Inpatient Antibiotics, Part 1: Spectrum

Adapted from chalk talks given by Brandon Fainstad, MD and Yilin Zhang, MD
Graphics by Yilin Zhang, MD


    1. Identify the spectrum of coverage for the most commonly used inpatient antibiotics
    2. Recognize antibiotics that specifically cover MRSA (optional objective in the Additional Learning Section)

Click to skip to Part 2: Sites of Infection

Part 1: Antibiotics and Spectrum of Activity

In evaluating an antibiotic’s spectrum of activity, ask:

  1. Does it cover gram positive organisms?
    • Does it cover MRSA?
    • Does it cover Enterococcus? (higher level question)
  2. Does it cover gram negative organisms?
    • Does it cover Pseudomonas?
  3. Does it cover anaerobes?
    • Does it cover Bacteroides (aka intraabdominal anaerobes)?
  4. Does it cover atypical organisms?
    • Mycoplasma, Chlamydophila, Legionella

Board set up: 

Interactive board: Click on each antibiotic section for a pop-up containing teaching script and additional information. 

Final Board (for printing): 


Review Microbiology 

Antibiotics that cover MRSA 


  1. Gilbert, DN, et al. (2017). Sanford guide to antimicrobial therapy 2017. Retrieved from: