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Medical Microbiology

The McMaster Medical Microbiology Residency Program offers a unique training experience within a large, world class academic hospital setting.  The program is extremely flexible, allowing each resident to attain their personal learning goals and to tailor their training to fit their individual needs and interests.

There is ample elective opportunity to explore options within the diverse field of Medical Microbiology. Along with core laboratory training within the different microbiology discipline areas, clinical training in Infectious Diseases is integrated throughout the five year training period, therefore developing both the clinical and laboratory skills and knowledge that is critical to the practice of Medical Microbiology.  There are ample opportunities for research and residents are encouraged to participate in projects throughout their training.  A successful mentorship program is in place to help guide and nurture residents during their time in the program and throughout the resident career planning phase.  Structured, protected academic teaching is built into the curriculum and residents are encouraged to seek out learning opportunities that fit their individual goals.

Residents will carry out research in association with the faculty, which will also allow for more formal research training, The MM faculty has very strong research roots and all residents publish or present research before the completion of their training. Residents also demonstrate self-directed problem-based learning during weekly ID Academic PBL Half-day.

Qualified applicants will have completed undergraduate MD program from a Canadian medical school or core training in internal medicine or pediatrics, and who are eligible for certification in those disciplines by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).

Program Information

There are two pathways, which can be taken to meet the RCPSC requirements and be eligible for the RCPSC examination. Candidates pursuing microbiology residency directly after completing the MD program will undergo a five-year training program. The first year consists of clinical rotations in various fields of medicine. During the remaining 4 years, the residents will participate in infectious diseases service rotations, bacteriology, virology, mycology, mycobacteriology, molecular microbiology, infection control, antimicrobial stewardship, laboratory management, public health microbiology and Quality Assurance and research projects. Graduated responsibility has been built into these rotations and there are graduated expectations for call in both Infectious Diseases and Microbiology.

The residents, who have completed core training in internal medicine or pediatrics may pursue microbiology residency in conjunction with infectious diseases residency. The combined infectious diseases and medical microbiology residency is a three-year program. The successful candidates will participate in infectious diseases service rotations for 12 months, and complete rotations in bacteriology, virology, mycology, mycobacteriology, molecular microbiology, infection control, antimicrobial stewardship, laboratory management, public health microbiology. The residents also have numerous opportunities to participate in research projects. Upon completion of the combined Medical Microbiology/ Infectious Diseases (MM/ID) residency, the candidates will be qualified to participate in both medical microbiology and infectious diseases RCPSC examinations.

Program Year Breakdown:

PGY 1: first year structured for successful completion of MCCQE Part II. This year consists of:

  • Four blocks general Internal Medicine
  • Two blocks ICU
  • Two blocks Emergency Medicine
  • One block general Pediatrics
  • One block Medical Oncology
  • 1-2 blocks Infectious Diseases
  • 1-2 blocks Medical Microbiology

PGY 2-4: The PGY 2-5 years are made up of a blend of clinical Infectious Diseases, and core microbiology including training in Public Health laboratories, Infection Control and Antimicrobial Stewardship. Graded responsibility is incorporated into the training expectations and on-call responsibilities for each year of training.

PGY 5: The final year of training is planned to provide further experience in microbiology and the trainee accepts a greater level of responsibility. Each resident will get an opportunity to act as the senior resident for the training program with added responsibilities such as generating the microbiology call schedule and planning/coordinating the Medical Microbiology Academic Half-day.

A weekly basic science and clinical microbiology seminar series are available. There include:

  • ID Academic Half-day – a 2 hour case based, Problem-Based learning session focused on covering a core topic in Infectious Disease
  • MM Academic Halfday – a 1 hour session which follows the ID half-day and covers a range of laboratory and CanMEDs topics in an interactive lecture format
  • Microbiology Plate Rounds follow the Academic Half-days and review a laboratory topic at the bench level
  • Regional Infectious Diseases Rounds are held weekly and are attended by all residents and faculty. Residents are expected to present at ID rounds 2-3 times per year and are provided with useful feedback from these presentations
  • Infectious Disease Journal Club is held twice per month and Medical Microbiology residents participate in the session as well as presenting several papers per year
  • Teleconferences are arranged by the Program Director to cover a range of Microbiology topics

Residents are required to design and carry-out a series of research projects. They are well supported in this task by the research coordinator for the program. The Medical Microbiology Program faculty has a strong breadth and depth of research experience and are well equipped to mentor residents with their research projects. All residents will publish at least an abstract, but most complete a scientific paper, but the end of their training.


Candidates with Canadian Citizenship or Permanent Residency must apply to the Laboratory Medicine Program through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). Basic eligibility criteria for the program can be viewed at the CaRMS website.

Selection Criteria

It is a requirement for applicants to have previous experience or to have taken an elective in Microbiology/infectious Diseases prior to applying. All applicants should have been involved in clinical work within 5 years of applying.

Selection is based on the candidates:

  • academic record
  • research experience
  • a demonstrated interest in laboratory medicine as a career

International Medical Graduates accepted into the program will have access to the same opportunities, training and experiences as Canadian Medical Graduates. We also accept foreign trainees, when space is available within the program.

Laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases, clinical interpretation of laboratory results and therapeutic monitoring of antimicrobial agents. The scope of testing includes bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, virology and mycobacteriology. This allows the student sufficient time to see all the processes and procedures associated with the practice of medical microbiology. The number of students which can be accommodated is variable depending upon the space and staff availability. Elective will take place at HGH

McMaster Students:

To arrange an elective please email Elena Bidochka, Senior Education Program Associate


Please follow the application guidelines outlined by McMaster Undergraduate Medical School.

If you are interested in an elective in Medical Microbiology as part of your postgraduate training you must first ensure that this meets your program requirements and our McMaster Postgraduate Office requirements.

The Medical Microbiology Residency Program accepts elective requests from residents currently enrolled in postgraduate training programs outside of McMaster University. If you are interested in arranging an elective in Medical Microbiology please email Please ensure you include information on the specific rotation, dates and site you are interested in.

Program Contacts

Dr. Daniela Leto

Program Director

Giulia Spadafora

Senior Education Program Associate