Infectious Diseases Clinical & Research Training

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Memorial Hospital

Memorial Hospital serves as the principal teaching site for our fellows. Memorial More than 17,000 surgical cases and more than 200,000 radiologic procedures are performed at Memorial Hospital annually.

The ACGME-approved infectious diseases (ID) fellowship program at Memorial Sloan Kettering provides a broad-based educational experience that includes the evaluation and management of a wide variety of infectious diseases that occur in medical and surgical patients, both adult and pediatric, and in the inpatient and outpatient settings.

The ID fellowship at MSK is unique because it is the only ID training program in the United States based at a cancer treatment center. Trainees become experts in the management of infections associated with cancer treatment, including allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, checkpoint blockade treatment to enhance T cell-mediated clearance of tumors, and T cells expressing tumor-specific chimeric antigen receptors.

The MSK ID fellowship program has trained many distinguished ID specialists who have entered public health or academia and become leaders in the field. The academic programs and resources of MSK, its tradition of clinical and scientific excellence, and the high quality of other subspecialty programs throughout the hospital have provided MSK ID fellows with a supportive environment for clinical learning and scholarship. A number of former ID fellowship trainees hold career development awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and oversee NIH-funded laboratory research programs.


Anna Kaltsas

Anna Kaltsas, MD – Fellowship Program Director

Dr. Kaltsas is the Director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program, assistant attending physician at Memorial Hospital, and assistant professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Her areas of clinical expertise include the management of infections and infectious complications in people with cancer. Her research interests include C. difficile and invasive pneumococcal infection rates in cancer patients, among others.

Dr. Kaltsas earned her medical degree from Albany Medical College with honors, followed by internal medicine residency at New York-Presbyterian–Weill Cornell. She completed a three-year infectious disease fellowship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, during which time she also pursued a master’s degree in clinical research.

Dr. Kaltsas has an interest in medical education and oversees the infectious disease fellowship at MSK, as well as rotations from interested medical students, interns, residents, and fellows from other institutions and other specialties on the infectious disease service.


Program Description

Fellows are assigned to Tuesday afternoon or Friday morning clinic during their fellowship training. In their assigned clinics, fellows treat long term and newly diagnosed HIV patients, internal and external referrals, and patient follow-ups from in-house consultations. In the COVID and post COVID era, fellows are increasingly “seeing” new patients and follow ups as virtual visits with their attendings.

Fellows also attend the Employee Health and Wellness clinic approximately four to six times a year to become proficient at evaluation and management of employees with LTBI or exposure to blood-borne pathogens.

  Clinical Micro Rotation MSK Inpatient Consults NYPH-Cornell Inpatient Consults NYU-Bellevue Inpatient Consults Research (includes 1 month vacation)
First Year 1 month 6-7 months 1 month N/A 2-3 months
Second Year N/A 2-3 months N/A 1 month 8-9 months
Optional Third Year N/A N/A N/A N/A 11 months

MSK Inpatient Consults

Inpatient consults for fellows are divided between two teams: the regular consult service, Blue Team, and the immunocompromised host service, Red Team, which consists of leukemia and transplant patients. Fellows alternate between Blue Team and Red Team over the course of their fellowship. To unload the consult burden from fellows, there is also an attending only service comprised of consults deemed of low educational value for fellows.

Outside Rotations

NYPH-Cornell and NYU-Bellevue Inpatient Consults

Fellows rotate for one month on the inpatient service at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center as first-year fellows and for one month at NYU-Bellevue in either their first or second year of fellowship. There they encounter infectious problems occurring in a different hospital setting where patient populations include immunologically normal hosts, the elderly, patients with alcohol and/or drug abuse histories, returning travelers, and recent immigrants. Infectious disease fellows from these respective programs also function as full fellows and members of the Infectious Diseases Service during their time at MSKCC.

Ambulatory Care

To enhance the fellows’ ambulatory care experience, second-year fellows complete one month rotations at the STD clinic at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and the ID Associates/Travel Medicine Clinic of NYP/Cornell.

Elective time is offered to second year fellows who wish to pursue clinical rotations at local New York hospitals if arranged beforehand with the program director and leadership at the hospital in question. Recent electives pursued by fellows include a solid organ transplantation elective at Mount Sinai and outpatient HIV clinic elective at NYP/Cornell.

Research

During one research block in the second year of fellowship, fellows spend eight half-day sessions at SUNY Downstate’s STD clinic. During another research block in the second year of fellowship, they spend six half-day sessions at the ID Associates/Travel Medicine Clinic affiliated with NYPH-Cornell.

Approximately fifty percent of MSK ID fellows seek additional research training that is not required for ID Boards certification. This is completed in an optional third year. See the Research section for additional information or visit the ID faculty members’ web pages to see the groundbreaking cancer research ID fellows are currently participating in.

Joint ID-CCM Track

Increased prevalence of infection and antibiotic resistance observed in intensive care units (ICUs), outbreaks of zoonotic infections and respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, and expanding and aging immune-suppressed host populations underscore the need for joint training in Critical Care Medicine (CCM)-Infectious Diseases. Multi-disciplinary ICU care is increasingly becoming the standard of care, reflecting the current complexity of patient care in the era of pandemics, such as those caused by the Ebola, H1N1, and SARS-CoV-2 viruses. Combining these two well-established, world-renowned training tracks into a joint track at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) is therefore a natural next step for a world that requires a dynamic command of both ID and CCM.

Led by Anna Kaltsas, MD, (of ID) and Stephen Pastores, MD, (of CCM), the dual-track training program is one of the few combined ID-CCM programs in New York City. MSK trainees will have the opportunity to learn from the “sickest of the sick” highly immune-compromised patients with cancer while receiving an education in “bread and butter” ID-CCM principles in this fast-paced but educationally enriching environment.

Description

The three-year ID-CCM dual training track requires a minimum of 24 months of clinical training and 12 months of scholarly activity. Over the three-year period, the fellow will devote 12 months of clinical training to ID, and 12 months of clinical training to different medical, surgical, and specialized (organ system-based) ICUs.

ID Training Component

The first two years of training will primarily comprise clinical and research training in ID; this follows the current schedule for ID fellows at MSK. Inpatient consult time is mostly made up of inpatient time at MSK, with rotations at New York University and Weill-Cornell. The majority of these inpatient consult months take place during the first year of fellowship (8.5-9.0 months), with the remainder (up to 12 months total across the first two years of fellowship) to occur during the second year of the fellowship. For a full description of the ID portion of training, see the ID fellowship and clinical research training page.

The second year of the fellowship centers mainly on elective and research time. Fellows in the joint ID-CCM track will be encouraged to pick research projects with both an ID and CCM focus, and to work with research mentors from both fields. Electives may be pursued in either ID or CCM at any of our affiliated hospitals or rotation sites during this time.

Provided that the fellow has received satisfactory to outstanding evaluations by the ID Clinical Competency Committee (CCC) up until December of the second year of their fellowship, and after discussion with Critical Care leadership, they will proceed with the third year of CCM training on this track. The trainee will be “guaranteed” a spot in the incoming CCM class of fellows; trainees do not need to apply or go through the Match.

CCM Component

The CCM component of the training program is 10 months in duration. Trainees spend five months at MSK’s state-of-the-art 20-bed adult medical-surgical ICU and are required to complete four outside rotations at three institutions for experience in cardiothoracic surgery (one month), neurocritical care (one month), trauma surgical ICU (one month), and community-based medical ICU rotation. Trainees will also complete one month in MSK Anesthesiology Department to their optimize airway management skills. Additional ICU time may be arranged based on the interests of the trainee.

The CCM component also includes extensive ICU procedural training and experience including but not limited to: central venous and arterial catheter and chest tube insertions, ventilator management and waveform interpretation, and therapeutic and diagnostic bronchoscopy. Additional information the CCM portion of the track can be obtained here.

Upon completion of the two years of ID fellowship training, the fellow will be eligible for board certification in ID. After completion of CCM training, the fellow will be eligible for board certification in CCM. The ID-CCM fellow will share didactics, journal clubs, and other formalized learning opportunities with the fellows in both the ID and CCM fellowship programs.

How to Apply

Residents interested in the combined ID-CCM training track are invited to apply for fellowship training in ID first, and are asked to specifically state their interests in ID-CCM in their personal statements. Applications will be accepted through ERAS. Invites to interview will be extended via email.

On interview day, applicants will be interviewed by both ID and CCM Program Directors and faculty (via Zoom; approximately two faculty members from each department). That same week, applicants will also be invited to attend virtual presentations on both the ID and CCM programs and to meet with respective fellows in each program virtually.

Applicants will “match” into ID first. They will complete the two years of ID and joint ID-CCM research in their second year, as outlined above. Provided they have had at least satisfactory performance up until December of their second year, and with the joint approval of the ID CCC and the ID and CCM Program Directors, they will proceed to the third-year CCM fellowship portion after the second year of ID fellowship. No additional applications or match process is needed.

Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Fellow Responsibilities

Specific responsibilities are distributed throughout the two to three years of the fellowship. In general, the first-year (junior) fellows provide the majority of inpatient care. Second-year (senior) fellows provide leadership and serve as role models for the junior fellows and other rotators to the ID service. The senior fellows are also responsible for organization and preparation of monthly call schedules, organization of monthly TransYork rounds; end-of-the-year presentation of their own research work at the “Advanced Topics in Infectious Disease” lecture series; supervision of the Blood Culture Quality Improvement (QI) Project and other QI projects; representation to the ID fellowship’s Program Evaluation Committee; and representation to the hospital’s Graduate Medical Education (GME) committee.

Microbiology Rounds

Plate rounds are held every Wednesday morning from 9:30 – , either in person or virtually. Clinical microbiology fellows or the ID fellow on microbiology rotation present an interesting clinical case and an analysis of the microbiologic work up, as well as review of relevant microbiology material. The educational programs for both the clinical microbiology fellowship and the infectious disease fellowship at MSK are closely intertwined, and fellows from both programs gain from joint faculty expertise and research opportunities. Director Esther Babady supervises the microbiology laboratory.

Antibiotic Approvals

The Antibiotic Management Program (AMP) handles antibiotic approvals seven days a week from to After hours the approval pager is rolled over to the ID fellow on call; no antibiotic approval is required between and The bulk of night approvals generally occur before Ample research opportunities exist with the antibiotic management program as well as additional training in this very important area of infectious disease. Fellows also spend time during their microbiology month in first year becoming familiar with the AMP program and our ID pharmacists.

Needlesticks, Splashes, and Other Occupational Exposures

After hours and on weekends and holidays, the ID fellow may be contacted regarding an employee who has or was exposed to an infectious agent or who had an accidental needlestick or splash exposure (varicella, measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, and various respiratory viruses including influenza). There is always an Employee Health attending on call that can guide and maximize ID fellow learning through these situations.

Conferences

Tuesday

8:30-

ID summer lecture series/Journal Club

Early in the year, core concepts/topics in infectious disease are taught by faculty from both Cornell and MSK in this joint conference series for MSK and Cornell ID fellows. In the latter part of the year, faculty and fellows present 1-2 articles from recent ID literature for analysis and review, in classic journal club fashion.

Wednesday

9:30-

Microbiology Plate Rounds

Wednesday

12:00-

Research in Progress (spring only):

Faculty and fellows present their latest projects and research findings; faculty presentations serve as introductions to their work so fellows can familiarize themselves with possible research areas of interest and mentors.

Wednesday

2:00-

Infection Control Meeting

Thursday

1:30-

ID Clinical Conference:

On-service fellows each present a case followed by a discussion that encompasses a focused, but thorough, literature review and summation of the critical points of the case. Pertinent radiographs and important smears or biopsies should be shown.

Friday

8:00-

Department of Medicine Grand Rounds

Friday

1:30-

Advanced Topics in Infectious Diseases (Grand Rounds):

Joint conference organized by the Infectious Diseases Divisions of MSKCC and Weill Cornell Medical College. Guest speakers from local and distant academic institutions present on topics of their expertise.

Research

Memorial Sloan Kettering has a long history of conducting research on the management of infectious diseases in immunocompromised patients. In the 1970s, our Infectious Diseases Service performed pioneering studies on the diagnosis of and therapy for infections in patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy for cancer, and in the 1980s we became a center for the study and treatment of AIDS. In recent years, the research focus of the Infectious Diseases Service has been extended to clinical and laboratory investigation of immune responses to bacterial, fungal, and viral infection.

Our laboratory and clinical investigators are studying adaptive and innate immune responses to infection in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation.

Broadly speaking, clinical investigation within the Infectious Diseases Service focuses on diagnosis and therapy of infections in the compromised host and hospital infection control. Collaborative clinical research projects between the Infectious Diseases Service and other services within Memorial Sloan Kettering focus on monitoring and augmenting antiviral immunity in transplant patients and people receiving other forms of cancer therapy.

Quantitative methods are being used to identify and characterize T lymphocyte populations that combat viral and fungal infections in immunocompromised patients. On a more basic research level, laboratories of the Infectious Diseases Service are studying infectious diseases in animal models to develop a deeper understanding of immune defenses against invasive microbes.

Laboratory Research

The research laboratories of the Infectious Diseases Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering are focused on the immune response to infection by bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. The pathogenesis of mycobacterial infections is also actively investigated. Interested fellows are encouraged to work in the laboratory on research projects that characterize the interface between the mammalian immune system and pathogens in the setting of infectious disease.

Fellows are provided with on-site training in laboratory investigation and also have opportunities to participate in basic science course work. Fellows with interest in microbiology, cell biology, and other fields have a variety research options at MSK along with opportunities at The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medical College.

The Tobias Hohl Lab
Physician-scientist Tobias Hohl studies the molecular pathogenesis of human fungal pathogens and how the immune system responds to them.
The Michael Glickman Lab
Physician-scientist Michael Glickman investigates the physiology and pathogenic mechanisms of mycobacteria, including the use of mycobacteria as bacterial cancer therapies.

Clinical Research

Infectious Diseases fellows can become involved with, and may initiate, a broad range of clinical studies. Research projects may include clinical reports, case series, and epidemiologic investigations. Faculty members within MSK or from The Rockefeller University or Weill Cornell Medical College who are associated with the MSK Infectious Diseases Service will supervise all research projects.

Though most clinical studies typically occur within the Infectious Diseases Service, they often cross borders into other disciplines. Thus, collaborative studies with other clinical services (including lymphoma, leukemia, and transplant) are commonplace and encouraged. The close relationship between the Clinical Microbiology Service and the Infectious Diseases Service also provides many opportunities for fellow-initiated research projects.

Lucille Castori Center for Microbes, Inflammation & Cancer

In January 2010, Memorial Sloan Kettering created a multidisciplinary research center to shed light on the role that microbes and the body’s inflammatory and immunological responses to them play in the development of cancer. The Lucille Castori Center for Microbes, Inflammation, and Cancer unites researchers in the areas of molecular biology, immunology, computational biology, and microbiology and members of the Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Services in Memorial Hospital.

In addition to facilitating research among MSK’s investigators and clinicians, the Castori Center provides grants for clinical and laboratory-based fellows to extend their research and training.

The fellowship director, service chief, and other faculty speak with each fellow individually regarding potential projects in the first months of fellowship. By fall of the first year of fellowship, fellows generally have identified a few areas of potential interest and a specific mentor for each area.

ABSTRACTS AND ORAL PRESENTATIONS

Infections presenting 30 days after Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) Modified T-cells: A single-center experience.
Romero A, Seo S, Hohl T, Taur Y.
October 2016, ID Society of America (IDSA) conference, New Orleans, LA.

Pooling NYC resources to educate fellows about antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention and control.
Ostrowsky B, Nori P, Munjal I, del Castillo M, Seo SK.
October 2015, IDWeek, San Diego, CA

Life on the Upper East Side

Memorial Sloan Kettering offers housing to most incoming fellows in the immediate vicinity of the medical center on the upper east side of New York City. The upper east side is a very safe neighborhood with ample access to waterfront (East River jogway/walk way), walking distance to Central Park, and home to many families with young children and excellent schools. The upper east side is also home to many world renown hospitals in addition to our own, including New York Presbyterian- Weill Cornell and Hospital for Special Surgery, and the Rockefeller University. The rest of the city is easily accessible via subway, particularly from the number 6 and Q lines.

Infectious disease fellows also enjoy close social relationships with the infectious disease physician assistants and infectious disease pharmacy resident, all of whom have desks in the fellows’ room to promote learning from each other and close communication regarding the care of mutual patients.

Why Choose MSK ID for Fellowship Training

 

  • Close-knit, collegial program
  • Easy access to faculty and mentorship, as well as research opportunities unique to cancer and transplant ID
  • Training in “bread and butter” ID as well as highly immune compromised host and cancer ID
  • Exposure to “once-in-a-career” kinds of cases on a routine basis—our fellows’ cases are routinely selected for presentation at Intercity Rounds for their uniqueness.
  • Some of the most generous graduate medical education salaries in New York City
  • Subsidized housing
  • Travel and educational stipend for all fellows
  • Training in New York City and all it has to offer

Fellows on the ID Program

“The highlight of ID Fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for me is the rich variety of immunocompromised pathology. Whether consulting on patients with the Bone Marrow Transplant Service or working to gain an understanding of immune defects resulting from immunotherapy, fellowship here provides stimulating intellectual challenges and opportunities to learn and publish from the interesting patients for whom we are privileged to provide care. The research opportunities are boundless, and I find myself surrounded by ID experts who delight in mentoring me and seeing me grow as an ID physician.”
—Rich Kodama, DO, second-year fellow

“As an ID fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I enjoy the autonomy in decision-making that I have when responding to infectious concerns and when on-call, supporting patients who are being cared for by our oncologists. There is also a great deal of collegial support and mentorship from our seasoned faculty, who readily share their wisdom and problem-solving approaches for complex patient cases. I feel challenged to grow as a physician in each rotation.

Presenting at our ID case conferences offers me an opportunity to teach my colleagues and engage ID faculty in discussions that dissect the latest evidence to support our patients. Our patient population affords ID fellows the chance to gain skills in managing complex infections in patients who are severely immunocompromised, whether from their primary malignancy or from a new immunomodulatory therapy or stem-cell transplant. We also gain a broad range of experience and skill in treating ‘bread-and-butter’ ID cases such as bacteremia, osteomyelitis, abscesses, pneumonia, and cholangitis that is applicable to general ID practice, despite the oncologic setting.”
—Eugene Paul Harper, MD, second-year fellow

How to Apply

We welcome applications to the ID fellowship via ERAS (ACGME ID: 1463521167). Applicants interested in the Joint ID-CCM track should apply to our fellowship program via ERAS to first facilitate the Infectious Disease match. Those interested in the joint track should also state this interest in their personal statement and note it in their communication with the program if they are selected to interview.

Contact

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program
1275 York Avenue, Box 9
New York, NY 10065
212-639-3151 (Phone)
646-422-2124 (Fax)
[email protected]