Innovation, recruitment and great progress

A Message from Desmond Schatz, M.D., UF Department of Pediatrics Interim Chair

Over the past decade, the University of Florida College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics and UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital have been marked by innovation, recruitment and great progress. We have made major strides in our educational and research programs and in our clinical care.

Education

Our residency program is now one of the most innovative and imaginative pediatric training programs in the country. Directed by Dr. Nicole Black, who is assisted by a dedicated core of program directors and eager house staff, we have initiated major changes to the education of the next generation of pediatricians. Residency programs typically are not individually tailored to the desires of trainees, nor are they geared to accommodate the changing landscape of pediatrics in academic medicine.

We are uniquely positioned as the only medical school in the United States to offer five distinct residency tracks in Primary Care, Public Health, Global Health, Medical Education and Research. Read more about these unique tracks here.

Research

The UF Department of Pediatrics ranks in the top 20 among pediatrics departments at public universities for NIH funding, and our department continues to excel and expand in research and discovery. We have leading and internationally recognized programs in many areas, such as our programs focusing on children with metabolic and endocrine disorders and our gene therapy program. As of 2018, we have received more than $228 million in research and contract funding, with a 63% increase in the past five years. Research and contract funding helps support our centers of excellence and specialty programs.

Patient Care

Our clinical programs continue to move medicine forward. The UF Health Arts and Medicine Program, directed by Tina Mullen, has been instrumental in the development of child-friendly and interesting visual themes in our treatment areas. Under the direction of Dr. Sanjeev Tuli, we are improving our outpatient operations, too. It is our goal that all children will be seen promptly when an appointment is requested and that it will be a pleasant experience for them and their families. Our inpatient operations continue to expand to provide wonderful care, as well, and we continue improving and renovating our facilities to meet the needs of our patients.

UF Health Pediatric Specialties — Telehealth Programs

We are branching out from Gainesville to see children closer to where they live by offering telehealth services throughout Florida. Using telehealth, we can provide unique opportunities for UF physicians in Gainesville to care for patients throughout the state. During telehealth visits, patients will be cared for by full-time nurses and staff with the UF specialty physician interacting directly with the patient via live video chat.

Telehealth expands access to quality patient care in a way that makes it easier for children and families. Telehealth is often more efficient than in-person appointments because it:

  • Reduces travel time for patients and physicians.
  • Eliminates lodging expenses for patients.
  • Improves access for patients.
  • Minimizes missed work and school times.

As our programs continue to grow, we will continue expanding our telehealth capabilities.

Thank you for your terrific support.

Desond A. Schatz, M.D.
Professor and Interim Chair