Department of Pathology Residency Program

Medical Microbiology Rotation

Length: 1 month at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, 1 month at TriCore Reference Laboratories

This rotation provides training in medical bacteriology, mycobacteriology, mycology, parasitology, virology, and infectious diseases serology. The initial phase consists of a benchwork tutorial in techniques and methods in diagnostic medical microbiology. Modern diagnostic techniques incorporating molecular genetics methodology are presented at the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC), and TriCore Reference Laboratories (TRL). Residents can also participate in adult and pediatric infectious disease hospital rounds and weekly joint infectious disease-microbiology conferences. Near the conclusion of each month, the resident will choose a topic of particular interest on which to give a presentation to medical and technical staff at both training sites. Dr. Overturf has created a reading list available to current residents via the department wiki.

VAMC Rotation

The VAMC rotation is mainly focused on bench work and diagnostic techniques. Your time will be split between working in the microbiology lab, lab management issues, attending Infectious Disease rounds, and reading. The Microbiology Supervisor and techs give hands-on teaching at the bench. While at the VAMC, the resident acts as a liaison between the VAMC hospital’s Infectious Disease (ID) service and the microbiology laboratory by attending ID ward rounds and by organizing and presenting the weekly microbiology plate rounds. Plate Rounds are Wednesday at 2:30. The ID team will come to the lab to look at their patient cultures or other interesting cases.

TriCore Rotation

The TRL rotation is more oriented towards management issues and projects, although you can still spend time in the areas you may have missed or are not available at the VAMC. This is also your opportunity to learn advanced methodologies, including serologic and antigen detection assays and molecular diagnostic techniques. Generally, you will be assigned a few projects to work on during the month, for example, coordinating with clinics to improve specimen collection techniques. While at TRL the resident is responsible for preparing the weekly microbiology plate rounds for the adult ID team from the UNM hospital, and also attends both the adult and pediatric weekly ID rounds at UNM. Additionally, you will attend Infectious Disease weekly conferences and may present related pathology during their morning report style case conference.

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