Clinical Microbiology is a 3-month rotation for Pathology residents. The major purpose of residency training is to provide training to physicians pursuing certification in Clinical Pathology. Clinical Microbiology relates the principles, theory, and technologies of clinical microbiology and its many disciplines to the practice of clinical medicine to answer a variety of questions related to diagnosis, treatment and management of infectious diseases. Residents will acquire a working and theoretical knowledge in the following areas: specimen collection and processing, isolation and identification of medically important bacteria, fungi, mycobacteria, viruses and parasites, antimicrobial susceptibility testing and mechanisms of resistance. The resident will rotate through each of these areas where they will participate in didactic sessions, bench setup, plate reading, interpretation of biochemical test reactions and finally, unknowns. A scenario-based problem set will also be assigned to compliment and reinforce learning material from the benches. Each problem set will be discussed at the end of each week with the director/associate director. Training is the responsibility of the area director and senior technologists.

During the rotation, the residents are integrated into the daily operations of the laboratory and are involved in consulting with clinicians about clinical test selection and interpretation, assay troubleshooting, and QC/QA issues. The primary role of the resident in microbiology is to act as the liaison between the Microbiology Laboratory, the ID service, and the medical/surgical staff.  In this capacity, the resident must be familiar with all relevant aspects of bacteriology, mycology, mycobacteriology, parasitology and virology in order to provide timely consultative services. The resident also monitors test requests for optimal laboratory utilization, and provides feedback to the housestaff regarding inappropriate ordering and specimen collection problems. The resident is responsible for handling all clinical situations that arise each day in the laboratory under the supervision of the attending staff.

A major strength of this rotation is to link laboratory knowledge to clinical activities. During the last week of their third month rotation, the resident will join the ID teams during clinical service rounds and serve as the microbiology consultant. The resident will be able to apply the knowledge that they have gained throughout the rotation to see the clinical application firsthand. 

The resident is responsible for organizing and presenting Micro ID Plate Rounds to the ID teams every other Tuesday morning at 9:30 am in the microbiology laboratory. The main goal of these teaching sessions is to present an unknown clinical isolate to the ID team and walk them through the process of identifying the organism using demonstrations, handouts, etc.

The resident is also responsible for participating in the ID-conference, which takes place every other week at 7:45 am Davis 6 classroom.  The ID fellow will contact the resident and request participation in the case presentation.  You will be excused from the 8:00 am pathology conference to attend the ID conference.