Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine

Fellowship Program


We thank you for your interest in our Infectious Disease Fellowship program.  The current COVID-19 pandemic is an example of the ever-changing landscape of infectious diseases.  Infectious Diseases are unpredictable and continuously evolving, challenging even the most experienced physicians and scientists.  It is these challenges that make the specialty of Infectious Diseases exciting and incredibly rewarding. 

Our Program understands that this fellowship application season falls during this complex and chaotic time.  We understand that some anticipated clinical elective rotations or research projects may not have been completed due to the current circumstances.  Although it is encouraged for applicants to seek letters of recommendation; we realize it may be a difficult time to obtain them.  We assure you that we will review all applications mindful of these realities and will not hold schedule changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic against our applicants.

We strongly encourage anyone who is considering applying for ID Fellowship training to apply, and not withhold your application because of these concerns.  We look forward to meeting many of you, whether it be in person or remotely, in hopes that you may join us on the exciting journey of the specialty of Infectious Diseases.

A Few Facts About Our Fellowship Program:

  • We currently have 11 Fellows
  • ACGME Accreditation for 10 years with commendation
  • Over 100 graduates since 1980
  • Board pass rate 100%
  • The largest ID program in Florida - one of the largest in the US!

Fellowship Training is based on five general concepts:

  • Patient care
  • Dedicated research time
  • Education objectives
  • Curriculum development
  • Regular evaluation of fellows, faculty and the program

Rotation Sites: 

Learn about each site's patient population and educational mission

Application Process

Applications for 2022 will be accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) July 21, 2021 - October 15, 2021. Potential candidates can access applications through the AAMC/ERAS website.

Recommended items for applying to the program include:

  • Completed ERAS application
  • CV
  • Program Director's letter and three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • ECFMG (if applicable)
  • USMLE or COMLEX scores 

    Please follow this link to access USF's GME webpage.

Current Fellows

Year 2  Fellows - Graduation 2022


  •  Thomas Burkhead Headshot 2020   Thomas Burkhead, MD
  •  Alberto Contreras Headshot 2020   Alberto Contreras, MD
  •  Tuhina Cornelius Headshot 2020   Tuhina Cornelius, MD
  •  Michelle Davis Headshot 2020   Michele Davis, MD
  •  Christian Padilla-Lopez Headshot 2020   Christian Lopez-Padilla, MD
  • Suhil Sabunwala Headshot 2020   Suhel Sabunwala, MD


Year 1 Fellows - Graduation 2023

  •    Jaraad Dattadeen, MD
  •    Amro Elshereye, MD
  •    David Rutenberg, DO
  •    Nikhut Siddique, DO
  •    Anna Sikora, MD


Alumni Testimonials:

"I am very proud to be a part of this program.  There are few places in the nation that can provide what USF can provide.  We have the opportunity to go to the VA Hospital, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa General Hospital, and the Department of Health HIV Clinic.  We get a lot of exposure to different patient populations and different pathologies.  They gave me the tools to succeed... I was blessed to find a job back in Puerto Rico (where I will mostly be doing transplant/BMI) - the only reason I got that job is because I trained here (at USF).  One of the strongest (assets of the program) are the people here... it's like a big family."

- Carlos Perez Lopez, MD, Class of 2020

“Coming from Ohio, I had no strong ties to Florida and the main reason I chose USF were due to two reasons: the faculty/fellows, and the clinical experience. These past two years have shown me that I had made the correct choice. The clinical training you receive is excellent here and the faculty are passionate about teaching. I am grateful for lifelong mentors and ties to the program!"

Click here to see a video testimonial from Dr. Sabapathy

- Vidya Sabapathy, MD, Class of 2020

"The University of South Florida is a great place to train in Infectious Disease!  You will be exposed to many different patient populations in going to the VA, TGH, and Moffitt which allows you to focus your learning and exposure to bread and butter ID, advanced surgical patients, and cutting edge cancer care (CAR-T, BMT, Immunomodulators).  The faculty are knowledgeable, nice, and easy to work with.  Tampa itself is an amazing city with plenty to do (for both young families and singles).  If I had to choose, I would choose USF again."

- Natan Kraitman, MD, Class of 2019

"I got everything I was looking for in this program and then some more.  Optimal service and education balance.  Attendings are very nice, cooperative, and provide quality education.  Rounds times are always respected.  Huge support from the pharmacists on rounds, and the fact that there are four distinct facilities to work in (Moffitt Cancer Center, JAHVA, Tampa General Hospital, and The FL Health Department).  All the above made choosing this program a no-brainer, would do it over again without a doubt!.  Not to mention that the program coordinator is the best!.  Thankful I matched in this program.”

- Garabet Akoghlanian, MD, Class of 2018

"I thoroughly enjoyed my Infectious Disease Fellowship at USF.  The attendings are readily available whether it be during rounds, through the night or on weekends.  They motivate me to continually strive to be a better clinician and their support and guidance is constant.  Each and every attending always has an open door (policy)… They always carry smiles and passion with them.  Training at three different hospitals is such a benefit as each facility has a unique set of patients, giving you a rich experience.  Conferences are one of the highlights of the program and I’m glad I was able to contribute to them.  I would select USF Infectious Disease all over again as I know I will be trained by some of the best clinicians in the nation!" 

- Shuchi Pandya, MD, Class of 2017

"The University of South Florida Infectious Disease Fellowship provides the fellows with the best tools for professional success. The work-load is optimal; fellows are pushed hard to be prepared for future positions in the academic or private world but also given enough flexibility to work on research and enjoy free time outside of work. During our training, we are exposed to a great variety of patient populations and conditions. Having three important hospitals and the health department to rotate at gives us the chance to see the whole spectrum of infectious diseases.

The research opportunities are endless, as is the motivation of the faculty helping us with the projects. The administrative staff is extremely helpful and willing to go the extra mile to help the fellows. Also, Tampa is a wonderful city with great weather and amazing beaches close by. Coming to USF was the best decision - you feel at home and become part of a great family!"

- Manuel Castro, MD, Class of 2017

"Fellowship at USF Infectious Disease Division was a great experience! Three training sites provide an in-depth exposure not only in the field of general Infectious Disease, but also in infections seen in patients post-transplant, hematologic malignancies, spinal cord injury patients, and HIV/AIDS. The program was able to tailor my schedule so I could receive more experience in the area I was most interested. I am grateful I was able to work with such outstanding faculty that makes fellows’ education their highest priority!"

- Olga Klinkova, MD, Class of 2017