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Medical Microbiology

Exceptional access with an ideal blend of education and service

Dalhousie’s Medical Microbiology Residency Program is centred at the VG site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, with close integration with the Pediatric Microbiology Laboratory at the nearby IWK Health Centre. Over 400,000 tests are processed through our laboratory annually, exposing residents to a full range of microbiology services including bacteriology, virology, parasitology, special pathogens, and molecular and serologic detection of pathogens.

Our laboratory has the only level-3 diagnostic containment facility in Nova Scotia, allowing us to work on such select pathogens as tuberculosis and dimorphic fungi. We are also the anchor laboratory for the NS Provincial Public Health Network and we provide reference services to other labs in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.

While the Medical Microbiology program has only one or two residents, our smaller size gives us the flexibility to offer our residents tremendous firsthand experience in many areas of infectious disease and allows us to take advantage of community-based experiences with our very skilled New Brunswick colleagues. We provide many shared learning opportunities with residents from general and anatomic pathology, adult or pediatric infectious diseases, and our close working relationship with our public health partners presents such learning opportunities as a month long public health rotation.

Two distinct programs

Our Medical Microbiology Residency Program currently offers two streams, both of which are accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Medical Microbiology (5-year program)

During the first year of this five-year residency program, you will do 12 months of clinical rotations. Although flexible, your PGY1 year is designed to provide a broad experience and will typically have rotations from internal medicine and its subspecialties, general surgery, pediatrics and intensive care.

In PGY2-5, you will spend 24 months in the microbiology laboratory rotating through the various disciplines. You will also spend 12 months in infectious diseases training, including two months in pediatric infectious disease and medical microbiology. The additional 12 months of your training is flexible and will be tailored to your ultimate career goals, which might include subspecialization in a particular area of microbiology, further clinical training or research. You’ll also work towards the goals and objectives outlined by the Royal College and for each of the specific residency rotations.

We currently do not have internal funding for the five-year Medical Microbiology Residency Program as part of CaRMS, but we will offer the program to qualified candidates who are externally funded.

Combined Infectious Disease/ Medical Microbiology

If you have completed three years of core internal medicine training, you can apply to enrol in a three-year combined Infectious Disease/Medical Microbiology Residency. This program includes 24 months of medical microbiology training in the various disciplines and 12 months of infectious diseases training, including two months of pediatric infectious disease and medical microbiology.

 

Learn from the best

Our faculty at the QEII includes four medical microbiologists, three of whom are dually trained in infectious diseases, two PhD clinical microbiologists and four full-time adult infectious disease physicians. At the IWK, we have four infectious disease physicians, including a trained medical microbiologist who directs the clinical laboratory at the Health Centre. We have two medical microbiologists at the campus in Saint John, where you will spend time gaining valuable community-based experience.

Research opportunities

As a resident in the Medical Microbiology program, you will have ample research opportunities to choose from. Our faculty share a wide array of research interests, and many hold cross appointments with the Canadian Center for Vaccinology and the Dalhousie Department of Microbiology and Immunology. We boast basic scientists with research interests in bacterial pathogenesis, as well as wet lab research space in close proximity to the clinical laboratory and infectious disease clinic. Within the clinical laboratory, an active molecular diagnostics group offers residents the chance to gain applied experience in the tools of molecular biology while undertaking molecular epidemiology and method development research.