Division of Infectious Diseases & Environmental Medicine

For Program Information

Name: Christina Melton
Position: Fellowship Coordinator

1015 Chestnut Street, Suite 1020
Suite 1020
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Contact Number(s):

Leadership

Name: John Zurlo, MD
Position: Director, Division of Infectious Diseases

Contact

Name: Division of Infectious Disease & Environmental Medicine

1015 Chestnut Street
Suite 1020
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Contact Number(s):

Infectious Diseases Fellowship

The Division of Infectious Diseases of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College offers an Infectious Diseases Fellowship based at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.  Our division is dedicated to training physicians to become leaders in the field of Infectious Diseases.  We accept 2 fellows/year to our program.  Our fellows see patients at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital as well as several other locations for a well-rounded clinical experience.  Our fellows work alongside our 14 faculty members of the Medical College and actively manage patients on our general consult, solid organs transplant, bone marrow transplant, and neurological/neurosurgical subspecialty consult services.  In addition to this clinical experience, our fellows are also on the forefront of educating other learners including medical students, residents, and pharmacy trainees.  We pride ourselves on being a largely clinically-focused program.  There is, however, plenty of opportunity to present unique cases, dive into research projects, and partake in our Division's Antimicrobial Stewardship and/or Infection Control committees.

Check out what we're doing and follow us on twitter @jeffIDfellows

Fellows are expected to develop the following skills during their training in infectious diseases:

  • Clinical competence in the practice of both inpatient and outpatient infectious diseases consultations.
  • Familiarity with and proficiency in interpreting the current medical literature in infectious diseases.
  • Familiarity with academic research in both basic and clinical areas and the ability to initiate independent investigations in either of those areas.
  • Competence in teaching house staff and medical students.
  • Competence in the practice of hospital infection control.

Clinical Schedule

First Year

  • Inpatient consult service - 36 weeks (General, Transplant, Surgical, OUD)
  • Research - 8 weeks
  • Elective - 2 weeks
  • Microbiology lab - 2 weeks
  • Vacation - 4 weeks

Second Year

  • Inpatient consult service - 22 weeks (General, Transplant, Surgical, Neuro)
  • Outpatient ID clinic - 8 weeks
  • Research - 8 weeks
  • ASP/IC - 4 weeks
  • Elective - 2 weeks
  • Subspecialty clinic (STI and TB) - 2 weeks
  • Microbiology lab - 2 weeks
  • Vacation - 4 weeks

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

https://www.jeffersonhealth.org/home

Thomas Jefferson University is an 800-bed university teaching hospital, based in Center City Philadelphia, with a broad referral base from the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware tristate area. Fellows rotate on several consult services, including: general teaching service, solid organ transplant service, bone marrow transplant service, and neurological/neurosurgical service. Fellows will mentor other trainees, but will also have the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty on specialty services.

Lankenau Medical Center

https://www.mainlinehealth.org/locations/lankenau-medical-center

Lankenau Medical Center is a 500-bed community teaching hospital with a strong academic tradition. Fellows rotate on both inpatient and outpatient services with the Infectious Diseases physicians of the Delaware Valley ID Associates, including unique rotations in travel clinic consultation and exposure to private practice. Parking is free for fellows.

Wills Eye Hospital

https:/www.willseye.org

Wills Eye Hospital is a freestanding eye hospital that has an affiliation with Thomas Jefferson University as its Department of Ophthalmology. The hospital includes an Emergency Department and four inpatient beds that fellows may visit while on the neurological/neurosurgical consult service.

  • HIV clinic 1/2 day per week for all fellows with our HIV specialists.
  • General ID clinic 1/2 day per month when off inpatient service with Chief of Infectious Diseases.
  • Lankenau outpatient clinic (includes follow-ups, new referrals, HIV, Hep C, Travel, miscellaneous), 2nd year of fellowship.
  • Outpatient Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) clinic 1/2 day per week while rounding with our surgical consultation service.

  • Weekly Case Management Conference
  • Weekly Board Review
  • Weekly Core Curriculum lectures by faculty
  • Weekly Microbiology Rounds
  • Monthly HIV Conference
  • Monthly Journal Club
  • Monthly Citywide Conference among Philadelphia Training Programs
  • Quarterly IDSA guideline reviews

Examples of cases from past management conferences:

  • West Nile Virus encephalitis
  • Tuberculous pericarditis
  • Blastomycosis in renal transplant
  • CMV retinitis in HIV
  • Norwegian scabies
  • Brucella in a traveler
  • Bartonella endocarditis
  • Rhinocerebral mucorycosis
  • HIV-associated lymphoma
  • Lyme optic neuritis
  • CRE Klebsiella pneumoniae infections
  • Varicella zoster meningitis
  • Disseminated tuberculosis
  • CMV in solid organ transplant recipient
  • CNS histoplasmosis
  • Recurrent Clostridium difficile infection
  • Cryptococcal meningitis in non-HIV patient
  • Chagas disease
  • Leptospirosis
  • Prosthetic valve endocarditis

Fellows interested in pursing careers combining infectious diseases and critical care medicine may apply for an additional one-year fellowship in critical care. The program is administered through the Department of Medicine and is open to candidates who have completed an internal medicine subspecialty training in another field (e.g., infectious diseases, nephrology, cardiology, etc.). Upon completion of the Critical Care Fellowship, trainees will be eligible for board certification in Critical Care Medicine and fully qualified to practice as medical intensivists.

Applications for the Critical Care Fellowship are separate from other subspecialty applications and acceptance cannot be guranteed prior to matching in another subspecialty at Jefferson. Interested applicants can apply after their first ID fellowship year. Preference to qualified internal candidates (those already at Jefferson for other subspecialty training) will be shown. Applicants interviewing for infectious diseases fellowships at Jefferson can request to speak to the critical care fellowship director on their interview day to hear more about the program.

Maliha Ahmed, DO
Class of 2021

“Coming into fellowship the summer of 2019, there was no way I could have predicted that my training would include a worldwide pandemic. Prior to it, I was already receiving a first-class education in infectious diseases, simply by being at a large tertiary care center that acts as a referral hospital for many surrounding area hospitals. I was seeing cases that were transferred to Jefferson because the experts were here, and I was able to learn so much in a short period of time.

Once the pandemic was in full swing, I was able to witness how one department of a hospital system can contribute to and shape protocols that will affect every health care worker. My education at Jefferson has been highly clinical-based, but I will be walking away with a better understanding of hospital systems, infection control, and antimicrobial stewardship in ways that may not have been possible at other programs.

In addition to the learning, I was able to work with great mentors who I will continue to turn to as an attending. The faculty and staff here at Jefferson were all so welcoming, and I feel I was able to create real and lasting relationships that are invaluable to me.”


Zahra Qamar, MD
Class of 2021

"Entering the fellowship program, the thought of independently managing the complex patients at Thomas Jefferson was daunting. Having worked with an outstanding faculty, I now feel confident to practice on my own. Weekly conferences, lectures, and a strong liaison with the pharmacy and microbiology departments has laid a strong foundation for my future career. I was fortunate to find true mentorship, something which was missing in my educational and training years. This has helped me immensely to grow as a learner, clinician, and an individual. I managed complex, rare, exciting, humbling, and bread-and-butter infectious disease cases; everyday has been a positive challenge and every experience a learning opportunity. Philadelphia and suburbs were a perfect place to raise my family - with good food, museums, parks, hiking trails, there is something new to do every time. I look forward to my future career and I know that in times of uncertainty, I will always have guidance and support from my co-fellows and the faculty."


Mitch Sternlieb, MD
Class of 2018; Attending, Delaware Valley Infectious Diseases Associates at Lankenau Medical Center, PA

“I have very good memories from my time as an Infectious Diseases fellow at Jefferson. I formed close ties with the faculty and program staff. I am now thrilled to have them as colleagues. They taught me how to think critically about each patient and how to build an Infectious Diseases differential diagnosis - this was a collaborative process, and it was helpful to watch them model it alongside me. The faculty were genuinely interested in my personal and professional development and supported me in both areas. I also continued to build my relationships with the faculty at Delaware Valley Infectious Diseases Associates at Lankenau Medical Center, where I now work and continue to work with the Jefferson fellows. Perhaps the strongest ties I formed were with my co-fellows. We remain in close contact (almost daily) as close friends.”


Anusha Govind, MD
Class of 2018; Assistant Professor, UT Southwestern, Dallas, Texas

"I trained at Thomas Jefferson for my internal medicine training, and quickly knew that I wanted to stay there for my infectious disease fellowship as well. I was lucky to match there and receive training under a stellar group of faculty. Every faculty member is knowledgeable and well versed in general infectious diseases, but are experts in their respective fields of infectious disease. As a fellow, you could reach out to an expert in every specific ID field, be it infections in immunocompromised patients or infection control or antibiotic stewardship. The pathology that we saw at Jefferson was humbling, and you see a wide breadth of cases in all areas of infectious disease. More important though than the superb clinical training was being treated as an equal colleague even as a fellow. Your ideas and plans were always valued on rounds, and there was always an exciting discussion to be had. While expectations of the fellows were very high, equal was the support that was provided by each and every faculty member. I had my first child during fellowship, and could not have asked for a better group of faculty and co-fellows to help manage a complicated and exciting time of life without any hindrance to my training. The collegiality between every member of the group is what I remember most about my time in the Jefferson ID training program. As an assistant professor now at UT Southwestern hospital in Dallas, I find myself constantly referring back to what I studied during fellowship to help treat patients. I have a built-in network of support and amazing mentors that I still turn to for help with managing complicated patients and for personal support and guidance. Philadelphia was also an amazing place to live, with a unique food scene and the ability to travel to many other metropolitan cities for a quick getaway. My years in the fellowship were a phenomenal two years that I will cherish for a lifetime. I’m always looking forward to heading back to Philly for a vacation and sitting in on an interesting Friday morning conference."


Puja H Nambiar, MD
Class of 2016; Assistant Professor, Weill Cornell Medical College, NYC 

“I joined as an Infectious Disease Fellow at Thomas Jefferson University hospital in 2014. The decision was personal to move to Philadelphia, following residency training. When I look back in time, I can say it was one of my best career moves. Fellowship training at Jefferson was a fun learning joyride that I shared with my exceptional co-fellows. I was immersed in a diverse clinical experience that provided extensive exposure to ID, with unwavering support from faculty that were more like family. I felt confident to practice independently following my fellowship training. And above all got to enjoy a terrific city. I am so honored to be a Jefferson alumna!”


Jay Sellers, MD
Class of 2014; Attending, Raleigh Infectious Diseases Associates, NC

"I very much enjoyed my two years of ID training at Jefferson. I am very fortunate to have worked with several of the faculty, whom I consider mentors, and whom I model myself after every day in my current professional life. I found the environment to be very collegial, with the attending physicians always having their doors open to discuss patients, research projects, and future plans. The program is very unique in that fellows are exposed to both large-scale, urban academic medicine and private practice in a more suburban environment. I am currently in private practice and found the experience at Lankenau Hospital to be invaluable. The attending physicians there were extremely influential on my future in infectious diseases. Philadelphia is such a great city for learning medicine from a historical and cultural perspective as well - and the food scene is spectacular. I felt extremely well prepared to become an attending physician following completion of fellowship at Jefferson. We had weekly board review sessions, progressive autonomy with patient management, and a fund of knowledge obtained through weekly case presentations and lecture series. Of all the transitions in medical training, I have always thought the transition from fellow to attending was the smoothest - and this is because I was trained extremely well at Jefferson."

2022: Albany Medical Center, NY

2022: Rutgers Health/Robert Wood Johnson, NJ

2021: Delaware Valley ID Associates, PA

2021: Associates in Infectious Diseases, Abington Jefferson, PA

2020: Critical Care Fellowship Thomas Jefferson University; Associates in Infectioius Diseases-Abington Jefferson, PA

2020: Upstate University Medical Center Infectious Diseases, NY

2019: Loma Linda University, Veterans Affairs Infectious Diseases, CA

2019: Capital Health Infectious Diseases, NJ

2018: -UT Southwestern Medical Center, TX

2018: Delaware Valley Infectious Diseases Associates, PA

A compilation of works published and presented by our Infectious Diseases fellows. Fellows names in bold.

  1. Boyle, E. Coppock D. Polymicrobial bacteremia and Strongyloides hyperinfection syndrome: Vigilance in patients on corticosteroids. IDCases. 2022 May 20;28:e01520. doi: 10.1016/j.idcr.2022.e01520.PMID: 35615701; PMCID: PMC9125627.
  2. Tsang D, Haddad S, Sternlieb M. Laryngeal blastomycosis with subsequent heart failure from itraconazole therapy. IDCases. 2022 Mar 7;28e01463. doi: 10.1016/j.idcr.2022.e01463.  PMID: 35308776; PMCID: PMC8928070.
  3. Arya, A, Shaikh H, Weber D, Pettengill M, Moss S. Fever in a returning traveler: A case and literature review of melioidosis. IDCases. 2021 Nov 23;26:e01340. doi: 10.1016/j.idcr2021.e013040. PMID: 34934629; PMCID: PMC8660995.
  4. Haddad S, Saade Y, Ramlawi B, Kreidieh B, Gilbert B, Rao S. Native valve endocarditis complicated by abscess formation caused by Rothia mucilaginosa. IDCases. 2021 Nov 18;36e01348. doi: 10.1016/j.idcr.2021.e01348. PMID: 34849341; PMCID: PMC8608870.
  5. Anusha Govind, Nathan L’Etoile, and Gustavo Vasquez. “The First Reported Case of Majocchi’s Granuloma with Malbranchea sp. in an Immunocompetent Patient.” Case Reports in Infectious Diseases Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9196528
  6. Daria Marley Kemp, Anusha G. Govind, Jun Kang, Caroline C. Brugger, and Young C. Kauh. “Sporotrichoid-Like Spread of Cutaneous Mycobacterium chelonae in an Immunocompromised Patient.” Case Reports in Dermatological Medicine Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8219841
  7. Shuwei Wang, Daniel Kotler, and Micthell Sternlieb. “A Rare Infectious Cause of Optic Neuritis.The Medicine Forum. Vol. 18. 2016-2017. 
  8. Belden KA, Mascarenhas RHendricks T, Merkow D, Chen A. “Does skin disease predispose to infection of the musculoskeletal system?” Accepted for presentation at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery 2018 Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 6-10.
  9. Mascarenhas T, Silibovsky R, Singh P and Belden KA. “Tickborne Illness after Transplantation: case and review.” Transplant Infectious Disease. December 2017. PMID: 29277955. 
  10. Puja H. Nambiar, Alejandro Delgado Daza, and Lawrence L. Livornese Jr. Vaccine Design: Methods and Protocols. Textbook chapter: Clinical Impact of Vaccine Development.
  11. Nambiar PHDaza AD, Livornese LL Jr. Clinical Impact of Vaccine Development. Methods Mol Biol. 2016; 1403: 3-39. PMID: 27076123
  12. Nambiar, Puja H. MD; Belden, Katherine A. MD; Roslund, Brian PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID; Silibovsky, Randi MD, FACP.  “Sustained Clostridium tertium Bacteremia in a Nonneutropenic Patient: A Case Report and a Review of the Literature.” Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: July 2016; 24: 201–203. DOI: 10.1097/IPC.0000000000000373.
  13. Amanda K. Gibson, PharmD, Bhavik M. Shah, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP, Puja H. Nambiar, MD, Jason J. Schafer, PharmD, MPH, BCPS, AAHIVP.  “Tenofovir Alafenamide A Review of Its Use in the Treatment of HIV-1 Infection.” Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2016; 50: 942-952.
  14. Puja H. Nambiar, MD, Jason J. Schafer, PharmD, MPH, BCPS, AAHIVP, William R. Short, MD, MPH, AAHIVS. “Antiretroviral Therapy in Pregnancy American Academy of HIV Medicine."
  15. Puja H. Nambiar, Mindy Tokarczyk, Joseph A. DeSimone, Jr. “Photo Quiz: Fatal Septicemia in an Immunocompromised Patient.” Clin Micro 2017; 55.
  16. Nambiar P, Silibovsky R and Belden KA. “Infection in Kidney Transplantation”. In: Carlo Gerardo B. Ramirez and Jerry McCauley, ed. Organ and Tissue Transplantation, Contemporary Kidney Transplantation. Springer International Publishing, 2017.
  17. Patricia Couto, M.D., Michelle Peahota, Pharm.D., BCPS and Amity Roberts, PhD “A Multimodal Rapid Diagnostic Testing Approach for the Diagnosis of Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia at an Academic Acute Care Medical Center: A Strategy for Improving Patient Outcomes.” Abstract presented at ID Week, San Diego, 2015
  18. Patricia, MD Michelle Peahota, PharmD, BCPS Amity Roberts, PhD “Multimodal Rapid Diagnostic Testing Approach for the Diagnosis of Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia at an Academic Acute Care Medical Center: A Strategy for Improving Patient Outcomes.Open Forum Infectious Diseases, Volume 2, Issue suppl_1, 1 December 2015, 1000.
  19. Jefferson D, Govern L, DeSimone J, Roberts A. A quality improvement project: The comparison of two single-step FDA-approved molecular assays to a two-step algorithm for detection of toxigenic Clostridium difficile at an academic medical center. Presented at the American Society for Microbiology national meeting, Boston, May 2014.
  20. Miller C and Schafer J. “Antiretroviral Therapy in HIV Infection.” Hospital Physician. 2013; 14:1-31.
  21. Lorena Perez-Povis, Josephine Lontok, William Short, Randi Silibovsky, Christopher Fecarotta, Christopher Miller, Cassandra Thomas and Katherine Belden.  “Ocular Disease in Hospitalized Adults with HIV Infection.”  Abstract presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Boston, 2011 (awarded Fellows Travel Grant for abstract excellence).
  22. Miller C, Short W, Perez-Povis LLontok J, Fecarotta C, Liu M, Sendecki J, Belden K. “The Spectrum of Eye Disease in Hospitalized Adults Living with HIV, 1995-2010.” AIDS Patient Care and STDs 2014; 28 (2) 1-9.
  23. Sellers J, DeSimone J, Squires K. “HIV Low-Level Viremia: It’s Only a Matter of Time.”  Presented at ID Week, Philadelphia, 2014. (awarded Fellows Travel Grant for abstract excellence).