Clinical Chemistry Fellowship
Training in the fellowship program in clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine at the University of Virginia is designed to prepare fellows for careers that may combine academic and clinical pursuits, including service, teaching and research. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Clinical Chemistry (ComACC) and material covered meets the standards and guidelines of that organization. The basic program is intended to last three years in most cases, to allow sufficient time for in-depth training in the broad area of clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics and laboratory medicine as well as time to develop an area of research. Opportunities exist, however, for a shorter training period depending upon the background and career goals of the trainee.
The first year is focused on in-depth study of laboratory medicine, with emphasis in the areas of clinical chemistry, toxicology, therapeutic drug monitoring, molecular diagnostics, biochemical genetics, laboratory computing, immunological testing, evidence-based laboratory medicine and point-of-care testing. Additional time in hematology, coagulation and microbiology is available for fellows who wish to be prepared to direct a core laboratory. Fellows are integrated into laboratory rotations with pathology residents and into clinical activities with residents and clinical departments attendings, notably in the Divisions of General Medicine, Endocrinology and Infectious Disease in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Division of Clinical Toxicology in the Department of Emergency Medicine. Training during the first year is intended to be sufficient for the Fellow to sit for the American Board of Clinical Chemistry exam at the end of the first year.
A key component of the program is a period of clinical, translational or fundamental research after the first year. Trainees in the research years continue to take call and are given the opportunity to continue to develop their clinical skills and attend laboratory medicine conferences relevant to their interests. Research opportunities are varied and are not restricted to the Department of Pathology.
Since accreditation in 2006, there have been 11 graduates of the Fellowship (one deceased). Six are at academic medical centers as either laboratory directors or in education. One is a laboratory director at a large regional medical center, one has returned to active duty with the US Army, and two are in industry/commercial laboratory operations. Of those graduates who chose to sit for the Board exam (9), six are Board certified and two are waiting for the results.