Residents will receive a variety of diagnostic cases, including biopsy and postmortem submissions from veterinarians working in private large and small animal practices and zoo and wildlife organizations, and from representatives from state and law enforcement agencies. Necropsy and biopsy cases will form the basis of residency training, and will be augmented with rounds, reviews, and additional training to add breadth and depth to pathology knowledge and skills. Residents will be trained in necropsy technique, gross and histologic description and interpretation, report writing, ancillary diagnostic testing, and current, practical research and diagnostic tools. Residents will also receive training in appropriate tissue handling and preparation, processing, and standard histochemical and immunohistochemical staining techniques. The DPC histopathology laboratory is staffed with experienced, certified histology technicians and the laboratory has a full complement of up-to-date Leica tissue processing, histochemical, and immunohistochemical staining equipment.
Residents will be paired with faculty anatomic pathologists when working on necropsy and biopsy submissions in the first year of their training, with increasing autonomy in subsequent years. Residents are expected to develop excellent skills in client communication over the course of their training, and will be involved in mentoring junior residents. The DPC provides training for fourth year veterinary medical students. Residents will have numerous opportunities to gain valuable teaching experience, described below, including working with teams of seven to eight students assigned to a required 4-week pathology rotation in their clinical year.
The Department of Pathology and Population Medicine is building capacity and expertise in the areas of forensic, zoo and wildlife, and infectious disease pathology, and there are opportunities across campus, within the larger university, and with other academic, government, and private institutions to engage in a wide variety of medical-related research. The pathology residency program allows time in years 1-2 to work on an independent or collaborative research project (see training program overview for percent-time allocation), and time in year 3 to complete writing and submit work for publication. There is an expectation that residents will publish at least one, peer-reviewed article and successfully submit one abstract to a state or national conference during the course of the residency.
B. Seminars and Presentations
Annually, each resident is expected to present a Midwestern University seminar (ex. Grand Rounds, One Health Seminar). These presentations are 50-minute lectures on a biomedical topic and are open to either the veterinary college or the wider university.
Weekly, residents will prepare and present cases for histopathology rounds and mystery slide rounds. These rounds provide a setting in which residents can gain experience and confidence presenting histopathologic descriptions and interpreting lesions in front of a small audience. They also facilitate mentoring and discussion with a wider group of clinicians and staff.
Gross pathology case rounds are presented weekly for one hour. Residents will work with fourth year veterinary students to present cases, interpret gross lesions, and discuss associated case materials and imaging with submitting faculty and students. These rounds facilitate resident-student mentoring, and provide a forum for larger group case discussions focused on gross lesion correlates with diagnostic imaging and clinical findings.
Gross pathology review sessions are regularly scheduled sessions provided by anatomic pathology faculty that are designed to improve resident recognition and interpretation of gross lesions and prepare them for this portion of the Phase II board exam.
Slide set descriptive reviews. Slide sets of classic lesions are provided for residents to practice writing histologic descriptions and diagnoses, which will be reviewed by faculty pathologists. Written and oral feedback will help residents modify and improve their histopathology descriptive technique.
Each resident will be given the opportunity to attend an approved external descriptive or other pathology training or board preparatory course.
Weekly Journal Club: Each week residents and faculty will attend a one-hour journal club organized by the junior resident. The expectation is that 1-2 articles per resident will be identified and forwarded to the group 5 days in advance, and that the resident will provide a summary ahead of group discussion. The article should be selected from one of the journals in the resident training reading list.
Clinical pathology: When time permits throughout year one, residents will have the opportunity to attend case discussion rounds (CBC and biochemical data) with the clinical pathologists and the VMEDG 1804 pathology rotation students, as outlined in the VMEDG 1804 course syllabus schedule. Residents will be given case data approximately one week ahead of time and will be encouraged to write up case abnormalities and summaries to discuss with the pathologists. In year 2 residents will have scheduled time in the afternoons with on duty clinical pathologist for chemistry reviews and cytology. The following resources are strongly recommended for facilitation of case write-ups and reviews with clinical pathologists (available as eBooks through the MWU library):
- Duncan and Prasse’s Veterinary Laboratory Medicine: Clinical Pathology (Hardcover, 5th edition). 2011. Kenneth S. Latimer.
- Fundamentals of Veterinary Clinical Pathology (Hardcover, 2nd edition). 2008. Stockham and Scott.
In preparation for the Phase II certifying examination, during the second and third years of the residency, residents are also encouraged to schedule timed case write-ups and subsequent discussions with the clinical pathologists.
Residents are encouraged to attend monthly cytology rounds, which are held every 4 weeks in the Companion Animal Clinic. Residents are welcomed and encouraged to present cases during these rounds.
C. Teaching Responsibilities
Anatomic pathology residents have numerous opportunities to develop teaching skills. They will be engaged in small group teaching with final year veterinary medical students that includes basic necropsy technique, gross report writing, and histologic slide evaluation. They will also have opportunities to provide didactic and laboratory-based teaching in general and systems pathology courses in the second year of the curriculum. Residents may also assist in anatomic pathology-adjacent courses such as clinical pathology, parasitology, microbiology, foreign animal diseases, and their associated laboratories. Teaching is evaluated by students, in the form of evaluation forms that are completed for individual instructors at the end of each quarter. Resident teaching will also be formally evaluated by faculty annually, and teaching feedback will be discussed during annual performance meetings. In the first year of residency training, attending and participating in teaching in the fall general pathology sessions will be part of preparation for the Phase 1 portion of the ACVP exam.