Medicine is becoming increasingly fragmented and complex. The infectious diseases specialty has become especially pivotal in our health care system when it comes to clarifying diagnoses, preserving our antibiotic armamentarium with cautious use of this limited resource, and protecting patients from complications that are associated with these complex treatments.
Unfortunately, the number of young physicians who are going into the infectious diseases specialty is declining. Two years ago, more than 40 percent of infectious diseases training programs (slots?) went
unfilled (i.e., a program seeking three new trainees might only get two and some smaller programs might not get any) – while last year more than 60 percent of infectious disease training programs were short of fellowship trainees.
It is essential to convince more young physicians to go into the infectious disease specialty if we hope to
ensure that patients have access to the care they need.
After Dr. Dretler graduated from Tufts University Medical School in Boston in 1978, he trained in internal medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital of Tufts University. He completed his infectious disease training at Emory University in Atlanta in 1981. He then started his Infectious Disease Specialists of Atlanta practice at DeKalb Medical where his group is now based.
He has served as president of the Infectious Disease Society of Georgia, as the president of the DeKalb Medical Society, and as both the chief of medicine and the chief of staff at DeKalb Medical. Dr. Dretler also served as the medical chairman of the DeKalb Medical Foundation. He has been heavily involved in medical research and has been a principal investigator for 25 years on more than 100 NIH studies, including clinical research in AIDS, Hepatitis C, Pseudomembranous colitis, and influenza. Dr. Dretler has published more than 25 articles and posters.