The Division of Clinical Pathology at the Medical College of Wisconsin encompasses chemistry, coagulation, cytogenetics, hematopathology, microbiology, molecular diagnostics, and transfusion medicine. Expert faculty dedicated to each of these areas have built robust, structured curricula for pathology residency training. These curricula comprise a mixture of formal and informal didactics, hands-on training, and abundant experience dealing with real-life, real-time issues coming out of the clinical laboratories. The Clinical Pathology training at MCW emphasizes developing residents for the role of effective consultant to clinicians regarding appropriate test ordering and interpretation, with the goal of being integrated members of the healthcare delivery team. Also emphasized is the role of the medical director in ensuring the delivery of high quality laboratory testing to produce the best patient outcomes within a framework of fiscal responsibility.
The major core rotations (hematopathology, chemistry, and microbiology) are structured as 3-month blocks in the second year of AP/CP training, with an additional advanced month in each area scheduled in either the third or fourth year. These blocks allow concentrated focus on each area over an extended time period and, through a process of graded responsibility, allow residents to achieve significant independence in the exercise of clinical lab duties and responsibilities. The extended rotations also allow the performance of clinical laboratory projects, such as clinicopathologic studies, quality improvement initiatives, method comparisons, and instrument validations. Presentation of these projects at national meetings and publication are highly encouraged and supported financially.