Educational Activities

The resources of both pathology departments support a full range of educational programs at Harvard Medical School (HMS), the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), and active participation in teaching is strongly encouraged for faculty and trainees in the Departments. Faculty, fellows, and trainees serve as instructors, particularly within both HMS Pathways and Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology (HST) medical school programs; faculty typically participate in these courses as course directors or lead instructors, while trainees participate as laboratory instructors and discussion group leaders. To encourage and recognize teaching, residents in the Departments of Pathology are appointed as Clinical Fellows at HMS.

In addition to teaching within the classroom, residents play an active role in medical student education during clerkship rotations and observerships. In addition, pathology residents facilitate the medical students' transition to the Principal Clinical Experience by providing a case-based exposure to both anatomic and clinical pathology disciplines.

Residents teach their peers in the pathology training programs in a variety of capacities. Residents lead histology tutorials for incoming AP or AP/CP residents during the initial orientation as part of “Histocamp”. Second-year AP or AP/CP residents function as dedicated peer mentors for the incoming first-year AP or AP/CP residents at the beginning of their training. Part of the graduated responsibilities for the senior residents is more opportunities for 1:1 training of junior residents.

Both AP and CP Chief Residents assume an extensive teaching role for their peers, including acting as tutors in autopsy pathology for incoming residents (AP Chief) and orienting incoming residents to each of the CP services (CP Chief). Chiefs also act as back-up in the frozen room, and as a resource for any daily or on-call questions.

Residents teach their fellow trainees and department faculty via multiple activities, including informal and formal presentations throughout the academic year. Examples include Autopsy Gross Conference (BWH), Autopsy Conference (MGH) and Gross Micro Molecular conference, as well as subspecialty interesting case/consensus conferences including the resident-driven Resident Interesting Case Conference (RICC).

Finally, residents teach their peers in other departments in the hospital through presentations at many interdepartmental conferences, including tumor boards, Medical Pathology Conference, surgical Morbidity & Mortality conferences, and Radiology/Pathology correlation conferences. Senior residents are encouraged to participate as the pathology presenter in the Mass General Clinicopathologic Conference (published in the New England Journal of Medicine as the Case Records of the Mass General).

All educational conferences are held in a hybrid fashion. Residents rotating at either site typically attend lunch-time conference in their respective conference rooms, and on any given day, the speaker(s) may be on-site, beaming in from the other site, or both!

Monday, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

For the Gross Micro Molecular conference, residents present interesting scientific topics to the departments. During a typical session, a resident will describe a pathology case and present a short review of a scientific topic related to the case. Each presentation is 20 minutes in length with 5-10 minutes of discussion with the audience. PGY1 and PGY2 residents each present once per year. At the end of each conference, a PGY1 resident presents a brief case with interesting gross, microscopic or laboratory findings, with a "quiz-style" format to solicit audience participation.

Tuesday, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

BWH and MGH faculty present ANATOMIC PATHOLOGY LECTURES. The AP lectures review key diagnostic and biological features of common and uncommon pathological entities. The lectures are organized into a yearly curriculum and are structured in blocks based on organ systems, and are complemented by corresponding Cytology lectures covering key features of cytological specimens from these organ systems. The topics presented during the AP lectures align with the Friday OUTS slide sessions.

Tuesday, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

The Laboratory and Molecular Medicine Conference is a resident-driven conference covering topics related to the speaker's current rotation (e.g. molecular diagnostics, microbiology, etc). The trainee works with a faculty mentor to develop and practice the presentation, which is attended by their peers and clinical pathology faculty. This series also includes presentations of longitudinal quality improvement or laboratory management projects.

Wednesday, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

On every other Wednesday, all trainees (AP and CP) gather together for GENERAL TOPICS LECTURES, which review topics relevant to both AP and CP residents, such as patient safety, hematopathology, molecular pathology, informatics, and laboratory management.

On the remaining Wednesdays, residents attend two parallel offerings:

  • Trainees on AP services attend a rotating roster of different conferences. Senior residents and fellows teach introductory topics at the RESIDENT INTERESTING CASE CONFERENCE, which also offers opportunities for junior residents to share interesting pathology cases with each other. Residents present select autopsy cases at the AUTOPSY CONFERENCE, which includes a summary of findings and review of relevant pathology and scientific literature. The PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SERIES is attended by residents and faculty to discuss topics of professional development beyond clinical and scientific service.
  • Trainees on CP services attend CP SPECIAL TOPICS. These lectures are presented by BWH and MGH faculty and include introductions to the laboratories, core laboratory principles, and research and career guidance. These lectures are designed to supplement rotation-specific didactic sessions.

Thursday, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Local, national and international invited lecturers present at MGB PATHOLOGY GRAND ROUNDS, sharing their work on a variety of clinical and scientific topics relevant to pathology. This includes both GRAND ROUNDS: FRONTIERS, with a focus on scientific innovation, and GRAND ROUND: PRACTICE UPDATES, with a focus on state-of-the-art diagnostics.

Friday, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

OUTS, or unknown AP teaching sessions, are held Fridays for residents on AP rotations. Unknown cases are scanned as whole slide images, which are provided to residents to preview in advance. During the session, the residents and faculty discuss the histological features and differential diagnoses of each case.