Clinical Electives Program: Infectious Diseases

Four-Week Session offered monthly

Rotation Director:
Juan Gea-Banacloche, MD

Rotation Description
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) infectious disease training program welcomes medical students in their fourth year to a consecutive four-week clinical rotation at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The student will become a member of the infectious disease consultation team in the NIH Clinical Center, joining the fellow and attending physician in seeing patients with difficult problems. Patients seen by the consultation service come from all over the hospital and have a broad spectrum of underlying medical and surgical problems. Patients from the bone marrow transplant unit and other immunosuppressed patients form a substantial part of the experience.

The student is expected to work with the team every weekday between 8:00 a.m. and approximately 5:00 p.m. The student makes rounds with the Fellow in the morning until 10:30 a.m., then the student meets with the Fellow, attending physician, and microbiology staff to discuss microbiology lab results of the day. The student then works up new consults and sees old consults. Cases are discussed with the Fellow and presented to the attending physician in the afternoon. The student then writes a note for the chart. Medical Grand Rounds and other teaching conferences are available but not required. Students can use the enormous resources of the NIH computer system and one of the finest medical libraries in the United States to search for information about the patients they are seeing. There is no required evening or weekend duty.

Students do not have an opportunity for laboratory work but can learn about the laboratory work by attending any of the many research conferences on the NIH Calendar of Events.

Rotation Objectives

  • Clinical exposure to a diversity of patients with difficult problems in infectious disease.
  • Learn about the research studies in which patients in Infectious Diseases are participating.
  • Learn how personal interaction with an excellent diagnostic microbiology laboratory can improve patient care.
  • Present one of their patients at one of the two weekly infectious disease conferences.
  • Experience first-hand the possibility of pursuing infectious disease subspecialty training after internal medicine residency.

Selection of Applicants
One student is scheduled for each four-week period during the academic year.


  • Christa Zerbe, MD, Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program
  • Veronique Nussenblatt, MD, Associate Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program/CEP Rotation Director/Chief of the ID Consult Service
  • John Bennett, MD, Associate Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program
  • Various other core Infectious Diseases faculty

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This page last updated on 07/06/2023

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