Educational Goals and Philosophy
The primary goal is to prepare residents thoroughly to provide quality patient services as practicing pathologists. To accomplish this, residents rotate through all of the major service areas in the hospital that are staffed by pathologists. The secondary goal is to provide adequate flexibility to the developing trainees so that they may prepare themselves for a wide variety of specialized services that pathologists perform. To accomplish this, residents are given the opportunity to concentrate in specific areas in the advanced stages of their training. While much learning occurs during the performance of service work, it is understood that the real purpose of the trainee is to acquire knowledge from the performance of these tasks. It is the responsibility of the faculty to mentor the residents to become life-long learners in pathology and to go beyond just getting the work done. This should be done using “positive” teaching technique; abusive, intimidating, or unduly stressful methods are not necessary and are not used. Residents share responsibility for their training by demonstrating a willingness and enthusiasm for probing as deeply as possible, taking full advantage of all opportunities provided to them, and striving to function as independently as possible at each level of training.
The University of Texas Medical Branch campus is located on Galveston Island in the Gulf of Mexico. The Medical Branch consists of a complex of 54 major buildings on its main campus (and has numerous community-based sites in Texas), covering 85 acres, and houses the state’s oldest medical school. Also on campus are the Schools of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences, The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Marine Biomedical Institute, the Institute for the Medical Humanities, Center for Molecular Sciences, the Center for Biomedical Engineering and the Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases. In 2003, the Biosafety Level 4 Lab was completed and the National Biocontainment Lab (NBL) with additional BSL-3 and BSL-4 space opened in November, 2008. Total student enrollment is 2,200. The Medical Branch Hospital functions as a multicategorical referral center for the State of Texas, ensuring a rich variety of clinical material. The hospitals are all physically interconnected, with a total of ~450 beds. UTMB offers more than 33 residencies and 37 subspecialty fellowship programs. The Moody Library, one of the largest medical libraries in the Southwest, has more than 250,000 bound volumes. The anatomic pathology division processes more than ~15,000 surgical accessions, 30,000 cytopathology specimens and performs approximately 260 autopsies per year. The clinical laboratory makes more than 3,000,000 determinations per year. The patient population, geographic location and subtropical climate provide a remarkable diversity and quality of pathology material for breadth and depth of pathology education. A photography division is maintained within the department. Three electron microscopes for diagnostic and research purposes are available and there is a wide variety of sophisticated instrumentation in the clinical laboratories.