Program Leadership

Department Chairman

Scott Rivkees, MDScott A. Rivkees, M.D.

Nemours Eminent Scholar
Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Rivkees earned his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He completed his residency training and fellowships in pediatrics, pediatric endocrinology and neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to joining the University of Florida faculty in 2012, he held appointments at Harvard Medical School, Indiana University, and Yale University.

Dr. Rivkees is a Pediatric Endocrinologist. A fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Rivkees has been named one of “America’s Best Doctors” as well as one of “America’s Top Pediatricians” and one of “New York’s Best Doctors.” His work with pediatric thyroid disease has led to new treatment guidelines for children with thyroid cancer and Graves’ disease.

Dr. Rivkees has more than 250 publications. He holds several National Institutes of Health grants and has maintained continuous funding from the NIH for 25 years. His recent research interests focus on the prevention of brain injury in premature infants, human development, and thyroid diseases.

Dr. Rivkees is married with two sons, Michael and Benjamin. When not in the office, he enjoys his membership with a local Gainesville crew league.

View Dr. Rivkees’s distinguished career outlined in his curriculum vitae.


Pediatric Medical Education Director

Nicole Paradise Black, M.D., M.Ed.Nicole Paradise Black, M.D., M.Ed.

Associate Professor
Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine

Dr. Black received her undergraduate degree from The College of William and Mary and her medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and went on to do a chief residency year at The Barbara Bush’s Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. She spent two years working as a community hospitalist for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and then joined the UF faculty in 2005. Her professional areas of interest include incorporating technology into resident and medical student education, patient- and family-centered rounds, and breastfeeding. Dr. Black receives local and national recognition for her work, including the Association of Pediatric Program Directors’ Walter W. Tunnessen, Jr., MD. Award for the Advancement of Pediatric Resident Education and the UF David A. Paulus Award for Clinical Excellence. Dr. Black’s husband, Erik, is a PhD in Educational Technology and they have a son named Brennan and a daughter named Ryan. She enjoys spending time with her family and participating in CrossFit and endurance sports such as marathons and long distance triathlons.


Associate Residency Program Directors

Robert Michael Lawrence, M.D.Robert Michael Lawrence, M.D.

Division Chief,  Pediatric Infectious Disease

Dr. Lawrence received an undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester and his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. He completed a pediatric residency and chief residency at Montefiore Hospital, in Bronx, New York. He enjoyed a Pediatric Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Bellevue Hospital and New York University and remained there as a faculty person for 16 years. He was the Associate Director for Residency Training there, for 5 years. He arrived at the University of Florida in 2001; where he has been a member of the Pediatric Immunology, Rheumatology and Infectious Diseases Division. Dr. Lawrence’s Professional interests include infectious diseases, immunologic and infectious disease issues related to breastfeeding, narrative medicine, communication in healthcare and he is learning more rheumatology everyday. He is married to Rachel, a Shands pediatric nurse. He strives to spend more time with his wife, his step-children, dogs and walking the trails of Florida.



Henry Rohrs, M.D.Henry Rohrs, M.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor
Division of Endocrinology

Dr. Henry (Hank) Rohrs is a vital part of the UF Diabetes Center of Excellence’s search to “Find the Cure.” He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida and works in Pediatric Endocrinology at Shands at UF. Dr. Rohrs works in three separate clinics related to finding a cure for diabetes: the Diabetes Clinic on Mondays and Thursdays, the Endocrine Clinic on Wednesdays and Fridays, and the Prediabetes and Lipid Clinic on Tuesdays.



Arwa Saidi, MDArwa Saidi, M.D., M.Ed.

Department of Pediatrics – Congenital Heart Center

Dr. Saidi received her MB. BCh degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland in 1988. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine/ Pediatrics and a fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. After working in Dublin for several years, she returned to the United States and worked briefly in Orlando before joining the Pediatric Cardiology Faculty at the University of Florida in 2003. Residents have twice chosen her as the Department’s “Outstanding Teacher of the Year.” Her research interests include adult congenital heart disease and the transition from pediatric to adult health care. Away from the hospital, she enjoys traveling, watching movies and running marathons.



Diane Howell, M.D.Diane Howell, M.D.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Howell was born and raised just south of Gainesville in Ocala, FL. She then made the short move to Gainesville to attend college and medical school at the University of Florida. After graduation, she moved to North Carolina with her husband to complete her residency and chief resident year at UNC Chapel Hill. After living in North Carolina for a few more years, they made their way back ‘home’ with their two children. Dr. Howell enjoys watching Gator Football, serving in her church and spending time with her family.



Co-Chief Residents

Jim Buscher, Nancy JosephJim Buscher, M.D.



Nancy Joseph, M.B.B.S.







Administrative Staff

Meghan Lopez, Tammy Bleeker, Anna Pryyma

Meghan Lopez, Tammy Bleeker, Anna Pryyma

Tammy Bleeker
Assistant Director

Meghan Lopez
Medical Student Coordinator

Anna Pryyma
Fellowship Coordinator