Infectious Diseases Fellowship

Curriculum

Program Overview

Fellows' Perspectives on the Program

“My infectious disease fellowship training at VCU medical center has been outstanding! I have seen incredible cases spanning transplant ID, HIV care, general ID and travel medicine. As I embark upon my sub-fellowship in hospital epidemiology and infection control, I am excited by the prospect of being trained by mentors that are leaders in the field. I plan to practice in the academic setting, and VCU has afforded me every opportunity to achieve that goal. ”

Dan Markley, DO

The Infectious Diseases fellowship is a 2-year training program designed to satisfy the ABIM requirements for the Infectious Diseases subspecialty board examination. The first year of fellowship is aimed at teaching fellows the basic aspects of infectious diseases and clinical microbiology. The second year of fellowship is aimed at refining and expanding the knowledge gained during the first year. There is also funding for an 3rd research year for one qualified fellow per year in Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control. Fellows accepted for the 3rd year also obtain an MPH at VCU during their fellowship.

Our new first year fellows do not start on service right away. Fellowship begins with a 2 week period of orientation, including an introduction to the clinical microbiology laboratory and attendance at the SHEA Fellows’ Course in Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control. Core clinical inpatient rotations include the inpatient general Infectious Diseases consultation services at both the VCU main campus and the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Orthopedic Infectious Diseases service and the Transplant Infectious Diseases service at the VCU main campus. In addition, fellows spend one month each in the Clinical Microbiology laboratory and working with the Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control service. There are an additional 3-6 months of elective or research time in each year of fellowship which are structured to support the development of each fellow’s career interests. Elective/research time is used to gain more clinical experience outside the typical infectious diseases consult setting, to gain research experience, and to pursue other scholarly projects. Fellows also participate in one half-day per week continuity HIV clinic throughout fellowship, as well as one half-day general infectious diseases outpatient clinic when on elective or research. Examples of clinical electives include Global Health, Travel Medicine, HIV ambulatory experience, Allergy and Immunology, Critical Care ID, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, HCV Intensive, Wound Care and rotation at Richmond City Health Department, among others.

Program Goals & Objectives

This is a two-infectious diseases fellowship designed to prepare fellow for a career in Infectious Diseases by providing extensive clinical training, basic or clinical research experience, and teaching responsibilities. These skills will be developed in an environment that fosters scholarship and inquiry. This advanced education will ensure that the graduating fellow will possess the knowledge and skills necessary for independent practice in the field of Infectious Diseases. This will be accomplished with an emphasis on the following objectives:

  1. The fellow will develop an understanding of the scientific and clinical principles of infectious diseases.

  2. The fellow will develop the clinical skills required for the practice of infectious diseases through direct observation and management of both inpatients and outpatients with a variety of infectious diseases and related complications.

  3. The fellow will be supervised and evaluated by qualified faculty in these encounters.

  4. The fellow will be given graded authority and responsibility based on their performance.

  5. The fellow will be provided opportunities in basic science and/or clinical research to foster better understanding of these fields and their integration in clinical practice and/or to develop a career in academic medicine.

  6. The fellow will be provided with an environment that fosters practice-based learning and the development of teaching skills.

  7. The fellow will be instructed in and follow the principles of medical ethics and professionalism.

  8. The fellow will develop an understanding, awareness and responsiveness to the principles of systems-based practice.

Typical Rotation Schedules

Typical 1st Year Rotation Schedule Location Length
General Infectious Diseases Consults VCUHS/VA 6 Months
Transplant Infectious Diseases VCUHS 1 Month
Orthopedic Infectious Diseases VCUHS 2-4 Weeks
Elective/Research VCUHS/VA 3-4 Months
HEIC (1st or 2nd year) VCUHS 1 Month
Clinical Microbiology VCUHS 1 Month
Typical 2nd Year Rotation Schedule Location Length
General Infectious Diseases Consults VCUHS/VA 6 Months
Transplant Infectious Diseases VCUHS 1 Month
Orthopedic Infectious Diseases VCUHS 2-4 Weeks
Elective/Research VCUHS/VA 4-5 Months
HEIC (1st or 2nd year) VCUHS 1 Month

*Annual vacation time is allocated during electives/research rotations.

Rotation Descriptions

General Infectious Diseases Consults (VCUHS and McGuire VAMC)
The consult service consists of an ID faculty member and fellow as well as IM interns, residents, M4 students and ID pharmacist. They are responsible for all inpatient consults outside of Transplant and Orthopedic ID. The patients present a broad range of acute and chronic infections, ranging from bread-and-butter infectious diseases to the more complex, unusual cases typical of a major academic center.

Transplant Infectious Diseases (VCUHS)
The ID fellows rotate on the Transplant ID consult service with Dr. Oveimar De La Cruz, Director of Transplant Infectious Diseases at VCUHS. The Transplant ID team sees a wide spectrum of patients including solid organ transplant recipients (heart, lung, kidney, liver) as well as patients on the Heme/Onc and Bone Marrow Transplant units. Fellows become experienced in diagnosing and treating a wide spectrum of infectious complications associated with these uniquely immunocompromised patient populations.

Orthopedic Infectious Diseases (VCUHS)
ID fellows rotate on the Orthopedic ID consult service with Dr. Julie Reznicek, an expert in the management of orthopedic infections. The Orthopedic ID team works closely with the Orthopedic Surgery and Neurosurgical services in diagnosing and managing a wide variety of both common and complex musculoskeletal infections.

Ambulatory Experience (VCUHS and McGuire VAMC)
HIV continuity clinic, ½ day per week both years, 12 months at VCUHS and 12 months at the McGuire VAMC. Referrals come from throughout the region. Each clinic is fully supervised by ID faculty. Clinics are also staffed by a true multidisciplinary team, including physicians (ID, Psychiatry, Hepatology), ID pharmacists, nurses, adherence specialists, case managers and support staff.

General ID clinic, ½ day per month (only when on elective/research rotations) at VCUHS, ½ day per week when rotating at the McGuire VAMC (3 months per year). Referrals come from throughout the region. Each clinic is fully supervised by ID faculty.

Clinical Microbiology (VCUHS)
ID fellows rotate on the Orthopedic ID consult service with Dr. Julie Reznicek, an expert in the management of orthopedic infections. The Orthopedic ID team works closely with the Orthopedic Surgery and Neurosurgical services in diagnosing and managing a wide variety of both common and complex musculoskeletal infections.

Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control (VCUHS)
Each of our fellows spend one month during fellowship (additional time is available on elective/research) working in HEIC with Drs. Gonzalo Bearman, Mike Stevens and Michelle Doll and the infection control team. During this rotation, fellows attend HEIC meetings and gain practical first-hand experience in HEIC and Antimicrobial Stewardship. Fellows not only gain knowledge of healthcare epidemiology and the functions of an infection control program, including surveillance for and prevention of healthcare-acquired infections, but this rotation also provides fellows with marketable expertise before entering the workforce following graduation.

Electives

  • Research- The are a variety of basic and clinical research opportunities available to our fellows
  • Travel Medicine- Fellows work with Dr. Mike Stevens. Dr. Stevens has developed is a Travel Medicine curriculum and supervises clinical experiences for our fellows
  • Global Health - The goal of the Global Health & Health Disparities Pathway (GH2DP) ambulatory experience provides fellows with intense outpatient experience working with underserved and at-risk patients. Additionally, residents will gain experience working with international travelers
  • Richmond City Health Department- Fellows have the opportunity to rotate at the RCHD, where they can see patients in the city’s busiest STD and TB clinics, as well as learn about public health in a real world setting with access to DIS officers and other public health officials and related public health programs servicing a large urban community
  • HIV ambulatory experience
  • Allergy and Immunology
  • Critical Care ID
  • Pediatric Infectious Diseases
  • HCV Management Intensive
  • Wound Care
  • Cystic Fibrosis (adult and pediatric)

Tracks


Individualization
Aside from the core requirements, the elective/research time allotted during fellowship training allows for educational individualization based on the interests and needs of the fellow. In consultation with the program director, interested fellows have an opportunity to develop additional expertise in Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control, Transplant ID, or Orthopedic ID, through focused study and expanded clinical experiences in these areas under the mentorship of dedicated faculty.
  • Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control - Faculty mentors Gonzalo Bearman MD, MPH, Michael P. Stevens MD, MPH, Richard P. Wenzel, MD, MPH, and Michelle Doll MD, MPH. Funding exists for a 3rd research year of fellowship training for one fellow per year. Fellows accepted into this track also obtain an MPH at VCU during the 3rd year.
  • Transplant Infectious Diseases- Faculty mentor Oveimar De La Cruz, MD
  • Orthopedic Infectious Diseases- Faculty mentor Julie Reznicek, MD