Core Competencies


Patient Care

The resident will acquire competency in the technical methods of production, interpretation, and effective delivery of laboratory results across the following areas:  surgical pathology (including all subspecialty areas), autopsy pathology, cytopathology, forensic pathology, electron microscopy, hematopathology and hematology, microbiology, clinical chemistry, cytogenetics, molecular diagnostics, immunopathology, coagulation, and transfusion medicine.

The resident will be proficient in the synthesis of data from diverse sources, including the electronic medical record, verbal communication with clinicians, other extant laboratory data, and targeted ancillary studies, to generate complete, accurate interpretations.

The resident will also learn to produce concise, well-organized, and accurate reports that convey salient diagnostic information in a format that enables clinicians to efficiently deliver quality patient care.

The resident will appreciate the pathologist’s role in rigorously assuring the quality of all laboratory results, in order to safeguard patient welfare.

The resident will learn to work collaboratively within a multidisciplinary health care team, participating as clinical consultant and informing evidence-based decision-making and clinical management.

In those situations where the resident has direct interaction with patients, families or donors, the resident will perform such interviewing, examination and counseling as may be required with caring and respect.


Medical Knowledge

The resident will acquire knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and epidemiologic sciences as applied to and relevant to the practice of pathology, understand their relationship to basic pathologic processes, and apply this knowledge to patient care.  This includes specific knowledge of the current state of the art in pathology (e.g., detailed knowledge of the histopathology across the spectrum of human disease) and laboratory medicine practice, but also general medical knowledge in various clinical and basic disciplines that informs consultative pathology practice.  Residents must also be familiar with management principles relevant to the operation of clinical laboratories, including quality assurance, regulatory and compliance issues, and patient safety.


Practice Based Learning and Improvement

The resident will develop skills and habits of continuous self-evaluation and improvement that will ultimately enable effective life-long earning.  This includes developing an ability to critically evaluate and assimilate literature data, and incorporate this into practice to facilitate evidence-based care; effectively use information technology for managing data; apply research and statistical methods to laboratory data; analyze his/her practice using quality improvement methods; effectively internalize evaluation and criticism to improve practice; realistically appraise one’s strengths and weaknesses; and appropriately identify learning opportunities to remediate gaps in knowledge and skills.


Interpersonal and Communication Skills

The resident will develop interpersonal and communication skills, both formal and informal, written and oral, that result in the effective exchange of information and expertise with other health care providers, patients, patients’ families, and the public.  Residents will learn to behave and interact with others in ways that promote a team approach to patient care and create a pleasant and productive working environment.  Residents will learn to be willing, available, and informed clinical consultants.



The resident will develop a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to a diverse population of patients and health care providers.  He/she will learn to behave in a patient-centric fashion, putting the welfare of patients above personal concerns, and develop a work ethic appropriate to a profession that exists to serve others.  Residents will learn the importance of accountability, transparency, altruism, and self-regulation as components of professionalism.


Systems Based Practice

The resident will develop knowledge and experience in laboratory management, in order to develop operational systems that deliver optimal patient care in an economic fashion.  The resident will cultivate an awareness and responsiveness to the place of the laboratory in the larger context and systems of health care, and the ability to call on resources within the system to provide pathology services that are of optimal value.  The resident will become aware that for healthcare processes to function properly, individuals must learn to work within and through the system to achieve goals.