Microbiology, Virology and Infectious Diseases
The diagnosis and management of infection are constantly changing. New molecular methods of testing, combined with genetic sequencing, are changing the way we are able to detect pathogens, track outbreaks and uncover resistance to rapidly respond this shifting landscape.
The field of Medical Microbiology and Virology is undergoing major changes with the ongoing developments in next generation sequencing, and reconfiguration of laboratory services. We work closely with our infectious disease physicians to provide the Combined Infection Training curriculum. This means that the role of the microbiologist and virologist is rapidly changing and adapting to this new working environment with automation and rapid molecular testing. We continue to use traditional methods where molecular methods have not been developed. This is an exciting time to be training in these infection specialities.
There are many enjoyable elements of the work. The fascinating, complex and ever-evolving interactions between the human host and the microbial agents of infection. The combination of cutting-edge laboratory science with clinical care for individual patients. Most patients with infectious diseases make a rapid and complete recovery which makes the job very satisfying. The varied work environment, generated by the microbiologist’s ability to provide input across a broad range of specialties. The opportunity to develop special interests in research, teaching, sub-specialties, antibiotic use or other infectious diseases problems. There is close consultant support for trainees.
The work is professionally challenging in many ways. There is a broad knowledge base relating to infectious diseases, microbiology and virology which provides for extensive learning and devolvement. The role of the microbiology and virology is evolving, with further specialisation and flexibility possible. Microorganisms are changing and new diseases constantly emerging, providing challenges to the microbiologist and virologist alike.
Important information for trainees about The Royal College of Pathologists and the organisation of training can be found on the College website: https://www.rcpath.org/trainees/training/training-by-specialty/medical-microbiology.html
Our Infection Training Programme has a reputation for delivering a high quality, broad based training with exposure to sub-speciality training governed by trainees’ interests and requirements. . We offer training in Medical Microbiology and Virology and work very closely with our Infectious Diseases colleagues to provide joint training. There is a robust process of educational supervision which drives the training scheme and is based on the “Gold Guide” and sound educational principles. We are supported by three Training Programme Directors. Additional support is provided by our two Infections Disease Programme Directors, both through the Combined Infection Training pathway, and into Higher Specialist Training for those taking dual certification. We have a cohort of Educational Supervisors throughout the region. You will be allocated a named supervisor who will guide you all the way through your training
At present there are three separate bases for infection training in the the Yorkshire & the Humber Region: Leeds, Hull and Sheffield. We offer a range of options with it infection pathway:
- Pure Microbiology
- Joint Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
- Joint Virology and Infectious Diseases
- Joint Infectious Diseases and General Internal Medicine
Further hospital placements take place in Bradford, York, Calderdale and Harrogate. The hospitals cover all areas of infection expertise with high quality and dedicated staff.
Trainees are appointed by national selection process at ST3 level, to then complete four or five years of training to receive a CCT in their chosen infection pathway. Trainees are allocated to a base hospital either in Leeds, Sheffield or Hull, according to their preference, made at the point of application. They will retain this principal base for the duration of training, though may choose to swap by agreement with their TPD. All trainees can expect to rotate out from their base to regional hospital, for at least six months, and all trainees are encouraged to benefit from the wide diversity of placements within our region
Progress in training is monitored using assessment practices laid out in the curriculum and reviewed by the Speciality Training Committee at the Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP) process.
We have a strong academic training programme based at Leeds & Sheffield Universities, with a number of Academic Clinical Fellows (ACFs), and Clinical Lecturers (CLs). There are excellent opportunities for out of programmer experience, leading to PhD.
There is a continuous programmer of regional teaching on a rolling basis. We have a recommended list of external and local courses which are made available. Trainees have the opportunity to attend a management course at least once during their training, which is useful both preparation for consultant jobs, and for interview skills. The School also runs an in-house clinical leadership skills day, biannually for senior trainees.
Please find information on the sites delivering this Programme below:
The training programme is based mainly at Hull Royal Infirmary, Castle Hill and related hospitals. The Microbiology Service provides a clinical microbiology service to a population of about 500,000 in the former East Riding Health Authority area and a microbiology service to a further 500,000 in surrounding areas including North Yorkshire and the South Bank of the Humber for the Health Protection Agency (HPA).
Hull offers training which deals with a wide range of tests covering clinical bacteriology, virology, serology, parasitology and mycology. This comprehensive service enables us to investigate the full range of microbiological and control of infection problems for hospitals, local authorities and general practitioners. Whilst a wide range of investigations is available on-site, we can arrange for specialist services to be provided where required, through the laboratories of the HPA Network. The departments participate in the UK NEQAS scheme for all relevant specimens. The clinical service has accreditation by Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA).
The training programme is based mainly at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT), with rotations to Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Trust, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and York Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust.
Depending on specific rotations, at any one time there are 5-6 specialty trainees and a Clinical Lecturer/Honorary Specialist Registrar based at LTHT, one trainee at the Calderdale & Huddersfield Trust, and one trainee shared between Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust/York Hospitals NHS Trust. At present there is also a supernumerary flexible trainee on the scheme. Trainees on the Hull/York rotation periodically join colleagues on the West Yorkshire programme for educational activities.
These are centred at the Sheffield Teaching hospitals, but include a rotation to Sheffield Children’s Hospital. The South Yorkshire training programmes in Microbiology and Virology have a reputation for delivering high quality, broad based training with exposure to all areas of microbiology and virology practice. A robust process of educational supervision drives the training scheme and is based on the Gold Guide and sound educational principles.
Trainees are appointed by national selection process at ST1 level to complete 5 years of training to receive a CCT as a Consultant Microbiologist/Virologist. For joint training, appointees enter at ST3 level and complete 6 years of training, 3 of which are in microbiology or virology.