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Microbiology Rotation

Goals and Objectives

During the rotation in Microbiology, the Resident will master the following skills:

Patient Care

  • Attend daily Bench Rounds with the Infectious Disease teams.
  • Manage consults from clinicians with the Microbiology Attending.
  • Manage consults from microbiology technologists regarding sample workup, with the Microbiology Attending.
  • Review daily Significant Results reports with the Microbiology Attending.
  • Review consults from surgical pathology/other with Microbiology Attending.

Medical Knowledge

  • Understand the preparation and interpretation of Gram, acid fast, and fluorescent stains for microscopic examination of specimens of bacteria, mycobacteria or fungi.
  • Understand the principles of media selection, plating and culture examination for identification of bacterial, mycobacterial and fungal cultures.
  • Understand the principles of antimicrobial susceptibility testing of bacteria, mycobacteria and fungi.
  • Gain experience in the microscopic identification of ova and parasites.
  • Be familiar with the principles of culture-based and molecular methods of virology testing.
  • Be familiar with the principles of infectious disease serology testing.

Practice-Based Learning and Improvement

  • Review Gram stains performed on the third shift and correlate their findings with reported results.
  • Perform workup of simulated ‘unknown’ samples as directed by Attending Microbiologist.
  • Participate in workup of specimens as directed by supervising technologists.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  • Communicate with Infectious Disease team and other clinicians regarding relevant results.
  • Communicate with microbiology technologists regarding sample workup and resulting.
  • Learn proper procedures for communicating results to infection control & other committees, and government agencies that monitor reportable diseases.
  • Understand how to add value for clinicians by providing holistic information regarding relevant testing and interpretation of test results in the context of patient care.

Systems-Based Practice

  • Understand the principles of specimen collection, transport and processing of samples from a variety of sources.
  • Understand the principles of automated equipment for monitoring of aerobic and anaerobic blood cultures for growth.
  • Know the algorithms for reporting culture results, including standard incubation times, culture identification and antimicrobial susceptibility.
  • Understand the relevance of microbial identification and susceptibility testing in the context of patient care.
  • Participate in quality improvement activities appropriate to learning level, as directed by rotation director.


The Microbiology rotation lasts two months.

Duties and Responsibilities of Residents

  • During the rotation each Resident is expected to perform the following activities:
  • Rotate through all bench areas in bacteriology, mycology, virology and parasitology
  • Attend daily Bench Rounds with the Infectious Disease teams.
  • Attend weekly Infectious Disease Case Conferences and other relevant meetings.
  • Review all Gram stains performed on the third shift, correlate with reported results.
  • Prepare a Powerpoint synopsis of three cases encountered in the laboratory during rotation which includes a description of the case, the microorganism involved, therapy and literature references.
  • Participate in problem solving sessions with supervisors/medical director and technologists.
  • Participate in teaching sessions and review of cultures with Microbiology Attending.

Teaching Staff

  • Sree Sarah Cherian, MBBS (Rotation Director)
  • Lisa M. Stempak, MD
  • Kathy Roman, MT (ASCP)

Supervision and Evaluation

Residents will meet with the rotation director at the beginning and end of each rotation and as needed to discuss expectations and ongoing evaluations. Residents are evaluated on a monthly basis with regard to medical knowledge, educational initiative, and professionalism. Residents will additionally be evaluated through end-of-rotation quizzes appropriate for learning level. Evaluations are forwarded to the Residency Program Director, where they are available for review.