The first three Mondays of each month at 8 AM are dedicated to rotating unknown conferences in the areas of surgical pathology, hematopathology, and cytopathology. The fourth Monday slot is dedicated to a gross pathology conference and the fifth (in months with 5 Mondays) is either occupied by a second surgical pathology unknown conference or a pediatric pathology unknown conference.
For the unknown conferences, slides are available several days in advance in most circumstances, allowing ample time for intensive study. Residents are expected to come to the conference prepared to discuss the following for each case:
- Pathologic features
- Differential diagnosis
- Appropriate ancillary studies for further evaluation
- Clinical features of the various entities
- Optimal format for communicating the salient information to the ordering physician
The process of preparing for these conferences, whereby residents identify gaps in knowledge and skills, and locates resources to remediate these gaps, builds habits for lifelong learning and improvement.