The University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine’s Pediatric Infectious Diseases subspecialty fellowship training program is designed to provide the trainee with the necessary expertise to be a successful pediatric infectious diseases consultant of the highest academic calibre.

The program is primarily based at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) which provides pediatric care to the Ottawa region as well Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, Nunavut and parts of Northern Ontario. The spectrum of clinical infectious diseases cases seen at CHEO is comparable to other tertiary pediatric centres in North America.  

Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellowship training is a two-year program leading to Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada certification. The program is integrated with the Adult Infectious Diseases program at the University of Ottawa. This joint program is fully accredited by the Royal College. 

At the end of the fellowship training period, the trainee is expected to have acquired clinical competence in the management of infections along with a solid background in the basic sciences of microbiology, pharmacology, immunology and epidemiology.

The trainee may also elect to pursue dual training leading to certification in both infectious diseases and medical microbiology. The dual program requires three years of training.

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Program structure

The Infectious Diseases program enables trainees to obtain the required core knowledge of pediatric infectious diseases while being flexible enough to facilitate any research interests they may have. In this context, there are excellent opportunities for the trainee to acquire skills in basic as well as clinical research in infectious diseases. 

The opportunity also exists to take graduate-level courses in microbiology/immunology or clinical epidemiology as well as in-field epidemiology through the Public Health Agency of Canada as part of the second year of the program. The structure of the program enables trainees to have protected time to consolidate their knowledge base without being overwhelmed by service commitments.

In addition, the program includes a dedicated group of support staff members. Because of the integrated nature of the training program at the university level, there is a close working relationship with members of the Division of Adult Infectious Diseases at The Ottawa Hospital and the medical/clinical microbiologists at the Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association (EORLA). As a result, trainees have the opportunity to benefit from broader research mentorship and exposed to a variety of aspects of adult infectious diseases while at the same time being focused in their pursuit of a career in pediatric infectious diseases. 

Stipends are in accordance with the resident's level of seniority and correspond to the schedule paid throughout Ontario, as do benefits. Support for attendance at activities such as educational meetings or start-up research is available. 


During the two-year Infectious Diseases fellowship training program, the resident completes 13 four-week blocks of rotations each year which includes four weeks of holidays and 10 four-week blocks of pediatric infectious diseases spent at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).

All trainees complete a minimum of six months in the microbiology laboratories associated with our program. One of these is in virology at the regional virology laboratory, housed at CHEO. The trainee is exposed to common bacteriology, mycobacteriology, mycology and parasitology.

There are two four-week blocks in adult infectious diseases, one at The Ottawa Hospital - Civic Campus and the other at The Ottawa Hospital - General Campus.

Each trainee completes a rotation in pediatric hospital infection control. The remaining rotations may be spent doing research and selectives/electives. 

Rounds and teaching

There is a structured education program which includes a weekly academic half day undertaken jointly with the Adult Infectious Disease and Microbiology residents. There are also weekly city-wide infectious diseases rounds that are protected times for the trainees. In addition, there are weekly pediatric infectious diseases divisional clinical rounds.

Clinical programs

The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) has a very busy inpatient and outpatient service, seeing approximately 700 inpatient consultations and over 2,000 outpatient consultations in infectious diseases per year. 

The range of clinical experience varies from patients with common acute community acquired infections such as pneumonia through complicated immunocompromised patients with HIV, primary immune deficiencies and oncologic diagnoses.

In addition to the general medical wards, infectious disease consultations are done in two, level-three neonatal intensive care units, the pediatric intensive care unit and on the surgical inpatient ward. The latter includes a variety of consultations on urology, neurosurgery, orthopedic, cardiac and general surgery patients. CHEO has an active day surgery program and medical day unit. 

Exposure to tuberculosis (TB) and other mycobacterial infections occurs predominately through the TB clinic. A pediatric HIV clinic cares for all infected and exposed children in the region. Outpatient antibiotic therapy patients are seen in a dedicated clinic as are patients with suspected or diagnosed primary immunodeficiencies.

The tropical medicine component of the infectious diseases consultative service is broader than one might expect in many Canadian centres because of the high rate of travel due to diplomats in the city and civil servants returning to and coming from less developed countries. There is also a substantial immigrant and refugee population with an increased rate of tuberculosis and other infectious diseases more common in developing countries. 

CHEO is the only hospital in the region that admits children. We are also the tertiary referral center for the Baffin Region of Nunavut. This means that not only common but also rare infectious disease problems are seen.

The Ottawa Hospital - Civic Campus, houses the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. This allows the trainee to have exposure to a wide range of general adult infectious disease consultations. As well, the trainee has significant exposure to cardiac infectious diseases such as endocarditis and post-operative complications including sternal osteomyelitis, wound infections and intravascular device infections. 

The Ottawa Hospital - General Campus is the regional centre for the adult HIV program and oncology services. It also has the bone marrow transplantation program which provides opportunity for exposure to a wide range of adult infectious disease consultations.


The primary training site for the Pediatric Infectious Diseases program is the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). CHEO is a 167-bed regional referral centre and services a patient population of approximately 1.5 million.

Other training sites include The Ottawa Hospital (General and Civic Campuses), medical laboratories within the Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association (EORLA), the Ottawa Public Health Laboratory and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Research opportunities

The Division of Infectious Diseases at CHEO includes seven infectious disease specialists with expertise in a broad range of clinical research, one of which is also a medical microbiology specialist who works in the regional laboratory based at CHEO, which has an active basic science research lab. 

Other areas of research represented by the division include respiratory infections, international adoption, perinatal HIV, advocacy, infection control, molecular diagnostics, immunizations, advocacy and infections in immunocompromised hosts. 

Funding is available internally to launch resident research projects to prepare for external grant applications. There is a well-equipped infectious disease research laboratory in the adjacent CHEO Research Institute.

Application process

Application should be made through the CaRMS resident matching process. Applicants must have completed core pediatric residency training in order to be eligible for consideration for entry into the Infectious Diseases program.  

Applicants are evaluated on their record during pediatric residency, recommendations from former program directors and mentors, and their apparent commitment to achieving excellence in training towards a career in academic infectious diseases.