Family Practice

Oct. 22, 2013

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By Jennifer Clark

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - Javier Clavijo comes from a long line of accomplished medical professionals, so when the time came to choose his future, the choice was simple. Clavijo, who is a freshman defender for the men's soccer program, has chosen to major in health sciences even though he will be required to balance a demanding athletic and academic schedule over the next four years.

With more than 200 degree offerings at UCF, Clavijo could have selected an easier path in a major that would be less demanding of a full-time student-athlete, but, instead, he has chosen to pursue his interests and follow in his family footsteps.

"I have a family background in the health field and medicine in general," Clavijo said. "I have pretty much always wanted to be a doctor and go on to medical school. Learning about science and life and the body just really interests me enough to maybe make a living of off it."

Clavijo credits his family for developing his interest in medicine, but not forcing it upon him and allowing him to make his own choices.

"Both of my parents are pharmacists," Calvijo said. "My grandfather was a psychiatrist and all my family from Venezuela are either orthodontists or practice some type of internal medicine; they are just doctors in general. It seems to interest everyone. I was not forced in any way to live up to that. It just kind of hit me one day and it's what I wanted to do."

Hailing from Weston, Fla., he ranked as the top player in the state, the fourth-ranked defender in the nation and the No. 20 player overall as a senior. Needless to say, he had his choice of opportunities, but chose UCF because it's mix of academics and athletics. The proximity to home did not hurt his decision either.

"I was very attracted to the idea of being near home. I live about three hours from here," he said. "When I came on my visits I really enjoyed the coaching staff and the entire program and the campus, both academically and athletically. It was a very strong fit for me."

With UCF's growing academic opportunities and the creation of new health science programs, Clavijo knew UCF would be the right fit.

"I've known a lot of people who have come to UCF and excelled later on," he said. "I know they recently just opened a medical school and they have a very strong science program. Since that's something I knew I wanted to do, I knew UCF would be a great place to excel with that."

So far, Calvijo is off to a great start. He has started eight of the Knights' 12 contests this season, and is likely to see more action in his freshman campaign. He's also hit the ground running on his path to academic achievement and progressing towards his goal of attending medical school down the line.

Though Clavijo is not definite on how he plans to use his health sciences degree, he has expressed a strong interest in internal medicine and the possibility of more charitable work in his future. Not to mention he has some time to make that decision.

"I'd like to go on and be a family practice doctor or something along the lines of a hands-on job where I can really help people and interact all the time," he said. "I would love if I could go back to Venezuela and help some kids (there), or in different places like here in the United States - just to help and offer some free or affordable treatment to kids or families in need."



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