As of July 1, 2023, The Mass General Brigham (MGB) Hematopathology Fellowship program represents a newly combined merger of the two longstanding fellowship programs at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and seeks to train individuals who will become leaders in the field of hematopathology. Trainees are exposed to a wide variety of clinical material encompassing all aspects of hematopathology, with increasing graduated responsibility over the course of the fellowship year. Approximately two thirds of the fellow’s time is spent at the BWH site, which serves as the diagnostic hematopathology service for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), and one third of the fellow’s time is spent at MGH.
Training in all rotations involves consistent exposure to and responsibility for clinical specimens, with supervision and backup from faculty. The trainee’s involvement with challenging consultation cases at both sites gives them insight into some of the most difficult issues in hematopathology diagnosis and the role of academic institutions in making their expertise available to other health care institutions. The fellows interact with clinicians on a daily basis and participate in both intra- and inter-departmental conferences and tumor boards. The fellows are actively involved with teaching junior trainees, including BWH and MGH pathology residents and hematology-oncology fellows rotating on the hematopathology services, and interact with other pathology subspecialty services at both institutions. Fellows learn to critically evaluate the literature and practice evidence-based medicine and they are encouraged to design and carry out at least one independent research project during their fellowship year.
This program is designed to provide fellows with a comprehensive educational experience that is centered on acquiring a broad understanding of the pathogenesis and diagnosis of hematologic disorders. The program emphasizes diagnostic tissue hematopathology, which requires integration of morphologic findings with results obtained with specialized test modalities (immunopathology, flow cytometry, cytogenetics, molecular diagnostics, etc.) and also provides training in the diagnosis of blood disorders and coagulation disorders.
The service processes about 2900 bone marrow biopsies, 500-600 diagnostic lymphoid tissue specimens (lymph nodes, spleens, etc.) and about 2800 consult cases. All bone marrow biopsies are accompanied by a Wright-Giemsa stained aspirate smear.
The Hematopathology Service is a busy and highly interactive environment for trainees, staff and clinicians. Trainees act as consultants in the initial interpretation of data for the Hematology-Oncology Service and play an important role in patient management.
The trainees are involved in presenting pathology material at several conferences for the clinical service:
Fellows are given increasing responsibilities as they progress through the fellowship. However, for legal reasons, senior staff pathologists are responsible for rendering all final diagnoses.
As fellows progress, they have increasing latitude in discussing their opinion with clinicians, ordering special studies on cases, and providing preliminary interpretations of frozen sections. Our goal is to train both academic pathologists and pathologists who will assume positions in private practices.
Generally, individuals pursuing an academic route will spend additional years in basic or clinical research. Fellows who plan a career in private practice will frequently obtain additional training in surgical pathology, often in an additional subspecialty area. The year spent in the Hematopathology Fellowship program provides an excellent basis for achieving either of these ultimate goals.
Applicants must be Board eligible or certified in Anatomic Pathology or Clinical Pathology.
For AY 2025-2026, the Hematopathology Fellowship is filled and no longer accepting applications. We will begin accepting applications for AY 2026-2027 in the spring of 2024.
Please note that if you submit an application to either the BWH or MGH Hematopathology Fellowship, you have applied for the same program and the combined MGB Hematopathology Program faculty will review your application; two separate applications are not needed.
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