Residency Program FAQs


Where do graduates of the program go after completion of training?

While the majority of BWH Pathology residents take positions in academia following the completion of training, the remainder pursue a wide variety of additional employment, including private practice, biotechnology and consulting. Graduates find positions in many geographic locations, both within the U.S. and internationally. For more information, please see Current and Past Residents.

What percent of graduates go into lab after completion of training?

Approximately 20-25% of residents will elect to pursue advanced postdoctoral fellowships in basic bench-top research that can lead to K- and R-funded research, supported by the Department’s NIH Institutional Training Grant. The Department has an extremely strong track record for these individuals in securing funding and academic appointments.

What resources are available for helping trainees find/locate jobs?

Residents meet with program leadership twice a year for resident evaluation and career development meetings, at which time – particularly in later years – employment opportunities are discussed. In addition, residents are each assigned formal faculty mentors and also frequently engage in informal discussions with surgical and clinical pathology leadership regarding job opportunities. Alumni from the Brigham and Women's Pathology training program can be found in senior positions at pathology departments throughout the country. The strong reputation of our training program and our network of accomplished alumni represent one of the best and most unique resources for locating a job after the completion of training. In addition, trainees frequently have the opportunity to meet with faculty from other institutions who travel to BWH providing another mechanism to make professional contacts. Many residents attend and present at academic pathology conferences such as the USCAP annual meeting, facilitating professional networking and gaining exposure as talented pathologists in training.

Does BWH Pathology provide formal mentorship for residents?

All incoming residents are matched with and connected to a peer mentor before they start. This peer mentor reaches out to the resident after the Match to facilitate the incoming resident's transition to residency and to Boston. In addition, in early fall of the first year, all first-year residents submit their top 3 choices for faculty mentor and are matched based on availability. The faculty mentor provides information and support throughout the residency program, with at least two meetings throughout the year. Program and career mentoring is also included in the semi-annual evaluation and career planning meetings with the residency Program Director or Associate Program Directors.

How are residents evaluated?

Electronic evaluations are completed by the supervising faculty on a weekly (for first and second year residents) or quarterly (for third and fourth year residents) basis and are available to residents through New Innovations. The entire faculty meets twice yearly for a confidential group discussion of residency performance, and the Clinical Competency Committee meets twice a year to evaluate the ACGME Milestones for each resident.  In addition, faculty are encouraged to provide continuous feedback to residents on a day-to-day basis.  360° evaluations are solicited from pathology assistants, technicians, and clerical staff.

The American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Residents’ In-Service Examination is offered to residents each year.  Grading and analysis of results is provided to each resident as a self-assessment tool.

All residents who are performing satisfactorily are automatically promoted to the next year in the program.

Do residents have an opportunity to evaluate faculty and the residency program?

Residents evaluate faculty quarterly through New Innovations.  To preserve anonymity of faculty member reviews by residents, individual faculty members’ composite/collated reviews by the residents will be distributed to the faculty members annually and will be incorporated into individual faculty member’s annual review by the Chair or Division or Service Chief.

AP and CP feedback meetings are held quarterly between the residents and program leadership; the agenda for these meetings is determined by the residents, and meeting minutes with outcomes are distributed each quarter. In addition, the Departmental Education Committee, composed of the key personnel involved in training including residents, meets to review and monitor various ongoing and arising training matters including curriculum, recruitment and selection, contemplated program changes, individual resident needs and external influences.

Residents provide formal evaluation of rotations quarterly and of the entire program yearly (anonymous, via New innovations). In the annual survey, residents are asked to evaluate many areas of the program including quality of material, teaching, conferences, facilities, teaching resources, rotations, and affiliated sites as well as fairness in scheduling and quality of mentoring. Feedback from program evaluations identifies problem areas and is an important stimulus to program enhancements.

When do most trainees take AP, CP or AP/CP boards?

Residents typically take their primary boards in the spring of their last year of training. Board applications for spring typically open in January of each year; the Program Director sends out detailed instructions regarding board applications in the September of each year and helps residents with the application process as needed.

What sort of board prep resources are provided/coordinated by the department?

Weekly lectures and teaching sessions specifically targeted at residents are held throughout the year with a curriculum designed to provide a comprehensive exposure to major boards topic areas. In addition, more focused small group review sessions, often with willing faculty members, are informally organized in the months prior to spring boards. The department hosts an extensive collection of pathology reference texts, many of which are suitable for boards review, and each anatomic pathology subspecialty service maintains a teaching slide set that can be used for review. The program also provides access to online resources including ExpertPath and PATHPrimer.

What is the relationship between Pathology and other Boston area Institutions?

BWH is the primary pathology service for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Clinical cases and pathology rotations are integrated with Boston Children's Hospital and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Boston.  For research, our goal is to match residents with mentors and projects that advance their career goals.  This may include research at any Boston area institution.

What sort of collaborations or relationships (research, social, otherwise) are there between BWH and other Partners-affiliated hospitals?

Residents can undertake research in any laboratory within the greater Boston area, including in any of the Harvard- or non-Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals. Likewise, they can set up elective rotations at other hospitals in the area. BWH Pathology participates annually in a Partners-wide research retreat involving faculty and trainees from both MGH and BWH. In addition, BWH is a major contributor to an annual Harvard-wide Pathology Research celebration involving talks and poster presentations, with an evening social reception.

Who can I contact with any further questions?

For questions and/or concerns, contact Margarita Rosado at marosado@bwh.harvard.edu or 617-732-8613.

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