QU professor named fellow of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Jacklyn Pellegrino, Staff Writer

The Infectious Diseases Society of America named Quinnipiac University’s Dr. Rahul Anand a fellow on Nov. 15, for his work in the clinical field along with his advancements in leadership curriculum for infectious disease practitioners.

Applicants for this prestigious fellowship must be elected by their peers and meet specific criteria such as receiving national or regional recognition and their work must be published.

Dr. Rahul Anand created a leadership development curriculum for medical students. (Photo contributed by Quinnipiac University)

 “I think we all try to contribute to what matters most to us and I feel lucky that I’m able to do what I love doing and be a part of something greater,” the microbiology and infectious disease professor said. “Which is what Quinnipiac does by educating the next generation of medical students, what IDSA does by empowering infectious disease providers and by taking care of patients on the front lines.”

Being in the field for over a decade, Anand has worked in tropical infectious diseases in India, worked in the field of HIV treatment in the Bronx, New York and he now works in Hartford County. Anand also practices travel medicine in various places around the country, working specifically with patients who are immunocompromised or have transplant infections.

 “It’s taken a track record of doing work in the clinical field and along with it work to advance the field itself which I’ve been able to contribute to by working on leadership curriculums development for infectious disease practitioners,” Anand said. “So, helping them not just be clinicians but helping them be their best selves and be better at leading teams and advocating for change and managing and leading projects.”

At Quinnipiac, Anand teaches a class on microbiology and infectious diseases as well as a course on leadership for medical students.

 The latter course focuses on not just how to take care of patients, but why doctors go into the field and how doctors can help to improve the field.The first version of the curriculum was developed in fall 2019. This is the first semester Anand’s curriculum for infectious disease practitioners is available. Currently, Anand is working with other medical schools in the Northeast to implement a plan so that every medical student receives leadership training by the time they graduate.

“That’s our vision, that every medical student gets leadership training starting on day one of medical school that helps them be their best self and helps them be more effective team members and leaders and be able to impact the system and bring change,” Anand said.

Anand said that he would share with future medical students the Japanese concept of Ikigai, which is four quadrants of a circle meaning; do what you love doing, do what you’re really good at, do what the world needs and what it’s going to reward you for.

 “Try to find that sweet spot and that might change with time but the more you can find and live in the sweet spot the more your own cup will be full of joy and you will be able to make a difference,” Anand said.

 Two fourth-year medical students, Alexa Lisevick and Samuel Oduwole, along with a few others, have helped co-create this leadership curriculum.

 “The students are so core to the curriculum in many ways,” Lisevick said. “In the first iteration of this course, Sam and I, our class, we had specific feedback elucidated from each of us throughout the course which allowed for real time feedback to be implemented. This allowed (each individual learner) to be able to get out of the course exactly what they need.”

 Oduwole said that since the class only had eight students, each student received individual feedback and mentorship.

 “Every bit of feedback was important and incorporated into the curriculum to make it better, and again, the big thing is one of the first days of the course we made our leadership goal and mission statement, what we wanted to accomplish and what we wanted to achieve from the class,” Oduwole said.

Lisevick and Oduwole explained how impactful their time working with Anand, someone with so much experience in the field. They also describe how his idea for the curriculum was made a reality.

“Dr. Anand is a great leader and he puts a lot of effort into his curriculum,” Oduwole said. “He had the idea and he’s pursued it, he has allied himself with students to make this a reality at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine. He’s gotten advocates from faculty and students and the school believes that this is something that is valuable. He has goals to ensure leadership and make it integral to the Netter curriculum.”

 Lisevick described Anand as “personable and outgoing” and an “exceptional leader.”

“He takes the time to get to know every single individual that he works with,” Lisevick said. “He recognizes their strengths and weaknesses and he’s always promoting each of us to grow and recognize not only our strengths but how to further develop in those areas that we have the space to grow.”

 Anand said that his greatest reward is working with patients, contributing to education in his field and aiding leadership development because that’s what matters most to him.

 “Just being able to make a difference in someone’s life every day,” Anand said. “That’s a privilege. That just makes every day special for me, whether it’s in teaching or in taking care of patients.”