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Medical microbiology and virology (doctor)

Medical microbiology and virology (MMV) involve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the spread of infection in hospitals and the community. Both these specialties are laboratory-based, but make a major contribution to clinical infection management.

Training and qualifications required

Training usually starts with a five year first degree in medicine. You’ll then complete two years of foundation training, two years of core training (CT1-CT2) and two years of specialty training in combined infection (ST3-ST4). Following that, there will be two years of specialty training in medical microbiology/virology. This period of training will include your royal college exams. Length of training can vary according to your circumstances.

Expected working hours and salary range

Doctors may work up to 48 hours per week. The working hours may sometimes extend beyond the normal working day to include early mornings, evenings and weekends. On call possible. Pay scales (2017): NHS consultants earn between £76,761 and £103,490.

Desirable skills and values

You’ll have good communication, organisational and leadership skills, team working ability, and lots of scientific curiosity. You’ll need the ability to prioritise effectively and to have a patient and persistent approach, along with a strong interest in problem solving.

Prospects

There are 422 consultants in medical microbiology and 9 in virology in England in 2016. Opportunities exist for research and teaching.
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