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April 2012
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From the President:
Supporting the Next Generation of Our Field

Young ID specialists are the future of our field, and nurturing their development is an important priority for IDSA. It’s also a responsibility all of us share. One of the key ways the Society pursues this mission is through the support we offer to fellows in training.

Held annually for more than 10 years, IDSA’s Clinical Fellows’ Meeting provides an opportunity for fellows to learn about clinical practice strategies from leading practice-based ID physicians. The meeting allows fellows to learn about various clinical practice opportunities and key issues and skills to help them succeed in clinical practice. The informal setting encourages interaction among fellows and experienced faculty.

To help foster the next generation of ID physician scientists, IDSA and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have organized a new meeting with a research focus, to be held for the first time this May. Fellows and medical students will hear from leading ID researchers, learn about the practical aspects of developing a successful research career, visit NIAID facilities, present their own research, and interact with experienced investigators.

At IDWeek 2012, several premeeting workshops will highlight timely topics for fellows: the Fellows’ Day Workshop, organized by IDSA’s Training Program Directors Committee, the Pediatric Fellows’ Day, co-organized by the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and IDSA, and the Vincent T. Andriole ID Board Review Course. IDWeek will also offer opportunities for fellows to present their own research and learn about the latest advances in the field. (A limited number of Trainee Awards are available to support travel for fellows in training to attend IDWeek.)

For the past five years, the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) has annually awarded grants to support a year of HIV clinical training for up to two fellows through the Minority Clinical Fellowship Program. The goal is to boost the population of minority HIV physicians and strengthen the commitment to provide HIV care in minority communities. As a local scientific partner of the International AIDS Society’s AIDS 2012 conference, July 22-27, in Washington, D.C., HIVMA is also offering a limited number of travel grants to fellows or residents training in the United States who have had accepted abstracts.

This is not a complete list of efforts to support the next generation of ID and HIV specialists. In February of this year, for instance, more than 750 fellows—in 16 countries—completed IDSA’s Annual Fellows’ In-Training Exam, which helps fellows identify areas in which they need to learn more. But these examples help demonstrate our strong commitment to this mission.

Mentors provided crucial support to many of us early in our careers, and we all share a responsibility to prepare today’s fellows for the next step in theirs. Providing support and guidance for the young ID physicians and investigators of the next generation will remain a key Society priority in the years ahead. The future of our field depends on it.
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