The Departments of Pathology at BWH and MGH are committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all who work within our system. The advancement of our discipline and the care of our patients depends on a community of professionals who reflect all cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, and differing abilities. Both departments maintain committees comprised of faculty, trainees and staff that are focused on diversity, equity, inclusion and professionalism. Our programs work closely with the BWH Center for Diversity & Inclusion and the MGH Center for Diversity & Inclusion to aid us in this mission. The Centers prioritize and support the advancement of careers of physicians and scientists who are underrepresented in medicine (URiM). They educate our workforce on cross-cultural interactions with patients and colleagues, helping to make BWH and MGH more inclusive and welcoming environments.
In regard to our residency training programs, we make deliberate efforts to attract and retain a diversity of candidates. We participate in the Visiting Clerkship Program (VCP), which is sponsored by the Minority Faculty Development Program of the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership and provides support for fourth-year and qualified third-year medical students from groups underrepresented in medicine to participate in the HMS Exchange Clerkship Program. During the recruitment season, we carefully consider all applicants via a holistic approach, with extensive input from a committee of URiM faculty members from both institutions. We provide unconscious and implicit bias training as well as detailed diversity, equity and inclusion resources to all members of our recruitment committee. We are supported in our efforts by the Centers for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), which host virtual residency interview receptions and opportunities to meet with officers from the Centers or affiliated faculty.
Within the programs, we provide welcoming, supportive and open work environments as well as opportunities for community involvement and outreach. The CDIs at both institutions assist with general career development and advancement, create networking and community building opportunities, and sponsor awards such as the Minority Faculty Career Development Award (MFCDA). Additionally, the BWH Office for Women’s Careers and the MGH Office for Women’s Careers provide professional and leadership development to women and nonbinary faculty and trainees while advancing gender equity in the institutions and in academic medicine.
The BWH and MGH Departments of Pathology have a long-standing history of serving the global community. The opportunity for knowledge transfer and improved laboratory diagnostics in the context of global health is especially appealing where small gains can result in large “returns” in the fundamentals of diagnosis and therapy. Pathology services are central to the advancement of many disciplines of medicine and surgery, yet in many low and middle-income countries (LMICs), pathologists are few in number, and pathology services are dramatically under-resourced. There are enormous opportunities for individual and collective efforts – both small and large, either local or regional – that will enhance research, training, or delivery of pathology services around the world. In particular we are committed to a philosophy of capacity-building, whereby we can contribute towards building a foundation to support independent pathology practice.
Partners In Health
Founded in 1987 by the late Dr. Paul Farmer and colleagues to bring health care to underserved populations in the central highlands of Haiti, Partners In Health (PIH) has now expanded its operations to numerous other countries including Rwanda. PIH is not only a leader in the care of patients with of HIV-AIDS, malaria, and drug-resistant tuberculosis, but also has a strong focus on cancer care and diagnostics. Given the essential role of pathology in all of these areas, and particularly oncologic diagnosis, the relationship between BWH, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and PIH provides unique opportunities for pathology trainees to engage in global health initiatives.
The Department of Pathology at BWH supports pathology activities in several countries through its affiliation with PIH, including at the Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais in Haiti and Butaro District Hospital in Rwanda. The department receives cases from these hospitals both via telepathology as well as those sent directly to the department for consultation. Trainees on sub-specialty pathology rotations review these cases and learn to apply a judicious work-up tailored to available therapeutics in the originating country. For trainees with a particular interest in global health and global pathology, there are additional opportunities to participate in quality improvement projects, research collaborations, and educational outreach, as well as to craft an overseas elective at our partnership locations.
Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)
The Department of Pathology at MGH has a mentoring relationship and collaboration with the Department of Pathology at MUST and the Mbarara Referral Hospital in Mbarara, Uganda. The relationship involves capacity building, training residents, and collaborative research. Over the years we have helped MUST pathology with acquiring equipment and supplies including a multiheaded microscope with photomicroscopy, whole slide imager, embedding station, automatic processor, and batteries for consistent power. MUST also now has basic immunohistochemistry competency, vastly improving their diagnostic capabilities and an electronic pathology reporting system.
We offer a two week elective for our anatomic pathology residents to MUST. Over the years we have collaborated on several manuscripts with residents on pathology topics and several abstracts presented at international meetings. MUST Pathology is a free service department for the referral hospital, adjacent government clinics, and a hospital specializing in ophthalmology. They have a busy fine needle aspiration (FNA) clinic and offer inpatient FNA services as well. The pathology seen at MUST is unique in comparison to that seen at BWH and MGH including eye pathology, pediatric tumors, and neuropathology. Our residents benefit from exposure to these pathologies and others rarely seen in the United States.