We can all recall the invaluable guidance and support we received from mentors and others early in our careers. Investing in young physicians and investigators is a great way to provide vital support to those who are the future of our field.
Since 2002, more than 260 medical students have received scholarships through IDSA’s highly successful Medical Scholars Program, which provides mentorship by an IDSA member or fellow. This past fall, nearly 300 promising researchers from the U.S. and around the world were awarded travel grants enabling them to attend the IDSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver. These are just two examples of how IDSA is working to nurture the next generation of infectious disease physicians and scientists, an important part of the Society’s mission.
Another of the many ways IDSA pursues this goal is through the Joint Research Awards, offered by the IDSA Education and Research Foundation (ERF) and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID). These awards support needed research by young researchers who may not otherwise find funding. The application deadline for the 2011 awards, March 15, is fast approaching. See IDSA’s website for details, including information about a new Postdoctoral Fellowship in Transplant ID.
Additional career development and funding opportunities are available for students and fellows. Another helpful resource, the ID/HIV Career Center—the official online job bank of IDSA and the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA)—allows job seekers to look for hundreds of positions in ID and HIV medicine, register for job alert e-mails, and access career advice.
IDSA’s Annual Meeting provides valuable opportunities to highlight young investigators’ research findings, such as the Poster Discussion Rounds, travel grants, and a plenary lecture for one especially promising researcher (see the Call for Abstracts for more details).
The Annual Fellows’ Meeting, held each spring, offers an intimate and informal opportunity for fellows to learn practical clinical practice strategies from an extraordinary group of practice-based ID physicians. Marvin Tenenbaum, MD, FIDSA, and IDSA President-Elect Thomas Slama, MD, FIDSA, are organizing this year’s fellows’ meeting, which promises to provide a stimulating and timely program. Two premeeting sessions at the IDSA Annual Meeting will also highlight issues and timely topics relevant to fellows—the Fellows Day Workshop, organized by IDSA’s Training Program Directors Committee, chaired by Daniel Havlichek, MD, FIDSA, and Pediatric Fellows’ Day, co-organized by the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and IDSA, focusing on the pediatric ID subspecialty issues.
In February, fellows across the United States and at sites in 10 other countries participated in the 4th Annual Fellows’ In-Training Exam. Developed by IDSA’s Test Material Development Committee, chaired by Cary Engleberg, MD, FIDSA, in cooperation with the National Board of Medical Examiners, the exam assists fellowship programs in meeting new competency requirements and has been very well received.
An updated version of the popular online infection control fellows course—adapted from a course offered by Johns Hopkins University under the leadership of Trish M. Perl, MD, MSc, FIDSA, and developed in conjunction with the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America—is another example. Designed to give ID fellows and others basic training in infection control and hospital epidemiology, at their own pace and without having to travel, the course satisfies the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requirement for training in hospital epidemiology. The course is available online at www.iccourse.org.
In closing, I would like to call your attention to several other high-priority activities. Articles in this month’s issue of IDSA News provide additional details:
- An updated guideline for the treatment of acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in women is now available. Developed by IDSA and the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID), the guideline was originally published in 1999.
- The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is seeking input from the ID community on NIAID’s plans to support development of an infectious diseases (non-HIV/AIDS) clinical trials leadership group and infrastructure (see related article).
- Since qualifying for federal incentive payments for using electronic health records (EHRs) is a complex task, IDSA’s website provides the latest details and resources for members (see related article).
Be sure to mark your calendar for World Health Day, April 7, which is organized by the World Health Organization and this year will focus on raising global awareness about antimicrobial resistance. IDSA plans to mark the day with a press event in Washington, D.C., highlighting the problem and emphasizing the urgency of addressing this public health threat. Details will be available on the website closer to the event.
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