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Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Clinical Microbiology (Minnesota)


This clerkship offers full participation in the activities of the clinical microbiology laboratories in the Hilton Bldg. and Superior Drive Support Center at Mayo Clinic. The student will rotate through the six laboratory areas of diagnostic microbiology over a four-week period: bacteriology, mycology / TB, virology, parasitology, infectious disease serology, hepatitis / HIV.


To gain an overview and understanding of appropriate diagnostic microbiologic tests used to guide patient care.

Specific goals

  1. To become familiar with the various specimen requirements for common and specialized diagnostic microbiologic tests;
  2. To learn the clinical indications, scientific principles, methods, interpretation, and pitfalls of common and specialized clinical microbiology laboratory tests used for the diagnosis and management of infectious diseases.

Activity outline

This clerkship emphasizes observation and hands-on participation in the performing diagnostic testing in the clinical microbiology laboratory. Student will be expected to demonstrate knowledge of the common identification features and useful diagnostic tests (and interpretation of their results) for common pathogens. Active participation in twice weekly laboratory demonstration rounds and once weekly clinical infectious disease rounds, including presentation of interesting case histories and laboratory findings, is expected. Individual initiative and feedback on laboratory experience are encouraged.

Method of evaluation

Education coordinators of each of the laboratory areas and laboratory consultant staff will complete performance evaluation according to current objective educational guidelines in the Division of Clinical Microbiology. Presentation of interesting diagnostic case(s) during the clerkship will be evaluated by staff consultants attending the presentation with a standardized evaluation form. Student is also encouraged to take self-evaluation tests available from each individual laboratory.

The student will meet weekly with the faculty coordinator or his/her designee for 30 minutes to review the laboratory experience and learning progress. The student is encouraged to provide feedback and suggestions for improving his/her learning experience during these weekly meeting sessions. A clerkship experience evaluation form will be completed by the student.