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Pathology Residency Program Details

Resident Educational Allowance

Each resident entering year 1 of the AP or CP core will have a total of $2,000 available to spend during their 3-4 year training program. Each resident/clinical fellow entering the program following year 1 will have available $500 per full academic year in the program.

Unused allowance may be accrued from year to year, but may not be transferred or removed as cash upon leaving the program. Allowable expenses/reimbursements include travel to an approved medical/scientific meeting/course of choice, books, journal subscriptions, computer-related purchases, and/or other educational expenses. This allowance will supplement any existing special stipends (e.g., residents/clinical fellows presenting at a meeting and Chief Residents’ meeting allowance).

Travel to Scientific Meetings/Courses

Residents/fellows who have first-authored abstracts accepted for presentation (platform or poster) at scientific meetings may have reasonable travel expenses reimbursed up to $2,000 in a given academic year.

Mentoring and Supervision

Formal mentoring

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. 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.

Informal mentoring

The BWH Pathology Department has a strong culture and long history of mentorship flowing from the Chair and to faculty and fellows and senior residents. There is a very low turn-over within the BWH Pathology faculty, and because the senior and junior ranks are well-populated with individuals who “grew up” in the culture of the Department, there is an impressive commitment to paying forward the benefits gained at each level of training. This is represented not only in the general ethos of the Department, but also in concrete ways. For example, residents and other trainees are systematically guided in developing research projects and coached in their intra- and extra-departmental presentations. Further, mentoring occurs extensively during day-to-day contact between residents and faculty, during sign-outs and other clinical rotations. As residents develop subspecialty interests during their residency training, they are welcome to seek out specific faculty who have similar interests and would serve as suitable role models.

Supervision

Residents assigned to pathology cases or specimens work under the supervision of staff attending physicians who are independently licensed and duly credentialed by the hospital. The resident’s name appears on the pathology report as “resident” or “prosector” and the report is signed by the attending physician.

All incoming AP or AP/CP PGY1 residents spend the first two weeks in a training "bootcamp" for orientation to the electronic medical record, laboratory information system, and different clinical rotations in addition to basic histology training ("Histocamp"). In addition, during the first two weeks of grossing, the residents are paired with a second-year resident whose sole responsibility is training and supervision of grossing and previewing.

All CP residents starting new rotations are given introductory information by the respective services. On Transfusion Medicine, the entire first week is devoted to educational lectures and orientation.

Resident Teaching Opportunities

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. Faculty, fellows, and trainees of the Department of Pathology serve as instructors; faculty typically participate in these courses as course directors or lead instructors, while trainees participate as laboratory instructors and discussion group leaders. To encourage and recognize teaching, residents in the Department of Pathology are appointed as Clinical Fellows at HMS. Please visit our Medical and Graduate School Education page for more information.

In addition, residents teach their peers in the pathology training program in a variety of capacities. Residents lead histology tutorials for incoming AP or AP/CP residents during the initial 2-week "bootcamp” as part of our BWH-designed “Histocamp”. Second-year AP or AP/CP residents function as dedicated, two-week trainers for one to two incoming first-year AP or AP/CP residents.

Both AP and CP Chief Residents take on an extensive teaching role for their peers, including acting as tutors in autopsy pathology for incoming residents (AP Chief) and orienting incoming residents to each of the CP services (CP Chief). Chiefs also act as back-up in the frozen room, and as a resource for any daily or on-call questions. Residents teach co-residents on a day-to-day basis by presenting cases at the Autopsy Gross Conferences and giving Gross Micro Conference presentation. Finally, residents teach their peers in other departments in the hospital through presentations at many interdepartmental conferences, including Medical Pathology Conference, Surgical M & M Conference, and Radiology/Pathology Correlations Conference.

Evening and Weekend Call

Evening and weekend call at Brigham and Women's Hospital for AP is taken by second-year residents as well as residents in the 2nd half of their 1st year. The AP residents cover frozen sections at night and on weekends along with supervising attending pathologists. Autopsies are not routinely performed after hours or on weekends and holidays. A departmental contingency plan covers special circumstances.

For most CP rotations (chemistry, hematology, molecular and microbiology), the resident on the service holds the relevant pager from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. From 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. and on weekends, a CP-only or AP/CP resident takes general pager call from home. In the evenings and weekends, Blood Bank/Transfusion Medicine is covered at home, shared by the resident(s) on that service, the Transfusion Medicine fellow, and moonlighters according to a predetermined schedule. Chief Residents and faculty are always available for consultation and pager calls are reviewed weekly with the faculty at call conference.

Vacation

Residents and clinical fellows receive four weeks of vacation per year. Please also see the Graduate Medical Education website for more details.

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