Pathology Residency Curriculum

The Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Anatomic Pathology (AP) and Clinical Pathology (CP) residency curricula are designed to provide a concentrated core training experience followed by enhanced flexibility in the later years that enables each resident to customize training to suit individual interests and needs.


The Core AP Program (24 total months) is predominantly scheduled as one week rotations and in total is composed of approximately:

  • 10 months of general surgical pathology 
  • 3 months of gynecologic/obstetrical pathology
  • 3 months of cytopathology 
  • 2 months of autopsy pathology
  • 6 weeks of dermatopathology 
  • 1 month of pediatric pathology at Boston Children's Hospital
  • 1 month of hematopathology
  • 1 month of neuropathology
  • 1 month of molecular diagnostics/cytogenetics
  • 1-2 weeks of independent study/subspecialty electives 
  • 2 weeks of forensic pathology

The Core CP training (done as three month blocks) comprises 15 months for first-year CP Residents and 12 months for third-year AP/CP residents:

  • 3 months of clinical chemistry and toxicology
  • 3 months of microbiology
  • 3 months of hematology
  • 3 months of molecular diagnostics and cytogenetics (specific to CP only)
  • 3 months of transfusion medicine/blood bank

Following the Core program, the training is individualized to meet each resident's specific career goals, and includes a customized combination of electives, advanced core rotations, service as Chief Resident, and research.  AP-only residents may choose electives in CP, and vice-versa.

AP Experiences from 6 weeks to 6 months in duration are available in:

  • Breast Pathology
  • Cardiovascular Pathology
  • Cytogenetics*
  • Cytopathology*
  • Dermatopathology*
  • Gastrointestinal Pathology
  • Genitourinary Pathology
  • Hematopathology*
  • Molecular Genetic Pathology*
  • Neuropathology*
  • Pathology Informatics
  • Pediatric Pathology*
  • Pulmonary Pathology
  • Renal Pathology
  • Soft Tissue Pathology
  • Women's and Perinatal Pathology*

    * denotes subspecialty also offering ACGME-accredited year-long fellowship training programs

CP Experiences, typically 3 months in duration, are available in:

  • Chemistry (advanced)
  • Cytogenetics
  • Hematology (advanced)
  • Hematopathology
  • Immunology
  • Informatics
  • Laboratory Management
  • Microbiology (advanced)*
  • Molecular Diagnostics (advanced)*
  • Toxicology
  • Transfusion Medicine (advanced)*

    * denotes subspecialty also offering ACGME-accredited year-long fellowship training programs

The AP first year schedule includes dedicated training weeks for general surgical pathology and autopsy.  Furthermore, when a resident rotates onto a new service for the first time, a fellow or attending will orient the resident to the service and arrange for a personalized training period.

In addition to a wide variety of AP and CP elective rotations and fellowships available within the department, the program allows senior residents to further customize their training with experiences outside of the department.

For trainees interested in a research-oriented career, up to 6 months of advanced electives may be spent in a basic science research laboratory.  In addition, research funding is available for trainees pursuing post-doctoral experimental projects following their residency, in laboratories anywhere in the Harvard/MIT campuses.
Elective rotations outside the BWH may also be pursued both locally and outside of Boston.  Recent residents have spent elective time at the Boston Public Health Laboratories, New York City Medical Examiner’s office, and in medically underserved areas of Africa studying transfusion medicine, surgical pathology and parasitology.

Representative Weekly Conference Schedule

The core and elective rotations are complemented by an extensive and well-organized schedule of both working and teaching conferences, in which residents at all levels participate.  Each day, lunch is provided to residents at a departmental conference dedicated to the latest advances in each field – Grand Rounds (Monday), Research (Tuesday), Gynecologic Pathology/Cytology (Wednesday), Clinical Pathology (Thursday), and Surgical Pathology (Friday).


  8:00 am        Autopsy Conference 
  8:00 am        Sarcoma Clinic Working Conference
  9:00 am        CP Call Rounds
12:15 pm        Radiology Pathology Conference
1:00 pm         Pathology Grand Rounds/Research Conference


 8:00 am         Pathology Subspecialty Teaching Conference
 8:00 am         Hematology Journal Club and Interesting Case Conferece
12:00 pm        Women’s and Perinatal Diagnostic Conference
12:00 pm        Liver Pathology Conference (1st Tuesday)
12:00 pm        IBD Working Conference (2nd and 4th Tuesday)
  1:00 pm       Clinical Pathology Conference
  2:10 pm        Surgical Pathology Gross Conference
  2:30 pm        Brain Cutting
  3:00 pm        Multidisciplinary Interstitial Lung Disease Conference


  7:15 am        Joint Thoracic Surgery/Radiology/Pathology Conference
  7:30 am        GYN Tumor Board
  8:00 am        Autopsy Conference
  8:00 am        Uroradiology Conference
  8:00 am        CP Teaching Conference
12:00 pm        Medicine/Pathology Clinicopathologic Conference
12:00 pm        GI Pathology Interesting Case Conferernce
  1:00 pm       Women's and Perinatal Pathology/Cytopathology Conference
  2:00 pm        CAMD joint Cytogenetics and Molecular Research Conference
  2:10 pm        Surgical Pathology Gross Conference
   4:00 pm       Cytology Diagnostic Conference


  8:00 am       Surgical Pathology Teaching Conference
12:30 pm        Papanicolaou Smear/Biopsy Conference
  1:00 pm       Gross Micro Conference
  2:00 pm        Microbiology Plate Rounds
  2:00 pm        Hematopathology AP/CP Conference
  4:30 pm        Seminars in Vascular Biology


  7:30 am        Neurology/Neuropathology Conference
  8:00 am        Dana Farber Oncology Pathology
  9:15 am        Autopsy Conference
 11:00 am       CAMD Molecular Interesting Case Conference
11:45 pm        Neuro-Oncology/Brain Tumor Board
12:00 pm        Women's and Perinatal Diagnostic Conference
  1:00 pm       Surgical Pathology Update
  2:10 pm        Surgical Pathology Gross Conference

 Bold indicates required conference with protected time for residents.


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