Medical Microbiology Residency Program

Welcome to the Medical Microbiology Residency Program at the University of Alberta.











CARMS Interviews are scheduled for March 8 and 9, 2022 and will be conducted using ZOOM. An informal virtual session with current residents is planned for the evening of March 7, 2022. The Program will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.

The virtual interview process will include:

  • a one-on-one interview with the Program Director 
  • a panel interview conducted by members of the Medical Microbiology Residency Program Committee and, if available, a resident currently enrolled in the program
  • an informal session with the residents where applicants will have the opportunity to ask current residents about their experience in the program

Contact Us

Dr. Nathan Zelyas
Program Director, Medical Microbiology

Ms. Julie Van Hill
Program Co-ordinator


Dr. Nathan Zelyas
Program Director,
Graduate of the UofA Medical Microbiology Residency Program

Welcome to Our Program

We are involved in the care of community, ER, and hospital-admitted patients, often with complex medical needs.

Medical Microbiology at the U of A is an inclusive and varied program. On both the laboratory and clinical sides, we are involved in the care of community, ER, and hospital-admitted patients, often with complex medical needs. The primary training site for our residents is a referral laboratory that performs both acute care and public health-related microbiology and is located in a tertiary care transplant centre with multiple specialized facilities. Trainees take part in the teaching of medical students, other residents, laboratory technologists, and many others, in their participation in Infectious Diseases Rounds, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology Rounds, academic half-day sessions, and various daily teaching opportunities. Our program is closely affiliated with Infectious Diseases and the Pathology specialties. No matter their background or personal history, our residents develop a real sense of camaraderie with each other and typically form lifelong connections.

Dr. Nathan Zelyas  
Program Director

Our Program

The Medical Microbiology residency program is a five year post graduate medical training program in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta. It is designed to facilitate the development of expertise in clinical microbiology and for residents to acquire broad-based clinical and laboratory experience to meet training requirements of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The inherent flexibility within the program allows it to accommodate and fulfill special interests of the trainee and initiate further advanced training in a chosen area. Completion of the program prepares residents to function as specialists in Medical Microbiology.

Rotations primarily take place at the Provincial Laboratory of Public Health for Alberta, the University of Alberta Hospital, and at a private diagnostic laboratory, DynaLIFE.


Our faculty members have expertise in a wide variety of fields:

  • Bacteriology
  • Virology
  • Mycology
  • Parasitology
  • Molecular microbiology 
  • Laboratory management


Our trainees are encouraged to participate in research projects through a wide range of areas:

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious diseases
  • Public health
  • Epidemiology
  • Infection control
  • Laboratory management

Residency at a Glance

Learn about each year of the program with an overview of each year.

Year 1 - Basic Clinical Year

BCY Internal Medicine (2 Blocks)

BCY Infectious Diseases (1 Block)

BCY Pediatrics (2 Blocks)

BCY Family Medicine (2 Blocks)

BCY Cardiology/Critical Care (1 Block)

BCY General Surgical (1 Block)

BCY Emergency Medicine (1 Block)

BCY Microbiology (1 Block)

BCY Elective (1 Block)

Vacation (1 Block)

Year 2

Microbiology Lab (primarily at DynaLIFE – high volume lab -  introduction to microbiology)

Infection Prevention and Control (includes IPC course)

Infectious Diseases Consults (MIS or GNH)

Sexually Transmitted Infections Clinic (General Hospital) 

Research Course

Year 3

Microbiology Lab (Primarily at UAH/Prov Lab – routine and advanced microbiology)

Minimum 4 blocks ID Consults (RAH/UAH - Adult ID, Peds ID, OPAT)

Antimicrobial Stewardship Lab @ DynaLIFE

Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical 


Year 4

Microbiology Lab (Primarily at UAH/Prov Lab – routine and advanced microbiology)

5-6 Infectious Diseases Consults (RAH/UAH - Transplant ID, TB, Adult ID, Peds ID, OPAT)

Viral Hepatitis 

National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) 


Management Course

Public Health (if requested)

Elective (optional)

Year 5

Microbiology Lab (Primarily at UAH/Prov Lab – routine and advanced microbiology)

Infectious Diseases Consults

Elective (optional)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some strengths about your specialty? What draws and keeps people in your specialty?

Medical Microbiology bridges the gap between clinical and lab specialty – so you have the best of both worlds. The work hours are relatively regular. There is a good balance between work and home/family life and your financial future is fairly predictable and secure.

Medical Microbiologists may have variable jobs, such as laboratory physician and clinician working in Sexuality Transmitted Infections Clinic, Public Health Labs, Infection Prevention and Control, or Infectious Diseases (outside of Alberta). 
What are some common complaints about your specialty?
You will not have primary hands-on contact with patients in some provinces of Canada – the role is more of a consultant to clinical practitioners.
Why did you choose your specialty?

I liked the idea of doing something that would immediately make a difference. I could find out what is causing the patient’s illness (the microorganism) and knew what to do to cure it (the antibiotic). I liked the fact I am being asked for advice by other physicians, and that I get to see the birds-eye view of all infections in my hospital through the lab – not just my own patients, like the ID physicians.

At the same time, I always get to do cases within my area of interest (infections), as a consultant, and don’t have to do the plain and simple case load.

What types of clinical cases do you commonly see?
Infections – all types/systems, all ages; urinary tract infections, sepsis, meningitis, transplant associated infections, and many of the fascinating parasites.
What does a typical day look like?

Clinical consultations, lab problem solving, investigations of outbreaks, meetings, teaching various learners, research. Lots of phone consultations.

What are the varieties of lifestyles within your field?
There is a very broad variety since there is time available for family or other activities. It is up to the individual. Some people concentrate on career and promotion, others work part time to take care of the family, do extracurricular activities or further their education. There is no in-hospital call (you have to be available by pager and can do most of the work from home when you are on call, although there will be some weekend call in the lab).
Specifically, how able is your specialty to accommodate family life?
Most positions have defined (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) hours. Call is light and can be done from home (some in-lab weekend call is required). Part time work is also possible, so one can adjust the workload to accommodate personal life (e.g. pregnancy, parenthood).
How do you see your discipline changing over the next decade?

There are many emerging pathogens and infectious diseases we have to handle in the next decade: Ebola and other hemorrhagic fever viruses, Zika, MDR TB, COVID, etc.

There will be evolving techniques and assays to facilitate the detection of microbial pathogens.

Resident Testimonials

We asked our residents what they like about the program. Here is what a few of them had to say:

aran yukseloglu


The Medical Microbiology program at the University of Alberta is unique and affords the opportunity to encounter the regular community pathogens, as well as those of public health concerns; a fine blend that enhances education and improves patient care.

Dr. Ifueko Joan Adeghe (R3) AIMG



This program provides a strong base of education in all areas of Medical Microbiology while supporting each individual resident to maintain a healthy work-life balance and to pursue their individual career goals

Dr. Heather Glassman (R4) CMG

shirley guan


We have been extremely fortunate to have such an amiable, supportive, and dedicated faculty and residents in the Medical Microbiology program at the U of A; key attributes to any successful work/learning environment. The faculty members are easily accessible and willing to help learners achieve extraordinary goals. In addition to traditional training, the program takes extra effort to groom its residents for a successful career in research, discovery, and innovation. This is to enable them to thrive in any environment they may find themselves in the future. A future where emerging infectious diseases pose significant challenges, and the excitement of having new developments and innovation in novel diagnostic tools.

Dr. Sa’adiya Umar (R1) AIMG

jenner lakusta


One of the greatest pros to completing your Micro training at University of Alberta will be the people you work with. My experience as a first-year resident has been very positive. From the program director and support staff to all of the other residents in the program, I have nothing but good things to say.

Daniel Purdy (R1) CMG