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Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases

Mentorship Program

Michael Barza, MD, infectious disease specialist at Tufts Medical Center.Our mentorship program has been cited as exemplary by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. We believe that attentive, individualized mentorship is most helpful in supporting our fellows in reaching their desired goals.

Mentoring is provided by our experienced faculty who include Michael Barza, MD editor of Clinical Infectious Diseases, a major resource for clinical infectious disease practitioners and academicians and David Snydman, MD, FACP, FIDSA co-editor of Transplant Infections, a primary textbook for the care of the transplant patient. In addition, Dr. Snydman was recently awarded the prestigious Walter E. Stamm Mentor Award which recognizes exemplary mentors. Colleague Linden Hu, MD had the following to say about Dr. Snydman’s mentorship:

“David’s outstanding mentorship shows in the success of his 37 individual mentees, 92 former fellows, and numerous faculty members, as well as in the success of the programs he has implemented and the creativity he brings to the mentorship program. Many of these former trainees and junior colleagues currently serve in senior leadership positions in academia, industry and public health in the US and around the globe.”

“Since 1998, 12 trainees from the program have been awarded K08 or K23 grants and 3 faculty members have been awarded K24 grants.”

“…a common theme that emerges is how much David cares about the success of the people who work with him. For David, the definition of “mentee” is not just limited to the ID fellows and faculty at Tufts, but really, anyone at any institution who asks for his help.”

“…multiple mentees say that they still rely on his advice years after leaving his direct mentorship.”

“From my perspective, the defining characteristic of David’s mentorship is the genuine care that he had for each trainee and faculty member under his guidance and the investment he makes in each of us.”

 “…he possesses what all great mentors possess: the ability to see the potential in people even when they may not see it in themselves and the strength of belief to make them successful.”

Each fellow, at every point of his or her fellowship, will have a mentor. Prior to choosing an area of research, the fellow will have a mentor based on the fellow’s desired area(s) of likely concentration. During the first year of fellowship, fellows will choose research mentors. With the assistance of the research mentor, the fellow will begin outlining both the research project(s) to be undertaken, as well as selecting a mentorship committee.

The mentorship committee serves a variety of purposes, ensuring that:

  • the fellow's research is progressing
  • the fellow’s clinical/educational activities are appropriate to their area of desired concentration
  • the fellow receives any necessary supplemental training based on their individual interests and area of chosen research
  • the fellow is receiving appropriate guidance in manuscript preparation (and grant writing, if desired)
  • the fellow has opportunity to share his/her work in the appropriate milieus, including presentation at national/international conferences
  • the fellow is receiving appropriate advice about job searching
Mentorship committees are chosen based on fellow’s area of concentration and desired post-training employment. Committees meet as frequently as necessary to assist the fellow in these important areas.