The game was the brainchild of UNF Pre-Med Volunteer Coordinator Matt Bright and UNF Pre-Law Treasurer Paydon Broeder.

“We just wanted to start a friendly rivalry [between the organizations],” Bright said. “It’s nothing serious.”

Indeed, the only time that your loyal correspondent could instigate anything remotely resembling controversy was when the subject of tort reform was broached.

“What happens when you have a tort reform cap that isn’t sufficient for the injury?” Benjamin Young, the UNF Pre-Law graduate coordinator asked. “If the cap is at $250,000 and the injury requires life-long care at costs above the $250,000, then it’s counterproductive.”

This discussion did not elicit the vehement retort one might expect.

Bright said he wasn’t exactly sure what Young was talking about and added that he was glad he was going into dentistry.

“Malpractice isn’t as much of a concern in dentistry,” Bright said.

Young plans on going into corporate law, anyway, he said. Thus, the likelihood of malpractice lawsuits in his future as a jurist is slim.

The pre-law crew had just enough players to fill out a squad. The pre-med folks were great in number, perhaps just shy of 20 players, enough for two rosters.

Before the contest began, Broeder explained the rules of the match.

“Follow the laws, you future lawyers,” one pre-med student joked.

Though a couple occasions in the self-officiated game aroused minor disagreement, there was nothing a Mulligan or two didn’t appease.

The lawyers-in-waiting were outmanned, but not outmatched. Despite an inside-the-park homer in the final frame, the pre-meds fell to their opponents, 9-3.

It was a clean game that reflected the mutual respect each group appears to have for the other.

At the conclusion of the game, your correspondent asked one final time about the seething animosity that was sure to be behind the facade of friendliness and common purpose on display. Alas, it was to no avail.

“Not yet, maybe in 10 years when we’re all out of school,” Mince said.

For now, anyway, these students work together to strengthen the community and engender understanding between the professions.

Bright echoed this sentiment.

“We are coming together to get a lot of good things done and make a positive impact on the community,” he said.

One way these organizations push positivity is through a toy drive for underprivileged children in Jacksonville.

If you’re interested in participating, donations such as toothbrushes, children’s books and toys may be dropped off at the pre-med society headquarters, located at Building 3 in room 2224 until Nov. 23.