As a fourth-year medical student at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, I did an elective rotation with Dr. John Greene at Moffitt Cancer Center. I was awestruck as I saw the fellows and Dr. Greene make incredible diagnoses based on details from the patients’ histories. We conversed with radiologists, pathologists, other internal medicine subspecialists and surgeons; a constant busy mission to determine what kind of infections patients had. Their knowledge was superior, having to understand different cultures, practices and hobbies that could lead to the diagnosis. I witnessed the way that the infectious disease physicians conversed with others; their pleasant demeanor toward patients and staff was infectious. Most compelling of all was the microbiology lab, where you came face to face with your patients’ foes: Staphylococcus, Acinetobacter, Fusarium, Cryptosporidium, etc. This to me was the defining moment: looking into the viewing ocular pieces of the microscope to view something that was a millionth our size and had the potential to cause incredible pathologic havoc. This experience, which I also had during my internal medicine residency, is what led me to my interest in host-pathogen responses and to choose a career in infectious diseases.
– Anthony P. Cannella, MD, MSc, FACP
Assistant professor of medicine
Division of infectious diseases and global medicine
University of Florida
College of Medicine