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Creating Leaders in Infectious Disease

Your path to leadership starts at Yale School of Medicine

Spotlight On: Recent Fellowship Graduates

Leonard Emuren, MD

How did fellowship help prepare you for your career, where you are working now?

LM: I can confidently tell you that the Yale Pediatric Infectious Diseases (Peds ID) Fellowship thoroughly prepared me to be an independent clinician in pediatric infectious diseases. I was ready from day one as an attending physician. In my less than one year I have been involved in the diagnoses and management of very complex and unusual presentations including tuberculous meningitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, Enterobacter cloacae complex and Serratia marcescens sepsis in the preterm neonate, Enteric fever in the returning traveler, endocarditis, severe methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus osteomyelitis and urogenital and intestinal schistosomiasis to name a few. We also see a fair share of congenital and perinatal infections such as syphilis, cytomegalovirus, human herpes virus and human immunodeficiency virus.

I currently work at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark (Newark) with additional privileges at Cooperman Medical Center in Livingston, University Hospital (temporary) and Jersey City Medical Center. I started the Pediatric ID clinic at NBIMC and have 2 half-clinic days a week thereby providing previously unavailable services to the Newark area without having these patients (some without means of transportation) travel long distances for the same services.

Can you share a fond memory of your fellowship at Yale, or something you miss about it?

LM: Perhaps the fondest part of fellowship for me is the human fellowship amongst the fellows. In my time we had 4 fellows except for the first year in which we had 3+ fellows if you would permit that description as the 4th fellow had only a relatively short clinical responsibility but even that helped in almost immeasurable ways. The tight knit relationship among the fellows is still something I miss. We shared our challenges and successes, and we were there for one another. There were a few fond moments at Yale such as the resident teaching opportunities via the Global Health program, the informal Journal Club meeting at an attending’s home, experience with wine tasting for novices like me, and just fun moments at the house of one of our attending physicians. Surviving the COVID pandemic as a pediatric ID fellow was a memorable part of my fellowship experience.

Let me add that the division table rounds on real time patient was an illuminating part of my fellowship training. And while I will admit that this was occasionally challenging for the fellow on service, it offered a unique opportunity to hone one’s clinical skills and presentation skills. For me, this also taught me the art of humility, in recognizing the limitations of our current knowledge but more importantly in wanting to do further research to answer a clinical question that could better the outcome for the patient. So, I still miss these sessions that served as some kind of intellectual pot where we came to draw knowledge and fairly occasionally got the answers to the clinical questions facing us. The good thing is even when you don’t have clear answers, you are at least more confident with your recommendations.

Why would you recommend Yale for someone interested in doing a fellowship in pediatric infectious disease?

LM: Because the opportunities are almost boundless be it in research (basic, clinical, or translational), global health, clinical peds ID, and pediatric ID in the immunocompromised host/transplant ID. Whether you already have an idea what you want to be and do post-fellowship or are still deciding on a definite career path, the fellowship training in Peds ID at Yale/Yale New Haven Hospital is the right place for you. From day one, the program connects you to all the right mentors and by your 6 months into fellowship you are likely to know and have a mentor that will help with your research.

I will say the clinical experience would be another reason to recommend the Yale ID program to a prospective fellow. I will describe the workload as ideal and not excessive. For me, an ideal workload allows one to do a good literature search and support one’s recommendation with good evidence or practice guidelines when applicable. We also collaborate with the adult ID folks at Yale and there is a great learning opportunity with that. Typically, there is one Pediatric presentation every month offering a unique opportunity to address a large audience and learn from their highly experienced faculty. Clinical Microbiology rounds and virology rounds are additional spices to your learning experience. The subspecialized radiologists are also at your service to explain one-on-one the reported images be it CT, MRI or US. I still relish these opportunities and have continued this practice of reviewing complex images with radiologists even at my current work. Being a good physician means being a lifelong learner and while I have always prided myself as one, the Yale experience taught me to seek answers when I don’t know and to be confident about the things I know. For me, this is priceless.

Leaders in Infectious Disease

The pediatric infectious disease fellowship at Yale has catapulted many well- known infectious disease experts into impactful and important careers.


  • Associate Professor Adjunct of Biostatistics (Health Informatics)

    Dr. Andrea Benin is a pediatrician with background and training in research, informatics,public health, epidemiology, and infectious diseases. She completed 3 fellowships atYale, including one in pediatric infectious disease. She is now an adjunct professor atYale School of Public Health and Chief, Surveillance Branch, Division of HealthcareQuality Promotion, National Center for Emerging Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases atthe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Professor Adjunct in Pediatrics; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health; Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases), Pediatrics; Professor, Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases; Professor of Pharmacology, Molecular Medicine, Pharmacology, and Physiology; Professor of Management, School of Management

    Dr. Elijah Paintsil completed his fellowship in pediatric infectious disease at Yale in 2005 and went on to be the section chief of pediatric infectious disease for X years. A leading physician-scientist at Yale for 18 years, he continues to maintain a role at the Yale Institute for Global Health while serving now as Chief and Chair of Pediatrics at Brown University.

Current Fellow Testimonials

Cristina Rios Rivera, MPH, MD, Clinical Fellow

What do you like most about living in New Haven?

CR: "It’s a small town with good gastronomy and kind people. I enjoy my walks around the campus!"

What was the highlight of your clinical training during your first year?

CR: "I had great exposure to a variety of cases with excellent teaching from the faculty."

What projects are you most looking forward to working on or what topics are you looking forward to focusing during your fellowship?

CR: "Antimicrobial stewardship --> reducing prescribing errors"

What's one thing you'd tell a prospective applicant about the infectious disease fellowship at Yale Pediatrics?

CR: "Everyone’s pathways are different; Yale Peds ID offers all the resources to ensure your success in your career."