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, but frequently has added benefits of journal subscriptions or discounted rates to conferences. 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! Peds ID fellows also have the opportunity to be paired with a mentor for the entire conference. The PIDS business meeting and reception offers another excellent opportunity to mingle with Peds ID colleagues. Take advantage of these and other opportunities to network outside of your institution.
     
  2. St. Jude/PIDS Conference: Annual meeting for pediatric infectious diseases research, with significant career development programming for trainees. While smaller than IDWeek, this conference presents a great networking opportunity for fellows and is entirely focused on pediatrics.
     
  3. Antimicrobial Stewardship Conference (ASP) Conference: PIDS Antimicrobial Stewardship Conference, held annually at Children's Mercy-Kansas City. 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.

  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.

  5. APIC (Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology): Focused on Infection Prevention
     
  6. SHEA: Annual Spring conference for hospital epidemiology (includes infection prevention and control and antimicrobial stewardship)
     
  7. ICAAC (Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy): This 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 American Society for Microbiology.
     
  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)
     
  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
     
  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.

Committees

Joining a committee during fellowship is a great way to learn more about an area of interest, conduct work in that area, and network with other individuals with similar interests. It is also a requirement during fellowship training by the ACGME (Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education). Some organizations have formal application processes for fellows to join committees; others may invite you to join if you express interest. As you begin to develop your interests during your first and second years of fellowship, think about what type of committee would be beneficial to you. Keep in mind the time commitment – joining a committee will likely improve your CV, but you must balance that with completing other important tasks that further your career (like your research). Some examples of committees to join include:

  • PIDS committees – application process in spring
  • SHEA Pediatric Leadership Council (PLC) – either on the PLC steering committee or a specific subcommittee
  • AAP – Section On Infectious Diseases
  • Hospital committees – infection prevention and control, antimicrobial stewardship, quality and safety, pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T), drug use and evaluation (DUE)
  • Your program's Program Evaluation Committee (PEC), which is required by ACGME to have a fellow
  • Vaccine Advocacy Committee

Education

There will be many opportunities for informal education as you interact with residents, students, and other learners on clinical service. These can be great opportunities to sharpen your own ID knowledge by developing quick teaching sessions that you can deliver on the fly. If you have a deeper interest in education, you can seek opportunities for more formal teaching, such as medical student lectures/labs, residency lectures, resident morning report or case conferences, or even your own fellowship lecture series. There may also be opportunities to be involved in the graduate medical education committee or other administrative body. If these opportunities interest you, ask!

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.