Pathology Residency Training Program

Residency Curriculum

The Pathology Residency Program at UTMB is a course of study for medical school graduates leading directly to eligibility for certification by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic Pathology (AP) and Clinical Pathology (CP). Approved by ACGME to accommodate a total of 25 residents, the program is fully funded for a four-year course of study, with up to 5 residents at each level of training. We currently have a total of 18 AP/CP trainees and 2 CP trainees. The majority of residents prepare for both AP and CP, leading to private practice or general academic practice careers; residents may also elect training in either straight AP or CP. The core AP/CP curriculum consists of 43 months of required rotations in each of the basic service areas of pathology. In the remaining 5 months, residents are encouraged to acquire special competence in several areas of AP or CP. For those residents preparing for a career in academic medicine, substantial experience working in a basic research laboratory may be appropriate. Our program offers up to six months of a research rotation, as allowed by the American Board of Pathology. In addition, if a resident is interested in pursuing the Physician Scientist track, as described by the American Board of Pathology, our training program offers the possibility of obtaining a Masters in Science Degree from UTMB by sponsoring an additional year of training in a research laboratory pursuing a fully funded project with a UTMB researcher. Research tracks include, basic, clinical, and translational.

AP/CP Residency Curriculum

Anatomic Pathology (23 months)

  • Surgical pathology: 12 months
  • Hospital autopsy pathology: 5 months
  • Forensic pathology: 1 month
  • Renal pathology: 1 month
  • Cytopathology: 3 months

Clinical Pathology (21 months)

  • Hematopathology and flow cytometry: 4 months
  • Transfusion medicine: 4 months
  • Clinical microbiology: 3 months
  • Clinical chemistry: 4 months
  • Coagulation: 2 months
  • Molecular pathology: 1 month
  • Cytogenetics: 1 month
  • Laboratory administration/informatics: 1 month
  • Histocompatibility: 1 month

Electives available at UTMB (4 months)

  • Dermatopathology,
  • Neuropathology,
  • Research,
  • Pediatric pathology and any of the core rotations.

Outside electives: Available upon request

Our Department has advanced and developed the concept of Diagnostic Management Teams (DMT) which provides comprehensive diagnostic interpretation of complex anatomic and clinical pathology data to our clinicians. Information comes from our diagnostic experts as a personalized, expert driven narrative about the differential diagnosis for a patient evaluation. Personalized interpretations that are disease-specific and have input not only from the pathologist, but also from investigators studying that particular disease are also provided. Pathology residents are exposed in real-time to active clinical cases and play a meaningful and important role in the DMT (video link). The following DMT have been implemented during the past 3 years: Coagulation, Transfusion Medicine, Forensic Pathology, Transplantation Pathology, Molecular Diagnostics, and Clinical Chemistry. Other DMT are currently being developed and will be implemented soon. Residents graduating from our program will be uniquely qualified to serve as real partners with treating physicians as they confidently provide valuable diagnostic information to their clinical peers in other medical disciplines.

As residents progress in their training, they are given increased responsibility and independence, and play an active role in the training of junior residents. Likewise, ample opportunities to teach medical students are also available through pathology laboratories in the Integrated Medical Curriculum. Areas of teaching include the following medical school core courses: Pathobiology and Host Disease, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary, Gastrointestinal and Nutrition and Molecules, Cells and Tissues.

The training program is reviewed continuously by the Residency Advisory Committee and changes are made as needed to meet requirements from ABP or ACGME and to improve the educational experience of our residents and fellows.

Strengths of our training program are as follows:

  • The program has an even balance between core AP and CP rotations throughout the whole four years of training, consistent with the primary educational aim of a well-balanced curriculum. All AP and CP faculty are accomplished teachers and researchers, and provide ample opportunity for resident involvement in research.
  • Every Friday morning, the residents participate in the Texas Medical Center inter-institutional pathology conferences at Houston Methodist via video conferencing. These lectures cover a wide range of the various subspecialties of pathology and are an excellent opportunity for collaborative learning.
  • The residents have daily noon lectures that are protected teaching time. Topics cover every subspecialty. Additionally, noon lectures include monthly "Chalk Talks" with the department chair, professional development lectures, and group study using the online slide repositories.
  • UTMB employs two Pathologist Assistants in Surgical Pathology and one in Autopsy. All three Pathologist Assistants' primary responsibility is resident teaching. Biopsy and small surgical specimen grossing is performed by the Surgical Pathology Pathologist Assistants and technicians, and the Autopsy Pathologist Assistant prosects every third autopsy case.
  • The residents have a state-of-the-art surgical pathology suite with a large sign-out room and several multi-headed microscopes with digital screen projections.
  • There are multiple opportunities for teaching medical student laboratory courses, as well as teaching opportunities available in the GI and Radiology Departments.
  • The residents have a prominent professional platform on social media, allowing for multiple opportunities for national learning, as well as networking for fellowships.