July 9, 2021

President’s Letter from Dr. Kris Bryant

This was a week for celebration. Across the United States, new pediatric infectious diseases fellows began their training. Please join me in extending a warm welcome to the newest members of our PID community. While I hope all have joined the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and are receiving this newsletter, I realize that might not yet be the case. Please help me by sharing this newsletter with trainees.

Fellows, PIDS is your professional Society, and we are here to support you during your training. We offer educational resources that can enhance the training at your home institution, whether you want to learn more about vaccinology and vaccine policy, care of immunocompromised children, infection prevention, or antimicrobial stewardship. One of our newest resources is a Global Health Toolkit developed by the PIDS International Affairs Committee to promote global health career development for trainees and junior faculty. PIDS also provides a variety of grants designed to support fellows engaged in basic, translational, and clinical research. We can connect you with mentors who can help you achieve your professional goals. Just this week, we began accepting applications for two Research in Academic Pediatrics Initiative on Diversity (RAPID) Research Grants. Fellows and junior faculty who identify as underrepresented in medicine (UIM), disabled, or from a socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged background are eligible to apply for these one-year grants that provide up to $15,000 and a structured mentoring experience.  

Are you feeling a little overwhelmed on Day 2 of fellowship? Check out our Fellows’ Survival Guide. During your training, we are happy to offer you free membership in PIDS. 

This week also marked the end of pediatric ID training for ~60 fellows. Over the next couple of weeks, they’ll be starting jobs in academic medical centers and community hospitals, at state and local health departments and at the CDC, and with pharmaceutical companies and non-profit organizations. 

Colleagues, congratulations! Finishing fellowship is always a laudable achievement. Finishing during a pandemic deserves a special commendation. I am in awe of your dedication to clinical care, your resilience, and your truly extraordinary research productivity during these challenging times. PIDS is your Society too! We will be here to support you throughout your career. Having a strong and supportive professional network is associated with increased job satisfaction and may open doors for research collaboration and other academic opportunities. Joining a PIDS committee is an excellent way to begin building your network. Please do not forget to renew your PIDS membership. We offer reduced membership rates during the first year after fellowship, and we do not want cost to be a barrier to anyone’s participation.

For many of us, the first day of the new academic year might have felt like just another day that began too early and ended later than we expected because of a flurry of inpatient consults, a lab experiment that didn’t go as planned, or a day full of Zoom calls about the challenges of implementing new OSHA regulations for the care of suspected or confirmed COVID patients. If you fall into this group, I have a message for you too. 

Friends, you are the heart of PIDS. You give substance to our vision of “Freedom from infections for all children through excellent clinical care, research, education, and advocacy.” You are the primary reason I tell our trainees that I have the best job in the world. Is PIDS still meeting your professional needs? If not, what can we do better?

In my first President’s letter to you, written in the fall of 2019, I emphasized that all are welcome at PIDS. Our Inclusion, Diversity, Access, and Equity Task Force has crafted a much more eloquent statement: Our goal at PIDS is to create a welcoming environment that recognizes the values of individuals with diverse backgrounds, talents, experiences, and perspectives and empowers them to fulfill their full potential within the Society and in the community. We recognize that we likely have room for improvement on this front, but we need your help to move forward. Please fill out our IDA&E survey by clicking here. You will need to invest 10 minutes of your time, but we think the returns to PIDS will be invaluable. Thank you in advance.


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