Curriculum and Conferences

The ID fellowship training program offers a comprehensive curriculum of educational conferences and supplemental experiences to immerse its trainees in core knowledge of ID pathogenesis and clinical management as well important topics such as critical appraisal of the medical literature, research methods and study design, and principles of patient safety and quality improvement theory and implementation. Below is a summary of the educational curriculum.

Non-Clinical Rotations

All trainees will participate in two non-clinical rotations during the first year of fellowship to provide specific didactic content in the areas of microbiology and health care epidemiology.

  1. Microbiology Rotation: This one-month rotation overviews the basics of clinical microbiology with both didactic lectures and hands-on bench experiences in the core microbiology laboratories of the training site hospitals. Topics covered include: Pathogenesis and microbiologic diagnostics of bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, and parasites; Serologic and molecular ID diagnostics; Laboratory diagnostic test stewardship; and Collaboration between clinical providers and the microbiology lab. The microbiology course content is reinforced with interactive pharmacology and clinical case correlation discussions as well as board review questions. This rotation also facilitates a better understanding of lab processes and relationships with the clinical microbiologists to enhance fellows’ interactions with the lab during clinical rotations at the training sites.
  2. Healthcare Epidemiology and Infection Control Rotation: This one-month rotation immerses fellows in the breadth of healthcare epidemiology and infection control topics within ID. The highlight of this rotation is attendance at the Annual Fellows’ Course in Healthcare Epidemiology, Infection Control, and Antimicrobial Stewardship (see below). The course includes didactic content as well as interactive learning and active participation in various learning assignments covering infection prevention, antimicrobial stewardship, occupational health, microbiologic outbreak investigation, patient safety, and public health. Fellows also complete an end-of-rotation presentation on a literature review, policy critique or research or QI project proposal related to the course topics. The effectiveness and success of this course has been highlighted in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (Sreeramoju P, Fernandez-Rojas, ME. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2013; 34 (10):114-1116.)

Conferences

Weekly conferences conducted throughout the year help supplement the clinical learning experiences and solidify fellows’ knowledge in all areas of Infectious Diseases.  The lectures are provided by expert faculty in their respective fields, and multiple faculty members have been recognized for their excellence in teaching. Core didactic lectures are available for trainees to review online after hours or at the bedside through the MedHub Resident Management system.

The conferences offered include:

  • ID Core Curriculum Conferences: Lectures provided every Thursday morning that cover topics across the entire field of ID over a two-year rotating cycle.
  • HIV Lecture Series: Lectures provided every Tuesday morning with in-depth coverage of HIV topics including pathogenesis, opportunistic infections, difficult ART management cases, and other medical and psychosocial complications in persons living with HIV.
  • ID Grand Rounds: Lectures provided every Wednesday morning featuring ID faculty or invited speakers reviewing their research projects or updates on recent clinical advances in ID.
  • ID Fellows’ Case Conference: Every Thursday morning, fellows presents recent challenging cases presented as unknowns to faculty for discussion followed by fellow-directed literature review.
  • ID Fellows’ Journal Club: Once a month, fellow present recent papers or classic articles with emphasis on skills of critical appraisal of the medical literature.
  • ID Board Review Series: Once a month, faculty lead interactive case-based questions and discussion targeting key learning objectives for ID boards.
  • Microbiology Plate Rounds: Weekly sessions held at each of the respective hospitals reviewing interesting cases led by attending clinical microbiologist at the multi-head microscope.
  • ID Citywide Case Conference: Once a month, joint case conference presentations attended by academic and private practice ID physicians from across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Additional relevant lectures are offered through the Department of Medicine or the Internal Medicine Residency program, which hosts daily noon lectures with food available for attendees.

Professional Meetings

The Division provides funding for fellow attendance at both regional and national professional meetings throughout the duration of the fellowship. Former fellows have presented their research at such conferences as ID Week, ASM Microbe (formerly ICAAC), SHEA, CROI, and other state and local meetings.

Beginning in 2016, the fellowship also sponsors all incoming fellows to attend the nationally recognized Annual Fellows’ Course in Healthcare Epidemiology, Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship, founded by Trish Perl, M.D., our Division Chief, and held each July.