Physician-Scientist Pathway

The Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program provides exciting opportunities for young investigators (MD, PhD; or MDs with strong background and interest in research) who want to concentrate their research careers in infectious diseases, such as antimicrobial resistance and HIV/AIDS. Fellows will have access to superb mentors and the excellent environment and resources that are available in the Division of Infectious Diseases and at the University of Pittsburgh.

Our guiding philosophy is that trainees should be exposed to a broad spectrum of advanced, cutting edge, and novel approaches used in infectious diseases research to best prepare them to become creative and independent investigators. Importantly, we provide a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and coordinated team-mentoring effort to trainees to foster highly-skilled, independent investigators who have the technical, intellectual and leadership skills that will prepare them to make major contributions to the infectious diseases field.

One of the major concerns of aspiring physician-scientists is the time pressure created by the increasingly complex and multidisciplinary nature of combining research with clinical responsibilities. In general, the research years of physician-scientists are continually interrupted by month-long periods of required clinical training, which often stalls research that requires daily attention and continually adds to the time pressure. In order to circumnavigate the clinical intrusions into research training, we have frontloaded the clinical training of our programs into a consolidated 12 month period (First Year Structure), subsequently allowing up to 2 years (depending on the progress of the fellow) of largely uninterrupted research training.

First Year Structure

Clinical Assignment Duration
General ID Service 20 weeks
VA Medical Center ID Service 6 weeks
Transplant ID Service 8 weeks
BMT/Hemonc ID Service 4 weeks
Surgical ID Service 4 weeks
Microbiology/Infection Control 4 weeks
Research 3 weeks
Ambulatory Experience 1/2 day per week
Vacation 3 weeks

In addition to the clinical work described in the Table, during their first year fellows will identify a research mentoring team and begin to develop a research project. During their second and third years, the fellow will dedicate their time to their research. There will also be a strong focus on career development, including workshops on NIH grant writing. All fellows will be encouraged to submit a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Post-Doctoral Fellowship application (i.e., F32) or an NIH K award application toward the end of their second year, or in their third year. Several other educational and career development opportunities exist that focus on scientific management and leadership, entrepreneurship, and other topics.

Our vision is that, upon completion of the physician-scientist fellowship, the fellow will be well placed to initiate an independent research career, either at the University of Pittsburgh or at another top institution.

Second Year Structure

Activity

Duration
Research 49 weeks
Ambulatory Experience 1/2 day per week
Vacation 3 weeks

 

Third Year Structure

Clinical Assignment Duration
Research: 49 weeks
Vacation 3 weeks

Contact Information

 
Rima Abdel-Massih, MD

ID Fellowship Program Director
Email: 
abdelmassihr@upmc.edu

Sarah Glenn
GME Senior Manager
Phone: (412) 648-6406
E-mail:
glennse@upmc.edu

Division of Infectious Diseases
Academic Administrative Office

818 Scaife Hall
3550 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
412-383-7963

Center for Care of Infectious Diseases

Falk Medical Building
3601 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Patient Appointments: 412-647-7228