Infectious Diseases | Fellowships

Program Description

Program Director:  Audrey O. John, MD, PhD (email)

Our fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases is a nationally recognized, fully accredited three-year program that is intended to provide fellows with a broad and deep clinical experience and strong grounding in basic or clinical investigation.  The program structure is flexible and is tailored to suit each individual's interests and previous experience.  The primary goal is to prepare fellows for a career in academic pediatric infectious diseases, with an emphasis on scholarly activity.  All graduating fellows will be qualified for the ABP certification examination in pediatric infectious diseases.

Typically, the first year of training involves an intensive clinical experience, with five to six months on the inpatient consultation service.  During the five outpatient months, fellows spend half-days each week in the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Clinics and the Pediatric and Adolescent HIV Clinic, participate in our other specialized clinics, and participate in the activities of the Infection Control and Pharmaceutical, Diagnostics & Therapeutics subcommittees at St. Louis Children's Hospital.  All first-year fellows also spend one month rotating through the clinical microbiology laboratories.  Rotations on the Adult Infectious Diseases (immunocompromised) service at Barnes-Jewish Hospital (Department of Medicine); on the Pediatric Immunology and Rheumatology services; at the Naval Medical Research Unit in Cairo, Egypt; and at established research sites in Malawi and other international locations are also available.  During the first year, each fellow is also provided a month of protected time to explore research opportunities throughout the Washington University Medical Center with the goal of identifying a research mentor and scholarly project.

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The second and third years of the fellowship are largely protected for scholarly activity, with these fellows typically spending only 4-8 weeks per year on the inpatient consultation service.  A variety of research projects are underway in the Division, and fellows can certainly consider research mentors within the Division.  However, the School of Medicine offers an exceptionally broad and deep research environment, and fellows are also encouraged to consider research mentors in the Department of Molecular Microbiology, the Department of Medicine (e.g., Adult Infectious Diseases), the Department of Pathology and Immunology, the Department of Developmental Biology, and in other divisions within the Department of Pediatrics.  During the scholarly phase of training, fellows are expected to develop an independent project and to present results annually at the Division research conference.  In addition, fellows are encouraged to present their experimental data at a minimum of one regional or national meeting. 

The Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases convenes a weekly clinical conference that serves as a forum for discussion of recent inpatient and outpatient consultations.  The fellow directing the inpatient consultation service is responsible for preparing and presenting selected cases at this conference.  Several additional conferences are shared with the Division of Adult Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine, including weekly Infectious Diseases Grand Rounds; a weekly fellows' core curriculum on topics in clinical infectious diseases; HIV management conferences; and more.  Fellows are encouraged to attend these conferences throughout their training. 

In addition, the Department of Molecular Microbiology offers a weekly seminar series featuring many prominent visiting speakers in microbial pathogenesis, weekly work-in-progress talks by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and a biweekly journal club on microbial pathogenesis.  There are also numerous conferences and journal clubs offered through the Department of Pathology and Immunology.  Fellows attend these sessions as appropriate during their second and third years of training.

Dual fellowship programs, combining training in infectious diseases with other specialties in pediatrics, can be constructed with the consent of the American Board of Pediatrics.  A number of fellows have completed dual specialty training.  All ABP-sponsored tracks, including the Accelerated Research Pathway, are available in conjunction with the Pediatric Residency Program at St. Louis Children's Hospital.  Washington University is among the first in the country to offer a Pediatric Physician-Scientist Training Program for MD/PhD residency applicants who wish to pursue research-based faculty careers in academic pediatrics.

The Washington University Institute for Public Health and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences offer graduate-level courses and degree programs (e.g., MPH, MSCI) in clinical investigation, epidemiology, biostatistics, and study design.

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