Career Story by Fred C. Tenover, Ph.D. D(ABMM), Vice President of Scientific Affairs, Adjunct Professor Emory University, and Consulting Professor Stanford University School of Medicine.
“Would you like a summer job?” That is how my career as a clinical microbiologist began. I was ending my sophomore year as an undergraduate at the University of Dayton (UD), having spent the prior summer studying theology and philosophy in Europe. The job I was offered was at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Dayton in the microbiology laboratory, setting up cultures on patient specimens. I knew how to culture bacteria from my research project but there seemed to be much more to working in a hospital laboratory. I was up for the challenge. It did not take me long to realize that being a clinical microbiologist was a great career choice. As a laboratory director I would have the opportunity to be directly involved in patient care, to teach, and to perform applied research, all the while earning a hard salary from the hospital, as opposed to writing grants. I was hooked.