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Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology

Residency Training Program

 

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) Department of Pathology Residency Training Program is accredited to offer four years of education and training in combined Anatomic and Clinical Pathology (APCP-4), three years of education and training in Anatomic Pathology (AP-3) and three years of training in Clinical Pathology (CP-3).  As stated by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), APCP-4 programs must include 18 months of formal education in Anatomic Pathology (AP) and 18 months of formal education in Clinical Pathology (CP). The remaining 12 months may be devoted to a continuation of structured AP or CP education, a specialized area of Pathology, or research in an area of Pathology.


AP Rotations and Expected Duration of Rotations:

 

Autopsy

6 months (including 1 month of duty on Charge)

Surgical Pathology at VU

8 – 10 months

Surgical Pathology at VA

2 – 3 months

Surgical Pathology at St. Thomas Hospital

2 months

Cytopathology

2 – 3 months

Renal Pathology/Electron Microscopy

1 month

Forensic Pathology

1 month

Pediatric Pathology

1 month

Dermatopathology

1 month

Cytogenetics

1 month

Neuropathology

1 – 2 months

 

CP Rotations and Expected Duration of Rotations:

 

CP Core Rotation

1 month

Clinical Laboratory Modules:

Chemistry/Molecular Genetics

Hematology/ /Thrombosis/Transfusion Medicine

Microbiology/Virology Molecular ID

2 months (twice each)

Hematopathology

4 months

CP at St. Thomas Hospital

2 months

Immunopathology

2 months

 

Scheduling of Rotations:

 

Rotation and Call Schedules are generated for each academic year by the Chief Resident and the Program Director, with consideration for the PGY level and training requirements of each individual, as well as for the needs of the various services.  Prior to finalization, the schedules are reviewed by the House Staff Committee and the Rotation Directors.   Residents at the rising PGY2 level and above are asked to prioritize needed and desired rotations for the coming year.  Senior residents have priority as needed for completion of training.

 

The program is constructed approximately as follows:

 

 

Anatomic Pathology

Clinical Pathology

PGY1

Surgical Pathology at VU (3 months)

Clinical Pathology Core (1 month)

Autopsy (5 months)

Hematopathology (2 months)

PGY2

Surgical Pathology at VU/VA (4 months)

Clinical Laboratory Modules (4 months)

Surgical Pathology at St. Thomas Hospital (2 months)

CP at St. Thomas Hospital (2 months)

Cytopathology (1 month)

 

PGY3

Surgical Pathology at VU (2 months)

Clinical Laboratory Modules (6 months)

Surgical Pathology at VA (1 month)

Hematopathology (1 – 2 months)

Forensics (1 month)

 

Cytopathology (1 – 2 months)

 

PGY4

Surgical Pathology at VU (1 month)

Clinical Laboratory Modules (4 – 6 months)

Neuropathology (1 – 2 months)

Hematopathology (1 – 2 months)

Renal Pathology/Electron Microscopy (1 month)

Immunopathology (2 months)

 

Call Schedule:

 

AP/CP residents are assigned to both Autopsy and CP call.  Autopsy call covers weekends and holidays. CP call is taken during the week by the resident on the individual CP Module.  The weekend CP call is covered by the same residents on autopsy call.  AP only and CP only resident will take call only in the respective disciplines.


Call is distributed roughly as follows:

 

 

Autopsy (weekends)

Clinical Pathology (weeks)

PGY1

10

6-7

PGY2

5

2

PGY3

2

1

PGY4

1

1

 

Other Requirements:


Conferences

Conferences represent a significant teaching venue for both faculty and residents and are an important part of the curriculum. Considerable effort is expended by the faculty in preparation for these conferences and they are one of the best mechanisms to learn communication as well as the thought processes involved in making diagnoses.  Residents and fellows also participate in the interdepartmental and intradepartmental conferences and the development of communication with clinical colleagues in both formal and informal settings becomes second nature.

 
Attendance by all residents is required at all conferences, unless the resident is on a Surgical Pathology rotation or an off-site rotation.  Sign-in is required at indicated conferences*; while attendance is not managed at the other conferences, it is expected that residents will attend these conferences as well.  The required attendance rate for each conference (excluding excused absences) is 75%. 

 

 

Conference

Frequency Held

Interdepartmental

VUH Medical Mortality Conference

Bimonthly

VA Medical Mortality Conference

Weekly

VA Surgical Mortality Conference

Weekly

Gynecologic Tumor Board

Weekly

Solid Tumor Board

Weekly

Breast Tumor Board

Weekly

Colposcopy Conference

Weekly

Benign Hematology Conference

Weekly

Hematology Tumor Board

Bimonthly

 Intradepartmental

Surgical Pathology Unknown Conference

Weekly

Laboratory Medicine Grand Rounds

Weekly

Seminars in Pathology

Weekly

Gross Surgical Pathology Conference

Weekly

Resident Anatomic Pathology Didactic/Journal Club

Weekly

Resident Clinical Pathology Didactic/Journal Club

Weekly

Surgical Pathology Case in Progress

Weekly

Hematopathology Case in Progress

Weekly

Autopsy Gross Conference

Biweekly

Clinical Pathology Interesting Case

Weekly

Muscle/Nerve Pathology Conference

Weekly

 

Residents are expected to participate in Pathology Grand Rounds as appropriate.
Additionally, a series of lectures and seminars focused on Medical Management/Informatics is provided on a yearly basis during regularly scheduled conferences and at specially arranged times.

Teaching Opportunities

 

Residents participate in many and varied teaching conferences conducted by the department, as one of the main goals of the program is to provide residents with skills in communication, public speaking, and teaching.

 
Enthusiastic and effective participation by Pathology House Staff is crucial to the effectiveness and vitality of Pathology 501, our sophomore medical student course. The course provides an excellent teaching and educational opportunity for residents. Junior residents are encouraged to attend lectures. At least one resident will be assigned to participate in each week's laboratory sessions. The resident will be responsible for an in-depth familiarity with the week's Virgil lessons and lecture handouts so that he/she can effectively answer student questions. Senior residents/fellows will be called upon to conduct organ recitals and microscopic slide sessions. Friday group participation is required of residents; and their responsibilities include assisting students with case preparation, write-ups, and presentations. Resident evaluation of students is part of the experience.  Additionally, participation in teaching the Medical Technology Course and the Physical Therapy students' pathology course is encouraged.

 
Research Opportunities

 

VUMC is among the leading research institutions in the United States.  The Department of Pathology has a strong research faculty that is rapidly growing, with research and clinical faculty who are enthusiastically committed to mentoring interested residents.  In addition to developing clinical expertise, residents are strongly encouraged to pursue methods development research projects or clinical, translational or basic science research projects during their residency training.  Special funds are set aside to support resident research and attendance at national meetings.

Publications

 

Residents are strongly encouraged to pursue pathology practice and training intellectually, with curiosity and imagination, and, as appropriate, to submit manuscripts for publication during residency training.  Publishing is considered a valuable learning experience and an important part of the residency program, regardless of the eventual practice setting for the individual resident.  Publications may be related to methods development, clinical or basic research, or reviews.