Environment in the Department of Pathology

The Pathology Department at Brigham and Women's Hospital provides:

More about Brigham and Women's Hospital

A primary teaching hospital of the adjacent Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) is known worldwide for its high quality and innovative patient care, cutting-edge translational and clinical research and training, and a collegial and collaborative culture. The hospital has been named one of the nation's "10 Best" by U.S. News and World Report throughout the last decade.

The clinical volume and breadth available to trainees at BWH is exceptional.  As one of the largest pathology departments in the country our 125 faculty, 65 residents and fellows, and nearly 700 staff provide expert care in all facets of pathology. 

BWH is located in Boston's Longwood Medical Area adjacent to Harvard Medical SchoolBoston Children's Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard Schools of Dental Medicine and Public Health. BWH is within easy commuting distance by public transportation of downtown Boston and the neighboring communities of Brookline, Jamaica Plain, Brighton and Cambridge; it is a short driving distance from most Boston suburbs.

The patient population is derived from several sources, including a local inner city neighborhood, a suburban population, HMOs that serve a large, diverse primary care population, and an extensive tertiary care referral service.

BWH sponsors ACGME-accredited specialty and sub-specialty programs with hundreds of residents. The hospital supports an extensive research program which includes over 1,000 primary investigators and 800 research fellows with total research expenditures topping $370 million, the majority of which is attributed to NIH grants.

The BWH Biomedical Research Institute (BRI) is the umbrella organization for all research efforts at the hospital. The BRI offers a new paradigm for research at BWH which groups research into thematic centers, and technology-based platforms and cross-cutting programs to enhance collaboration among disciplines and dissolve barriers that inhibit such collaboration.

Since 1993, Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have collaborated (Partners HealthCare System) in an integrated health care network (the Partners Community HealthCare System, or PCHI) and on various initiatives to strengthen the research and teaching missions of these hospitals.

Now mature and thriving, this close affiliation (although not a hospital merger) provides enhanced patient services and clinical programs, research and training, and administrative and support services, and other opportunities for collaboration.  Although the Departments of Pathology at BWH and MGH have many shared projects and programs, they remain distinct and independent.

The training programs in Pathology at BWH and MGH separately recruit and select residents, design curricula, administer rotations, and provide mentoring. Nevertheless, a byproduct of the BWH-MGH affiliation is the creation of enhanced opportunities for broadened residency and fellowship training, especially inter-institutional subspecialty elective rotations.

Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital

Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital is a 150-bed community hospital located in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston. It offers complete medical, surgical and psychiatric care, as well as a full complement of emergency, ambulatory and diagnostic services, making it a dynamic leader in providing community-responsive health care.

A particular strength of Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital is the Faulkner Breast Center, which provides a strong resource for collaborative pathology teaching and research programs. Advanced rotations emphasizing a community-based approach to the practice of pathology are available at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital. 

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) provides expert, compassionate care to children and adults with cancer while advancing the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of cancer and related diseases.

As an affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a Comprehensive Cancer Center designated by the National Cancer Institute, the Institute also provides training for new generations of physicians and scientists, designs programs that promote public health particularly among high-risk and underserved populations, and disseminates innovative patient therapies and scientific discoveries to our target community across the United States and throughout the world.

All adult cancer care is provided through Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) with the Department of Pathology at BWH providing all of the pathology services. DF/BWCC has nearly 1,000 inpatient admissions and over 300,000 outpatient visits (including infusions) annually. We also host an active bone marrow transplant program for both hematopoietic and solid organ malignancies.

Boston Children's Hospital

Boston Children's Hospital (BCH), one of the largest pediatric medical centers in the U.S., is an international referral center and primary health care facility. There is a large oncology and hematology service, as well as an active transplant program, including bone marrow, liver and heart. BWH Pathology residents and subspecialty fellows see relevant pediatric pathology at BCH.

Atrius Health

As New England's first and largest health maintenance organization, Atrius Health cares for over half a million patients in over 23 centers. With a large number of its inpatients admitted to BWH, HVMA provides a considerable number of pathological specimens that are examined by the Pathology Department at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), located in downtown Boston, is a dedicated medical examiner facility constructed in 1995.  It includes the offices for the State Police Crime Scene Services, a radiology suite, trace evidence collection facilities, anthropology lab, and dental examination facilities.  The OCME is staffed by seven full-time medical examiners, two part-time medical examiners, a part-time Forensic Anthropologist, and a part-time Forensic Odontologist.  The OCME performs approximately 3000 autopsies annually, and BWH pathology residents rotate through that office for their forensic pathology experience.

Harvard Medical School

BWH stands literally across the street from Harvard Medical School (HMS), and besides being physically bridged by a skyway, the two institutions carry strong and long-standing academic links.  Established in 1782, HMS has been at its current location at Shattuck Street (in the shadow of BWH) since 1906.  Home of 15 Nobel laureates, 62 members of the National Academy of Science, and 31 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators, HMS is the academic affiliation for almost 12,000 faculty at 17 different teaching hospitals and research institutes.  Besides educating over 700 total medical students annually (165 matriculate each year)—including 150 MD-PhD students—HMS also has a robust graduate program with almost 600 PhD students, and provides much of the preclinical education for students at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.  Because of the proximity to BWH, faculty and residents in BWH Pathology Department play the major role in the pre-clinical basic science education of HMS medical students.  Indeed, the Pathology Course directors at HMS, as well as most of the pathology teaching faculty, come from the ranks of BWH residents, fellows and faculty—with numerous teaching awards to their credit.  In addition, 3rd and 4th-year HMS students frequently rotate through BWH Pathology Department on Pathology electives.

Harvard School of Public Health

The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) is also an immediate neighbor to BWH in the Longwood Medical Area.  Founded in 1922, it is the outgrowth of a Harvard-MIT collaboration in preventive medicine and sanitary engineering.  Today, the reach of HSPH extends from molecular to global, including the basic public health disciplines of biostatistics and epidemiology, and environmental and occupational health, as well as molecular biology, policy and management, human rights, and health communications.  Some BWH Pathology Faculty have joint appointments in the HSPH, and they and trainees in the BWH Pathology department have developed a number of collaborative and research interactions.

Partners In Health

Founded in 1987 by Dr. Paul Farmer and colleagues at BWH to bring health care to indigent populations in the central highlands of Haiti, Partners In Health (PIH) has now expanded its operations to eight other sites in Haiti and five additional countries (including Russia and Peru).  Supported by grants from the Gates Foundation, PIH is now a leader in the treatment of HIV-AIDS, malaria, and drug-resistant tuberculosis, and provides opportunities for BWH Pathology faculty and trainees to engage in global health initiatives.

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