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Alumni Testimonials 

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What is your fondest memory of fellowship at Temple ID?

"So many great memories of the day to day interaction between the co-fellows and the faculty. Having the fellows’ office where all of the fellows work together is such a great opportunity to learn and have fun." - Joe DeRose, Class of 2019

"Honestly hanging out with Heather and just chatting over the years with tea. It was so much fun to just be able to talk about any topic and it was great to have a mentor that had so many shared interests. Made it very easy to come in every day!!" - Eric Sachinwalla, Class of 2014

"Hmmm I can't whittle it down to one! The graduation picnics, seeing so many faces of people who were motivated to keep coming back and back to rekindle this special part of their lives.  Bennett showing up in the "fellows’ room" with his acoustic guitar and starting to play for us while we worked.  The faculty and fellows gathering once a week to all have lunch together made it feel like a family meal.  I think the weekly gathering to eat lunch together for sure." - Matt Grant, Class of 2012

"My fellowship at Temple in many ways was one of the happiest times of my life. After residency, where I felt like a number and just another worker, it was so refreshing to be in a welcoming and personalized environment. I felt like I could take a deep breath, learn, and enjoy my work." - Sara Schultz, Class of 2015

"My fondest memory of fellowship are the people I had the privilege of working with every day. Despite a busy consult service, I looked forward to coming to work and interacting with my co-fellows and attendings. While every attending has a unique personality, each was able to extract the best of me and put a smile on my face - not to mention our wonderful program coordinator Milagros! There is a wonderful sense of camaraderie and family."- Brett Laurence, Class of 2011

"The time I spent as a fellow at Temple was honestly some of the most fulfilling and worthwhile time I have spent thus far. If I had to choose a fondest memory, it would be very difficult to pick just one moment because I can think fondly of so many occasions celebrating each other’s accomplishments and sharing laughs." - Brandi Manning, Class of 2020

"There are so many fond memories, but my fondest memory of ID fellowship at Temple was shared lunchtime with most of the fellows and faculty on a regular basis! It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know everyone, to laugh and joke, talk about events happening around us in the city/country/world at large and also at Temple. For all of residency, lunchtime was usually for lectures and so this was a refreshing change. It certainly made me feel I was a part of the Temple ID family! I only realized how much those times meant to me though, once I left and had to eat alone in the hospital cafeteria at my new job out of fellowship where I barely knew anyone! Today, I try to continue the tradition with my ID colleagues at UPMC!" - Carolyn Fernandes, Class of 2011


What made you choose Temple for fellowship?

"I was looking for a clinically focused program at a large academic medical center with a diverse population of ID cases and Temple checked all the boxes (plus Philly is great)." - Joe DeRose, Class of 2019

"I told this to everyone that interviews at Temple. The day I came to my interview at Temple I felt the most at ease with the people there. Everyone genuinely is friendly, caring, and engaged. They all seem to actually like one another and care about the fellows. Other programs I went to seemed to have a distinct separation between the fellows and the faculty. At Temple the fellows are so integrated into the program and interact with all the faculty every day. It truly is a family!!!" - Eric Sachinwalla, Class of 2014

"When I was interviewing at other Philadelphia academic ID departments, faculty members (yes that was intended to be plural - two of them!) told me to go to Temple instead of their program because Temple was the best clinical program in the city!!" - Matt Grant, Class of 2012

"It is very clear that Temple is a unique collection of personalities and a very family style atmosphere. This is what I was looking for-- a place where I could grow as a doctor and be myself." - Sara Schultz, Class of 2015

"The attendings and the ability to work in North Philadelphia which offered great hands-on training with a vast array of pathology including HIV, TB, underserved communities, solid organ transplant, and BMT. Philadelphia also has amazing restaurants, die-hard sports, and enjoyable arts/theatre." - Brett Laurence, Class of 2011

"From the first moment I stepped into the Temple ID department for my interview, I knew this place was different. The vibe and atmosphere were just so different from what I had experienced at other places and by the end of the day, I knew it would be my number 1 rank. Luckily, my instincts were right and it was a tremendous learning experience. It wasn’t just about ID here, it was about maturing and maximizing your potential for growth in whatever direction you choose to take in the practice of medicine." - Abdul Elabor, Class of 2018

"When I was selecting a fellowship, I was not yet sure which field of ID I would develop a passion for and so I wanted a well-rounded experience. Temple has an incredibly strong solid organ transplant ID component while also providing excellent general ID exposure as well as built in weekly travel clinic. It was also important to me that I would have opportunities for mentorship, particularly in physician leadership. Temple ID has had section members that are the hospital CMO, the Chair of Medicine, and the Dean of Faculty Affairs, and I was incredibly fortunate to have all as mentors. Lastly, Temple has a great track record of recruiting talented fellows every year who pass ID boards and find incredible jobs afterwards." - Brandi Manning, Class of 2020

"I chose Temple for ID fellowship as the fellowship program was ideally suited to me establishing a career as a clinician educator. From excellent ID faculty, who were not only clinically experienced but also incredibly kind and enthusiastic teachers who taught me the value of paying attention to the details, to a wide variety of patient experiences and disease pathology to learn from to a working atmosphere that provided the right mix of fellow autonomy and supervision, Temple checked off multiple important boxes for me." - Carolyn Fernandes, Class of 2011


What do you think are the unique/special features of Temple’s ID fellowship?

"The weekly HIV lectures by the head of division is an incredible learning opportunity.  Conference in general are great because they are well organized and offer such a great opportunity to learn." - Joe DeRose, Class of 2019

"I'm sure many programs really care for their fellows and want them to succeed but the sense that I got from my interview day at Temple was that a major focus for all the faculty members was the training program. I think that the way the suite was arranged where the fellows' room was the common congregation point actually was a benefit because it meant that we were frequently engaged with the faculty." - Eric Sachinwalla, Class of 2014

"The people in the section and their mutual respect and love for one another. The dissolution of "professional" academic relationships into lifelong friendships amongst the faculty and a genuine love for what they do." - Matt Grant, Class of 2012

"Having faculty from every decade gives a great perspective of how ID has changed over time. The patient population is unique from other big cities because the lung transplant volume and patients are not typical for an inner- city hospital with lots of folks below the poverty line." - Sara Schultz, Class of 2015

"The varied training opportunities - HIV clinic, TB clinic, BMT, solid organ transplant - combined with a seasoned group of attendings with a wealth of knowledge and experience." - Brett Laurence, Class of 2011

"I cannot emphasize enough how unique the “Temple Family” really is. I have trained at many different institutions in different regions of the country and while I had great experiences elsewhere, nothing compares to the genuine support and interest everyone at Temple ID shares for each other." - Brandi Manning, Class of 2020

"Temple has great teaching and varied pathology and clinical experiences. But the greatest strength of the program is the people. From the other fellows to the junior and senior faculty to the pharmacists to the microbiology staff, every person is eager to help out at any time and this makes for a supportive and collaborative atmosphere. The program is very open to feedback from fellows and willing to enact changes immediately any time an issue would arise that could impact fellow education or quality of life." - Brandi Manning, Class of 2020


What do you think the biggest strengths of the fellowship are?

"The camaraderie amongst the fellows and faculty is top notch. Having everyone in the same office allows for levels of collaboration that I miss now as an attending." - Joe DeRose, Class of 2019

"Far and away the faculty. Every single faculty person is fantastic and each has so much to offer. Heather is the heart of the fellowship!!" - Eric Sachinwalla, Class of 2014

"Lifelong mentorship, nurturing/supporting your true desires in a career path, unbeatable clinical training, being treated as a full person instead of a trainee who can do consults." - Matt Grant, Class of 2012

"The diverse patient population and ID pathology offered at Temple University Hospital combined with a fellow-run service allowed for enhanced learning." - Brett Laurence, Class of 2011

"The camaraderie is second to none and I retain friendships till this day. Faculty have your best interest at heart and want you to excel.  The clinical exposure is spectacular! I graduated feeling confident in my abilities and respected by peers for having trained at Temple. I definitely consider myself fortunate to have trained at Temple.  P.S- all the home dinner parties, lunches at work, birthday cakes, pizza days, wine and cheese pairings didn’t hurt... maybe just the waistline." - Abdul Elabor, Class of 2018

"Temple has great teaching and varied pathology and clinical experiences. But the greatest strength of the program is the people. From the other fellows to the junior and senior faculty to the pharmacists to the microbiology staff, every person is eager to help out at any time and this makes for a supportive and collaborative atmosphere. The program is very open to feedback from fellows and willing to enact changes immediately any time an issue would arise that could impact fellow education or quality of life." - Brandi Manning, Class of 2020

"The diverse patient population and ID pathology offered at Temple University Hospital combined with a fellow-run service allowed for enhanced learning." - Brett Laurence, Class of 2011


Do you still keep in touch with members of the faculty or your co-fellows?  How have these relationships impacted you?

"Yes, all the time. My co-fellows and I have a "Temple ID" text thread where we talk about life, bugs and drugs." - Joe DeRose, Class of 2019

"Extremely disappointed that we couldn't do the picnic due to COVID-19. Only picnic I've missed since I started; I even went to the picnic that happened 3 weeks BEFORE I officially started. I dragged my 41-week pregnant wife to the picnic just to avoid missing it!! Heather and I have dinner a couple times a year; chat via text/email fairly frequently. I keep in touch with my co-fellows as well since many of us still work in the city and collaborate on cases." 

"I still keep in touch with Bennett, Tom, Rafik and Heather. Bennett remembers my birthday every year! Rafik and Heather and I commiserate about the Eagles and Giants and hang at ID week each October. Tom is who I call when I need a wise perspective on any life crisis I go through!" - Matt Grant, Class of 2012

"Yes. The relationships I developed with my co-fellows on a busy consult service allowed us to confide and trust each other during times of happiness and stress. One of the reasons I enjoy going to IDSA, is to be able to see the faculty and have a chat, meal and hug together! By the way, Dr. Fekete still emails me every year on my birthday!" - Brett Laurence, Class of 2011

"Truthfully, I talk to my co-fellows everyday still. We have a group text to share funny stories, life updates, or bounce ideas back and forth. Lifelong friendships that will continue to push me to become my best. I also know that I can reach out to any attending at any time for help and that is particularly comforting to me as a new attending elsewhere." - Brandi Manning, Class of 2020

"I still keep in touch with multiple faculty members and all my co-fellows, even after so many years!! The camaraderie we shared during fellowship helped to form lasting bonds that I cherish still. I will always consider myself a part of the Temple ID family, no matter where I am or how many years it has been since I graduated!" - Carolyn Fernandes, Class of 2011


What advice would you give current and prospective ID fellows?

"Make sure you go to a program that allows you to be yourself and has the resources for you to succeed in your ultimate career goals." - Joe DeRose, Class of 2019

"I'm never good at this question. I'd say don't pick a program just because of name or what's on the website. Trust your instincts when you're at the program. If you're not comfortable on your interview day that means something." - Eric Sachinwalla, Class of 2014

"Go to Temple -- it was the best professional decision of my entire life!" - Matt Grant, Class of 2012

"Trust your gut! Go where you will be the happiest!" - Sara Schultz, Class of 2015

"The more you see, the more you learn but know when to ask for advice or help." - Brett Laurence, Class of 2011

"Fellowship should be some of the best years of your professional life. It is a time to learn but also to have fun and create important professional bonds. When choosing a program, make a list of “must haves” but after that, choose a program that will value what you have to offer and support you on your journey. Make sure to have fun!" - Brandi Manning, Class of 2020


How well do you think ID fellowship at Temple prepared you for your first job after training? 

"No question. I have received various positive feedback from colleagues now that I have started attending jobs that I was ahead of their expectations in terms of clinical knowledge when I started my first job." - Joe DeRose, Class of 2019

"They haven't gotten rid of me yet so I guess I'm doing okay. I think Temple does a great job at preparing fellows for clinical practice. We see so much at Temple and the faculty have a great way of helping train us to think like ID physicians, which is different than the way I thought when I was a resident or even chief resident. ID training helps you see cases in a different way than many other specialties since it's so based in history and putting together a story." - Eric Sachinwalla, Class of 2014

"I remember how much my colleagues at the first academic job I took after graduation valued my clinical opinion on tough cases even fresh out of fellowship. It meant a great deal to me." - Matt Grant, Class of 2012

"I was well-prepared for my first job. While I emailed my Temple attendings a few times the first year as the nerves were worked out, I was always met with a prompt reply and great support." - Brett Laurence, Class of 2011

"As a recent graduate entering my first job, I feel prepared to be an academic ID attending. I know that my attendings gave me the tools to succeed and hope to continue to make them proud." - Brandi Manning, Class of 2020