Microbiology Rotation

The Microbiology rotation is a 2.5 month rotation within the 4 year combined AP-CP post graduate program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The objective of this rotation is to develop necessary skills for a pathologist to function in a modern clinical pathology environment. These objectives are achieved by a combination of bench level training, case based learning with infectious disease specialists, and interactive didactic sessions.

Rotation Structure

The Microbiology rotation utilizes didactics, daily rounding in the laboratory, interaction with technical specialists/experts (clinical laboratory scientists), and active experience at the bench, investigating epidemiologic issues, and in laboratory management. Supplemental didactics are provided on a daily basis, and there are specific reading assignments. Conferences include the daily required conferences (AP-CP) and microbiology specialty conferences including ID Grand Rounds (monthly), combined ID conference (quarterly) and miscellaneous conferences, meetings such as the AUR and miscellaneous Divisional management and technology-related discussions.

The Daily Microbiology Schedule
  DidacticBenchRoundsReadingLab Manag
9:00Problems rounds   
10:00Bench assignment    
11:00Laboratory Rounds   
2:00Infectious disease rounds - M/W    
 Project/Tests - T    
 Management - TH/FRI    
4:00Reading/Slide set review    

Week 1-4 Aerobic Bacteriology and Susceptibility testing
Week 5 Anaerobic Bacteriology and Virology
Week 6 Mycology
Week 7 Mycobacteriology
Week 8 Parasitology
Two additional weeks provide for time off and additional experience in molecular microbiology.

Specific Microbiology Goals and Objectives

Patient Care:

  • Develop the ability to interpret susceptibility testing results using CLSI guidelines.
  • Develop the ability to interpret results from cultures, serology, and molecular testing in conjunction with other laboratory data and clinical presentation to be able to make recommendations for effective testing strategies.
  • Identify the use and limitations of drug susceptibility testing, be able to communicate susceptibility results clearly to clinicians, and be able to make knowledgeable choices for testing and reporting of additional or unusual drugs.

Medical Knowledge:

  • Describe the major characteristics of diseases caused by pathogens.
  • Acquire knowledge of public health principles.
  • Define proper specimen collection, methods for transportation, and appropriate methods for optimum detection of infectious agents in clinical specimens.
  • Relate the advantages and disadvantages of molecular assays available for detection of infectious organisms.
  • Describe the steps necessary for validation of new testing methods in microbiology.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of safety issues related to the microbiology/virology laboratory, including handling of infectious agents, chemicals, and possible agents of bioterrorism.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills:

  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate clear diagnoses to the referring physician or appropriate clinical personnel.
  • Educate colleagues and other health care professionals.


  • Demonstrate compassion, understanding of and respect for patients, their families, and the staff and physicians caring for them.
  • Model positive work habits, including punctuality, dependability, and professional appearance.
  • Demonstrate principles of confidentiality with all information transmitted both during and outside a patient encounter.

Systems-Based Practice and Practice-Based Learning:

  • Demonstrate the ability to work with other health care personnel to develop clinically advantageous and cost-effective care-delivery strategies.
  • Practice cost-effective health care and resource allocation that does not compromise quality of care, understanding the need for and cost of special studies, extended testing, and send-out testing.
  • Locate the general microbiology manual and the various sub-specialty manuals, and recite the requirements and structure of QA/QC for microbiology.
  • Participate in the CP QA committee meetings.
  • Carry out a CAP Laboratory inspection in microbiology employing the CAP checklist.
  • Describe the creation, use, and retention of procedure manuals in microbiology.