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 2021 will be accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) August 12, 2020 - October 15, 2020. 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 2021

  • Edward Drehs  Edward Drehs, MD
  • Jarelys Hernandez Jimenez   Jarelys Hernandez Jimenez, MD
  • Cody Horn Cody Horn, DO     
  • Zola Nlandu 2019  Zola Nlandu, MD
  • Hareesh Singam 2019 Hareesh Singam, MD


Year 1 Fellows - Graduation 2022

  •   Burkhead, Thomas headshot  Thomas Burkhead, MD
  •   Contreras, Edward headshot2  Alberto Contreras, MD
  •   Cornelius, Tuhina headshot  Tuhina Cornelius, MD
  •   Davis, Michele headshot  Michele Davis, MD
  •   Lopez-Padilla, Christian  Christian Lopez-Padilla, MD
  •   Sabunwala, Suhel Suhel Sabunwala, 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

“I’m thankful to have the opportunity to train at USF for infectious disease. The faculty is knowledgeable, friendly and responsive to my needs. Training at three different locations (Tampa General, Moffitt and Tampa VA) allowed for diverse learning experiences. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel to Panama with the full support of the program and faculty. During my time there I worked closed on a daily basis with a wonderful director of Gorgas Institute, Dr. Sosa. As a result, I saw first-hand the impact of the Zika epidemic in Central America. Overall, I highly recommend considering USF as a location for anyone considering training in Infectious Disease for its supportive faculty, diverse learning opportunities and international exposures.”

- Minh Ho, DO, Class of 2016

“I was very fortunate to have trained at USF. The degree of pathology seen there and in particular the transplant ID experiences were excellent. The varied practice environments which include a cancer specialty hospital, tertiary care center, VA, health department and private practice insure that you will feel comfortable in nearly any ID practice. The support to attend national meetings, board review, international experiences (such as the time I spent at the Gorgas Institute in Panama where I saw patients with Zika, Leishmania, TB and other tropical diseases) and research time are great strengths. If you have a special interest in STD’s, TB, HCV, telemedicine, pediatric ID or want to see more patients in a private practice setting, then there are always experienced clinicians willing to teach. The relationship between the faculty and the fellows is excellent and is fostered by many informal get-togethers and educational experiences like Journal Club at local restaurants. Lastly the Tampa Bay area is near beautiful beaches, theme parks and is a very family friendly and livable city. I hope you consider USF for your training, you won’t regret it.”

- Joseph Paruolo MD, Class of 2016

"Coming to the University of South Florida to complete my fellowship training in infectious disease was the best decision I have made. I received a superb education and was trained by extremely knowledgeable attendings who were supportive, patient, and available at all times. I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to train at USF and would highly recommend this program to any resident considering a career in infectious disease."

- Pamela Damisse Noel MD, Class of 2013

"When I came for an interview I was impressed with the program in many ways and could tell the current fellows were extremely satisfied. The attendings and Division staff had more than a professional relationship; something more like family. My time in the fellowship program exceeded my expectations. It provided multiple learning opportunities in a comfortable, team environment. The clinical experience covered every detail and helped me develop an increased confidence in clinical management. I found many role models for my personal and professional life and will miss the program greatly."

- Luis Rosas MD, Class of 2012

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time at USF during my ID fellowship. The opportunities available at our fellowship are remarkable. The program is very supportive of new ideas from the fellows especially in the field of research. The ID program is also very supportive of sending the second year fellows to a standardized ID board review. Even more importantly, there is great camaraderie among the ID fellows, staff and attending. I really enjoyed seeing patients in three very distinct hospitals as well. If I had to do it all over again, I would definitely go to USF for ID."

- Aliyah Baluch MD, Class of 2010

"I was trained as an infectious disease fellow with USF Infectious Disease for the academic year July 2007 through June 2009. I have been working as an Infectious Disease/HIV Specialist in California since July 2009. My two year ID Fellowship experience is totally helping me in managing patients on my own, even though some are different and challenging. The different rotations I did in USF ID Fellowship training covered varieties of ID aspects in terms of general infectious disease, HIV, infections in immunosupressed and transplant patients and outpatients primary and HIV care. I feel confident in managing patients independently because of my training experience with USF ID as an ID Fellow."

- Theingi Oo MD, Class of 2009

"The USF Infectious Disease & International Medicine program has really prepped me well for private practice! I would like to thank all of the attending once again. The program had just the right combination of academic and interesting cases but yet 'bread & butter' routine infectious diseases. I can now appreciate all of the weekly lectures & presentations. All of the attending has had a unique impact on my knowledge base. I felt 'comfortable' immediately upon entering the private world, in fact I had a vast of new & 'cutting edge' knowledge that I was able to share with my colleagues. I often receive statements from other physicians such as 'you seemed to have trained at a good program.' I am very proud of our program."

- Juan D. Diaz DO, Class of 2007

"The USF Infectious Disease fellowship program provided me with all the essential tools to provide excellent care and expertise in the area of infectious disease. The faculty were not only excellent mentors but they were better human beings. We were not only fellows, we were a family. The pathology we were exposed to during my two years was incredible. From the simple community-acquired pneumonia to Hansen’s disease (Mycobacterium leprosy). Now that I am in private practice, I can really appreciate everything that was taught to me during those two years. I can definitely say, it was worth it! I would recommend this program to young physicians who are interested in pursuing a career in infectious disease. It will not only make you a better doctor, but as I like to think of it 'A Super Internist."

- Anibal Maldonado MD, Class of 2007

Fellowship Alumni