Overview

Primary Duties

The ACGME-accredited Medical Microbiology Fellowship training program at Yale New Haven Medical Center and VA Connecticut Healthcare is designed to provide a comprehensive experience in all aspects of diagnostic microbiology including consultative clinical practice, state-of-the-art diagnostic testing, multi-level teaching and an understanding of the principles of biomedical research.  Instruction and practical experience occurs for all aspects of infectious disease diagnosis: bacteriology, mycology, mycobacteriology, parasitology, virology, serology, histopathology of infections, molecular diagnostics, and emerging technologies such as MALDI-TOF-MS and next-generation sequencing.

The microbiology fellow has responsibilities in the Clinical Microbiology, Virology, and Molecular Diagnostics laboratories of Yale-New Haven Hospital. A primary task is clinical management of difficult cases, including coordination and consultation with laboratory and clinical staff. Issues addressed by the fellow include indications for and interpretation of specialized assays (specialized antimicrobial susceptibility procedures, send-out tests, molecular diagnostic methods, etc.), the diagnostic approach to and specimen collection for unusual cases of infectious disease, and discussion of unusual organisms or test results. The medical microbiology fellow organizes and runs the daily teaching/clinical rounds with the infectious disease service. The fellow also participates in Yale-New Haven Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control Committee meetings.  

VA Connecticut Healthcare provides a second training site.  In addition to bacteriology serving the local VA facility, VA Connecticut features mycobacteriology, virology, and molecular diagnostics reference laboratories serving the New England VA hospitals and other client.  The VA training site provides trainees with a distinctly different training environment with different instrumentation, clinical population, and scope of services, broadening the fellowship experience. 

The program envisions our trainees, and all clinical microbiologists, as being active members of the diagnostic and therapeutic team caring for patients with infectious disease. Close communication with colleagues is emphasized; the fellow participates in daily formal rounds with the infectious disease teams as well as providing other consultative services.  The clinical microbiologist must also be an excellent teacher and communicator - hence the fellow is given significant responsibility for presenting at multidisciplinary conferences. Moreover, we believe that a clinical microbiologist should be able to understand and bring to his/her practice cutting edge diagnostic modalities that pass the test of "evidence-based" medical practice. Toward this end, the program provides training in some of the principles of state-of-the-art basic, clinical and translational research through active participation in a journal club, by providing for attendance at a national meeting, and by having the trainee carry out at least one significant clinically-oriented research project during their year of clinical training.  In addition, the fellow is involved in clinical conferences, research conferences, and other academic activities of the Department of Laboratory Medicine.  

Other Opportunities

Rotations in Public Health Microbiology are scheduled via the Connecticut Public Health Laboratory, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven.

A further opportunity to gain teaching experience in the laboratory portion of the Medical Microbiology course of the medical school is also part of the fellowship.

It is expected that the fellow will pursue a basic or applied research project during the fellowship. Funding is available for travel to present research results at a national meeting.