University of Pittsburgh


Foundations of Medicine

Medical Microbiology

February 19, 2019-March 22, 2019
23 half days

Course Director
Bruce McClane, PhD
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Course Director
Peter Veldkamp, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Medicine


Course Description

This course introduces basic concepts of infectious disease.

The goals of the course are are for students to gain a basic knowledge and understanding of:

  1. To provide you with the basic science foundation of Medical Microbiology necessary for your clinical education and for passing Part 1 of the USMLE boards.
  2. To begin introducing you to important clinical concepts in the medical field of infectious diseases.
  3. microbial diagnosis (the basis, sensitivity, and limitations of clinical diagnostic tests).
  4. etiology (infectious agents responsible, differential diagnoses – infectious or not).
  5. epidemiology (transmission, susceptibility, patterns).
  6. pathogenesis (how the organisms cause disease).
  7. symptoms (symptoms that help in diagnosis, how these symptoms relate to disease).
  8. prevention (vaccines, hand washing, etc.).
  9. treatment (drug or other treatment options).
  10. complications (spectrum of disease, other complications of infection).

The 31 faculty are from 7 departments: Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases), Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Ophthalmology, Pathology, Pediatrics and Pharmacology.

Educational Methods


Lecture Virtual laboratories on the course website Infectious disease conference Clinical case presentations
Laboratory Small-group problem-based learning cases Clinical correlations Optional quizzes



Evaluation for this course is based on attendance and participation in laboratories and problem-based learning sessions and on a final multiple-choice examination.

Grading: The weighting of the course grade within a block grade is based on the length of the course. Grading for the block is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.

Faculty Note

Course Director Bruce McClane, PhD, is a recipient of the Kenneth E. Schuit Award Master Educator Award and multiple Excellence in Education Awards for Course Director. Course Director Peter Veldkamp, MD, is a recipient of the Kenneth E. Schuit Master Educator Award, multiple Excellence in Education Awards for Course Director, and the Clinical Educator of the Year Award. In addition, Dr. Veldkamp is a member of the UPSOM Academy of Master Educators.