Department of Pathology

Pathology for Medical Professionals and Students

Education and Training

The superb resources of the Department of Pathology and its environment support a full range of educational programs for medical students in pre-clinical and clinical years. Active participation in teaching is strongly encouraged for both faculty and trainees (residents, fellows) in the Department.

 

Medical School Education and Training

The resources of the Department of Pathology support a full range of educational programs at Harvard Medical School (HMS), the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), and active participation in teaching is strongly encouraged for faculty and trainees in the Department.

 Members of the Department of Pathology play important roles as educators in several different programs:

Faculty, fellows, and trainees of the Department of Pathology serve as instructors in general pathology courses, in addition to systemic and organ-based pathophysiology courses in both the HMS Pathways and HST core curricula, at the HSPH, and within GSAS. Faculty typically participate in these courses as course directors or lead instructors, while trainees participate as laboratory instructors and discussion group leaders.  Members of the department teach in virtually every pre-clinical Pathology and Pathophysiology course, as well as in other basic science courses (e.g., Immunology, Anatomy, and Molecular Biology). Several core courses in pathology for medical and graduate students at HMS are directed or co-directed by faculty in the department. To encourage and recognize teaching, residents in the Department of Pathology are appointed as Clinical Fellows at HMS.

Pre-clinical courses at HMS

The Foundations and Immunity in Defense and Diseases courses in the HMS Pathways curriculum, as well as the HST Human Pathology course, are the primary introductions to disease mechanisms and pathophysiology for first-year students at HMS.  These courses are highly rated, and receive among the best overall course evaluations among the pre-clinical offerings in either curricula.  Drs. Lichtman, Lovitch, Mitchell, Padera, and Schoen have all been recognized by school-wide teaching awards voted upon by the HMS and/or HST students. Department Faculty not only contribute the bulk of Pathology teaching in HMS and HST, but have also played major developmental roles in designing the HMS Pathways and Advanced Integrative Science Curriculum (AISC) curricula, through a major educational reform undertaken in the past 5 years.

HMS Pathways curriculum (Pathways curriculum map)

Introduced in 2015 as part of a comprehensive curricular reform at HMS, the Pathways curriculum utilizes a “flipped classroom” format involving significant self-directed learning in preparation for in-class small group case-based learning and laboratory education. Each class includes 135 medical students (including both M.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. students), who take classes alongside approximately 35 dental students.  Students in this curriculum complete pre-clinical coursework in 14 months before proceeding to core clerkships (the Principal Clinical Experience (PCE)). Following the PCE, students are required to complete a 3-month scholarly project, as well as two AISC selectives, which can involve work or time in the BWH Pathology Department.

Pathways courses taught by faculty, fellows, and trainees of the Department of Pathology include:

  • Foundations (PWY100)
    Scott Lovitch, Course Co-Director for Pathology and Histology
    170 M.D. and D.M.D. students
    13-week required pre-clinical course in the first year that teaches the fundamentals of systemic pathology and cellular and molecular mechanisms of disease, as a part of larger course that includes genetics, anatomy, biochemistry, cell biology, developmental biology, and pharmacology

  • Immunity in Defense and Disease (PWY110)
    Andrew Lichtman, Course Director
    170 M.D. and D.M.D. students
    5-week required pre-clinical course in the first year that teaches the fundamentals of immunology, as part of a larger course that includes dermatology and rheumatology
  • Homeostasis I (PWY130)
    Scott Lovitch, Course Core Faculty for Pathology
    170 M.D. and D.M.D. students
    9-week required pre-clinical course in the first year covering cardiovascular, respiratory, and hematologic physiology, pathophysiology, and pathology
  • Homeostasis II (PWY131)
    Scott Lovitch, Pathology Coordinator
    170 M.D. and D.M.D. students
    10-week required pre-clinical course in the first year covering renal, endocrine, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and reproductive physiology, pathophysiology, and pathology
  • Cancer Biology (AISC600)
    20-30 M.D. students
    Post-clerkship AISC (required selective): a one-month selective taught by several BWH Pathology faculty.

HST curriculum (HST curriculum map)

HST is a distinct M.D. and Ph.D. educational program that synergizes the strengths of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, and the Harvard teaching hospitals in a unique collaboration that integrates science, medicine, and engineering.  There are typically 30-50 students per class, with a mix of M.D., M.D.-Ph.D. and Ph.D.-only students.  The curriculum is largely didactic and laboratory-based, with an emphasis on problem solving and understanding research approaches to clinical questions; there is also a rigorous 6-12-month research thesis requirement.

HST courses taught by faculty, fellows, and trainees of the Department of Pathology include:

  • Human Pathology (HST030)
    Richard Mitchell and Robert Padera, Co-Directors
    50 MD, MD-PhD, and PhD students
    13-week required pre-clinical course in the first year that teaches normal structure-function, the fundamentals of systemic pathology, and the current practice of academic pathology, in addition to a thorough leavening with state-of-the art biomedical research
  • Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering, and Regenerative Therapeutics (HST521)
    Frederick Schoen, Course Director
    10-15 MD and MD-PhD students
    13-week pre-clinical elective
  • Blood Vessels and Endothelial Phenotypes in Health and Disease (HST527)
    Guillermo Garcia-Cardena, Course Co-Director
    10-15 MD and MD-PhD students
    13-week pre-clinical elective

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

There are 20-30 students per class, with greater than 90% holding prior doctoral degrees. The curriculum is didactic and laboratory-based.

HSPH courses taught by faculty, fellows, and trainees of the Department of Pathology:

  • Pathophysiology of Human Disease (EH208)
    10 MPH and PhD students
    12-week course required for most students that teaches the fundamentals of systemic pathology.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

HMS matriculates over 250 graduate students annually (approximately 150 Ph.D. students, with the others receiving M.B.E., M.M.S., and other graduate degrees). Several of these students will take a core Pathology elective, HBTM 200/HST035, teaching the principles and practice of human pathology.  In addition, these students can elect to do their graduate thesis research in the laboratories of BWH Pathology Department Faculty who also hold appointments in one of the HMS Graduate Programs (including Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Immunology, Virology, Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics, Biophysics, Neuroscience, Systems Biology, and Chemical Biology). The Biological and Biomedical Sciences program includes a translational research track, the Leder Program in Human Biology and Translational Medicine, which includes additional exposure to pathology through additional required courses, clinical observerships, and focused laboratory instruction.

GSAS courses taught by faculty, fellows, and trainees of the Department of Pathology include:

  • Pathology of Human Disease (HBTM 200/HST035)
    Scott Lovitch, Course Director
    30-40 PhD, MSc, and advanced undergraduate students
    15-week survey course in human pathology, required for PhD students in the Leder Program in Human Biology and Translational Medicine and open to all graduate and advanced undergraduate students as an elective, covering cellular and molecular mechanisms of disease, fundamentals of systemic pathology, and frontiers of translational research in human pathology

Resources for pathology trainees

Current and prospective residents and fellows interested in teaching are advised to visit the Harvard Medical School Resident and Fellow Teaching Portal, and to contact the relevant course director(s) for additional information regarding teaching in specific courses.

Resources for students

Students interested in enrolling in any of the courses listed above should visit the website of the Harvard Medical School Office of the Registrar for information regarding enrollment. Non-student affiliates of the Department (e.g., postdoctoral fellows) may be eligible to enroll in courses as a professional benefit, and are advised to contact the Benefits Office at their home institution for additional information.

Medical School Clerkships

Multiple month-long pathology rotations are available for HMS students and non-HMS students. For information about enrolling for these courses, please visit the website of the Harvard Medical School Office of the Registrar. Non-HMS students can apply through the HMS Exchange Clerkship Program. The Visiting Clerkship Program (VCP), sponsored by the Minority Faculty Development Program of the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership, provides support for fourth-year and qualified third-year medical students from groups underrepresented in medicine (African-American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native) to participate in the HMS Exchange Clerkship Program. Further information about the Visiting Clerkship Program or to receive an application, please contact the Visiting Clerkship Program Coordinator, 617-432-4422, vcp_hpsp@hms.harvard.edu

  • Anatomic Pathology-oriented Clinical Clerkship in Pathology (PA501.23); see description below
  • Molecular Cytogenetics in Human Disease (PA502M.23)
  • Gynecologic Pathology (PA504.23)
  • Clinical Clerkship in Neuropathology (PA506.23)
  • Embryopathology and Congenital Malformations (PA510.23)
  • Clinical Laboratory Medicine (PA511M.J)

Clinical Clerkship in Pathology (PA501.23) 

You will be contacted by the AP Chief Resident and the BWH Pathology Clerkship Coordinator several weeks before your rotation begins. They will facilitate your on-boarding and will provide additional information (e.g. directions to the department, where to go on the first day, schedule). If you have any questions prior to beginning your rotation, please contact the AP Chief Resident (617-732-5700, pager #11661), or the Clerkship Director Dr. Robert Padera (rpadera@bwh.harvard.edu)

Post-Sophomore Fellowship in Pathology

The Role of Pathology in Contemporary Patient Care and Biomedical Research

Goals: Foundational education, hands-on experience, and translational research opportunities using pathologic basis of disease to inform diagnosis, therapy, prevention, and research.

Opportunity: Two (2) post-sophomore or post-principal clinical experience (e.g., post-junior) medical students annually, from July 1 through June 30.  Students both with and without a long-term career interest in Pathology are likely to find this Fellowship valuable.

Curriculum: In order to develop a robust understanding of disease mechanisms, the tools and consequences of pathologic diagnosis, and how pathologists collaborate with caregivers, Student Fellows will be exposed to the entire spectrum of anatomic pathology and clinical laboratory services, including advanced molecular diagnostics. Student Fellows will be exposed to similar training as Residents in Pathology, including surgical pathology specimens, frozen sections, autopsies, body fluid analysis, management of transfusion donors and recipients, clinical laboratory management, and participation in teaching and multi-disciplinary conferences.  Student Fellows will rotate through core general services, and will also experience several of the sub-specialty services with an opportunity to focus on areas of particular interest.  A typical program will involve 6 months of Anatomic Pathology, and 3 months of Clinical Pathology (Laboratory Medicine), including a rotation in Molecular Diagnostics. 

There will also be a three-month opportunity for a clinical-translational research project to be pursued with a BWH Pathology faculty mentor.  The Student Fellows will also have the opportunity to present their work at a national pathology meeting (e.g., USCAP, ACLPS), sponsored by the BWH Department of Pathology.

Stipend: $27,000 annually.

Previous fellows: 

2017-2018

Kolin M. Meehan, West Virginia University School of Medicine
Current status: 3rd-year medical student at West Virginia University School of Medicine

2016-2017

Saagar Jadeja, MD, Drexel University
Current status:  Preliminary year in Medicine; Dermatology Residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Iny Jhun, Harvard Medical School
Current status: 4th year medical student at Harvard Medical School; entering 2019 NRMP Match in Pathology

2015-2016

Aaron Cohen, MD, Harvard Medical School
Current status:  Junior Resident in Medicine, BWH

2014-2015

Kavita Goyal, MD, Drexel University
Current status:  Resident in Dermatology, Hahnemann/Drexel University

2013-2014

Jonathan Lee, MD, Harvard Medical School
Current status:  Resident in Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh

Matthew Torre, MD, Harvard Medical School
Current status:  Neuropathology Fellow, Brigham & Women's Hospital

Application Process: Applicants should have a strong interest in academic medicine, and an excellent fund of clinical knowledge.  Applications will be accepted from now-March 5, 2019 for the Fellowship year to begin July 1, 2019.

  • Applications should include a statement of interest, a letter of recommendation from a clinical mentor who can speak to the student’s interests in academic medicine, and a CV. These should be sent to Dr. Richard Mitchell, c/o Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115; rmitchell@partners.org
  • The Post-Sophomore Fellowship is open to qualified medical students who have completed at least two years in an accredited U.S. institution; it is preferred (but not required) that students have completed a core clinical year by the time they begin the Fellowship.
  • Interviews will be arranged in March, 2019, and final decision will be made by April 1, 2019.

Questions:

Rick Mitchell, BWH Pathology
617-525-4303
rmitchell@partners.org

Continuing Medical Education

Continuing medical education courses are directed by members of our faculty through the Partners HealthCare Office of Continuing Professional Development.

For a full listing of courses, please visit the website of the Partners HealthCare Office of Continuing Professional Development

LEARN MORE ABOUT BRIGHAM AND WOMEN’S HOSPITAL


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH