Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program

Infectious diseases (ID) is one of the most exciting and challenging fields of medicine. Our faculty are committed to providing fellows with an exceptional fellowship experience to serve as the building block for a successful career in infectious diseases.

The division’s strengths include NIH-funded programs in basic and translational research of HIV, H. pylori, drug hypersensitivity and mycobacteria. Epidemiology and patient-oriented research initiatives are also flourishing in vaccine development for HIV and other pathogens, hospital epidemiology, and emerging and reemerging infections.

The division has a history of strong collaborations, including those with the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health.

Outstanding clinical programs

Outstanding clinical programs are in place at the Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital (VUAH) and the Nashville Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. These include inpatient consultative services and a dedicated Transplantation Infectious Diseases team at each hospital.

Variety of primary and specialty care settings

Outpatient consultative care includes general infectious diseases, orthopedic infections, tuberculosis and travel medicine. Division faculty and fellows provide longitudinal primary care at one of the largest HIV outpatient programs in the country, the Vanderbilt Comprehensive Care Clinic, and supervise the inpatient team caring for hospitalized patients with HIV. 

The Department of Medicine’s Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program aims to train the next generation of leading ID physicians and researchers. We accomplish this goal by having rigorous and well-rounded clinical and research programs.

The diversity of infectious diseases encountered at Vanderbilt is substantial. In addition to becoming experts in the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, fellows will learn about traditional microbiologic techniques as well as cutting-edge molecular diagnostics. As an active and well-funded research division, we emphasize the development and use of evidence-based medicine. Our fellows learn how to critically analyze the infectious diseases literature.

The varied experiences in the hospitals and clinics allow fellows to become an expert in both inpatient and outpatient management of infectious diseases and how to become thoughtful, reliable, and competent specialists and researchers in the field of infectious diseases. A description of the years of fellowship is provided below.

Year 1 (Clinical Year)

The first year of fellowship consists of 13 four-week blocks on the clinical services. Of these, 11.5 blocks are inpatient clinical rotations, four weeks are outpatient ID, and three weeks are vacation. The inpatient rotations include general infectious diseases consult services at VUMC and the Nashville VA, transplant infectious diseases, and the inpatient infectious diseases medicine hospital service. Fellows are also assigned to a longitudinal half-day HIV clinic once weekly during their first year. First-year fellows get three weeks of vacation.

Year 2 (Research Phase)

Starting in the second year, fellows undertake a mentored research project that is formally planned and prepared during their first year. One to three four-week blocks of inpatient clinical rotations are also assigned during the second year depending on the fellow's interest and career plans. Second-year fellows may continue their HIV clinic or transfer to a general infectious diseases clinic. Second-year fellows get three weeks of vacation.

Year 3 (Optional, Continued Research Phase)

A third year is optional and dedicated to mentored research. Fellows may choose to continue in an outpatient ID clinic during their third year. Third-year fellows get three weeks of vacation.

Click here to view the program’s goals and objectives.

Rogers Infectious Diseases and Inpatient Service 

The Rogers Infectious Diseases Inpatient Service at VUAH is the service responsible for admitting the majority of people with HIV, including those cared for at the Vanderbilt Comprehensive Care Clinic, as well as any patients not in care or newly diagnosed patients presenting to the Emergency Department. This rotation exposes fellows to patients presenting with many of the acute complications of AIDS such as cryptococcal meningitis, Pneumocystis pneumonia and toxoplasmosis. Occasionally, patients with non-HIV-related infectious diseases such as endocarditis are also managed on this service. The service is staffed by an Internal Medicine resident and an intern who are responsible for all orders, procedures and notes. The ID fellow and attending physician assigned to the service work in concert to supervise the management of patients on the service and provide education about HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases to the residents and interns.

Vanderbilt General Infectious Diseases Consultation Services

An ID fellow and an ID attending are assigned to each of two general ID consult services. A resident and fourth-year medical student are also assigned to each service, as available. There is a third faculty-only consult service as well. Consults are requested from any medical or surgical floor, the trauma unit, burn unit, or any other non-pediatric specialty.

Transplant Infectious Diseases Consultation Service

Transplantation programs include solid organs such as heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas, and hematopoietic stem-cell transplant programs, including autologous, allogeneic and matched unrelated donors. ID consultation for these programs provide broad exposure to the infectious complications of iatrogenic immunosuppression, chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, and interactions of anti-infectives with immunosuppressants. Our transplant program is a nationally recognized leader in the field of transplant-related infection management, providing dedicated ID expertise that is integrated into the transplantation surgery team's routine procedures. The Transplant ID Service sees patients at VUAH and the Nashville VA.

VA Infectious Diseases Consultation Service

During this rotation, both general ID consults and HIV/AIDS patients are seen by the consult team. The Nashville VA ID Consult Service usually consists of one attending, one ID fellow and one Internal Medicine resident, as available.

Clinical Rotation in Outpatient Infectious Diseases

Fellows spend approximately four weeks on this rotation during their first year of fellowship. During this time, they attend The Vanderbilt Infectious Diseases Clinic, the Tuberculosis Clinic, the Nashville VA Transplant Clinic, and other relevant outpatient experiences. Fellows also continue their assigned weekly HIV continuity clinic during this rotation. In addition to their clinic responsibilities, fellows will be given one half-day per week in which to prepare for their research projects.

Infectious Diseases Hospitals

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC)VUMC is the primary site for clinical activities, and is a comprehensive health care facility dedicated to patient care, research and the education of health care professionals. Vanderbilt's reputation for excellence in each of these areas has helped position us as leaders in HIV care and research, and has resulted in becoming a major patient referral center for Nashville and the Middle Tennessee region.

VUMC has over 1,000 beds, and sees more than 66,000 Emergency Department and 1.6 million ambulatory visits per year. VUMC also serves as the Middle Tennessee’s only Level 1 trauma and burn centers. Supported by the most up-to-date systems and nationally-renowned information technology, VUMC offers a full complement of specialty, subspecialty and transplantation services. As a result, many of these services receive annual distinction in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Rankings.

Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt Located adjacent to VUAH, the free-standing, state-of-the-art Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt opened in 2004. It has since been recognized as one of 10 best Children's Hospitals in the U.S. by Child Magazine. 

The Children's Hospital serves as the region's only Pediatric Emergency Department and sees more than 197,000 patients in the outpatient clinics annually. Infectious Diseases fellows are offered an opportunity to undertake an elective in Pediatric ID at the Children's Hospital in the second year of their fellowship. 

Nashville Veterans Affairs Medical CenterA full-service, multi-specialty VA Medical Center serves as the major VA facility for the Middle  Tennessee region. The Nashville VA is also a regional center for transplantation within the VA network. It is one of only three VA Medical Centers that offers hematopoetic stem-cell transplantation services, and one of only a handful that offers heart, kidney and liver transplantation. 

The Nashville VA is adjacent to the VUAH, and attending physicians working at the VA also have appointments at Vanderbilt. 

The fellowship program aims to instill a commitment to rigorous research and scholarly activity in each trainee. In order to support a successful research project, first-year fellows are given research blocks during their clinical year. In their first year, fellows are given the opportunity to meet with physician scientists early in the academic year, and are expected to select a primary research mentor by January. The second year of fellowship is largely dedicated and reserved for research activities. During the second year, fellows will have regular meetings with their research mentor and their mentor committee. Division funding is available for the dedicated research years through the Vanderbilt Infection Pathogenesis and Epidemiology Research (VIPER) Training Program as well as other T32 training grants. A third research year is optional for fellows, but is strongly encouraged for those interested in a career as a physician-scientist.

Core CurriculumMondayNoonID Conference Room, A-2200 MCN
Rotating Conference (Journal Club, MM&I, Guidelines Review, Board Review, Fellows Meeting)1st TuesdayNoonID Conference Room, A-2200 MCN
7 Conference (Clinical Management Conference)WednesdayNoonVirtual
ID Grand RoundsThursdayNoonID Conference Room, A-2200 MCN
Antiretroviral ConferenceFriday8:00amVirtual
Clinical Case ConferenceFridayNoonVirtual

The Vanderbilt Division of Infectious Diseases participates in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP Match) and the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). We hope that you find our program as exciting and vibrant as we do, and we invite you to submit an application for fellowship through ERAS.

Deadline for applications is September 15, 2023.

The following are required as part of your ERAS application: 

  • Your CAF (Common Application Form)
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  • Letter from your Residency Director (strongly recommended)
    • If you have trained as a resident at more than one institution, please submit at least one letter from each institution
  • Personal Goals Statement
  • USMLE or COMPLEX transcript
  • Medical School Transcript

Due to COVID, and our need to focus on the safety of our applicants and faculty, all 2023 ID fellowship interviews will be conducted virtually this season using Zoom. We are excited about the flexibility that this will allow our applicants as well as our faculty. Further details regarding the logistics of the interview day will be provided upon invitation.

General ID Fellowship Interview Dates 2023 (All Interviews will be virtual)

August 25
September 1
September 8
September 15
September 22
September 29
October 6
October 20

We will be hosting an in-person “second look” opportunity for applicants on Friday, November 3 and Monday, November 6.

Our rank list will be submitted prior to the second look dates and these in-person visits are OPTIONAL and NOT part of the interview process. There is no financial support available by the program for travel or lodging. The visits are a way to see Vanderbilt and Nashville for those applicants who are interested. Further detail about how the days will be structured will be provided at a later date.

If you have additional questions, or wish to speak with someone about our program, please contact our Fellowship Program Manager. Our faculty and fellows are proud of the division and are always happy discuss the training program. We look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you soon! 

Nora Mary Gilgallon-Keele 
Fellowship Program Manager 
Division of Infectious Diseases 
Phone: (615) 343-4578 

Program Leadership

Christina Fiske, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Program Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program

Sharon Onguti, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program