Overview of Fellowship Training

Boston Medical Center Campus

Section Chief:Jerrold J. Ellner, MD
Program Director:Tamar F. Barlam, MD, MSc
Associate Program Director for Research: Lee Wetzler, MD

The Section of Infectious Diseases at the Boston University School of Medicine includes staff located at Boston Medical Center (BMC, formerly Boston City Hospital and Boston University Hospital) and the VA Boston Healthcare System (VABHS). 

We offer a rich Clinical Training Experience where the fellow can see a wide variety of different infectious diseases in diverse populations. The fellow begins the first year with a four-week rotation in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory learning basic microbiologic techniques. A didactic curriculum focusing on antimicrobial agents is also provided during this time.  After completion of the microbiology training, the majority of the first year is spent as a consultant, providing services for inpatients in the participating teaching hospitals.  Rotations are divided equally among the three sites – the East Newton Pavilion, the Menino Pavilion, and the VABHS. Please see Clinical Rotations and Facility Descriptions for more information.

The fellow’s longitudinal ambulatory care experience, which commences in the first month of training, consists of a weekly half-day clinic in the Center for Infectious Diseases (CID) at BMC and/or the HIV Clinic at the VABHS.  There is also the opportunity to complete rotations in other clinics, such as the International Health Clinic, TB Clinic, and the HIV/Hepatitis Co-infection Clinic.  Please see the Ambulatory Training Experience for more information.

During the first year, the fellow also has four weeks of elective.  During this time, the fellow will review research options with faculty members and match with a specific faculty preceptor whose ongoing research most closely coincides with the fellow’s interests. In addition to working closely with their mentor, each fellow is assigned a committee to oversee their progress.

Although the major focus of the second year of training is on research, the fellow will have some clinical responsibilities including their longitudinal ambulatory clinic, rotations on the inpatient consultation services, and the opportunity for clinical electives at other participating sites.  Fellows who stay for an additional year of research training will have minimal clinical duties that might interfere with the research experience. 

Research Training Experience: It is our goal that at the end of the fellowship, the fellow will have the education and experience to continue as an independent investigator.  Fellows interested in Clinical Investigation can pursue research programs in a wide range of concentrations such as HIV, tuberculosis, global health, epidemiology or health services research. Fellows interested in Basic Laboratory Research can work with any of our scientists within the Section, the Department of Medicine, or the Boston University. Please see Basic Laboratory Research for more information about research programs and potential mentors.

A regular schedule of weekly clinical and research conferences is held at each teaching hospital.  You can find more detailed information about our educational conferences at Our Conferences.

Fellows actively participate in teaching students and house staff who rotate through the clinical services. In addition, fellows beyond their first year of training may be involved in the teaching of microbiology to second-year medical students.

Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine