Medical Knowledge

Residents must demonstrate knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate sciences, and be capable of applying this knowledge to an understanding of pathologic processes. Important areas of medical knowledge in the field of infectious disease diagnostics include (1) epidemiology and pathogenesis of diseases and microbes, (2) microbial virulence mechanisms including genetic mechanisms of resistance to antimicrobial agents, and (3) host defense mechanisms. Investigative and analytical thinking will be required of residents in their approach to microbiology case work-ups – comparing expected diagnostic assay outcomes with actual test results to determine appropriate follow-up. The residents’ evaluation of medical knowledge will be based upon:

  • The ability to elicit key information from clinicians and/or medical records regarding signs and symptoms of the patient’s disease and to discover if the assay ordered is actually serving the intent of the ordering physician (junior level)
  • The ability to discuss key features of specific infectious diseases being tested for in the laboratory as well as limitations of our testing methodologies (senior level)
  • Responses to questions assigned during interactive discussions at daily lab rounds and/or weekly lab conference (all levels)


  • Rotation evaluation
  • Microbiology score for the in-service examination compared to national means