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Dr. Bennett Lorber, Chief of Section of Infectious Diseases Dr. Thomas Fekete in the laboratory Section of Infectious Diseases faculty and residents

department of medicine

section of infectious diseases

Residency Elective


Most residents at Temple spend one or more blocks during their residency on the Infectious Diseases (ID) elective. The goal for most residents is to become more adept at the diagnosis and management of infectious diseases. In particular, residents wish to acquire a greater familiarity with antimicrobial therapy. Our goal for the residents certainly includes this basic concept but expands it to include an appreciation for the conceptual framework of infectious diseases and their interaction with other medical and psychosocial situations. We also wish to teach the principles regarding the natural history of diseases, their complications and epidemiology and new areas in the field of infectious diseases. In addition to these focused didactic goals, we envision that residents taking the elective will also learn at least a little bit about microbiology, infection control, medical history and medical economics. Finally, we want to provide numerous opportunities for residents to develop expertise in assessing the medical literature and being comfortable with understanding the basics of clinical research and how to interpret journal articles.

The elective has numerous aspects, but it should not be overly burdensome to meet all of our requirements. There is no expectation of weekend call, and there are limited evening hours. We do have a busy schedule of lectures and seminars and we encourage all residents to attend all of these sessions unless there is a compelling reason to miss them. Student, resident, fellow and attending talks begin at 8:30 a.m. daily. These are usually completed by 9:30 a.m. While there may be a few days without formal talks, it is advisable to be in the office (Parkinson Pavilion, Suite 500) at 8:30 a.m. every day. This will also allow for the smoothest possible start to the day and to hand out early consults. On Tuesdays we usually have follow-up rounds at 10:15 a.m. in the Section conference room. At this session, we discuss the most interesting and challenging cases with all the faculty, fellows, residents and students. There is no prior preparation needed for this session unless one of the patients happens to be one who you are following. If so, you are expected to be able to give a brief, cogent presentation. In addition, we have Microbiology laboratory rounds at 11:40 a.m. each Monday, Thursday and Friday. These rounds last for 20 minutes and cover a variety of topics related to microbiology and laboratory medicine. No preparation is needed for these rounds.

There are two sessions for which you will be asked to prepare things in advance. Each Friday we have a case management conference where each student and resident is assigned an article. On Friday morning you are expected to give a brief analysis of the article and a critique (no more than 5 minutes total). Also, we ask you to give one talk of about 25 to 35 minutes in length. This should be a fresh topic (not an old morning report) with references. If you would like to provide a handout, that would be fine too. The topic should be in the form of a question to which you will provide an answer or an explanation as to why there is no easy answer.

The clinical responsibilities for residents on the ID elective are straightforward. Consultations are called in all day, and you will be asked to see one (or sometimes two) new patients a day. After you see the patient and have a chance to review old records, labs, etc., you will be asked to write the clinical part of the consultation. This should take up no more than 3/4 of the consultation sheet. During afternoon rounds, you will be asked to present the case to the group. Perhaps the most important part of the experience is the follow-up over the next several days. You will be asked to be the liaison between the ID attending and the team with regard to your patients. You will write the notes and contact the residents regarding recommendations. Anything that interferes with the continuity of care poses potential problems for teaching. The Department of Medicine will make every effort to avoid pulling residents from this elective to cover other services. If you are unable to come to rounds because of a time conflict, please let us know in advance so that we can review your patient with you. And it is equally important to let us know about any days when you will not be present such as for vacation, interviews, etc.

Feedback is important to us. We will try hard to give immediate feedback regarding presentations, recommendations etc. In addition, we will try to give separate private feedback sessions to each resident. We take seriously our obligation to give you meaningful criticism and evaluation. So at the end of the block, we will write a complete evaluation for the department. When it is possible, we would like to go over it with you and have you sign it. We would also appreciate any feedback you have regarding any and all aspects of the elective. We will try to provide whatever you need in terms of articles, photocopying, computers and fax machines. We would also like to offer any kind of career advice in regard to primary care or specialty selection (even for careers that do not, for some odd reason, include an emphasis in Infectious Diseases).