Surgical Pathology Fellowship

The Surgical Pathology Fellowship is intended to offer the candidates an intensive exposure in surgical pathology and emphasize the technical and basic interpretative aspects of surgical specimens. This service entails all aspects germane to the evaluation of surgical specimens, including grossing, interpretation, communication, and report generation. As members of a tertiary care center, fellows are exposed to a vast variety of material. Fellows are responsible for each case assigned to them and, with supervision by a faculty member, initiate all studies necessary for the completion of a case, including utilization of all available ancillary studies, such as immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy and molecular techniques. The ultimate goal is to produce an experienced, qualified surgical pathologist who will have a solid foundation on which to build her/his career and who will appreciate the need for consultation.  The fellow will be under the direct supervision of the Director of Service (Director of Anatomic Pathology and Surgical Pathology) and will have the opportunity to work with the surgical pathology staff who cover the specific subspecialty areas, including bone and soft tissue, breast, GYN, GI/Liver, GU, head and neck, endocrine, thoracic pathology, endocrine pathology, dermatopathology, molecular pathology and frozen section diagnosis. During these subspecialty rotations, fellows also participate in specialty conferences for the organ systems they are working in.   The fellows have access to all the facilities, libraries, teaching collections, and other educational materials available for the residents in the department.

The fellows are given graduated responsibilities in direct proportion to their individual level of competence.  The core curriculum involves 11 months of required surgical pathology rotations, and 1 month of elective/research time.  All surgical pathology specimens are signed out with the faculty. The fellow reviews the paperwork and slides and formulates a preliminary diagnosis, correlating the histologic features with the submitted clinical information, laboratory studies, radiology reports, and additional clinical information provided by the submitting physician. This information is combined into a preliminary document that incorporates all relevant elements necessary for a comprehensive surgical pathology report. This preliminary report is then reviewed with the surgical pathology faculty.  The fellow is expected to enter his or her diagnosis and completed report in the computer system for review by the attending pathologist, as if he/she were signing out the case by themselves.  The faculty then reviews the report prior to signout for any required changes. The final reports are electronically signed out by the Surgical Pathology attendings, and copies are sent to attending physicians and medical records.

The Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Pathology receives an average of 33,000 specimens per year, along with approximately 3,500 outside consultation cases. The pathology department and its faculty also provide surgical pathology expertise for Community Memorial Hospital, a community hospital that brings an additional volume of 10,000 surgical pathology specimens per year.