“Four more years…”


Four years is the time period between Olympic Games. It is the time period of an American presidency.

It is also the time required to train as a microbiology scientist in New Zealand.

Four years is a long, long time…

Four years sitting in a lecture theatre or mock laboratory, amassing debt, and learning (increasingly irrelevant) microbiology facts.

Would you recommend it to your children..?

This is an outdated model of training. If there was ever a profession that lent itself to an online, problem based learning course, combined with laboratory attachments from day 1, it is medical laboratory science, and especially microbiology.

Medical laboratory scientists in NZ (in all disciplines) do not get into a “real laboratory” until Year 4 of their training. What about if you enter the laboratory in year 4 and decide that spending day after day in a laboratory environment is just not for you.

Wasted years…

Microbiology laboratories are changing fast. The technology is changing, the skill requirements are changing, the manpower requirements are changing.

The training (and the exams) needs to change as well in order to keep up…


4 thoughts on ““Four more years…”

  1. Dear Michael, I have a better one for you.. Here in Greece, in order to become medical microbiologist, first you have to spend 6 years in medical school (e.g. take a medical degree), work 1 year in a rural area as g.p. and then 5 more training years as an intern in a hospital lab.. And if you wish to be called “clinical microbiologist”, you need 2 extra years of specialization.. I believe that the gold medal of the olympic – wasted years – sport is mine!

    1. Yes, a true “marathon”. Probably specifically designed to stop young people getting into positions of responsibility!

  2. Just came back from Rotorua. Enjoyed listening to your talks which were informative and helpful with the tasty brogue that added more flavour to them. Well-done.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the talks Jin! I always try to make them conceptual as opposed to fact filled.Even now I still get nervous!

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