Importance of Training Medical and Public Health Microbiologists Amid Pandemic

July 1, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the important role that medical and public health microbiologists play in developing and deploying diagnostic testing to meet the unprecedented needs we are facing right now. Laboratories are going to extraordinary lengths to expand testing capacity, which requires validation and implementation across multiple specimen collection devices and testing platforms. This work is often directed and performed by medical and public health microbiologists who are board certified by the American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM).

ASM-accredited Subcommittee on Postgraduate Educational Programs (CPEP) programs across the country are responsible for training medical and public health microbiology postdoctoral fellows to meet the rigorous requirements of ABMM certification. Fellows undergoing training in CPEP programs are uniquely qualified to play a significant role in the pandemic response, including the development and validation of new tests. ASM has learned that in some instances, institutions have excluded medical residents, fellows and trainees from pandemic response efforts for reasons of operational efficiency and effective social distancing. While ASM broadly recognizes the need for these measures, we recommend against excluding medical and public health microbiology fellows who could play a significant role in supporting the laboratory testing process.

Author: ASM Advocacy

ASM Advocacy
ASM Advocacy is making it easy and providing opportunities for members to advocate for evidence-based scientific policy.