a. Conferences

A number of conferences are held throughout the year, each of which is tailored to specific areas of interest. If a conference is in line with your interest, consider if you should become a member of the sponsoring society. Membership to each society differs, added benefits of journal subscriptions or discounted rates to conferences may be included. Attending a conference is a great way to network. You will have an opportunity to speak directly with experts in the field. Presenting your research at these conferences is another great means to meet those you may have even referenced in your work

Brief descriptions are listed below. Many conferences have discounted rates for fellows, opportunities to apply for small grants to support travel, and opportunities to apply for awards.

  1. IDWeek: Annual joint meeting of IDSA (Infectious Diseases Society of America), PIDS, SHEA (Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America) and HIVMA (HIV Medicine Association). This is the largest ID conference of the year. Pediatric ID fellows get to attend the Pediatric Fellows' Day, which is comprised of fellow case presentations, career development talks and networking events. If you have an interesting case, submit it! The Fellows' Happy Hour event is held annually after the opening plenary session on Wednesday afternoon. This is an opportunity to network with other fellows and faculty over a drink. The PIDS business meeting and reception offers another excellent opportunity to mingle with Peds ID colleagues. The meeting is in the first week of October https://idweek.org/
     
  2. St. Jude/PIDS Conference and Pediatric Transplant ID Symposium: Two meetings, held annually, for pediatric infectious diseases research in childhood infections and transplantations, with a focus on career development programming for trainees. While smaller than IDWeek, this meetings present more personalized network opportunities for fellows and is entirely focused on pediatrics. Abstract submissions are typically due in December or early January. The meetings occur in early March. https://www.pids.org/meetings-and-events/st-judepids-conference.htm
  3. International Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Conference: PIDS Antimicrobial Stewardship Conference. This conference focuses on principles of antimicrobial stewardship with the opportunity to learn from many institutions what methods have been effective in instituting stewardship programs. Abstract submissions are typically due in March. The meeting is at the end of May of beginning of June. https://www.pids.org/meetings-and-events/asp.html
     
  4. PAS (Pediatric Academic Societies) Annual Meeting: Depending on your interests, this may have significant value. It focuses on all of pediatrics, but many infectious diseases topics lend themselves to be naturally represented here, such as immunizations, community-acquired pneumonia, and many others. Abstract submissions are typically due in the fall and the meeting occurs in late April or early May. https://2020.pas-meeting.org/

  5. APIC (Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology): Focused on Infection Prevention and does offer an EPI Intensive certificate. Occurs throughout the year.
     
  6. SHEA (Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America): Annual Spring conference for hospital epidemiology (includes infection prevention and control and antimicrobial stewardship). This meeting offers different tracks and the opportunity to get a Training Course Certificate in Healthcare Epidemiology or Antimicrobial Stewardship. They also offer an annual fellow's course. Abstract submission is October. This meeting occurs in the Spring, generally end of March or early April. Every 10 years it is cohosted with the CDC called the decennial next one is March 2020. https://decennial2020/org

  7. ASM Microbe (American Society of Microbiology): The is a meeting for clinical microbiologists, infectious disease physicians, researchers and pharmacists to attend to better improve the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. It is the annual meeting of the ASM. https://www.asm.org/Events
     
  8. Global Conferences: WHO (World Health Organization), ESPID (European Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases), WSPID (World Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases), ECCMID (European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases), CUGH (Consortium of Universities for Global Health). These meetings are also opportunities to present your research and also meet others whom you can discuss infectious diseases with those dealing with global health issues not as common in the US. Check website for when meetings occur. https://espidmeeting.org/; https://wspid2019.kenes.com/ 
     
  9. HIV/AIDS Conferences: There are multiple conferences focused completely on HIV. If this is your specific interest, explore these and discuss with your mentor which are best suited to your interest and stage of training: CROI (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections), HIVMA (HIV Medicine Association) meetings, and IAS-USA yearly conferences. Check website for when meetings occur. http://www.croiconference.org/
     
  10. APPD (Association of Pediatric Program Directors): Semi-annual meetings focused on educating educators. This is important to consider if you plan on a career in education. This is important to consider if you plan on a career in education https://www.appd.org/meetings.fall.cfm; https://www.appd.org/meetings.spring.cfm

You can also look for meetings via your local and regional ID groups. This also provides opportunity to take on possible leadership roles as well as discuss cases and research relevant to where you practice.

d. Editorial boards/journal reviews

Ask your mentors, program director and other faculty members to involve you in journal reviews early. This will allow you to learn how to appraise a paper and will provide a great learning opportunity. Of course, be certain to abide by appropriate conduct of research, and make sure the editors know you are partaking in the review process. JPIDS has the opportunity for a fellow to serve on its editorial board. Link to this opportunity is below.  https://pidsfoundation.org/research/apprenticeship-program.html

Other editorial fellowship opportunities: https://sites.jamanetwork.com/fishbein

Some pointers on peer review:  https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1174007.pdf

See the reviewer checklist in appendix IV

b. Committees

Joining a local, regional, or national committee during fellowship training is a great way to learn more about an area of interest, conduct work in that area, and network with other individuals with similar personal interests. It is a great way to gain mentorship and exposure to thought leaders in the field outside of your home institution. There are myriad relevant committees, all with different application processes. Feeling overwhelmed? A great place to start is to think about what excites or intrigues you in the field of pediatric infectious diseases in order to better determine where you should begin your search. Next, poll your faculty and senior fellow(s) about committees they are involved in or ones that the'd recommend based on your professional interests. Don't be intimidated or fear that you wont have something to contribute. Committees have fellow-specific positions for a reason and your voice should be heard! It might be tempting to join several different committees especially if you're uncertain about a specific career track, however, keep in mind the time commitment. Joining a committee will likely enhance your CV, but you must balance that with competing tasks that will further your career such as your scholarly activity responsibilities. Remember that quality trumps quantity and profound work with 1 or 2 committees will take you a lot further than having a multiple committee memberships with minimal outputs. While this is not an exhaustive list, some examples of committees to join include:

  • PIDS committees (e.g. Training Programs, Education, program and Meetings committee, Vaccine Advocacy Committee etc.). Make sure that you are an active PIDS member and keep an eye out for the "call for volunteers" email that is typically sent annually in the late spring. Throw your hat in the ring! To see what each of these committees is responsible for, visit: http://wwwpids.org/about-us/pids-committees.html
  • SHEA Pediatric Leadership Council (PLC) Does infection control and hospital epidemiology excite you? Consider a position on either on the PLC steering committee or a specific subcommittee. Check out https://www.shea-online.org/index.php/about/volunteering for more information
  • American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Infectious Diseases (SOID) What better place to establish a stronghold than within the AAP's Section on Infectious Diseases? Be on the lookout for email notifications asking for fellow applicants for the Training Fellow Liaison positions. Visit https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/Sections/Section-on-Infectious-Diseases/Pages/SOID.aspx to learn more.
  • Hospital/Institutional Committees Sometimes you need to look no further than your own institution. From infection prevention and control/hospital epidemiology to antimicrobial stewardship to quality and safety, depending on your institution's strengths, there is likely ample opportunity to get involved and explore.
  • Fellowship Training Program Evaluation Committee (PEC) ACGME requirements state that each training program have this committee which is responsible for the production of an annual program evaluation and participation in ongoing quality improvement initiatives throughout the academic year. Additionally, there must be at least one fellow from that program on the committee.
  • State Chapter of the AAP is advocacy more your style? Join your state AAP chapter and discover opportunities that may be available around policy and legislation as it relates to infectious diseases prevention and treatment
  • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) The ACGME not only ensures that everyone is playing by the rule insofar as your training program is concerned, they also offer numerous opportunities for residents and fellows to get involved in many aspects of their work. From task forces to councils and committees, the ACGME prizes trainee voices as they aim to further their mission. Learn more at https://www.acgme.org/Residents-and-Fellows/Welcome
  • Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) If medical education is more of your passion, an easy way to get involved is to participate in your institutional GME committee meetings and pursue any leadership opportunities that may arise. Not only will you directly impact the quality of your training, you'll get to work alongside senior medical educators and gain mentorship as a result! Inquire with your program director of faculty to find out more about these opportunities!

c. Education

Fellowship training is an excellent time to practice honing your skills in the teaching and medical education arenas. If you plan to pursue an academic career, the opportunity to participate in educational initiatives with trainees at all stages will likely play a significant role in your professional responsibilities. There are many ways to get involved in medial education as a fellow, however, these are likely to vary by program. First and foremost, let it be known by educational leaders at your institution that you are interested in these endeavors. They will be your champions and allies and help you look for ways to develop your teaching portfolio which can be an attractive bonus when it comes times to apply for faculty positions. who should you ask, specifically?

  • Fellowship Program Director: This may seem obvious, but your PD likely shares a similar interest given the nature of their position. Aside from leading round and teaching the on-service students and residents. inquire about the possibility of developing fellow-led curricula or a lecture series. Some programs name a "chief fellow" who handles the more administrative and technical aspects of the program during their senior year. Incorporating teaching opportunities into this would be an excellent way to refine skills! Lastly, ask your PD if there are any leaders in medical education research present at your institution. If so, meet with them to determine if there are any scholarly projects you could join or develop alongside of them. There may also be opportunities for you to engage with and participate in activities affiliated with the APPD (Association of Pediatric Program Directors) or the PIDS education and/or Training Programs Committees so be sure to inquire about these as well.
  • Pediatric Residency Program Director/Chief Residents: Morning reports, noon conferences. Residents are usually hungry for knowledge and Chief Residents are always more than happy to offer fellows opportunities to present at their conferences. Antibiotics 101 and case-based lectures are usually a big hit and if you offer yourself up to the residency training program, it can be guaranteed that you'll get more than a couple of invitation to speak.
  • Medical School Clinical/Rotation Directors: If residents are hungry, medical students are ravenous. get to know the pediatric clerkship directors and ask how you can get involved. Whether its staffing an associated free clinic, mentoring the students on clinical skills, or moderating small groups, they will be extremely appreciative.

Depending on your institution, you may have the opportunity to delve deeper into medical education by pursuing an MPHE (Masters of Health Professions Education) degree, joining your GME committee as a fellow representative (see "Committees" above), or by participating in various institution-led workshops on topics to medical education (e.g. feedback/evaluation, goal/objective writing, etc.). If you are reading this before you become a full-fledged fellow and you have an interest in medical education, be sure to research programs that offer formal mentorship and education in this topic area so that you get the best overall training experience.