Department of Medicine

Curriculum

Master
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Traditional Infectious Diseases Training Program

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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 clinical investigator pathway or clinical educator pathway. In the clinical educator pathway, fellows will have an additional three months of clinical training (totaling 15 months) and eight months of research. In the clinical investigator pathway, fellows will have 12 months (or 24 months in case they stay for the optional third year of training) 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 a masters in public health or a masters in clinical investigation.

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Rotations

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Clinical rotations at each hospital provide experience with the underserved population (Ben Taub Hospital), pre- and post-solid-organ-transplant patients (Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center), patients with cancer and pre- and post-stem-cell-transplant patients (MD Anderson Cancer Center), and veteran patients (Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center). Each rotation familiarizes the fellow with different approaches to the care of infectious disease patients at our various clinical pavilions.

The HIV outpatient continuity care experience takes place during all years of fellowship at the VA HIV Clinic and at Harris Health System's Thomas Street Health Center. Non-HIV outpatient training occurs during the second year of fellowship. Available opportunities include: Harris Health System (General ID Clinic, Tropical Medicine Clinic, Osteomyelitis and Wound Care Clinic), MD Anderson Cancer Center (Immunocompromised ID Clinic, Hepatitis C Clinic), and Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (Hepatitis C Clinic, Wound Care Clinic, General ID Clinic).

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Didactic Curriculum

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Throughout their entire fellowship, trainees attend the following weekly educational conferences:

  • City-Wide Infectious Disease Case Conference -- a teaching conference whose purpose is to discuss challenging ID cases and which is attended by adult and pediatric infectious disease trainees and physicians representing multiple academic institutions and hospitals from all over the city of Houston.
  • Infectious Diseases Section Journal Club -- an educational conference at which prominent articles from the recent ID literature are presented and discussed.
  • Core Curriculum -- a longitudinal educational Board review curriculum administered jointly by Baylor College of Medicine, The University of Texas McGovern Medical School, and MD Anderson Cancer Center.
  • Hospital-specific case conferences -- educational conferences at which interesting and challenging cases are presented and discussed by section faculty at a particular hospital.
  • During the first year fellows will complete the IDSA’s Primer on Healthcare Epidemiology,  Infection Control & Antimicrobial Stewardship: Online ID Fellows Course, and the SHEA  Primer on Healthcare Epidemiology, Infection Control & Antimicrobial Stewardship online courses. 

Additional opportunities for didactic training are available though the Clinical Scientist Training Program at Baylor 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 Certificate of Added Qualification, masters or Ph.D. in clinical investigation, while the MPH program at UTSPH offers several areas of study such as epidemiology, 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 and Development Center of Excellence and attend didactic lectures on health services research methodology and career development.

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Electives

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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 in January, February and July through the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor. 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).

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Baylor-MD Anderson Cancer Center Joint Training Program

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

Primary Training Site
First, the primary training site for clinical rotations is MD Anderson Cancer Center. Fellows spend approximately seven months at MD Anderson Cancer Center, rotating among the leukemia, lymphoma, stem cell transplant, intensive care, and solid tumor services. The remaining clinical months are spent at Ben Taub Hospital, Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, and the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.

Research Training
The second difference is in research training. Fellows in the immunocompromised track can choose faculty mentors from MD Anderson and from Baylor, thus facilitating investigation of the infectious complications of cancer therapy.

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Research Opportunities

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All fellows will have a designated research mentor, research committee, and will work on a specific research topic. For those interested in additional research experience we offer a Research Track.  

For information about research opportunities in the Infectious Diseases Fellowship program, please see Research Track. For those interested in additional research training we offer a Research Track Research Track.

Here is a list of the research projects that our fellows have completed in the last 3 years. 

  • Molecular mechanisms of daptomycin resistance in enterococci (basic science)
  • Diagnostic testing in invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis in cancer patients (translational)
  • Microbiome characteristics of cancer patients infected with C. difficile (translational)
  • Clinical utility of next generation sequencing in infectious disease diagnostic testing (translational)
  • Antibiotic stewardship for asymptomatic bacteriuria (health services research)
  • Clinical and safety outcomes related to standardization of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) documentation (quality improvement)
  • Assessing prevalence of Strongyloides infection in pre-solid-organ-transplant veterans (clinical)