Director’s Message

Arwa Saidi
Arwa Saidi,  MB. BCH, M.Ed

We are thrilled that you are considering the University of Florida for your Pediatric Residency Training. We are looking for a diverse group of individuals with character, competence, and a caring heart who wish to learn and teach as they care for children at one of the leading healthcare systems in the nation. In these unprecedented times, our program’s sense of community, equity, social justice, and compassion brings us together to make a better world. As a program, we commit to providing the best in quality, communication, passion, innovation, and service in everything we do.

The University of Florida in Gainesville has a strong, balanced program in general and subspecialty pediatrics. With over 170,000 outpatient visits and 9,000 inpatients cared for each year at UF Health Shands Childrens Hospital, the breadth and depth of clinical exposure is outstanding.  Ascribing to Adult Learning Theory we believe in igniting intrinsic motivation and instilling habits of self-directed learning by understanding our learners’ prior experiences and setting clear, relevant, and individualized goals and paths. We are especially proud of our pediatric residents who are trained and encouraged to critically evaluate clinical problems and to function as primary care physicians.   Our residents work closely with general and subspecialty faculty, fellows and Advanced practice practitioners as they develop more knowledge, autonomy and comfort in patient care.    Further, their training, passion, and accomplishments in advocacy help countless children locally, Statewide and across the globe.  We are extremely proud of our graduates and have a 100% boards pass rate.  After pediatric training, approximately half of our graduates enter general pediatrics while the rest of the residents pursue subspecialty fellowship training either at UF Health or elsewhere.

We are committed to a work environment where people are respected for their contributions and uplifted as they fulfill their potential. We recognize bias as an inherent part of human behavior that must be addressed in order to provide equitable, high-quality patient care. Physician wellness is a priority for us at UF and we have a robust wellness curriculum based on community-building. We are a tight-knit family who work well together and who enjoy being together,  both inside and outside of work.

The housestaff fringe benefit package is excellent and includes comprehensive health and disability insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, four weeks of yearly paid FMLA leave (e.g., parental) and extra time off for one holiday that is important to you. The opportunity for flexible training is also available. The department provides a MedStudy board preparation package and time and support for residents to attend national meetings to present their scholarship. Further, many of our residents attain leadership roles with the American Academy of Pediatrics and other reputable associations.

Gainesville is home to the University of Florida and is a wonderful place to live. The city is full of great restaurants, hosts numerous cultural and athletic events and provides ample opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities. Many nice residential areas are in close proximity to UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. Affordable housing prices allow many of our residents to purchase homes.

Thank you again for your interest in our program. We look forward to receiving your application. We will participate in ERAS for the upcoming July 1 positions. Please note that you are required to register for the National Resident Matching Program.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Michelle Calano, our residency program coordinator, can be reached at We look forward to meeting you!

With best wishes,

Arwa Saidi,  MB. BCH, M.Ed
Professor of Pediatrics
Interim Director, Pediatric Residency Program