In addition to the laboratory and clinical work, a variety of intradepartmental conferences complement the training experience. Whereas some of the meetings consist of lectures given by guest speakers or departmental faculty, a number of conferences demand the active participation of the residents.
Attendance at morning conferences and departmental grand rounds is an important part of the training. Residents on service at the VA should attend didactic conferences at YNHH (unless there is a specific conference at the institution at which they are rotating which conflicts with the conference at YNHH, in which case the conference at the institution at which they are rotating takes precedence). Residents who are on elective rotations should still attend all conferences at YNHH unless the elective is at a distant institution. When slides are put out in advance of a conference, they should be reviewed prior to the conference. If for any reason a resident cannot give a conference at which he or she is scheduled to present, it his/her responsibility to switch with another resident.
There are a small number of conferences for which attendance is an absolute requirement. These are required by the ACGME, and if missed (even if for illness or vacation) must be made up. The majority of the conferences, however, represent an ongoing educational program for which there is a cumulative benefit for participation. Although no individual conference is essential, residents are expected to attend at least 75% of the conferences presented. Failure to do so may result in denial of credit for that ENTIRE year of training. In order to comply with ACGME guidelines regarding conference attendance, a sign-in sheet will be circulated at each conference to document attendees. Residents must attend at least 45 minutes of a 60-minute conference in order to claim attendance. Residents must assure that their attendance is documented. It is not appropriate to have a proxy sign in for you, and signing in for a conference that you did not attend represents falsification of training documentation.
Residents are being trained to be practicing pathologists, and a real part of the life of a pathologist is that service obligations and acute patient care needs take precedence over other non-essential activities. As such, covering frozen section or tending to an apheresis emergency takes precedence over conference attendance. However, morning conferences should not be missed to tend to work which should have been completed the evening before, such as reviewing of slides.
The following "general conferences" are to be attended by all residents, regardless of their current rotation.