Clinical Microbiology Elective | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Pathology Elective Catalog Clinical Microbiology Elective

Clinical Microbiology Elective

Preceptor: Caitlin Otto, MD
Course Code: 12-07
Tel: 212-263-6444  

Prerequisites: None


This 4-week elective will provide medical students with practical experience in the NYU clinical microbiology laboratory, which features a newly renovated, state-of-the-art laboratory facility. During this elective, the medical student will rotate through the laboratory sections of bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, mycobacteriology, and molecular diagnostics. There are numerous didactic conferences in which the student will participate. The students are provided with supporting literature for each of the diagnostic tests performed, they will meet regularly with the Director of the laboratory for didactic sessions, and they will attend daily in-lab clinical rounds with the infectious diseases service team.

Objectives of the Elective

This rotation is intended to provide an opportunity to observe the clinical microbiology laboratory in operation. The student has the opportunity to see how the "book knowledge" of microbiology is applied to the practice of infectious diseases and its key role in clinical decision-making. The bulk of the elective is spent in the clinical microbiology laboratory, where the student will learn how to approach specimen smears and cultures, taking into account clinical history, antibiotic susceptibility patterns, and the implications for patient management.

Key Responsibilities of the student while on Elective

The medical student will be expected to:

  • Spend time with the technologists at the benches as they work up the samples
  • Attend didactic sessions with the Director of the laboratory
  • Attend daily clinical rounds with microbiology and infectious diseases teams
  • Complete practice clinical-pathological-correlation case questions designed to reinforce the link between infectious diseases, microbiology, and pathology
  • Become familiar with the principles and interpretations of the various tests done in the laboratory
  • Read relevant assigned literature

Didactic Program

The student is expected to participate in the clinical rounds and conferences germane to clinical microbiology, i.e. weekly adult and pediatric infectious disease conferences, daily infectious disease (adult or pediatric) infectious disease attending rounds, and other conferences as may arise. A series of formal lectures specific to the rotations are offered through clinical pathology rounds (weekly).  A wide range of teaching material is available, including but not limited to kodachromes, prepared slides, and preserved specimens. An encyclopedic collection of reprints, texts and technical manuals is readily available. Perhaps the richest resource, however, is the considerable volume and breath of the clinical material which passes through the microbiology laboratories.

Method of Evaluation

The director of the laboratory will meet with the student daily so as to define the aims of each rotation and gauge the students grasp of the subject matter.

Scheduling Information

Months Offered: March, April
Report To: Microbiology supervisors Olga Norena or Vera Solodkin, TH 3 55 at 9:00am
Students Per Period: To be determined by preceptor
Duration: Four weeks

Application Process for Visiting Students

Please contact Remy Moon ( to obtain application forms.