Clinical Chemistry Fellowship Program
The Postdoctoral Training Program in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Louisville provides specialization in newly-evolving areas of laboratory medicine such as pharmacogenetics and diagnostic proteomics, including molecular diagnostics, and consists of the following structure: basic and advanced elective rotations, conferences, research, consultations, administration, and teaching.
Basic Rotation: A 12- to-16-week rotation with 12-weeks at ULH and one-to-two weeks at other selected program-affiliated hospitals. Fundamentals in all areas of Clinical Chemistry testing are taught– including analytical methods, proper collection and handling of specimens, and basics of diagnostic test selection and interpretation.
Advanced Elective Rotations: These more advanced rotations are designed to allow trainees to focus on selected sub-specialties involving proteomic and genomic applications in laboratory medicine and, in general, consist of four-to-six months each. Elective rotations are available in receptor techniques, molecular biology techniques, advanced toxicology, computer applications, laboratory administration. A short rotation is also available in internal medicine. These rotations augment the knowledge gained through the other learning activities. During the advanced rotations, the trainee, where applicable, engages in a clinical research project and may function as Acting director of a section of the clinical laboratory with the accompanying responsibilities.
Conferences: A series of conferences are designed to integrate knowledge in laboratory medicine and medical pathophysiology:
- Weekly Clinical Chemistry seminars and journal clubs (discussion series). These cover the physiology, pathophysiology, analytical and biochemical aspects of testing using an organ-system approach. These sessions are provided by faculty members, advanced fellows, or invited faculty from other departments as appropriate. The current literature is also discussed.
- Bi-Monthly case presentations (rounds). These alternate and complement the seminars above, centering around a case discussion of laboratory data pertinent to the care of the patient. Rounds are presented by the Clinical Chemistry Fellows and Residents in Laboratory Medicine.
- Bi-Monthly Pathology Research Conferences presented by Faculty, Invited-Lecturers, and advanced Residents and Fellows.
- Weekly, hour-long, Beeper Report (on-call) sessions (presented by individual on-call) and also Clinical Chemistry method development sessions are held to discuss real-time problem-solving issues in both medical and analytical categories thus integrating the practice of laboratory medicine.
- Various other conferences held in the Medical School (medicine grand rounds, journal clubs, etc.) are available to the trainee.
Research: Research is an integral part of the program. Trainees are expected to actively participate in both basic research projects as well as in developmental and clinical types of research.
On-Call Duties and Consultations: Clinical consultation is another important part of the training program. The Clinical Chemistry Laboratory offers an active consult service to aid in selecting tests, interpreting test results, determining whether unusual values are correct, resolving administrative matters or technical problems, etc. Clinical Chemistry Fellows and Pathology Residents are on-call (beeper) on a rotating basis to cover these responsibilities. This on-call program is intended to provide clinical service to the hospital physicians, staff, and medical technologists, teaching as well as learning opportunity for the fellows, and chances for interaction between fellows and clinical residents and staff. Participation in medical rounds, presentation at the beeper reports, and possible publication and follow-up of a selected number of calls are some of the benefits of the on-call system. These individuals also represent the clinical laboratories during the Department of Medicine morning reports.
Administration: Administrative training is an important part of the Clinical Chemistry Fellowship Program. During advanced rotations, the Fellows are assigned as Acting directors of specific areas in the clinical laboratory. They work closely with the supervisors in coordinating all aspects of those sections, including reporting of laboratory results, QC administration, proficiency testing, and budgeting matters related to cost analysis and personnel scheduling.
Teaching: The trainee is involved in presentation of conferences during rounds, teaching of pathology residents during rotations in Clinical Chemistry and teaching of technologists during in-service sessions.