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Our Fellows

1st Year Fellows (PGY-4)

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.

2nd Year Fellows (PGY-5)

Karen Carvajal Vasquez, MD

Karen Carvajal Vasquez

Residency
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Hometown
Santiago, Chile

Why did you choose Rochester?
I chose the University of Rochester because it is at the cutting edge of the infectious disease research, specifically HIV, vaccines, and influenza. There are opportunities to explore and train in all the crucial areas of ID including HIV, STD, transplant, antibiotics stewardship, infection prevention, and travel medicine. Lastly, I chose UR because of the friendly environment and of course the beauty of the city.

Why did you choose Infectious Diseases?
Infectious diseases is a discipline which has been at the forefront of the advancement of medicine in the last century, improving quality of life and increasing lifespan as no other area of medicine has done before. The successful control of transmissible diseases and the advances in sanitation have displaced it from being one of the top 3 causes of death. The scientific knowledge regarding microbiology and immunology and the understanding of epidemiology put forth by many in this field have furthered the development of novel therapies and preventative measures. I chose ID because I wanted to be part of this humanitarian field of medicine.

Research Interests?
Global Health and Health Disparities

Career Plans?
Throughout my life, I have volunteered in multiple places and I have practiced medicine in many different environments. I saw the face of the AIDS epidemic in my home town in Chile. I learned from the Cuban system an alternative health strategy, based on a geographic and multidisciplinary management. All those experiences provided me with a deep understanding of the health problems in public health and epidemiology. I am grateful for so many experiences that gave me an open mind which is essential to this field. That is why I would like to continue to build and fortify my presence in the field of global health.

Jon Gray, MD

Jon Gray

Residency
University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus

Hometown
Toronto, Canada

Why did you choose Rochester?
I wanted somewhere closer to home (Canada) and UR Medicine had a good reputation for friendly personalities without sacrificing a dedicated reputation for training.

Why did you choose Infectious Diseases?
I chose the field of ID because it has the most fascinating variety of cases and can have the most fascinating stories of any of the specialties. Where else do you get to learn about a patient’s travel, personal lives, raucous behaviors—ID just has an opportunity to connect on a deeper level with a patient’s experience than any other field I know.

Research Interests?
I have a broad range of research interests, but especially in STDs and Tropical Medicine.

Career Plans?
I’m still undecided about academia or private practice. Time will tell!

Rupinder Mangat, MD

Rupinder Mangat

Residency
SUNY Upstate Medical University

Hometown
Toronto, Canada

Why did you choose Rochester?
I chose to come to URMC as the fellowship provides training for a broad range of infectious diseases including transplant ID and cardiac device infections. Additionally, I get an opportunity to learn from accomplished physicians in the field while being close to home (Toronto, ON).

Why did you choose Infectious Diseases?
Infectious Disease physicians represent a group of expert diagnosticians who use evidence based medicine and critical thinking in their day-to-day lives. I chose to join the field of ID as it has given me the opportunity to continue to expand my knowledge base and analytical thinking. Furthermore, new infections and challenges continue to arise, making it an exciting field to be in.

Research Interests?
My current research interests include multi-drug resistant gram negative bacteria as well as quality improvement projects related to antimicrobial stewardship.

Career Plans?
I plan to work as a clinical ID physician in Canada with a focus on antimicrobial stewardship. I also hope to get involved in academic medicine and teaching at some point in the future.