Infectious Disease Fellowship

Vassar Brothers Medical Center (VBMC) is a 350-bed facility that has served New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley since 1887. VBMC includes 294 private patient rooms, 13 surgical suites and a 66-room emergency and trauma center. As part of the larger health system of Nuvance Health, a network of seven hospitals and numerous outpatient facilities throughout the Hudson Valley and across western Connecticut, our patients benefit from the various services and multispecialty groups across the health system. VBMC treats patients with a variety of infectious diseases including COVID-19, Lyme Disease, HIV and many others. The infectious disease specialists at Nuvance Health diagnose and treat many types of infectious diseases providing coordinated and personalized care from skilled specialist. The infectious disease team also places a large emphasis on education within the health system and the development of a fellowship training program fits perfectly within the goals of this department.

VBMC has been recognized in its expertise for a variety of services including cardiac services, cancer care and women and children’s health services. In addition, the hospital contains the area’s first and only cardiothoracic surgery program between Westchester and Albany and the only Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the region for premature and critically ill infants. VBMC prides itself on providing innovative procedures and services including robotic orthopedic surgery, liver and pancreatic surgery, interventional neuroradiology, surgical oncology and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

As the primary clinical training site for the Infectious Disease Fellowship Program, VBMC will provide fellows with high quality clinical training experiences as well as access to exceptional education, scholarship, and GME spaces throughout the hospital. All program rotations will occur at this site including the continuity and longitudinal outpatient clinics, inpatient infectious disease consults, HIV outpatient rotation, infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship, microbiology, wound care, research/quality improvement and all elective rotations. Under the careful supervision of board-certified physicians, rotations and educational activities will be properly staffed and managed in compliance with the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirements. The Program Director and clinical faculty will provide supervision of the Infectious Disease Fellowship Program. The Site Director and Program Director, Dr. Hector Ojeda-Martinez, is board certified in Internal Medicine, and Infectious Disease by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).



Program Information

Fellows will demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of healthcare by practicing in multiple clinical settings throughout the program. By assisting with care coordination for long-term and acute patients on clinical services such as consults, fellows will learn to call effectively on other resources in the area to provide optimal health care. Another opportunity to incorporate systems-based practice and understanding the social determinants of health into a fellow’s practice is during the HIV clinic experience, which will take place longitudinally throughout the fellowship program. This clinic provides care for patients with HIV/AIDS in the Hudson Valley, and alongside our multidisciplinary team members the clinic provides case management services, such as assessment of needs, service planning, coordination of services, monitoring and follow up, reassessment, and crisis intervention. Our fellows will work alongside supervising faculty and other members of the healthcare team to provide compassionate care to the clinic’s patient population, which is disproportionately affected by social determinants of health.

Academic Offerings

Our Academic Half-Day will occur on Wednesday mornings, lasting 3-4 hours and ensuring protected time for our faculty and fellows to engage in educational activities. Clinical Case Conferences Fellows will attend Clinical Case Conferences as part of the Program’s Conference Series weekly. This conference will involve presentation of a challenging patient case by rotating fellows. Fellows will also be asked to perform a review of the literature to present with the case. Faculty and fellow discussions will then occur regarding the specific patient case and diagnosis. Morbidity and Mortality Conference Fellows will participate in Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) conferences on a quarterly basis. Faculty and fellows will participate in discussions regarding patient cases that had adverse patient outcomes. The group will also analyze system-wide level impacts on the case and create suggestions for systemwide changes, if deemed necessary. Evidence-based literature reviews will also be included in the conference, as appropriate. Research Conference Fellows will participate in a research conference on a quarterly basis. All fellows will perform their own research throughout the program, under guidance from faculty mentors with whom they will meet monthly during the academic half-day. Quarterly, fellows will present current findings and changes in their research projects and allow for faculty and fellow feedback. This critical conference allows for changes in methodology and analysis as needed throughout the active research process.

Journal Club

Journal Club will occur monthly during the Infectious Disease Fellowship conference series. Fellows will choose an article relevant to current patient care scenarios and present this article to the group of fellows and faculty. The fellow will then guide a discussion regarding the merit of the research as well as potential changes to patient care techniques/strategies.

Clinical Pathology Conferences

Clinical Pathology Conference (CPC) Clinical Pathology Conferences will be held on a quarterly basis for fellows. This conference will involve clinical pathology topics and contain a mix of didactic presentations as well as lecture series. This conference will also cover updates regarding laboratory techniques or current global pathology events, and  quarterly case multidisciplinary case based discussion with Rheumatology.

Core Curriculum Conference Series

The Core Curriculum Conference Series will include weekly one-hour meetings with a concentration on core infectious disease topics to be given by VBMC faculty as well as guest faculty. Faculty will lecture on topics such as HIV, immunocompromised patients, translational ID, transplant care, prevention and outbreak control, wound care, and basic sciences.

Research and Quality Improvement Opportunities

Fellows will participate in a research conference on a quarterly basis. All fellows will perform their own research throughout the program, under guidance from faculty mentors with whom they will meet monthly during the research block. Quarterly, fellows will present current findings and changes in their research projects and allow for faculty and fellow feedback. This critical conference allows for changes in methodology and analysis as needed throughout the active research process.

How to Apply

The Nuvance Health Infectious Disease Fellowship Program at Vassar Brothers Medical Center (ACGME 1463514002) thanks you for your interest in applying to our program. We accept all applications through ERAS only and participate annually in the NRMP Match Program. We hope you choose to join us.

Requirements: The following items are required for consideration of interview. All items must be received through ERAS application portal:

  • Personal Statement
  • Current CV
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • USMLE Step 1 CK or COMLEX Level 1 Score
  • USMLE Step 2 CS or COMLEX Level 2 PE Score (we understand that due to COVID-19 and USMLE changes some people may not have been able to take CS or PE)
  • USMLE Step 2 CK or COMLEX Level 2 CE Score
  • USMLE Step 3
  • Program Director’s Letter

Timeline: We will interview candidates during select dates in August, September, and October. Exact dates will be provided to the invited fellowship applicants via email notification.

After reviewing applications in ERAS, we will send out invites via e-mail with available dates for interviewing. All interviews will be done virtually for the 2022 interview season.

Dr. Ojeda-Martinez Biography

Dr. Ojeda-Martinez attended the University of Puerto Rico where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Science (2004). He completed medical school at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine (2008). He went on to complete a Residency in Internal Medicine at NY Medical College/ St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center and The Mount Sinai Hospital (2008-2011). He then pursued a Fellowship in Infectious Disease at the SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University (2011-2013) where he stayed as faculty until March 2020.

During his time at SUNY Downstate he was the LGBTQ+ Health Director at the STAR Health Center he provided medical care to the LGBTQ population of Flatbush, Brooklyn but also lectured both clinical and non-clinical staff. He also was the Director of HIV Prevention and managed two NYC Department of Health grants to provide PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) and PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). He was also chosen to attend The UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Program at the Anderson School of Management in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Ojeda-Martinez is also a contributing member of the NY State AIDS Institute Clinical Care Guidelines Committee.

He joined the Infectious Disease team at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in April 2020. He has always been passionate about medical education and has actively lectured the Internal Medicine Residents and residents of other programs. He currently is Core faculty for the Internal Medicine Residency. He also has been actively involved in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts at Nuvance Health.

His research interests include Quality improvement, intersection of social media and medical education and diagnostic stewardship.

In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, cooking and dining out, perfecting his espresso and latte art skills, spending time with family and friends and Twitter.