New Fellowships Added to University of Florida Pediatric Residency Program

The University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine–Jacksonville’s Pediatric Residency Program has been approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to offer three new pediatric fellowships: Child Abuse, Palliative Care/Hospice, and Hematology/Oncology. Supported by UF–Jacksonville, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Nemours Children’s Clinic, Jacksonville, and Community Hospice, the new fellowships will begin training pediatricians in July of 2014.

“Fellowships like these keep our pediatric subspecialty programs at UF-Jacksonville, Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Nemours on the cutting edge,” says Jose Zayas, MD, director of the UF Pediatric Residency Program. “It elevates the level of care we can provide for children in our community, while advancing technology and research in these areas as well.”

Here’s a look at each of the new fellowships:

Child Abuse – Director: Randell Alexander, MD, PhD
Fellows learn to recognize the historical and physical signs of child abuse, including physical, sexual, medical child abuse, neglect and psychological abuse. These physicians also work with appropriate governmental agencies to report child abuse incidents. They become child advocates and learn how to interview children, evaluate possible abuse and record incidents. Often, these physicians represent their patients in the legal system and serve as expert witnesses. This fellowship is the first of its kind in Florida.

Hospice and Palliative Care – Director: Kelly Komatz, MD, MPH
Fellows learn how to help children with chronic, debilitating or life-threatening illnesses to live with integrity and dignity. They help improve patients’ quality of life by providing relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a chronic or life-limiting illness. This specialized care provides comfort to the entire family, helping them and the child make the most of every day. This program is supported by Community Hospice of Northeast Florida and Community PedsCare, and is one of only three programs of its kind in Florida.

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology – Director: Manisha Bansal, MD
Managed by Nemours Children’s Clinic, Jacksonville, this fellowship teaches fellows how to diagnose and treat childhood cancer and blood disorders. Specialists learn to become caring communicators who often form close relationships with the child and family to help guide them through complex decisions and life-threatening conditions. It is one of three pediatric hematology/oncology fellowships in the state and one of only 65 in the country.