MMC offers an ideal environment in which to train infectious disease fellows. The hospital provides primary care services to the Greater Portland community and is a referral center for the entire state of Maine and adjacent parts of New Hampshire. The Infectious Disease consultation service (500-800 consults per year) encompasses a wide array of infections that include the complications of bone marrow and renal transplantation, HIV, surgical specialties and diseases of international refugees and travelers.
The division of infectious diseases is staffed by five board-certified infectious disease specialists and two board certified pediatric infectious diseases specialists, each with particular clinical or research interests. The division is closely allied with the microbiology laboratory and the hospital pharmacy. A Pharm.D. from the pharmacy holds a joint appointment in the division. The fellows enjoy a close working relationship with this faculty in a supportive environment.
There are several educational programs devoted to specific areas of infectious disease. The division is responsible for all infection control policies and procedures within the hospital, and a member of the division is the hospital epidemiologist. The division also oversees a hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Program in conjunction with the Pharmacy. A multidisciplinary team of physicians from the division with support of a nurse practitioner, social workers, dietician, and clerical staff provides HIV consultations and hepatitis C treatment programs, based in its own facility.
The division also has a close working relationship with Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI). Full-time investigators and clinicians with expertise in immunology are actively involved in a broad program of research. Fellows are able to participate in the activities of this laboratory, including the development of new molecular biology techniques in microbiology and proteomics. The clinical outcomes research unit of MMCRI can also provide assistance for fellows.
Division facilities include an infection control / epidemiology office complex, clinical facilities, the molecular biology and vector-borne disease laboratories at MMCRI, and a private office complex. Fellows may rotate through the state-supported STD clinic, the tuberculosis clinic, and an international clinic, which cares for a number of immigrants and refugees. The director of the international clinic and a member of the division of infectious diseases have a special interest in tropical medicine.
The infectious disease fellowship is one of 20 residency and fellowship programs at MMC, and one of 8 medical fellowships. All fellows benefit from strong hospital library, audiovisual, and computer literature search capabilities. Medical fellows meet regularly for a joint research conference, and enjoy frequent opportunities for collaborative education.
MMC supports one new fellow per year for two years of training. Candidates must have successfully completed three years of training internal medicine in an approved allopathic or osteopathic training program and be board eligible in internal medicine.
Certification in the subspecialty of infectious diseases by the American Board of Internal Medicine requires internal medicine training in an allopathic residency program, successful completion of the certifying examination in internal medicine, and a recommendation from the fellowship program director.