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Curriculum

Curriculum

The curriculum includes clinical and didactic learning experiences.


Clinical Experiences

Infectious Disease Fellowhip

Fellows have meaningful experiences during rotations on the inpatient consult service at both AGH and West Penn hospitals, (including solid organ and bone marrow transplant), and in ambulatory clinics (HIV Clinic, Tuberculosis Clinic, Hepatitis C Clinic, General ID Clinic), the Infection Control Department, the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, the Microbiology Laboratory, and research.

Fellow Block Rotation Schedule

The cumulative duration of the rotations in months, excluding vacation time, for the first- and second-year fellows is outlined below:

Rotation    Year 1 Year 2
Antimicrobial Stewardship 0 1
Clinical inpatient* 8 7
Microbiology 1 0
Infection control 1 0
Research 2 2
Exclusive ambulatory 0 2

*Includes one month, each year, rotating at West Penn Hospital.

Ambulatory Clinics

Fellows will rotate at the following ambulatory clinics to acquire clinical experience in different aspects of infectious disease.

Continuity HIV Clinic:
Schedule:Years 1 and 2 total duration: 48 weeks per year
                  Half-day sessions per week: 1
The Positive Health Clinic is a Ryan White funded clinic that takes care of about 800 patients, and on average acquires 100 new patients annually. It is staffed by board-certified infectious disease physicians, CRNPs, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, a patient advocate, medical assistants, clerical support staff, a data/quality management specialist, and administrative managers.

Tuberculosis Clinic: Fellows will have the opportunity to rotate at the Allegheny County TB Clinic in both years of the fellowship.  Our Pulmonary-Critical Care Medicine faculty provide fellow supervision on this rotation.

Hepatitis C Clinic: Fellows will gain experience in managing hepatitis C at the clinic under the guidance of a hepatologist.

General ID Clinic: Fellows will manage patients at the General ID Clinic and gain experience in managing a diverse array of infections. This will ensure that patients are followed after hospital discharge for continuity of care.

Microbiology Laboratory

Infectious Disease Research

The Core Laboratory/Microbiology Department employs 50 technologists and consists of Bacteriology, Mycobacteriology, Mycology, Parasitology, Immunology/Serology, Virology, and Molecular Diagnostics sections, under the supervision of the Microbiology Director. The laboratory combines the latest technology and classical methodology for the isolation, identification, and susceptibility testing of various microorganisms. The virology/molecular diagnostics lab uses a combination of the conventional shell vial cell system and the latest real-time and conventional PCR-based systems.

Infection Control Department

Infection prevention and control is an integral component of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program. The program will educate and train fellows in this field via numerous means. Fellows will rotate within the Infection Control Department for two weeks in each year of training. Infection control issues will be discussed during teaching rounds on an ongoing basis as they would relate and be applicable to the patients seen on the consult service. The fellows will be mandated to attend the Infection Control Committee that is held on a quarterly basis at Allegheny General Hospital. As active members of this committee, the fellows will participate and assist as consultants in surveillance activities of the Infection Control Department.

Research

Research and scholarly activities are equally important components of the fellowship program. Two months in each of the first two years of training will be dedicated to research and scholarly activities. The goal of this rotation is to train fellows in the research arena so that they develop an appreciation for the critical elements of clinical research and scholarly writing.


Didactic Learning Experiences

Conferences are an important means of education and will serve as a platform for interaction amongst the faculty, fellows and other learners such as medical students and Internal Medicine residents.

Conference Schedule
ID Case Conference Weekly
M&M Conference (in lieu of case conference) Monthly
Journal Club Monthly
Research Conference Monthly
Core Curriculum Conference Weekly
Board Review Twice a month
Multidisciplinary Conference Monthly
Case Discussion Conference Monthly

ID Case Conference serves as an important learning tool for the fellows. Fellows are advised to choose and present unique learning aspects about cases seen during fellowship. Fellows are expected to critically analyze the scientific literature to determine the clinical relevance, accuracy, and reproducibility of the data to the case scenario in question. After the fellows assimilate the medical information and present it during the didactic session, they will obtain feedback from the faculty.

Morbidity and Mortality Conference occurs on a monthly basis in lieu of the ID case conference and is one of the key components of the fellowship curriculum. The goal of this conference is to improve clinical performance by reviewing real-time cases involving adverse clinical events, complications or death. Emphasis is placed upon identifying errors encountered in clinical settings with specific emphasis on identifying systemic errors and patient safety. Fellows as well as the faculty members will have the opportunity to improve their practice of medicine by analyzing and reviewing cases where patients may have suffered adverse clinical events as well as the potential behaviors/ interventions that might have led to a better outcome.

Journal ClubMedical Journals is crucial to teach fellows the tools and expertise to summarize and critically evaluate relevant medical literature. The goal of the journal club is to improve the fellow's medical knowledge and positively impact patient care. This activity enhances an environment of evidence-based medicine and self-critique.

Research Conference occurs on a monthly basis. It provides a forum to review research projects with the fellows. This is also an opportunity to teach fellows how to formulate a research question and design and complete a project. The primary purpose of the research conference is discussion between fellows and faculty on ongoing and future research projects.

Core Curriculum Conferences occur on a weekly basis.  This recurring, heavily evidence-based lecture series covers the breadth of core infectious disease knowledge and serves as an adjunct to self-directed learning.  Guest faculty from other medical divisions will occasionally attend and provide unique commentary during these didactic sessions.  All lecture presentations and supporting medical literature are available on the online Infectious Disease ‘Shared Drive’ for review at any time.

Multidisciplinary Conference occurs on a monthly basis.  Nephrology, Pulmonary-Critical Care, and Infectious Disease fellows take turn presenting cases to the assembled faculty of these three divisions.  This highly popular, collobarative conference promotes comraderie and a shared deeper understanding of unique patient cases as seen from the viewpoint of the different specialities.

Case Discussion Conference occurs on a monthly basis. This is an informal discussion of real-time cases seen on the inpatient consultation service, focusing upon unique challenges or controversies in patient workup and management.  Relevant supporting literature will be reviewed as appropriate.