Academic Pathways and Scholarly Pursuits

Fellow Lauren Fontana, DO, in the lab.

Through a mentored relationship with one or more of the faculty of the ID Division and/or collaborating programs, fellows are expected to develop one or more scholarly projects. Mentor-fellow teams are arranged early during the first year, after sufficient time has elapsed to become acquainted with the faculty and ongoing research opportunities. Fellows receive support for the development and execution of their scholarly work from Program leadership and by a formal Research Advisory Committee which meets periodically over the course of each fellow’s training.

Our fellows receive funding to attend a national scientific meeting each year, where they can present the results of their research. All fellows are encouraged and supported to submit their work for peer-reviewed publication.

The total time devoted to scholarly activities will depend on long-term career objectives, but is at least eleven months in duration. Our fellows can (roughly one fellow every 1-2 years) pursue a third year of fellowship training as research fellow. Funding for the third year is typically obtained from mentor support, grants or program awards and/or through ID Division foundation funding. Scholarly research areas are listed below.

We have developed multiple training pathways to support fellows entering differing fields of infectious diseases practice:

Fellows interested in a career focused on medical education are provided opportunities to participate in skills building and teaching activities as well as education scholarship throughout their fellowship. Skills building activities include attending the Educators’ Collaborative Education Grand Rounds, OHSU’s Symposium on Education Excellence, and completing OHSU’s Education Scholars Program in their second or third year. Teaching activities include medical student facilitated small groups as well as Infection Control and Prevention simulations. Fellows can lead medical student journal clubs and antibiotic stewardship activities in their Infection Intersession courses.  Mentored scholarship in medical education is a part of the pathway with the expectation that a fellow in this pathway will have primary mentorship from one of our ID Division medical education faculty.

Fellows interested in a career focused on transplant associated infections and immunocompromised infectious disease will have the opportunity to rotate on our TID service, engage in weekly TID clinical and infection control meetings, and participate in TID scholarship. For fellows interested in a primary career in TID after graduation, a third year may be supported by the Division to hone skills in this specialized field of ID. It is the expectation that a fellow in this pathway will have primary mentorship from one of our ID Division transplant ID faculty.

All fellows will now have the opportunity to care for patients in our regional mycobacterial referral clinic during their research blocks as well as engage in specific mycobacterial disease didactics. This experience aims to provide all fellows with exposure to different forms of tuberculous and non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections they will manage in clinical practice. Fellows interested in a career focused on mycobacterial infections can additionally participate in multiple active clinical trials, engage in a mentored research experience in collaboration with the OHSU/Portland State University School of Public Health’s Center for Infectious Diseases Studies, and co-manage active tuberculosis cases with county TB programs. For fellows who choose to pursue a third year of additional mycobacterial training once funding support is obtained, there is the opportunity to complete the Oregon Chronic Chest & Mycobacterial Infection Fellowship, a non-ACGME clinically focused subspecialty fellowship. It is the expectation that a fellow in this pathway will have primary mentorship from one of our ID Division mycobacterial diseases faculty.

Fellows interested in a career focused primarily on clinical ID practice following graduation are provided opportunities to practice in a variety of care environments ranging from managed care to community-based care models. Second year clinical electives and mentorship afforded, are designed to ensure fellows are ready to lead antibiotic stewardship or IPC committees, help manage an active outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT program), and navigate various health systems processes upon graduation. One fellow in this track will be nominated by the program to attend the IDSA’s Clinical Fellows Meeting each spring.

Fellows pursuing a basic science-oriented ID career are matched with a mentor early on to build their research portfolio. Often a 3rd year or more is required to successfully launch an academic career as a basic science investigator, and our fellows have traditionally been successful in acquiring funding for this year in collaboration with their research mentors and multidisciplinary research programs at OHSU. It is the expectation that a fellow in this pathway will have primary mentorship from one of OHSU’s basic science faculty who has a track record of success in their field.