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Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program

Preparing pediatricians for a successful career through comprehensive training in infectious diseases clinical medicine and in basic, translational and clinical research.

 

We are one of the largest and busiest training programs in North America. Our program is jointly administered by the Department of Infectious Diseases at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. In addition to robust clinical programs targeting traditional pediatric infectious diseases, we are national leaders in the care of immunocompromised patients.

The fellowship provides comprehensive clinical training and scholarly tracks in clinical, translational and basic sciences. Fellows receive highly individualized training that includes intensive mentoring, didactic and pragmatic education in the principles and practice of scientific investigation, and the opportunity to obtain advanced degrees in related sciences. As a fellow, you will contribute to research projects that span departments, institutions and the globe.

Over the past decade, 100% of our graduates continue to practice in Infectious Disease full-time, including in positions in academic medicine and governmental agencies such as the Center for Disease Control.

 
 
  1. As a fellow, you will see patients at Le Bonheur, St. Jude and the Newborn Center at Regional One Health Medical Center. St. Jude is a 78-bed TJC-accredited and Magnet-designated freestanding hospital that primarily serves children with cancer, non-malignant hematological disorders and HIV infection. St. Jude hosts one of the nation’s largest centers for transplant and cellular therapy and our HIV Clinical Program has been recognized as a Center of Excellence by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. At St. Jude, fellows rotate on separate Hematology-Oncology, Transplant, and HIV services.

    Le Bonheur is a 255-bed TJC-accredited and Magnet-designated freestanding children's hospital. It is the primary pediatric teaching site for the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center and hosts multiple solid organ transplant programs. Le Bonheur is the only Level 1 pediatric trauma center in the region and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the region’s only designated Level IV unit, which provides the highest level of care to critically ill newborns. Our trainees are exposed to both rare and common infectious diseases pathology in the diverse pediatric patient population.

    St. Jude and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center are nationally recognized for their care of immunocompromised children and adolescents. Our trainees benefit from this unique clinical experience. The opportunity to undertake clinical rotations that are focused exclusively on immunocompromised patients is unique to our program and allows fellows the opportunity to better understand the differences between infections in these patients and otherwise healthy children and adolescents. Our fellows gain understanding in how immunodeficiency impacts other aspects of clinical care, such as infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship.

    In response to the threat of antimicrobial resistance, both St. Jude and Le Bonheur have developed vigorous antimicrobial stewardship programs and integrated fellows into these teams. Trainees participate in audit and feedback programs, the development of antimicrobial use policies, and serve on Antimicrobial Stewardship committees.

    Learn more about the clinical Infectious Diseases program at St. Jude

    Learn more about the clinical Infectious Disease program at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

  2. Our program is strongly research focused, with the aim of producing highly trained physician scientists and clinical researchers. The fellowship includes didactic and pragmatic education in the principles and practice of scientific investigation. Fellows spend at least two thirds of their time, primarily during their second and third years, in a protected research environment during which they have no clinical responsibilities and no call. Fellows also have the opportunity to learn through formal programs leading to advanced degrees in epidemiology, public health, clinical investigation, medical education. St. Jude also offers fellows the chance to earn a PhD in biomedical sciences from the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (tuition free) or other institutions (with tuition assistance), and to extend their training beyond three years.

    You will work with faculty and collaborators based at Le Bonheur, St. Jude or the University of Tennessee in any department offering research related to infectious diseases. Research training is supported by individualized career development pathways in basic or clinical/translational sciences, quality improvement and implementation science (including global child health), or medical education. Fellows benefit from personal mentors and a Scholarly Oversight Committee, who oversee all aspects of fellows' educational development.

    Both St. Jude and Le Bonheur offer exceptional facilities and programs to assist fellows in conducting their research. These include:

    • The Children's Foundation Research Institute, a 300,000-square-foot facility on the Le Bonheur campus that provides infrastructure and resources for pediatric physician scientists. Resources include the Pediatric Clinical Research Unit, Biomedical informatics and Biostatistics cores, Biorepository, and an intramural grants program.
    • The Children's Infection Defense Center at St. Jude where researchers seek to discover, manufacture and test interventions to eliminate serious infections in children in three broad areas: small-molecule anti-infective agents, vaccines and immunotherapeutic agents, and diagnostic technologies. The center collaborates closely with the St. Jude GMP facility for the on-site manufacture of clinical-grade therapeutics.
    • The Kmart St. Jude Life Center, which houses the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Unit, and also provides an outpatient site for Phase I and II clinical trials of novel therapeutic or preventative agents.
    • The World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Influenza at St. Jude. The Center leads the US effort against pandemic influenza, collaborates with the World Health Organization in tracking emergence of new influenza strains and develops new vaccine approaches to prevent influenza.

    Learn more about the Department of Infectious Diseases

  3. Each year the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program accepts up to three new fellows. Preference is given to candidates with interests in careers in clinical, translational or basic science research and who have the potential to become successful physician-scientists.

    This is a three-year, ACGME-accredited fellowship. This program also offers one and two-year non-accredited fellowships in HIV Medicine and Infectious Diseases of Immunocompromised Children and Adolescents. 

  4. Our fellowship is individualized to meet the needs and goals of each trainee.

    Fellows participate in a minimum of 54 weeks of clinical rotations over three years, approximately half at Le Bonheur and half at St. Jude.

    During your time at St. Jude, you will spend a minimum of six weeks on the HIV service (four in your first year and two in your third year) and four weeks on St. Jude's transplant service in your second year.

    Electives are available at St. Jude and Le Bonheur in:

    • Antimicrobial Stewardship
    • Infection Prevention
    • Global Pediatric Medicine
    • Solid Organ Transplant
    • Others as required to meet training goals

    When not on clinical rotations, fellows have protected time for research. You will have the opportunity to pursue individualized career development pathways in basic or clinical/translational sciences, quality improvement/implementation science or medical education. Personal mentors and a Scholarship Oversight Committee oversee all aspects of fellows' education.

    Fellows take home call at night during their clinical rotations only and have one day off per week (averaged monthly). At each site, the fellow supervises pediatric and medicine/pediatric residents, pharmacy residents and medical students.

    You can also participate in institutional meetings and seminars including:

    • Clinical conferences
    • Research conferences
    • National meetings held at St. Jude, such as:
      • The annual St. Jude-Pediatric Infectious Diseases Research Conference
      • The Pediatric Transplant ID Symposium
      • The Global Infectious Diseases Symposium
    • Board review
    • Journal club
    • Board Question of the Week
    • In-Training Examination Review listservs
    • Research week: a week-long intensive course in principles of study design and clinical trials, biostatistics and epidemiology
    • Systems-based conferences

Application Process

  1. We have no citizenship requirements. Applicants must have an MD or local equivalent and three years of postdoctoral training in pediatrics in either an ACGME-accredited pediatric residency program or an RCPSC-accredited pediatric residency program in Canada. An exception to the latter requirement may be made for an exceptionally qualified applicant who meets the following additional qualifications and conditions:

    1. Completion of a non-ACGME-accredited pediatric residency program in pediatrics,
    2. Satisfactory completion of USMLE Step 1, 2 and Step 3 (if eligible) examinations,
    3. Verification of ECFMG certification for international medical graduates,
    4. Demonstrated clinical excellence, in comparison to peers, throughout training, and
    5. Additional evidence of exceptional qualifications, such as: participation in additional clinical or research training in pediatrics or pediatric infectious diseases, demonstrated scholarship in pediatrics or pediatric infectious diseases, demonstrated leadership during or after residency training, and/or completion of an ACGME-International-accredited residency program.

    We suggest candidates seeking status as an exceptionally qualified applicant address these qualifications and conditions in their applications.

  2. Applications are accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). If off cycle, please contact Elisabeth E. Adderson, MD, Fellowship Program Director. A complete application will consist of: a curriculum vitae (CV), personal statement, USMLE transcript, medical school transcripts, ECFMG certification (if applicable) and three (3) letters of recommendation.

    Interviews begin in mid-July and continue through mid-November (for applicants applying through ERAS) or through mid-April (for off-cycle applicants). Interviews provide an opportunity to meet the faculty and current fellows and to tour both hospital facilities. We are currently offering virtual interviews for candidates due to COVID-19 restrictions.

    Please review the following for more information regarding:

    Inquire about Applying