Message from the Chair

Welcome to the University of Florida–Gainesville Department of Emergency Medicine. The UF Health Shands Emergency Department is a tertiary care center that serves patients from four states across the southeastern United States and has EMS medical direction in 13 Florida counties. Our physicians staff an adult emergency department with the second highest patient acuity in the country. We have an annual patient census of approximately 135,000 and admit approximately 33,000 patients per year. This Level 1 Trauma Center, Comprehensive Stroke Center, ABA Verified Burn Center, and Accredited Chest Pain Center provides the highest level of care to a diverse patient population. Similarly, our physicians provide emergency care at the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. The Children’s Hospital is one of three Level 3 NICUs in the state and provides complex cardiac, pulmonary, and transplant care. We also lead two freestanding emergency departments, allowing us to extend a high level of emergency care throughout our community. Additionally, our faculty serve as medical directors for multiple county emergency medical services and law enforcement agencies. We strive to advance the delivery of high-level, equitable emergency care to all of our patients.

Through all of our missions, we seek to advance the practice of emergency medicine. Our faculty are committed to advancing emergency medicine through excellence in clinical care, research, and education. We train residents, fellows, and students across all of our clinical sites. Our faculty are well-represented within the College of Medicine leadership, and they continue to win multiple teaching awards. Our clinical and basic science research is federally funded and covers a diverse portfolio of topics, including critical care and resuscitative medicine, clinical biomarkers, neurological emergencies, healthcare disparities, patient safety, medical education, simulation, and global health.


UF Health main ER

Emergency Medicine faculty are dedicated to providing the highest quality of clinical emergency care in several of our Gainesville clinical locations. The Level One Trauma Center at UF Health Shands Adult ER is a 37,000 square foot, 66-bed state-of-the-art critical care center with an annual volume of over 65,000 visits per year. The facility, which was built in 2009, is designed to improve patient throughput and to provide the infrastructure for expert critical and trauma care, exposing resident physicians to a unique cross section in their health care delivery experience. UF Health Shands is the only burn center in northern Florida with a catchment area spanning 13 counties with patient referrals extending to Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Pediatric patient and doctor

UF Health Shands Pediatric ER, located in a separate tower, is a 21-bed facility that currently sees over 24,000 pediatric visits per year. The state-of-the-art facility was renovated in 2011 and is staffed by UF board-certified or board-eligible pediatric emergency medicine physicians who are faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Springhill ER

UF Health Shands Emergency Center – Springhill and UF Shands Emergency Center – Kanapaha are freestanding emergency departments and 911 receiving facilities that are open 24/7 and staffed by UF Emergency Medicine faculty. The facility boasts full imaging capabilities, including CT Scanning and US, as well as laboratory services and blood banking.

Education: We train residents, fellows and students across all of our clinical sites. Our faculty are well-represented within the College of Medicine leadership, and they continue to win multiple teaching awards. Our fully ACGME accredited residency program accepts 14 residents per year. In addition, we have eight distinct fellowship programs. The residency program was expertly developed with a modular human simulation-based curriculum at its core. It has experienced remarkable expansion and growth in its pursuit of excellence in resident training and has become fully established over the course of the last decade.

The research mission of the Department of Emergency Medicine is to foster an active atmosphere of academic excellence through the support of undergraduate, medical student, resident, fellow and faculty research and scholarly productivity. Our faculty are involved in a variety of clinical and basic science research projects, as well as health services research. The UF Health Science Center is the country’s only academic health center with six health-related colleges, six major research institutes, and versatile research facilities located on a single, contiguous campus. The UF Health Science Center, including our major research centers, institutes, and clinical enterprise, receives more than $300 million in NIH and other extramural funding. Our location on the university campus has opened doors to opportunities for significant collaborations with other departments, colleges, and centers across the undergraduate and professional campus including the Emerging Pathogens Institute and the Universities’ research initiatives at Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI).

Shandscair helicopter

Our department also has an active pre-hospital care division that provides medical direction for our hospital based EMS services which supports ground, rotatory, and fixed wing EMS operations. Our department provides EMS medical direction for municipalities covering an area of North Central Florida that extends to the Gulf Coast. Faculty from our department also provided primary medical direction for NASA medical support teams during the last 10 years of the NASA Space Shuttle Missions. Medical support team members received special certifications from NASA and participated in disaster training and onsite simulations in order to provide medical support for all NASA shuttle missions that originated from Cape Canaveral. Today, the University of Florida maintains a close relationship with NASA.

Please explore our site, and contact us if you are interested in being part of our growing team at UF Health and the University of Florida-Gainesville.

Mary D. Patterson, MD, MEd

Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine
Chief of Emergency Services, UF Health