Workforce, training and education
East Midlands

Medical Microbiology and Virology


If you're looking for a high quality Medical Microbiology and Virology training programme, the East Midlands has lots to offer. You'll train at some of the UK's leading facilities and the unique geography of the region means you don't face a long commute or the prospect of having to move home during your training.

Train in some of the UK's leading facilities

NHS England and NHS Improvement have proposed 29 Pathology Networks across the country. When you train in the region you'll join the ME2 (Midlands and East 2) pathology network. It is the largest network in the country in terms of budget, geography and number of hospitals working together.

Nottingham University Hospitals and the University Hospitals of Leicester each cater for around 1 million patients per year and each has their own comprehensive microbiology laboratory service, equipped to a high standard with equipment including an automated blood culture system, automated bacteria identification systems (MALDITOF, VITEK2), liquid TB culture, automated enzyme immunoassays and automated molecular diagnostic systems.

On average both laboratories together processes 1.5 million clinical specimens each year which gives you a substantial resource for teaching, training, audit and research. The East Midlands is also well known for its excellence in research in tuberculosis, respiratory viral infections, hepatitis viruses and ECMO.

In addition, the unique compact geography of the East Midlands means that you won't be required to commute long distances to other hospitals. You'll benefit from an excellent work/life balance which is perfect if you have a partner/family or if you simply want to put down roots. And, with the average house price being 67% lower than London and 44% lower than the South East, it's a highly affordable region for a start on the property ladder or a change of your existing property.

“I would highly recommend Microbiology training in Nottingham.  It is filled with supportive consultants and lab staff that are willing to teach and train, and provides consistent protected time for education and continued professional development.  There is excellent one-to-one on the job consultant training and support that is provided in a manner that still allows autonomous decision making and self-development.   Trainee welfare is a high priority which is a breath of fresh air in the NHS, and great care is taken to create balanced work plans that take into account individual needs. “Elizabeth Parker, StR in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

‘I would strongly recommend Microbiology training in Nottingham. It is the most friendly and supportive department I have worked in. Trainees are actively encouraged to take study leave and other learning opportunities. There is weekly consultant led teaching. The department strives and succeeds to meet the individual needs of all trainees. The work is interesting and varied. I can't recommend it highly enough.’ Katie Prescott, StR in Microbiology (currently out of programme on an Infection Control Training Fellowship)

“I have had an excellent experience of infection training in Leicester, and in particular training in Microbiology.  As a microbiology trainee I am frequently involved in the management of complex infections from a variety of specialties including neonates, cardiac surgery, renal transplant, haematology/oncology, and ITU.  Working in microbiology offers opportunities beyond individual patient management and to become involved in infection control (including outbreak management), and to engage in research, audit, and quality improvement. Working in Leicester has particular benefits: we have an extremely diverse population and as such we see a wide variety of imported infections. We also have a close working relationship with our Infectious Diseases team, particularly in regards to OPAT. We have 3 ITUs (including an ECMO centre) so have cases referred from across the country. There is a huge variety to the job, and I can honestly say that no two days are the same, and there is always something new to learn! I was so impressed with microbiology that I even changed my specialty – switching from Infectious Diseases/General Medicine to Infectious Diseases/Microbiology and remain extremely glad that I did”. James Veater ST6 in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Diverse ethnic mix gives you opportunities to see a large number of unusual and rare infections

When you train in Medical Microbiology and Virology in the East Midlands the diverse ethnic mix of the populations means you will have the opportunity to see a large number of unusual and rare infections e.g. Acanthamoeba keratitis, Anthrax, Chikungunya and Zika virus. The large migrant population also means you'll encounter a lot of imported infections such as tuberculosis, HIV, typhoid, malaria and infections with multidrug resistant organisms.

In addition, both Nottingham and Leicester are tertiary centres. That means the microbiology departments provide clinical liaison to a wide range of specialties, especially intensive care (ITU), haematology with bone marrow transplantation, renal medicine with renal transplantation, infectious diseases, paediatrics, cardiology, cardio-thoracic, spinal surgery, neurosurgery, hepatobiliary surgery and diabetes.

Leicester also boasts an ECMO unit for both adults and children; the only such facility in the UK. You'll therefore benefit from experience managing infections in ECMO patients from around the country and abroad.

Benefit from excellent training programmes

Both Leicester and Nottingham have extensive laboratories on site allowing trainees to embed study of the laboratory testing with honed practical bench skill and knowledge.

Regional training days have all had excellent feedback and are viewed as essential resource by the trainees to increase their knowledge. External speakers are invited to input into any areas of the curriculum competencies that are not locally delivered to ensure that the whole range of curriculum competencies is covered and trainees are well prepared for both their professional examinations and their long term careers.

An excellent course is delivered by Leicester consultants in preparation for the Part 2 microbiology examination. Four of the consultants from Nottingham, and one from Leicester are examiners for the Royal College of Pathologists and are able to support trainees in their preparation for professional examinations.

In addition, in Leicester there is a training programme for Foundation Year 1 and Year 2 doctors which offer an opportunity for foundation doctors who are interested in a career in microbiology to experience the specialty before making a commitment towards specialty training in microbiology. In Nottingham, trainees interested in a career in infection are supported with taster days and for those who are keen to pursue a career in microbiology Trust grade posts are often available as trainees are encouraged to enjoy out of programme experiences. Nottingham based trainees are encouraged to take every opportunity to diversify their training portfolios, often with 30% of trainees out of programme at any one time.

From my viewpoint, the microbiology team in Nottingham have been the biggest support of any team I have ever worked with throughout my training. The training is well balanced in both clinical and lab-based duties, with very good induction timetables also. There is enough variety of topics covered in teaching and we can help direct it to things we struggle with/ would like to know more about. I feel I can ask questions and learn openly and not be ashamed if I do not know or understand something. I enjoy the more clinical-based aspects we get involved in also, such as the ITU/CCD ward rounds, and I feel the liaison of dedicated consultants with teams to create an MDT approach is an asset (it really makes liaising with some of the teams easier and more consistent and as a trainee I have picked up different gems of knowledge from different specialist areas).’ Anna Wild, Trust grade in Microbiology

The East Midlands boasts an established scientist training programme for Higher Specialist Scientific Training (HSST), Scientist Training Programme (STP) and Practitioner Training Programme (PTP).

World-class art, sport and culture

The East Midlands is one of the UK's most vibrant regions. With nine universities, world-class concert venues, a thriving local music scene and dozens of popular attractions there's always something for you to enjoy.

Go hiking in the Peak District, watch Test cricket or Premier League football, explore Sherwood Forest, delve into history at the King Richard III Visitor's Centre or Nottingham Castle, visit the multi-award-winning Bosworth Battlefield experience in Leicester or simply enjoy the hospitality of Nottingham and Leicester; two of England's top 10 cities.

“Microbiology is both an exciting and interesting speciality. The team in Nottingham have the balance completely right: they encourage trainees to be independent whilst also providing a supportive and caring environment. I could not imagine training in anything or anywhere else. Nottingham city centre is also a fun and dynamic city with brilliant places to explore. Could not recommend it enough!”  Karmel Webb StR in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (currently undertaking a PhD during OOPR)

“Great training and very supportive colleagues, I would thoroughly recommend Leicester for training in Microbiology and Infectious diseases. In addition, Leicester city with its diverse ethnic population appears to me just like home. Motor Way, M1 is close by at Junction 21. So I can go to London, Birmingham, Manchester, and other big cities on weekends in an hour or two to meet friends and relatives or they can visit me in Leicester with no hassle at all. Locally, I can take my children to the Space Centre, Twycross Zoo, and the Rutland water butterfly form or simply go to the numerous theatres, cinemas and restaurants with cuisine from all over the world. Once you come to Leicester you will never look back. A day trip to Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre in Leicester is like a journey back in time. It is a colourful multi award winning interactive exhibition telling you the story of the Battle of Bosworth in which King Richard III was defeated and killed and the history of England changed forever”. Nahed Elhefnawy, Clinical Fellow in Microbiology.

For more information about Medical Microbiology and Virology training in the East Midlands email our Training Programme Directors or one of our trainees: