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Several pictures of doctors who are featured on the Local Legends web site

MEET LOCAL LEGEND: Rebecca Pauly, M.D.

Picture of Rebecca Pauly
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Rebecca Pauly, M.D.

“I'm a great believer in balance. Strive to be balanced in your life; to be passionate about your work but broad and open in your professional and personal life. That balance makes you a better physician.”


Cliff Stearns



When Rebecca Rainer Pauly was growing up in a small town of 2,000 in rural Alabama in the 1960s and 1970s, townspeople drove 30 to 40 minutes to see a doctor. There was no physician in town and that lack of medical care for a rural community led her to later pursue a career in medicine where she could make a difference. "I went to school with that in mind," she says today. "Make a difference somehow in people's lives."

As the Associate Chair of the Department of Medicine for Education and the Chief of the Division of Internal Medicine at the College of Medicine for the University of Florida, Rebecca Pauly today heads a staff of some 30 physicians, and is an influential guide to medical students. "I like the administrative part of the job," she says. "I can help guide and focus people and that affects patient care." She is also the Medical Director of the Harrell Assessment Center, and Co-Chairperson of the College of Medicine Performance-Based Exam Oversight Committee, and a member of the College of Medicine Curriculum Committee at the University of Florida.

Nominated by Rep Cliff Stearns (R-FL-6), Rebecca Pauly's work on the use of performance-based examinations has won her wide praise. Performance-based examinations are a clinical skills exam and screening technique that measures medical students as they take a patient's medical history and seek to evaluate and determine the patient's clinical symptoms. It is also a way of testing the communication skills of future physicians. Did the student educate the patient about why something may be happening and show connections? In 2002, she was recognized with an award of excellence for her work in performance-based examinations and its impact on patient care. Her work at the Harrell Professional Development and Assessment Center also connects to her efforts in medical education and provides an environment for learners to acquire the techniques and tools necessary for successful evaluation and treatment of patients.

A graduate of the University of Alabama School of Medicine, Rebecca Pauly is the University of Florida Women's Liaison to the AAMC and a fellow of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program. She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and is widely published, particularly on the subject of performance-based examinations

Married with two children, she sees balance as essential to her life. "Balance is what is important. I want to reflect that. Be passionate about your work but find time in your life for family. I'm married and I have a husband and two great children. I strive for balance in my personal and professional life. That balance makes you a better physician and helps you relate to your patients and their concerns. I tell that to all my students"



Appointed Clinical Associate/Senior Staff Fellow, Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD


Appointed Chief, Division of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida


Appointed Associate Chair Department of Medicine for Education, College of Medicine, University of Florida




University of Alabama School of Medicine


Internal Medicine

Sub Specialty

Medical Education