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The Brown Medicine Infectious Diseases Division offers a fellowship encompassing all the Brown University-based teaching hospitals. The Fellowship is led by Dr. Cheston Cunha, Associate Professor of Medicine (Program Director) and Dr. Martha Sanchez, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Associate Program Director). The spectrum of activities in clinical infectious diseases extends from evaluation of the patient with newly diagnosed HIV infection or another sexually transmitted infection, to care of the ICU patient with nosocomial pneumonia, to management of complicated infections in the transplant/immunocompromised patient. The fellowship is a two-year training program with dedicated clinical and research tracks; protected time for research and scholarly activities with mentorship from clinical, translational, and basic science research faculty; and infection control and antimicrobial stewardship rotations during Year 1 with opportunities for more intensive training during Year 2. The program has classes of two or three fellows annually (five fellows in total). A Med/Peds combined ID Fellowship is also offered through our program.
Brown ID Fellowship Mission Statement: The Brown University Infectious Diseases Fellowship provides comprehensive training in the field of infectious diseases including patient care, the art of being a consultant, diagnostics, responsible use of antimicrobials, preventing transmission of infectious diseases; and provides career and research mentoring to the next generation of infectious diseases physician-scientists, clinicians, and clinician-educators.
The cornerstone of the fellowship program is exposure to the full array of infectious diseases in both the inpatient and outpatient clinical settings (see descriptions of ambulatory clinical programs). Fellows participate in inpatient consultation services at Rhode Island Hospital (RIH), The Miriam Hospital (TMH), and the Providence Veterans Administration Medical Center (PVAMC) where they evaluate patients admitted to the medical and surgical services, including patients admitted to all of the specialty intensive care units.
At RIH, fellows rotate on the Transplant/Immunocompromised Host service which evaluates patients who have undergone renal transplantation at RIH, persons who are being treated for hematological malignancies, and patients admitted to our institutions who have received solid organ transplantation or bone marrow transplantation at other institutions. Ambulatory training takes place at The Miriam Hospital Infectious Diseases and Immunology Center and consists of a longitudinal weekly clinic focused on HIV medicine, viral hepatitis, and infections that require outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT). Additionally, fellows participate in other specialty clinics for Lyme Disease and other tick-borne infections, tuberculosis and non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections, sexually transmitted infections, and travel medicine. The fellowship provides one-on-one teaching and mentoring provided by world-class faculty who are leaders in the field of infectious diseases and committed to the education of fellows, residents and medical students.
Inpatient ID Consultation Rotations: The Brown ID Division has created multiple ID consultation services at RIH and TMH to maximize the learning experience of the fellows. The “1st Service” at RIH and TMH is the primary ID teaching consultation service and the team consists of a fellow, supervising attending, and internal medicine residents and/or medical students who are taking an ID elective. The “2nd” and “3rd” Services are capped and are typically staffed by a faculty member only although Fellows will often rotate on the RIH 2nd service in Year 1 or for an elective in Year 2. These services were created to offload consult volume from the “1st service” to optimize the learning experience for the fellow. Consults are distributed to the RIH and TMH services Monday-Friday through a central consult phone service managed by an administrator within the Division which decreases the number of calls to fellows who are assigned to the consult rotations.
Transplant ID and Immunocompromised Host Rotation at RIH: Fellows rotate on the Transplant ID/Immunocompromised Host service during Years 1 and 2. The service provides ID consultation to patients who have received kidney transplants at RIH, and patients who have received other solid organ transplants (pancreas, liver, lung, heart) or hematopoietic stem cell transplants at other institutions, and patients receiving chemotherapy for hematologic malignancies. This rotation provides comprehensive training related to opportunistic infections (viral, fungal, bacterial, and parasitic) among non-HIV immunocompromised hosts and is led by Dr. Dimitrios Farmakiotis.
Antimicrobial Stewardship & Infection Control/Hospital Epidemiology at RIH: This four-week combined rotation was added to the curriculum during the 2017-2018 academic year to provide 1st year fellows with an introduction to Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Control/Hospital Epidemiology during their first year to enable more focused and intensive training during Year 2 for fellows who wish to pursue careers in these important areas of infectious diseases. The Antimicrobial Stewardship (ASP) section is led by Dr. Chet Cunha and the Infection Control/Hospital Epidemiology section is led by Dr. Leonard Mermel.
Clinical Microbiology rotation at RIH: 1st Year fellows spend three weeks in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratories of the Lifespan Academic Medical Center to become familiar with the functioning of a large high-volume lab. The rotation focuses on the basic principles of processing specimens, performing cultures and other diagnostic assays, and performing drug susceptibility testing. Fellows work directly with laboratory technicians in various sections of the lab, participate in daily rounds with the Director and Associate Director of the lab, and learn how the lab interacts with other parts of the ID Division including the Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Control/Hospital Epidemiology programs. The rotation is supervised by Dr. Tao Hong and Dr. Sara Geffert (graduate of the Brown ID fellowship Program)
Outpatient Longitudinal Clinic: Each fellow is assigned to one half day of clinic per week (Tuesday or Thursday morning) at The Miriam Hospital Immunology and Infectious Diseases Center. Education focuses on HIV medicine, treatment of hepatitis C infection, and treating patients who are receiving OPAT. Each fellow works with two faculty members who are assigned as clinic preceptors for the Tuesday and Thursday sessions. Preceptors include Drs. Sanchez, Beckwith, Larkin, and Garland.
The Providence VA Medical Center ID Rotation: Fellows rotate through the Providence VA Medical Center as 2nd year fellows. The VA ID rotation includes rounding on the inpatient consult service, participating in outpatient specialty clinics (HIV, wound clinic), and participating in other activities of the ID Division including antibiotic stewardship and infection control/hospital epidemiology. The rotation is supervised by Dr. Melissa Gaitanis, Section Head of Infectious Diseases.
The outpatient fellowship experience at Brown is centered around the Infectious Diseases and Immunology Center, a brand-new 16,600-square foot facility custom designed in 2019 to house the ID clinics. The Center offers care to a large and diverse patient population from across the state, with over 11,000 patient visits per year. The Ryan White HIV Care program is the largest program of the Center, offering comprehensive HIV primary care to over 1,800 people living with HIV. Also within the ID & Immunology Center is the nationally-recognized Center for Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases, the state STI Clinic, and many other outpatient ID services including a robust OPAT program, Hepatitis C treatment program, a general ID consult service, and the Center has an on-site lab and pharmacy.
ID fellows care for patients at the Center in a multidisciplinary environment, working alongside a highly effective support team that includes two ID specialist pharmacists, two social workers, three outreach workers, medication adherence and hepatitis C specialty nurses, a clinical ID nursing team, a nutritionist, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist. Specialist Advance Practice Practitioners (NP’s and PA’s) also support the fellows in the clinical care of PLWH, OPAT patients, PrEP, women’s health, and substance use disorder.
The Center is an active HIV research and training site, housing the Providence/Boston Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) research unit, and serving as an active site for HIV-focused studies. ID Division faculty who work at the Center are active at the state, regional, and national levels with respect to HIV treatment and care including: 1) the Rhode Island 90-90-90 Campaign and the HIV Care and Prevention Planning Group (Drs. Chan, Garland, and Sanchez); 2) the Rhode Island peri- and postpartum HIV-positive women’s committee (Drs. Cu-Uvin, Hardy, and Sanchez); 3) the New England Steering Committee of the American Academy of HIV Medicine (Drs. Cu-Uvin, Garland, and Kantor); and 4) the DHHS Adult and Adolescent HIV Treatment Guidelines Panel (Drs. Beckwith, Cu-Uvin, and Kantor). This is just a sampling of physician leadership out of the Center. The Center and the Ryan White program are overseen by Dr. Joseph Garland.
Additional clinical sites for fellows include:
Brown has a robust and supportive clinical, translational, and basic science research environment to support ID fellow research and other scholarly activities. The Brown ID Division has approximately $15 million of external research funding annually, the highest among Divisions within the Brown Department of Medicine. Fellows have approximately six months of protected time during the two-year fellowship to pursue research based upon their individual interests. Drs. Beckwith and D’Agata meet with 1st year fellows to explore research interests and to match fellows with faculty mentors. The Division has an NIH T32 clinical research training program, HIV and Other Infectious Consequences of Substance Abuse, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (5T32DA013911). Eligible ID fellows can apply to this program to obtain up to two additional years of clinical research training in the areas of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV and other infectious consequences of substance abuse. This training program brings together the multiple clinical research strengths from an institution that has a robust track record of training junior faculty members to become independent clinical investigators in the area of HIV and substance abuse. The T32 program is led by Principal Investigators Drs. Timothy Flanigan and Jody Rich and additional information is available from the T32 Senior Project Director, Lauri Bazerman (LBazerman@Lifespan.org).
The clinical research expertise is complemented by a diverse group of basic science researchers led by Dr. Eleftherios Mylonakis. These researchers investigate antibiotic discovery, mechanism of action, drug resistance including HIV, and pathogenesis of microbial infections. More recently, many efforts have been undertaken to understand SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.
ID Fellows have access to multiple research centers and resources housed within the Brown ID Division including the following:
Fellows have the option to take elective rotations during their 2nd Year based upon their career interests. Examples of electives include but are not limited to the following:
The fellowship has two training tracks, research and clinical, and fellows have the option of choosing their track at the time of acceptance to the program. Fellows can also opt to remain “undifferentiated” if he/she is still exploring different career paths. The Brown ID Fellowship program provides a flexible training platform and our goal is to help you identify your career path and prepare you for life after fellowship. All fellows, regardless of track, will develop a solid clinical foundation in the field of infectious diseases.
Each year of training consists of 13 four-week rotations and fellows have four weeks of vacation annually. Below are sample schedules for the clinical and research tracks (note: schedules may have slight variance year-to-year).
Clinical Track Sample Schedule:
Research Track Sample Schedule:
Med/Peds Combined ID Fellowship: The Brown Adult and Pediatric ID Divisions collaboratively offer a combined Med/Peds ID fellowship that is four years in length. Combined ID fellows spend two years training in adult ID and two years in pediatric ID with integrated training activities. Applicants match through the Adult ID Fellowship or through the Pediatric ID Fellowship through the ERAS match system. Residents interested in the combined program should contact Dr. Curt Beckwith or Dr. Penny Dennehy (Pediatric ID Division) to discuss the application process.
Call schedule: Fellows share weeknight, weekend, and holiday call evenly which roughly equates to one night of at-home weekday call per week, one weekend of call every five weekends, and covering 1-2 holidays per year. The call schedule is managed by the fellows, typically with a 2nd year fellow assuming responsibility for organizing the call schedule. On weekends, the on-call fellow sees new consultations at RIH only. New consults at TMH and the PVAMC are seen by attendings.
The fellowship program has a robust conference series that is a major component of the educational curriculum. Conferences held weekly include:
Medical School: University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Internal Medicine Residency: Lankenau Medical Center, PA
Medical School: Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Internal Medicine Residency: Brown University, Kent Hospital, RI
Diana Villanueva, MD
Medical School: St. George’s School of Medicine. Grenada
Internal Medicine Residency: Coney Island Hospital, NY
Michael Rossi, MD
Medical School Rush Medical College, Chicago, IL
Internal Medicine Residency: Boston Medical Center, MA
Nouf Almaghlouth, MD, MPH
Medical School: Univ. of Dammam College of Medicine, Saudi Arabia
Internal Medicine Residency: Mountain View Regional Medical Center, NM
Calli Dogon, MD
Medical School: University of Cape Town Faculty of Health Sciences, South Africa
Medical Residency: Pennsylvania Hospital, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Past Fellows: Where have they gone? Our fellowship graduates have chosen careers within the field of Infectious Diseases that range from academic researchers, academic clinician educators, full time clinicians in private practice or public health centers, public health careers including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and careers in industry. Graduates over the past five years are currently working in the following positions:
Fellowship applications are accepted through the ERAS system at www.aamc.org/eras. Completion of a U.S. internal medicine residency program is required. To request additional information please contact our Program Coordinator, Elaine DiLorenzo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-793-4765.
Fellow benefits: Benefits include four weeks of vacation per year, health and dental insurance (individual or family), disability insurance, and life insurance. The institutionally required contribution to selected benefits plans are deducted from payroll. Details can be obtained through the Rhode Island Hospital Graduate Medical Education office.
Why Choose the Brown ID Fellowship?
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