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Section of Infectious Diseases

Houston, Texas

BCM pediatricians care for children in various clinical and hospital environments.
Section of Infectious Diseases
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Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program

The infectious disease training program at Baylor College of Medicine offers a remarkable blend of clinical training and research opportunities. Faculty are actively involved in clinical medicine, research, and teaching.

Annually, two training positions are offered both in our traditional infectious diseases training program and our immunocompromised training program, which is a joint fellowship between the infectious diseases sections at Baylor College of Medicine and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Baylor ID fellows in either program have opportunities for international study through our established relationships with academic centers in Peru, Mexico, India, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Romania and Thailand.

Training Program (Traditional Infectious Diseases)

This training program integrates five hospitals: Ben Taub Hospital, The Methodist Hospital, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC), and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC).

Program Goals

The program's major goals are twofold:

  1. To develop in the trainee a high level of competence in diagnosing and treating infectious diseases;
  2. To provide experience in clinical or laboratory research that conveys the educational value of scientific inquiry and launches the academic career of our program graduates.

Program Details

The traditional infectious diseases training program consists of a three-week intensive course in laboratory microbiology, followed by 12 months clinical experience. Fellows can choose to pursue either a clinically oriented track or research oriented track. In the clinical track, fellows will have an additional six months of clinical training and six months of research. In the research track, they will have 12-24 months of research experience.

Fellows are eligible for infectious diseases boards after two years of training, but most choose to do the optional third year so as to have two years dedicated to research and to completing a didactic educational program, such as an MPH or a masters in clinical investigation.

Clinical rotations at each hospital provide experience with the urban indigent patient (Ben Taub), the private patient and solid organ transplant patient (Methodist and St. Luke's hospitals), the cancer patient (MD Anderson) and the veteran (MEDVAMC), and acquaint the fellow with different approaches to the care of patients by a number of different ID specialists.

HIV outpatient continuity care experience continues throughout all years of fellowship at the VA HIV clinic and the Harris Health System Thomas Street Health Center. Elective experiences are also available at the City of Houston sexually transmitted diseases clinic, travel medicine clinics, hepatitis and liver transplant clinics, Ben Taub adult infectious diseases clinic, and at Texas Children's Hospital.

Trainees participate in a joint adult and pediatric Infectious Disease Conference with Baylor, The University of Texas, and MD Anderson, Infectious Diseases Journal Club, and Infectious Diseases board preparation conferences weekly in addition to a variety of teaching conferences available at each individual hospital.

They also can participate in hospital infection control committees.

Fellows can pursue several international health electives in order to gain experience in treating the infectious diseases more common in other parts of the world, and can take an intensive travel and tropical medicine course each February through the Baylor College of Medicine (International Health Track).

This course is one of the requirements to become eligible for the certificate of knowledge in clinical tropical medicine and travelers' health (CTropMed) from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH).

Trainees assume increasing levels of responsibility for guiding residents and students' inpatient care decisions as their training progresses, and they participate actively in teaching rounds along with the attending staff. Progress is closely monitored by the full-time infectious diseases faculty, many of whom have received teaching awards from Baylor students, house officers, and the college.

Additional opportunities for didactic training are available though the Clinical Scientist Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine (provide link) and through the Masters of Public Health program at The University of Texas School of Public Health.

The CSTP focuses on training physicians to perform translational research and allows fellows to earn a masters or PhD in clinical investigation, while the MPH program offers several areas of study such asepidemiology, biostatistics, community health practice, health promotion and behavioral sciences, health services organization, and healthcare management.

In addition, fellows can choose to pursue research through the Houston VA Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence and attend didactic lectures on health services research methodology and career development.

Training Program (Baylor/MDA Joint Training Program)

Fellows in the immunocompromised training program receive the same training as fellows in Baylor's traditional infectious diseases training program with two differences.

First, the primary training site for clinical rotations will be the MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDA). Fellows will spend approximately 9 of their 12 inpatient clinical months at MDA, rotating among the leukemia, lymphoma, stem cell transplant, intensive care, and solid tumor services. The remaining clinical months will be spent at Ben Taub, St. Luke's, the VA, and/or Methodist Hospital.

The second difference will be in the months of research training. Fellows in the immunocompromised track can choose faculty mentors from MDA and from Baylor, thus facilitating investigation of the infectious complications of cancer therapy.

Research Opportunities

The infectious diseases faculty, together with the large and diverse faculty in the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, provide research opportunities that range from molecular to clinical and include all categories of microorganisms.

Particular strengths are in pathogenesis of bacterial infection and treatment and prevention of viral disease, although nearly every area of infectious disease medicine is included. It is the philosophy of this division that each fellow should have maximal opportunity to exploit his/her own research interests and skills in an area of his/her own choosing.

Two stipends per year are available to support research activities of ID fellows through a training grant (T32) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fellows who wish to pursue an academic career are strongly encouraged and supported in their efforts to choose a mentor, develop a research program, and prepare an application for a mentored K-type training grant.

Contact Information

For program information and application, please contact the program director or program coordinator.

Training Program Director

Barbara Wells Trautner, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza, BCM286, N1319
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: 713-798-8918
Fax: 713-798-8948

Associate Program Director

Jose A. Serpa-Alvarez, M.D.,M.S.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza, BCM286, N1319
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: 713-798-8918
Fax: 713-798-8948

Program Coordinator

Carolyn P. Jackson, Fellowship Coordinator
Baylor College of Medicine Infectious Diseases Program
One Baylor Plaza, MS: 620
Houston, TX 77030-3411

Physical Address:
1709 Dryden Rd., 5th Floor
Houston, TX 77030-3411
Phone: 713-798-6907
Fax: 713-798-0198

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