The residents are given the opportunity to learn through experience in an academic professional environment under the guidance and supervision of attending pathologists. As the residents progress in the program, graded and increased responsibility for independent work is given until the residents are capable of performing with minimal supervision.
The four year program consists of a minimum of 18 months of anatomic pathology and 18 months of clinical pathology. The department takes pride in recruiting a cohesive group of outstanding and committed residents.
Resident assignments and programs are designed to meet the objectives of the individual resident as much as possible, taking into account the resident's progress in professional development and the overall opportunities and requirements of the program. The program fosters the development of the resident's teaching abilities. The department has a broad-based didactic curriculum and conference program including a July "boot camp" series and March board review series. As members of the resident staff of teaching hospitals, residents are expected to attend and participate in appropriate conferences and educational activities of the institution and department. Residents must participate in activities of the medical staff of the hospitals and must adhere to the established practices and procedures. The socioeconomics of health care and the importance of cost containment are emphasized.
Residents are expected to keep abreast of advances in pathology through participation in the educational programs, attendance at meetings and workshops, through publications, and by independent endeavors. Research and scholarly activities are a vital part of an academic residency program and each resident is encouraged to develop an individual project or to participate in an approved ongoing basic or applied research program. Adequate resources, opportunities, and space in the department are available for an approved project. Each resident is expected to have a scientific paper based on personal work accepted for publication, provisionally or in final form, by the end of the fourth year.
The director of the program is a member of the full-time pathology faculty appointed by the chairperson of the department. The director is responsible to the chairperson for the general conduct and design of the program, for assignment to services and overseeing evaluation of the housestaff, and for recommending initial appointments and reappointments of residents. The director works closely with the chiefs of services, and the chief resident(s) in administering the program. The chief of services have responsibility for residents on their services in making specific assignments and evaluating performances. The senior staff pathologists are responsible for the medical decisions made by the residents under their supervision.
The chief resident(s) is/are responsible for assisting the director in planning rotations and coordinating call schedules, for serving as liaison between housestaff and chiefs of services, and for providing peer leadership in the general conduct of the program.
Administrative, staff, and departmental meetings are attended by residents, who also gain administrative and laboratory management experience in the various services, including quality assurance and improvement programs. Experience in the requirements of laboratory accreditation is gained by participation of the resident staff in accreditation surveys on site as well as by accompanying senior staff on inspections of other laboratories.
There is ongoing assessment of the program. A Program Evaluation Committee (PEC) regularly surveys the program and implements needed revisions and refinements. The Program Leadership meets frequently with the housestaff to discuss programmatic issues. Each resident submits a bi-annual report including their CV detailing participation in teaching programs, research projects, College of American Pathologists' inspections, meetings attended, publications, and awards. These annual reports enable each resident to build systemically a record of achievement in anticipation of seeking a position upon completion of the residency program.
The Section of Anatomic Pathology at AU Medical Center and the Laboratory Medicine Service at the VA Medical Center (VAMC) have services in autopsy pathology, cytopathology, and surgical pathology and are supported by histology and immunohistochemistry laboratories.
Electron microscopy, flow cytometry, molecular, and cytogenetic laboratories also provide ancillary testing in anatomic pathology. The core educational program for the resident includes rotations in services in subspecialty areas and laboratories for a minimum of 18 months.
The general objective of the program in clinical pathology is to develop professional and administrative skills required of effective clinical pathologists.
Skills should occur in four general areas of responsibility: service, research and development, education, and management. The clinical pathology component of our residency program includes at least 18 months during the four years of residency. Many months are spent at the AU Medical Center: 3 months of hematology (not including an introductory period spent in various hematology laboratories during the first microbiology month), 3 months of microbiology (the first month includes time in hematology as well), 3 months of transfusion medicine (including rotation time through the HLA-Lab), 3 months of chemistry, 2 months of molecular/cytogenetic pathology, and 1 lab administration month. In addition, 4 months will be spent at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, which will afford a comprehensive CP experience including hematology. Duties, goals, and objectives of the residents are assigned at the beginning of each rotation by the medical directors of the laboratories. Instruction periods include noon CP didactic series including management series and bi-monthly CP review series. Residents also participate in CP quality management meetings as well as hematology/oncology tumor boards and infectious disease grand rounds.