Doctors who are Board Certified Medical Microbiologists are pathologists who have sought further training in medical microbiology. Pathology is one of 24 medical specialties recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). After graduating from an accredited medical school and receiving a full, unrestricted license to practice medicine, a candidate must go on to complete three or more years in an accredited pathology-residency program to qualify as a pathologist.
The American Board of Medical Microbiologists certifies physicians and other scientists possessing a doctorate degree (veterinarians, microbiologists, dentists, doctor of public health and others) who pursue an additional two to three years of training, qualifying them for the practice of clinical or public health microbiology. These doctors do not actually treat patients, but are often administrators of clinical laboratories or research scientists. Their examinations are rigorous, and medical microbiologists must be experts in their understanding of communicable and infectious diseases, bacteriology, virology, immunizations, mycology, parasitology, public health and laboratory techniques.