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Micro Me 2.0!

As per the contrary belief, Microbiology is not just a theoretical subject. It's is one of the most dynamic, ever-changing and wonderful medical subjects I have known. It not only consists of a great deal of benchwork for daily diagnostic tests but also has a lot of potential to just be a research subject. When I entered the department I was subject to various basic sections as I have already described in Micro me! (click it) That frustrated me a little, but to my surprise, I feel that it was something very important for me to be a complete Resident in my department eg. Sample collection and transportation is a very important part and influencer for quality reporting in any setup. 
              
                                                                               
                                                                             Mostly, as a clinician, we do not realize the importance of these basic and very small things. I don't say that it's a news for all of you but sometimes we tend to overlook these important aspects like having an accurate and good knowledge about the normal commensals and pathogens is also a very important aspect not only to treat the patients but also for not spreading resistance in microorganisms and hence protecting the future generations. So Microbiology doesn't just benefit us in the present scenario but also leads to a diseaseless future. Having said these things it should also be kept in mind that a  Microbiologist doesn't just deal with the common infectious diseases but also their prevention, treatment, and prophylaxis. My subject diversifies into many other specializations like Hospital Infection Control, Virology, Medical Immunology, Mycology, Infectious Disease Experts etc. The possibilities of progressing and improving in Microbiology are endless. The working area is divided into four major sections like Bacteriology, Virology, Parasitology, and Mycology. Then all of these broad classifications further have a lot of subsets which basically divide and classify our work hence making it clearer what to report.  


                                                                                This is just a superficial overview to give an idea about the workings of a Microbiology lab. Our day starts with the daily diagnostics tests from the samples which had come a day and a night before. It includes the reading of the culture growth plates, various serology tests like TPHA, processing of the samples received during that time and reporting of the significant growth if any. Although it sounds a very straightforward thing to do but is actually not. As it requires the practical knowledge of how things are to be done in the lab plus the theoretical details of the microorganisms detected in routine tests like diseases caused by them, their proper antibiotic sensitivity testing and other aspects. The best thing which I have found about it is that my work is 100% microbiology starting from 8: am to 6:00 pm in the evening. Reading and reporting is further complicated by the details of the patient whose sample is being processed, details like present condition, immune status and previous history of similar or any other disease. As I have told earlier this requires an accurate idea of the normal flora in different parts/organs of the body with commonly encountered pathogens and the system affected by them. Being in a very good college we also get to see rarest of the rare samples with extremely fastidious bacteria. Although, it is sad to see a patient suffering from these problems but as a semi researcher I would like to say it opens up so many concepts in our minds mainly because I have always been a student who learns by visualization instead of being a one who reads and crams things.


                                                                               Apart from these amazing diagnostic sessions in the morning we also have a responsibility to teach our juniors which includes M.B.B.S  and Allied Health Sciences students. Earlier I used to believe that teaching someone who doesn't want to learn is a waste of my time, later I realized that that's the challenge. Making someone learn by invoking interest in the subject. Relating clinics to theoretical microbiology which is being taught in the college classes and labs. It not only makes them understand it better but also opens up many research avenues for us. The connection which you make with these two important aspects of the medical stream is amazing and keeps you alive. So, teaching has now become a second habit for us because it just doesn't help the students but also changes our point of view about our own beloved Micro (as we call it). Having said that there are still many problems which are faced by the Medical Microbiologists in India like being called LAB DOCTORS or the jobless doctors time and again by the layman and colleagues as well. There still is an immense gap between the clinics and lab which needs to be built for better and more accurate patient care. In a nutshell, I would like to say that no two branches of Medicine are complete without each other. 
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