Clinical Pathology Program

Diagnostic Virology

Rotation Director:
Wallace Greene, PhD, D(ABMM)

This four-week rotation provides an in-depth exposure to a highly diverse and complex diagnostic service. It consists of observation of all testing services, didactic lectures, reading assignments and individual workup of "unknown" specimens containing a number of viruses. In addition, attendance of the Infection Control meeting and Infectious Disease Conference is encouraged. The opportunity for research is available for those with an interest, but is not required.

Goals and Objectives:

Patient Care:

The clinical virology rotation should provide the resident with a clear understanding of the functioning of a clinical virology laboratory. This includes becoming familiar with the methods used for:

  • specimen collection and transport
  • isolation and identification of viruses and chlamydiae from clinical specimens
  • direct demonstration of virus and/or viral antigens in clinical specimens
  • use of different molecular diagnostic assays for viral and bacterial pathogens
  • serologic procedures used to detect virus-specific antibodies in patient sera
  • the appropriate use of these techniques in different clinical situations will be discussed

Medical Knowledge:

Residents should have an understanding of viral infections including clinical presentations and the methods available to detect and identify them. The strengths and weaknesses of the testing methods will be emphasized.

Practice-based Learning and Improvement:

Residents will become familiar with resources such as appropriate texts, literature, web-based resources, proficiency test reports, and quality control material for use in evaluating test methods and results. A clear understanding of each method and common problems will be discussed.

Systems-based Practice:

Residents will discuss our state health department virus-reporting requirements, quality control and quality assurance processes employed within the virology lab, discuss critical technical skills required for producing accurate results.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills:

Interact with the laboratory staff, clinical staff and other staff in an appropriate and effective manner.


Interact with the laboratory staff, clinical staff and other staff in an appropriate and effective manner. Arrive on time, complete assignments according to instructions in a timely manner, and show respect for teaching staff.


  • There are no prerequisites for this rotation.

Duration and Timing of the Rotation:

  • Minimum of 4 weeks in duration.
  • Two residents may complete the virology rotation simultaneously.
  • Rotation should preferably be completed outside of the winter respiratory virus season.

Teaching Staff:

  • Wallace Greene, PhD
  • Virology staff for bench rotations


1.  Background reading (covered independently by resident)

  • Selected daily reading assignments will be provided by the director.
  • Primary texts are Manual of Clinical Microbiology 11th edition, Clinical Virology Manual, 4th edition.

2.  Practical exposure to virology material

  • Daily rotations are spent in the virology laboratory, with the technologists, to observe the test procedures.
  • Attendance at infectious disease-related conferences is encouraged as available.

3.  Didactic Learning

  • Daily discussions will be scheduled with the rotation director covering different viruses and testing issues.

Method(s) of Evaluation:

  • Observation by technologists and rotation director
  • Evaluation of "unknown" samples during the last week of the rotation
  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Completion of resident performance evaluation in New Innovations at the end of the Virology rotation by the rotation director
  • Residents will be evaluated based on direct observation by faculty
  • After each rotation, residents will be evaluated by faculty in New Innovations

Updated:  8/2015 WHG