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Our Fellows

1st Year Fellows

Aryn Andrzejewski, MD

Aryn Andrzejewski, MD

Residency
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Internal Medicine Residency Program

Hometown
Buffalo, NY

Why did you choose Rochester?
I knew that the University of Rochester would help me achieve my future goals. The expertise of each attending I have met with and the collegiality between all staff members of the ID team that is emulated here is unmatched by any another program. I am very fortunate to have such excellent training so close to my hometown.

Why did you choose Infectious Diseases?
What intrigued me about the field of Infectious Diseases was the variety of complex disease processes, as every organ system has the potential to be affected by many different pathogens. To make things more complicated, there are a lot of gray areas and the field is ever changing, oftentimes in a highly unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. This leads to multiple challenges and opens doors to an endless number of learning and teaching opportunities unique to this field. In addition, fitting all the pieces of the puzzle together in Infectious Diseases requires the use of multiple layers of information coupled with expansive clinical expertise in a way that no other field does.

Research Interests?
My research interests include HIV, other infectious complications as a consequence of intravenous drug use, and the use of telemedicine in ID.

Career Plans?
In the future, I plan on pursuing an addiction medicine fellowship and to split my time between general ID consults and HIV clinic while balancing being a clinical-educator. I believe that having training in both fields, ID and addiction, is invaluable. Throughout residency, I realized how much the addiction population could benefit from one physician who could address both, their addiction and their infection, whether it be HIV, endocarditis, or even a simple skin and soft tissue infection. Indirectly this would decrease the burden of multiple doctors and visits, therefore increasing follow-up, compliance, and trust in the medical system, each of which is a crucial aspect of care in these conditions.

Rachel Simpson, MD, PhD; ABIM Research Pathway

Rachel Simpson

Residency
University of Rochester Internal Medicine Program

Hometown
Davenport, IA

Why did you choose Rochester?
When I interviewed at Rochester, I was struck by the collaborative atmosphere as well as the enthusiasm for fostering top notch research and innovative educational initiatives.  As a resident, here, I found the culture to be incredibly supportive and I love the breadth of pathology we are exposed to, from basic foot infections to heart transplant patients.  I am very grateful to have been here throughout the pandemic and am looking forward to working in the Infectious Diseases division as a fellow.

Why did you choose Infectious Diseases?
I have both a BS and PhD in microbiology and have always been fascinated by human-pathogen interactions.  This naturally led to a clinical interest in infectious diseases!

Research Interests?
In research, I love big data and using novel computational approaches to tackle sticky clinical problems.  In my PhD, I studied RNA editing in Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African Sleeping sickness.  In fellowship and beyond, I’m interested in exploring the utilization of different types of large data, such as deep sequencing and large scale proteomics, to improve diagnostic and prognostic measures.

Career Plans?
My goal is to stay in academic medicine with a balance of research and clinical time.

Tyler Stephen, MD; Combined Adult/Peds ID Fellowship

Tyler Stephen

Residency
University of Rochester Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program
Hometown
Littleton, CO

Why did you choose Rochester?
I chose Rochester for the program’s flexibility and wide range of exposures. The faculty and fellows are super welcoming and there is a close relationship with the pediatric infectious diseases department.

Why did you choose Infectious Diseases?
I really liked the idea of being the expert on a medical team without having to subspecialize in one specific organ system. I also love trivia and ID really encourages using a breadth of knowledge to help make diagnoses and treat patients.

Research Interests?
My research interests are mostly around vaccines and vaccine hesitancy at the moment.

Career Plans?
I am pursing a combined med-peds fellowship and my goal is to practice clinical infectious diseases with both children and adults.

2nd Year Fellows

Rodolfo Alpizar-Rivas, MD

Rodolfo Alpizar-Rivas, MD

Residency
St. Elizabeth Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency, Boston MA

Hometown
San Jose, Costa Rica

Why did you choose Rochester?
I chose the ID fellowship at University of Rochester because it not only fulfilled my criteria for broad-based comprehensive clinical training in infectious diseases including transplant ID, but also opportunities and resources for cutting edge research as well as mentorship in a variety of possible career paths such as medical education.

Why did you choose Infectious Diseases?
I feel that Infectious Diseases subspecialty builds on a strong foundation of Internal Medicine training and reaches a universal population of patients as infections affect all. Infectious disease providers foster meaningful relationships with their patients through detail-oriented history-taking and have a fund of knowledge that lends naturally to educating patients and mentoring trainees, which appeals to my interest in medical education.

Research Interests?
Heart transplant and Critical Care ID

Career Plans?
I have always found myself very passionate about teaching trainees and have enjoyed any opportunity to participate in medical education with medical students and residents that have come my way. I hope to continue on to be a clinician educator at an academic center.

Michael Croix, MD

Michael Croix, MD

Residency
University of Buffalo Internal Medicine Residency, Buffalo, NY

Hometown
Champaign, IL

Why did you choose Rochester?
I chose Rochester because of the strong teaching of the faculty and encouragement I received to follow my specific areas of interest within Infectious Disease. In addition, my wife's family is in Rochester to help raise our three kids.

Why did you choose Infectious Diseases?
Infectious disease allows me to transition my prior experience working in a bacteriology laboratory to clinical experience at the bedside.

Research Interests?
My current research interests include non-tuberculous mycobacteria as well as infectious diseases specifically within the cystic fibrosis population

Career Plans?
I am interested in pursuing a career in academics with a primary focus on clinical practice and additional roles in teaching and research.

Patricia Ximena Escaler, MD

Patricia Escaler, MD

Residency
Bassett Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency,Cooperstown, NY, Chief Resident

Hometown
Guatemala City, Guatemala

Why did you choose Rochester?
Having done residency training in a lovely upstate New York village and having a wonderful time there, I decided to stay in the area for fellowship! Both URMC, with its friendly and welcoming environment, and the city of Rochester, with its small town feel yet many offerings, felt like home when I visited for my fellowship interview. With that in mind, as well as knowing I would receive excellent clinical training at URMC, I knew Rochester was the place for me.

Why did you choose Infectious Diseases?
Simply stated, Infectious Diseases is always an adventure!

Research Interests?
My main research interest is antimicrobial stewardship.

Career Plans?
At the moment, my plans are to practice General Infectious Diseases in both the inpatient and outpatient setting, and have a central role in Antimicrobial Stewardship.