Microbiologists utilise laboratory techniques to diagnose infectious diseases, recommend antibiotic therapy, and advise and educate clinicians on the origins of infection, epidemiology and prevention and management mechanisms.

My role as a clinical microbiologist involves the direct and on-site supervision of a diagnostic microbiology laboratory at Townsville University Hospital. This region has some of the most diverse infectious diseases in Australia and it was this aspect that attracted me to the region. An integral part of my role is to be a resource for the management and diagnosis of infectious diseases. In addition, I participate in the provision of an effective Infection Control and Antimicrobial Stewardship program.


Working within multidisciplinary teams is an important part of the role. Within this role I supervise and train registrars, scientists and medical students, participate in and promote teaching and research.


In essence, I enjoy the four parts of my job – the laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases, the management of patients with this, teaching, and finally research into locally relevant infectious diseases such as melioidosis and Q fever.

Dr Robert Norton
Microbiologist - Townsville University Hospital

Clinical Practice

Microbiologists work as part of multidisciplinary teams within both the public and private sectors, running diagnostic laboratories and providing interpretation of test results and advice to other physicians concerning the appropriateness of further investigation and the use of antimicrobial drugs.

Microbiology – Information

Number of specialists - QLD (2021)

Number of new fellows - QLD

Number of specialists - AUS (2021)

Number of new fellows - AUS

Average weekly hours

Average Age

% Aged 60+

37% of 2022 workforce intend to retire by 2032

Proportion Female/Male - QLD


Location - QLD

Major cities

Public/Private QLD


Number of trainees - QLD

Number of new trainees - QLD

Number of trainees - AUS

Number of new trainees - AUS

Proportion Female/Male trainees - QLD


2023 QLD Training Program Selections (First Year)

Eligible Applications Received
Applicants Selected

The data on this page compares the number of applicants that were selected to commence their first year of training in Queensland in 2023 to the total number of eligible applications*

The data was sourced from the relevant medical specialist college, or from selection committees coordinated by a Queensland Health pathway/network, or an individual facility.


This data reflects a point in time figure for the selection of applicants commencing the first year of an accredited training program in the 2023 clinical year.

* eligible applications are determined by selection committees according to the eligibility criteria and required documentation prescribed by the relevant medical specialist college.

The data on this page compares the number of applicants that were selected to commence their first year of training in Queensland in 2023 to the total number of eligible applications.

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Length of Training

5 years full-time (microbiology training), 8 years full-time (dual infectious diseases and microbiology training)

Method of Allocation

College-selected trainees may be allocated to a training post by:

  • College
  • Queensland Health pathway/network (centrally coordinated)
  • Queensland Health facility (accredited for training)

Training and assessment summary

Appointments to Queensland Pathology Training Programs are coordinated by the Medical Support Unit, Pathology Queensland (Health Support Queensland) in conjunction with Pathology Queensland's State Directors and Coordinators of Education and Training. Pathology recruitment is centralised by discipline/sub-specialty and not by facility. Training is accredited through the RCPA.

Training program overview

Microbiology training develops comprehensive knowledge and practical skills in all facets of microbiology and to be proficient at collection and handling of specimens and identifying the range of organisms expected to be encountered in a tertiary care hospital. Training may follow two pathways - Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) fellowship or dual RCPA/Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) fellowship for trainees who wish to combine infectious diseases training with laboratory training in microbiology. Training incorporates work-based learning and assessment across four general functions of microbiology - discipline-specific functions as a medical specialist in a laboratory, functions as a manager in the laboratory, research and scholarship, and professional attributes. Upon completing all requirements of the training program, trainees may apply for admission to Fellowship of RCPA (FRCPA). Trainees who successfully undertake joint RCPA/RACP training in microbiology and infectious diseases will attain the qualifications of FRCPA and FRACP.


Applicants must hold registration as a medical practitioner with a minimum of 2 years of postgraduate experience. Applicants must be employed in a training position at an accredited site before seeking registration with the college.


Minimum 20% of full-time commitment. No limit is placed on the time taken to complete training.

Interrupted training

Allowed however a period of additional training may be required if training is interrupted for more than 5 years.

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Regional Training Pathways