Mayo Clinic's Infectious Diseases Fellowship provides a well-rounded educational experience through a careful balance of didactic instruction and direct patient care. The training program is three years long.
The program provides fellows with a comprehensive knowledge base that prepares them to independently care for patients with infectious diseases caused by various pathogens. The well-organized, effective curriculum also provides direct clinical experience and progressive responsibility for patient management.
Fellows rotate through five inpatient hospital services and three outpatient clinics, in addition to e-health, tuberculosis and antimicrobial stewardship rotations.
See a sample of fellows' rotations for 2014-2015.
Midway through their first year, fellows spend two months studying basic clinical microbiology, gaining hands-on experience in:
- Antimicrobial assay techniques
- Antimicrobial susceptibility testing
- Diagnostic serologic tests
- General and anaerobic bacteriology, including blood culturing, antibiotic susceptibility testing, antibiotic assay methods and immunofluorescent diagnostic studies
- Molecular biology techniques, including polymerase chain reaction and DNA probing
- Performance of Gram stains and other stain techniques on selected specimens
- Setup of biological specimens for cultures
- Techniques used in the virology, mycology, mycobacteriology and parasitology laboratories
Explore the services, including clinical microbiology, that Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology staff provides for both Mayo Clinic patients and referred samples. You can also learn more about Mayo Medical Laboratories, which is Mayo's reference laboratory.
General infectious diseases service
The general infectious diseases service provides consultation to all Mayo Clinic inpatient medical and surgical services.
Infectious diseases fellows gain experience in the diagnosis and management of:
- Community-acquired and nosocomial infection
- Surgical infections and other communicable infections
- More unusual conditions or infections, such as fever of unknown origin, parasitic infections and endemic mycoses
Infectious diseases fellows may spend elective time gaining additional research and clinical experiences in:
- Infection control
- International clinical rotations, such as Mayo's exchange program with the Republic of the Philippines
- Other international experience through the Mayo International Health Program
- Off-campus clinical rotations
- Pediatric infectious diseases
- Molecular biology
The six-week molecular biology techniques class is a didactic and hands-on laboratory training course structured to allow each student to perform a set of experiments in an up-to-date modern molecular techniques setting. The class is designed for individuals with little or no previous molecular biology experience. It provides an opportunity to learn techniques in a low-pressure environment.
Transplant infectious diseases
Specialists in the Mayo Clinic Transplant Center perform about 1,000 transplants each year. Mayo's transplant program is the largest in the U.S. and ranks among the best in terms of survival rates of patients and organs.
The transplant program at Mayo Clinic integrates services for patients and brings the collective knowledge of all Mayo specialists to bear on the most difficult transplant problems. Mayo's transplant infectious diseases service is an integral member of a multidisciplinary team caring for all solid-organ and bone marrow transplant patients.
Infectious diseases fellows develop skills in evaluating the febrile transplant patient, treating and preventing opportunistic infections, and using various means for preventing infection in this patient population.
Intensive care unit infectious diseases
The intensive care unit (ICU) service performs consultations for medical, surgical, neurological and other intensive care unit patients. Fellows gain experience diagnosing and managing nosocomial pneumonia, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, meningitis and other life-threatening infections.
A critical care fellow rotates with an infectious diseases fellow on the ICU infectious diseases service each month.
Hematology-oncology infectious diseases
Fellows learn to prevent, diagnose and treat infections that result from complications of hematologic-oncologic disorders and chemotherapy.
Orthopedic infectious diseases
The orthopedic infectious diseases service provides consultation for patients on various orthopedic and some medical services. Fellows learn to diagnose, treat and manage:
- Diabetic foot infections
- Outpatient antimicrobial therapy
- Prosthetic or other bone or joint infections
- Skin and soft tissue infections
Outpatient clinic and infection control
Fellows rotate for four weeks in the Travel and Tropical Medicine Clinic to learn about pre-travel management and post-travel evaluation in a traveler who returns ill. The tropical medicine experience may be supplemented with a rotation in the Republic of the Philippines.
Fellows also receive infection control and antimicrobial stewardship didactic and hands-on experience during these four weeks and are expected to complete the Infectious Diseases Society of America's online Infection Control Course during this time.
During the three-year fellowship, trainees participate in regular continuity clinics in the ambulatory setting, including:
- Regular outpatient infectious diseases consultations
- Ongoing care of patients so that you can learn the natural history of infection
- Infectious diseases consultations at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota
Fellowship training includes extensive experience in the medical, psychological and social aspects of infection with HIV and AIDS. Fellows learn to work with a multidisciplinary team in the HIV Clinic to manage the longitudinal changes of AIDS.
Infectious diseases fellows participate in more than 250 individual conferences each year.
- Weekly core curriculum of infectious diseases topic reviews by faculty
- Bimonthly journal club alternately focusing on HIV and general infectious diseases topics with an emphasis on critical evaluation of recent literature
- Quarterly Infection and Immunity Research Club featuring renowned, invited speakers
- Weekly clinical case conferences involving current inpatient and outpatient cases
- Monthly Mayo multisite case teleconference
- Monthly HIV lecture series
- Monthly infectious diseases research conference
- Monthly global health lecture series
- Diploma in clinical and translational research through the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS), which requires 12 credits
Fellows are encouraged to participate in research projects under the mentorship of Mayo consulting staff. Research opportunities at Mayo Clinic are diverse and outstanding, and they include opportunities for clinical studies and laboratory-based projects.
Fellows may participate in clinical research by using the extensive electronic medical record and clinical databases that are available. The infectious diseases laboratory offers many research opportunities using both in vivo and in vitro techniques. Other laboratories within or outside the Division of Infectious Diseases also offer opportunities for fellows who want to pursue basic science bench research.
Find out more about research in the Division of Infectious Diseases.
The Division of Clinical Microbiology is active in broad areas of applied clinical research, and interest in basic research can be satisfied by collaborative efforts with Mayo's basic science departments, which focus on:
- Cell biology
- Experimental pathology
Fellowship protocols are reviewed and approved by the Division of Infectious Diseases Research Committee and the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board. Fellows are encouraged to present research results at national infectious diseases meetings and publish them in peer-reviewed journals.
Current research programs in infectious diseases at Mayo Clinic include:
- Clinical trials involving new antimicrobial agents
- Prosthetic joint infections
- Vertebral osteomyelitis
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other mycobacteria
- Immunologic and pathogenic factors in viral infection
- Interactions of HIV proteins with host-cellular proteins
- Investigation of new or novel antimicrobial agents in vivo and in vitro
- Molecular determinants of HIV disease progress or rates
- Molecular identification and mechanisms of emerging bacterial resistance
- Novel applications of molecular diagnostic and epidemiological techniques
- Pathogenesis of viral persistence in HIV infection
- Cytomegalovirus infection after transplantation
- Transplant infections
- Infection control
- Endocarditis and endovascular infections
- Cardiac device infections
- Fungal infections
Learn more about research resources at Mayo Clinic.
Master's degree or diploma in clinical research
The Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS) and Mayo Graduate School collaborate to offer a postdoctoral master's degree in clinical research for fellows interested in clinical research. Fellows who plan to do clinical research during their second year are required to undertake the course work to complete the postdoctoral diploma in clinical research, which requires 12 credits.
The master's program is only allowed during the Infectious Diseases Fellowship on a limited basis.
Visit the CCaTS website to learn more about Mayo Clinic's clinical research training programs.
The Division of Infectious Diseases supports the tuition to complete the Infectious Diseases Society of America's online Infection Control Course during training.
It will also pay for your attendance of one of these courses:
- Denver TB Course, a four-day course offered through National Jewish Health
- The Medical Management of HIV/AIDS, a three-day course offered through the University of California, San Francisco
- A one-month molecular biology course at Mayo Clinic during elective or research time
The call schedule and duty hours vary by rotation. Mayo Clinic complies fully with Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) rules.
Off-hours call during the week is shared among fellows on inpatient services. Only fellows on nonclinical rotations (first-, second- or third-year fellows on research or other non-inpatient assignments) take weekend call, which occurs from Saturday at noon until Monday at 8 a.m.
On average, fellows take one weekend call for every six to seven weeks when not assigned to a hospital rotation and four to five weekday calls each month when assigned to an inpatient hospital rotation. Work hours are monitored by the program director to ensure full compliance with ACGME duty-hour requirements.
This plan provides a minimum of four continuous 24-hour off-call periods every four-week period for rest and restitution. Fellows are limited to no more than two weekends of call each month during nonclinical rotations.
All fellows on inpatient services work half-days on Saturdays.
During the fellowship, all fellows are assigned to actively participate in divisional and institutional committees, including the infectious diseases research, educational and practice committees, which allows fellows to gain experience in administrative roles.
An appointment to the hospital infection control committee helps fellows understand the basic principles of infection control, surveillance methods, isolation procedures and the investigation of outbreaks.
Other opportunities, such as appointment to the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, provide experience in processing and evaluating new antimicrobial and other drug reagents.
Fellows meet periodically with career mentors, research mentors, the program director and associate program directors to discuss long-term goals and career plans. Mayo Clinic recruits many of its staff physicians from its own training programs, so upon completion of the subspecialty Infectious Diseases Fellowship, job opportunities may be available in one of Mayo's group practices.
The success of any training program is reflected in how its graduates fare after they begin their careers. In the last 10 years:
- All graduates have successfully passed their certification examinations.
- Approximately 50 percent are in private practice and 50 percent hold academic positions.
- Recent graduates practice in 12 states and five foreign countries.
Licensed fellows beyond the PGY-4 level may moonlight. Moonlighting activities may only be scheduled during times when fellows are assigned to nonclinical rotations. Fellows working with a J-1 visa or H-1B visa may have additional restrictions. Duty hours are monitored to avoid excess fatigue. All moonlighting activities should be preapproved by the program.
Performance of all fellows is monitored carefully during the entire course of the program. Fellows are formally evaluated using a number of sources, including multisource evaluations, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE), Simulation Center and in-training examinations, which are reviewed by the program director as well as the clinical competency committee.
Fellows also evaluate the faculty to ensure that their educational needs are being met. The Infectious Diseases Fellowship also undergoes an annual internal evaluation by Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education. Faculty development is monitored, and all faculty members are encouraged to participate in development programs that would enhance their ability to teach, mentor and provide feedback.