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Residents may complete a 4-year program in combined anatomic and clinical pathology (AP/CP-4), a 3-year program in anatomic pathology (AP-3), or a 3-year program in clinical pathology (CP-3). The majority of our residents choose the combined program.
We offer a structured "core curriculum" consisting of introductory and advanced rotations in both anatomic and clinical pathology. Senior residents are allowed a greater degree of flexibility in their schedules and have the opportunity to choose from a diverse selection of electives at our participating institutions.
Typical first-year resident schedule: First-year AP/CP residents take a minimum of 2 months of autopsy, 4 months of general surgical pathology, 1 month of blood bank, 1 month of chemistry/immunology, 1 month of hematopathology, and 1 month of microbiology. The remaining 2 months are either divided between CP and AP (e.g. 1 month blood bank and 1 month autopsy) or 2 months of CP (e.g. 1 month hematopathology and 1 month microbiology).
Rotations: We offer rotations in several different institutions, which provide for exposure to varied practice settings and patient populations. Most rotations are 1 month in length, although some upper-level core rotations and some electives may be taken for periods of 2 weeks. Among our affiliated training institutions, all pathology subspecialties are represented.
Core curriculum: Our core curriculum is 42 months for AP/CP residents and 30 months for AP-only and CP-only residents.
Autopsy: Our residents perform hospital autopsies for Memorial Hermann Hospital (MHH), Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital (LBJGH), and St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital (SLEH). There is a dedicated Autopsy rotation for MHH/LBJGH, and SLEH autopsies are performed while residents rotate on the combined surgical pathology / autopsy rotation at SLEH.
Blood Bank/Transfusion Medicine: The blood bank rotation at MHH provides residents experience in interpreting antibody panel reports, working up transfusion reactions, investigating blood compatibility/incompatibility issues, and monitoring component usage. The blood bank service performs several therapeutic plasmapheresis procedures every week. Residents in their final month of blood bank spend some time at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center observing blood collection, preparation, and storage.
Chemistry and Immunology: The chemistry and immunology rotation is combined at MHH. Residents spend mornings in the chemistry lab and also discussing various topics with the pathology faculty. Immunology signout, including gel interpretation, takes place in the immunology lab in the afternoons.
Cytopathology: Core cytopathology training occurs at MHH and LBJGH. Residents perform fine needle aspirations, provide rapid assessment of specimens obtained by radiologists and clinicians, and sign out all types of cytologic preparations.
Forensics: The rotation at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences is a 1-month requirement for all AP/CP or AP-only residents.
Hematopathology: Residents perform and read bone marrow biopsies, sign out peripheral blood smears, body fluid smears, and lymph node biopsies, and interpret CBC’s, coagulation panels, and flow cytometry studies. Core training takes place at MHH and LBJGH. The LBJGH CP rotation offers the experience of managing the entire clinical lab as a whole, while also providing a very complete hematopathology training experience.
Online Course in Hematopathology: HemePathReview.com
Microbiology: While on the MHH microbiology rotation, residents observe bench work, sit in on ID rounds with the infectious disease team, and discuss topics. Once a week, residents and faculty have a joint micro conference with the CP residents at LBJGH.
Molecular and Genetic Pathology: All residents are required to spend at least 1 month learning about molecular diagnostics and cytogenetics. The cytogenetics component is held at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), while the molecular rotation may be scheduled at any of three locations – MHH, MDACC, or The Methodist Hospital (TMH).
Surgical Pathology: Core training in surgical pathology is extremely diverse. Residents rotate through a University hospital (MHH), a county hospital (LBJGH), and a private hospital (SLEH). In addition, our department operates its own Outreach Lab. The residents’ duties vary from day to day, encompassing grossing, frozen sections, biopsy signout, and surgical case signout. While at LBJGH, residents also participate in the cytopathology service, whereas at SLEH, residents also perform autopsies. The MHH surgical pathology rotation is the residents’ first exposure to surgical pathology. Pediatric surgical pathology at MHH is a separate rotation, during which residents gain experience in diagnosing disorders of the placenta, fetus, neonate, and child. Renal pathology and neuropathology are also taken separately.
Electives: All residents have 6 months available for electives, which may be taken in AP or CP in any combination. There is also a 1-month "senior CP" requirement, which permits the resident to select an advanced CP rotation of his or her choice. Electives are offered at UTMS-H / MHH, MDACC, TMH, and SLEH, in a broad spectrum of disciplines. Residents may use these months to focus on areas of specific interest or to gain advanced subspecialty training. Some residents dedicate time to electives in laboratory management, research, immunohistochemistry, or morphoproteomics.