Training and development (MMV)

This page provides useful information on the training and development for this specialty and also has tips for people at all stages of their training including medical school.

Before embarking on ST3 specialty training potential medical microbiologists and virologists need to complete either:

You must pass the examinations to gain membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP). CMT or ACCS usually takes two or three years.

After the CMT or ACCS the next stage of training is:

Combined Infection Training

Combined infection training is a two-year integrated laboratory and clinical training programme that covers basic skills in medical microbiology and virology, infection prevention and control and tropical medicine. Combined infection training includes Part 1 Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathology  (FRCPath) examinations.

ST3 Specialty Training

ST3 Specialty training in medical microbiology/virology takes a further two years.

This includes Part 2 Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists  (FRCPath). .

The length of training can vary, for example it is possible to train flexibly if you fulfil the criteria for Less than Full Time Training, (LTFT).

This information is correct at the time of writing. Full and accurate details of training pathways are available from medical royal colleges, local education and training boards (LETBs) or the GMC.

Experience of extra-curricular activities, achievements and interests relevant to medical microbiology and virology are also desirable.

Selection panels also look for evidence of academic and research achievements, which as well as additional academic qualifications include prizes, awards, distinctions, publications and presentations. An understanding of research, audit and teaching is also important as is evidence of the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team. Good leadership and organisational skills are also important.

A demonstrable interest in and understanding of the specialty is also required.

The GMC provides information on the curriculum for combined infection training which includes medical microbiology and virology.

Find out more about the specialty training on the NHS Specialty Training website.

Getting in tips

It is important to develop your practical skills and interest in Medical Microbiology and Virology as early as you can. This will also give you valuable experience to add to your CV.

  • You could consider becoming an undergraduate member of:

    • Royal College of Pathologists 
    • pathological society
    • attend conferences on medical microbiology/virology – this will give you an opportunity to network and meet your future colleagues
    • undertake a placement in medical microbiology/virology
    • undertake a student selected module or project in medical microbiology/virology
    • join the British Infection Association as an Associate Member
    • make contact with a local medical microbiology/virology department and find out how you can get involved
    • aim to get a rotation in medical microbiology/virology
    • try to ensure your e-portfolio has broad clinical experience and that this is kept properly up-to-date
    • try to gain teaching and management experience
    • undertake a relevant research project
    • try to get some of your work published and present at national and international meetings
    • teach junior colleagues
    • take on any management opportunities you are offered
    • join the British Infection Association as a Trainee Member
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