PATH 451

PATH 451 Clerkship in Laboratory Medicine and Infection Prevention and Control (3 credits)

PATH 451 is a mentored study course designed to familiarize students with clinical infection control and/or various subspecialties of Laboratory Medicine.  The course may involve attendance at an approved institution and/or a project assigned by the instructor(s); classroom attendance at UBC is not required.  The intent of the practicum is to provide a practical experience in infection control.

The clerkship can be flexible and organized to accommodate your schedule while meeting the requirements for a 3-credit course.  It should be noted that the experience will require your attendance with your mentor during their regular working hours.  The course is offered 2 times per year.

To be eligible to enrol in PATH 451 and qualify for the Infection Prevention and Control Certificate a student must:

  • have experience in management of patients in acute care, long term care or rehabilitation facilities (i.e. be a health care worker);
  • have successfully completed the online courses PATH 427, PATH 467, PATH 477 with a combined overall average of 70% in the 3 courses;
  • be within 5 years of their initial start date of the online courses.


For Start Date

Placement Request Deadline***

Course Registration Deadline

Course End date

September (Term 1) or
September (Terms 1 & 2)

June 1

August 15

December 15


September 2

December 1

April 30

***Applications received after the deadline will be processed for the next start date.

Students based in BC wishing to complete the clerkship in a BC Health Authority (HA) must make the request through the Program Assistant.  Students should not contact employees or facilities directly.

It is the responsibility of the student to secure a mentor.

These criteria reflect mentorship skills that are related to experience, knowledge and accessibility to provide general guidance as to mentorship selection for the students in the Pathology 451 practicum.


  • A background in infection control with at least five years in the field*
  • Degree, Diploma or Certificate obtained from a substantive course devoted to infection control (e.g. UBC Infection Control Certificate; Medical Microbiology or Infectious Diseases Fellowship, Physician Epidemiologist, CBIC certification)


  • Professional involvement in Hospital infection control in the laboratory, public health field and/or clinical unit/facility
  • Experience in   teaching and education to professional healthcare workers
  • Participation in an infection control structure such as a local Infection Control Committee or Unit, local Infection Control Practitioners association, Epidemiology Practice Group
  • Active membership of a Society or Association whose activities substantially include or are primarily in the field of infection control or infection (e.g. AMMI, CHICA Canada)
  • Involvement in the formulation of infection control policies or procedures

Examples of practical experience in the field of infection control are:

• a full-time or part-time appointment as an Infection Control Officer or Medical Microbiologist or Epidemiologist for 5 years

• a full-time or part-time appointment as an Infection Control Practitioners for 5 years

Option A: A basic infection control practicum where an Infection Control Professional will mentor the student and ensure that:

a)      the fundamentals of infection control are introduced, including:

  • surveillance
  • education
  • policy and procedure development
  • consultation

b)      the principles of outbreak investigation are included, although it is recognized that an actual outbreak may not occur during the time of the practicum.

c)      the student has a clear understanding of the appropriate application of infection control principles with an emphasis on barrier use.

The student will submit:

  • a daily diary log of activities, experiences, and observations
  • a detailed 10 page (approximate) report (double-spaced, font Times New Roman 12) on a particular activity or topic of infection control interest.

Expected mentor contact time: 45 hours (minimum).

An additional 40 hours of time is expected for associated reading and report writing.

Option B: An in-depth review of an infection control topic

  • For individuals who have had at least one year of infection control experience.
  • Students select a topic with the assistance of their mentor (e.g. device related infections, respiratory communicable diseases, construction in the health care setting) for review of the literature and a report.

The student will submit:

  • a daily diary log of activities, experiences, and observations
  • a 15 to 20 page written report (double spaced, font Times New Roman 12) including a detailed critical analysis of the subject.  The report should also include the student’s opinions on any controversial elements.

The mentor must be approved by the Course Coordinators and will be expected to lead discussions with the student.

Expected contact time with the mentor: 18-26 hours (minimum).

Expected length of the independent study is 65 hours (including reading and report writing).

To satisfy the course requirements each student must:

  • Option A: maintain and submit a daily diary following a template provided to you.
  • the daily diary should record your time (detail of dates and times met with mentor), experiences of the person doing the practicum - what they saw or encountered in the designated days and most importantly their reflections on what they saw.  Critical thinking should be reflected in the document.
  • Option B: maintain and submit a diary (following a template provided to you) of your time (detail of dates and times met with mentor), a few sentences highlighting your discussions, notes on how the project was chosen, how you will approach it, etc.
  • the daily diary should record experiences of the person doing the practicum - what they saw or encountered in the designated days and most importantly their reflections on what they saw.  Critical thinking should be reflected in the document.
  • submit a written report on a project or infection control situation they were involved in.

All research data and writings submitted for this course must be your own work or properly cited.  Students should review the UBC Policy on Academic Misconduct  and the Disciplinary Measures that may be taken if academic misconduct is suspected.

These will be read and reviewed by the Course Coordinators.

The final mark will be based on:

Mentor Evaluation (30% of course grade)
(15%)        Work and Effort
(15%)        Information gathering, problem solving and comprehension
Based on mentor feedback.  Students will be evaluated on the following aspects:

  • effort put into the practicum;
  • initiative;
  • comprehension;
  • problem solving and ability to independently research topics.

Course Coordinators’ Evaluation (70% of course grade)
(30%)        Assessment of Journal
(40%)        Review of Report

Clerkships within BC must be initiated by UBC.  Please do not contact facilities/individuals directly.

Clerkships outside of BC must be initiated by the student.  It is the student's responsibility to secure a mentor and provide the contact information of the Placement Coordinator of the intended clerkship facility to the Undergraduate Program Coordinator if the clerkship facility requires a formal affiliation or student placement agreement with UBC.  Such agreements can take up to 4 months to process.  Placements cannot begin until agreements are finalized.

Contact the Course Assistant for information on how to apply.