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Information for ID Programs Applying for the Pilot

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Questions and Answers about the

Joint ID/EIS Fellowship Program & Pilot Application

 

February 2022

Thank you for your interest in the Joint ID/EIS Fellowship program. Recordings for the two question and answer sessions are available here:

For those who prefer text, questions received and answers are below. 

Is the Joint ID/EIS Fellowship program open to Pediatric ID Fellowships?

No, the pilot program is focused on adult ID Fellowship programs. In future years we may be able to expand to include Pediatric ID Fellowship programs.

How will off-cycle fellows be handled (e.g. someone taking time off for maternity leave, who would not graduate residency or ID fellowship at end of June)?

At the pilot stage, we are not able to accommodate off-cycle fellows. As the program expands, we will work to identify ways to accommodate off-cycle fellows.

How will the Joint ID/EIS Fellowship program synergize with IDSA/CDC's LEAP Fellowship? Will the focus of that become early career people instead of fellows, kind of like early career NIH funding?

The Joint ID/EIS Fellowship and LEAP Fellowship are separate programs. There are no plans to shift the focus of either program.

Is there any plan from CDC/EIS to promote the programs that have this joint opportunity? How well advertised to prospective fellows is this Joint Program going to be?

CDC will add language about this Joint Fellowship program to their website and will include it in their outreach about EIS. Separately, we expect ID Fellowship programs participating in the pilot to help promote the opportunity, for example, through social media and on their websites. IDSA will provide messages and information to post on these platforms; ID Fellowship programs are not expected to create this content. IDSA is also working to promote the Joint Program and will do so through IDWeek and other relevant forums. 

How does the funding work? How do the slots work? Is CDC funding an additional fellow above what the program customarily has? Or do the programs offer one of their slots reserved for the Joint Program, paid for by their program budget?
Either way, these have ACGME complement and Match mechanics implications and potentially issues. We are envisioning two possible scenarios, which one does the Joint Program follow?
  • If the CDC is paying for an extra spot, then programs have to potentially increase their ACGME complement. And, if the CDC is paying, I am assuming that the hospital does not get the funds if they do not match.  In that case, the spot offered in the Match would not revert to the program.
  • If the program is paying, then we can have a separate Match number for the Joint Program, and if that goes unfilled, the spot can revert to the general track.

The Joint ID/EIS Fellowship program follows the second option. The ID Fellowship program is paying for the 2 years that a fellow would spend in the ID portion of the Joint Fellowship. ID Fellowship programs will add a separate Match number for the Joint Program, and if that goes unfilled, the spot will revert to the general/traditional track. A separate track number is needed both in ERAS and NRMP. Programs selected to participate in the pilot will need to add the joint track in both ERAS and NRMP. IDSA will provide a naming convention for consistency.

Does CDC fund the first 2 years of the traditional ID fellowship for a selected fellow? For example, our program has been approved to have 4 fellows/year. If we are selected for the pilot program, and we match a successful applicant for the combined fellowship – would we be able to take 4 fellows through regular Match and 1 through the combined fellowship, for a total of 5 fellows?

No, the CDC is not funding the traditional ID fellowship portion. If a candidate for an ID Fellowship program matches with the combined fellowship, this would count towards the total number of fellows for the ID program. In the example from the question, the program would be able to accept 1 fellow in the joint program and 3 in the traditional ID fellowship Match process to stay within the 4 total spots approved.

Does the joint spot impact the NRMP Match process? i.e., does the joint spot match separately (using a different NRMP code)?

If an ID Fellowship program’s joint spot is not filled, it rolls into the program’s general/traditional track. If a joint spot is not filled, it will not prevent the program from reaching its ACGME complement total as the program can fill through the general/traditional track.

In a given match year if a Joint Fellowship slot goes unfilled within that same match year, is there an opportunity for a traditional applicant to fill that slot?

Yes, if the slot for the Joint Fellowship program did not match, the program would be able to fill that slot with a traditional applicant.

Can you explain more about the separate joint track in the Match? If a program does not fill the joint spot does this penalize the ID Fellowship program in terms of matching?

If an ID Fellowship program participating in this program does not match a joint fellow, that spot reverts to the general/traditional program track. An ID Fellowship program would be able to match the full number of spots through the general/traditional program track. Programs are not penalized in terms of the total number of fellows they can have because they are participating in this Joint Fellowship program.

Can ID Fellowship programs ask applicants if they are interested in the general/traditional track if they are not accepted to the joint program?

Yes, during the application process, a program can ask an applicant if they would like to be considered for the general/traditional track if they are not accepted to the Joint Fellowship program. Applicants and the Program Directors for the ID Fellowship programs participating in the pilot will know if the applicants have been accepted to EIS before the ranking and Match process and will be able to rank applicants to the general/traditional track if appropriate.

If a fellow matches in the Joint Fellowship program, is the site binding as it is in regular fellowship match?

Yes, it is binding for the ID Fellowship program and site. There may be some flexibility regarding the EIS placement as discussed below in the section titled EIS-related Questions.

Can you confirm that the Joint Fellows will be ACGME fellows, following ACGME ID program requirements and will sit for boards?

Yes.

Can you explain the application process and provide a high-level description of what fellowship programs are required to provide in the application?

The application consists of yes/no and short answer questions. No separate documents need to be uploaded to the system. All short answer questions are limited to 250-word responses. The application includes several sections:

  • General program information (location, Program Director information)
  • Willingness to actively participate if selected for the Joint Program – including to provide feedback and promote the Joint Fellowship program (with support from IDSA)
  • Program’s explanation of their interest in the pilot and fit for the Joint Program, including public health related opportunities within the ID program
  • Relationship with state and local public health departments
  • Information about applicants and alumni, and their interest in public health
Where can I find all of the application questions?

A link to these questions is provided here.

In looking through the application, where you ask for number of alumni with MPH under #9, is that just for the past 5 years (or overall, which will be tricky to tally)?

The past 5 years.

What are features of ID Fellowship programs that are being considered for selecting programs for the pilot? Are programs in larger cities preferred?

We are seeking geographic diversity across the United States, and not just considering programs in large cities. We are looking for programs with existing relationships with state and local public health departments, where people can stay relatively close (such as a few hours away) to their ID Fellowship location.

How important is the ID Fellowship program’s tie with the local health department, especially since some of the EIS spots could potentially be outside of the ID program's locale? Our local county health department is quite small, and we are not sure they could sustain a fellow for 2 years.

In terms of proximity to local/state public health departments, we are considering health departments in the region, rather than just the immediate vicinity of the ID Fellowship program. For example, a state health department may be approximately two hours away from an ID Fellowship program based in a smaller town. Some applicants may be interested in remaining in the region, even if not in the same city/town.

Is there an expectation of the ID Fellowship to have epidemiology-focused aspect to the curriculum?

No. There is no expectation for an epidemiology focus to the curriculum of the ID Fellowship programs participating in the Joint ID/EIS Fellowship program.

Are there any required or elective EIS activities for the fellows during the first two years?

There are no required or suggested elective activities during the first two years. A Joint Fellow could potentially choose to coordinate with their EIS placement on research activities, but there is no requirement or expectation that this would happen.

Will this new path toward EIS positions become the sole path to EIS as of July 2026?

No, the main EIS program will continue to be the main pathway. This Joint Program is an opportunity to provide a more structured career path for ID physicians interested in both EIS and an ID fellowship.

If a person is accepted to EIS and then accepted to ID fellowship, when will they go through the EIS site match process (which is after they are accepted to EIS)? I'm assuming right before they make the transition to their EIS fellowship?

Our goal is to have the Joint Fellow learn of their EIS placement as soon as possible after they match with the ID Fellowship program. 

We are envisioning two tracks for the EIS portion of the Joint Program. One option is for fellows to remain geographically close to their ID Fellowship program and the other option is to seek an Atlanta-based position. Joint Fellows may choose an Atlanta posting if that is their preference – perhaps to focus on a specific subject area. In rare cases, the situation locally may change towards the end of an ID Fellowship; if a local placement may not be feasible due to staffing changes or other unforeseen circumstances at the local placement/health department, an Atlanta posting will be available as a guaranteed back up placement.

Conversely, if an applicant matches to a certain place for EIS and then the applicant/fellow changes their mind, they are no longer guaranteed an EIS spot as their reserved spot is tied to a specific location.

Will fellows be selected for EIS with geography in mind?

Selection of fellows is based on meeting the program’s criteria. There will be a small number of ID Fellowship programs participating in the pilot, so we believe those who are interested in the Joint Fellowship program will self-select for locations of interest. As noted above, we envision two different tracks for EIS placement – one track where the EIS placement and ID Fellowship are in the same place. The other track is for those who may be more focused on a particular subject matter area and are interested in a position in Atlanta with the relevant department for their EIS placement. In this case, a Joint Fellow could potentially connect with the experts they will be working with through the EIS program for guidance on research projects during the ID Fellowship portion of the program.

When applicants go through the EIS application process, do they identify preference for location?

EIS accepts applicants to a class. The placement will occur later, though as close as possible timing-wise to the ID Fellowship Match. During the Joint Fellowship program pilot phase, there will be a limited number of ID Fellowship programs participating.  After the Match process happens, CDC will work to align the individual with a local opportunity, near an ID Fellowship program pilot site, or an Atlanta position, depending on preference and available opportunities.

Can you clarify the H-1B restriction for EIS? Can EIS accept someone who is already here on an H-1B?

For Non-U.S. Citizens without U.S. Permanent Resident status, EIS can only accept individuals eligible for a J-1 visa. Individuals who are on an H1-B for the ID Fellowship may elect to switch to a J-1 visa for the EIS portion of the Joint Program, if they are willing and eligible. Individuals must be eligible for and on a J-1 visa during the EIS portion of the Joint Fellowship.

When will ID Fellowship programs know about an applicant’s acceptance to the EIS?

Applicants go through the full EIS selection process. By the middle to end of October, CDC sends out notifications to candidates letting them know if they have been accepted or not.  CDC will share this information with Program Directors participating in the Joint Fellowship pilot on the same timeline.

Fellows would apply to EIS and ID Fellowships simultaneously. Will they tell EIS that they’re applying to the Joint Program?

Yes, when candidates apply, they will indicate in both EIS and ERAS (for ID Fellowships) that they are interested in the Joint Program. Those who are interested in the Joint Program will be accepted to a future class of the EIS program, not the class starting the subsequent year. CDC is tracking which EIS class the individual is accepted into.

Can you summarize the process for the applicants?

Applicants will apply to both EIS and ID Fellowship programs in parallel. The EIS application process begins before the ID Fellowship application process, so applicants will need to manage the processes together. Applicants will indicate in the EIS application and in ERAS that they are applying for the Joint Program. We will highlight the need for applicants to apply and manage the separate processes in our marketing materials about the program.

Applicants will find out about their acceptance to EIS before the ranking process. CDC will share information about who has been accepted to EIS with ID Fellowship Program Directors participating in the pilot so that ID Fellowship programs can determine their ranking plans.

We hope to be able to streamline the application process in future years.

If an applicant applies for the Joint Program, but does not get accepted, are they able to revert back to the traditional ID Fellowship program?

Applicants can rank both the Joint ID/EIS Fellowship track and the regular track. Applicants will be aware if they’ve been accepted to EIS prior to the Match process. If they are not accepted to the EIS, then presumably they would not rank a joint spot in the Match. The applicant will have gone through the ID Fellowship program application process and could still match through the general/traditional track if the ID Fellowship program also ranked that individual for that track. ID Fellowship Program Directors participating in the pilot will receive a list of those who were accepted to EIS prior to the Match, so they will be able to determine their rank lists for each track. Separately, an applicant could be accepted to EIS then not match to the Joint Program or a general program if they do not match successfully in the Match process.

Will the Joint ID/EIS Fellows be ACGME Fellows and be expected to follow all ACGME ID Fellowship program requirements and sit for their boards?

Yes.

Is there an estimate of the total number of applicants anticipated to be accepted into this program during the first year of the pilot?

We do not have a target for the total number of applicants to be accepted into the program during the first year of the pilot. We are hoping to identify 6-8 ID Fellowship programs to participate and hope to have at least one Joint Fellow at each of the participating ID Fellowship programs.

The ID/EIS fellowship pilot program is funded by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant number NU50CK000574). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The information on this page does not necessarily represent the policy of CDC or HHS and should not be considered an endorsement by the Federal Government.

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