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Frequently Asked Questions

What types of Visas does the program sponsor?

Yale New Haven Hospital sponsors both J1 and H1B visas through the Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME) for those eligible. You can find out more information at the GME office website.

What kind of mentorship is available in your program?

The program adopts formal and informal mentorship practices. Incoming residents are paired with experienced faculty mentors when they arrive to ensure they have contacts who can serve as support and answer questions as they begin their training. New residents are also paired with more senior residents as they begin their formal rotations to facilitate opportunities for peer mentorship. As they refine their interests and they meet faculty through morning seminars, slide sessions and on rotation, they often identify additional faculty mentors independently who provide support in any number of ways, from career advice to research project guidance to talk preparation and beyond.

Do you have a year of graduation cut-off for acceptance into your program?

The program evaluates all applications based on merit and a holistic review without defined cut-offs. For applicants who have a gap between medical school graduation and residency application, we place importance on their experiences and what they have accomplished in the interim.

What is the call schedule in your program?

Call responsibilities for AP/CP residents are as follows:

  • PGY-1: weekend autopsy call
  • PGY-2: resident takes Saturday morning grossing call (“weekend cutter”)
  • PGY-3: overnight and weekend CP call
  • PGY-4: On AP - frozen section and weekend senior resident call; On CP - senior CP call
What exposure to CP rotations do AP/CP PGY-1 residents receive?

In 2021, our program started a rotation integration where CP rotations, including Transfusion Medicine and Hematology, were included in the PGY-1 curriculum, along with core AP rotations. In 2022, we continued to refine this early exposure to CP and it has been well-received by trainees.

What’s the autopsy service like?

The morgue is conveniently located and a short walk (<10 minutes) from Surgical Pathology and is in proximity to many pathology faculty offices and other departmental conference rooms. Adjacent to the morgue is a readily accessible resident room with microscopes and workstations for the residents rotating on the service.

The Yale Autopsy Service is composed of a team of faculty, pathologists’ assistants, and autopsy technicians that work together with the resident to carry out all aspects of the autopsy. The autopsy rotation allows residents to form a complete picture of the patient and disease process through careful chart review, evisceration and examination of organs grossly and microscopically, ultimately generating an integrated report and final autopsy diagnosis. A total of approximately 14 weeks of autopsy service is completed during PGY-1 and PGY-2. PGY-4 AP/CP residents rotate on the autopsy senior service with a leadership role, supervising and mentoring the PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents in all aspects of the autopsy.

What is the surgical pathology schedule?

Residents on the major surgical pathology rotations (GI resections, Gyn, Thoracic, GU, Breast resections, Head/Neck/Endocrine, Pediatric/Bone Soft Tissue) do a cycle where they sign out, gross and preview cases each day. Sign out with faculty generally begins at 9:30am, following a morning didactic seminar. Grossing takes place in the afternoon and previewing takes place later in the day or in the morning before didactics, depending on the preference of the resident.

What do residents like to do for fun in the New Haven area?

To learn more about resident life in New Haven, see the “Resident Life” area of our website.

How many surgical specimens does the department receive per year?

We receive around 35,000 in house surgical and over 65,000 cytology specimens per year. We also have a busy outreach program with around 15,000 specimens per year. In addition, we review over 5000 referral and consult specimens yearly.

What have your recent graduates done after residency?

Our graduates most often go on to fellowships of all varieties, with many remaining at YNHH to complete additional training in one of our numerous excellent fellowships or research. Our 2022 graduates are doing the following:

  • Cytopathology fellowship followed by Transfusion Medicine fellowship at YNHH
  • Medical Microbiology fellowship followed by Surgical Pathology and Transfusion Medicine fellowships at YNHH
  • Oncologic Surgical Pathology fellowship at MSKCC, followed by Dermatopathology fellowship at University of South Florida
  • Hematopathology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Forensic Pathology fellowship at the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
  • Transfusion Medicine fellowship at YNHH, followed by research as a Physician-Scientist in Yale Department of Laboratory Medicine
  • Research as a Physician-Scientist in Yale Department of Laboratory Medicine, also completed fellowship at YNHH in Hematopathology
  • Transfusion Medicine fellowship at YNHH
  • Research as a Physician-Scientist in Yale Department of Laboratory Medicine, also completed Medical Microbiology fellowship at YNHH
  • Transfusion Medicine fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
What is the onboarding process like?

General hospital orientation starts the last week of June. This is followed by a 3-week introductory “boot camp” in AP and CP. During this time, residents get critical information about the workflow, information technology, and available resources in the departments, in addition to getting to know the people! This includes weeklong rotations in AP and CP with senior resident mentorship and morning didactic sessions.

For AP, this includes introduction to the autopsy service (hands-on and didactic), grossing (with observational and hands-on training with our team of 8 dedicated Pathologists’ Assistants, and didactic sessions lead by fellows and faculty), and previewing (with mentorship from senior and chief residents). For CP, this includes hands-on training guided and supervised by a senior CP resident in the different laboratory medicine subspecialties (Chemistry & Immunology, Microbiology, Transfusion Medicine & Apheresis, Hematopathology & Molecular, and general laboratory medicine at the Veteran Affairs hospital).

The “CP boot camp” experience is different for PGY-1s than PGY-3s in what laboratory medicine rotations they do. PGY-1s have an introduction to the workflow and responsibilities that they will oversee for the rotations in Transfusion Medicine and Hematopathology. Since the PGY-3s are responsible for all the laboratory medicine subspecialties and taking CP calls during weeknights and weekends, they undergo an onboarding process for their year on CP, rotating a total of 4 weeks in all the services. During this time, they are also trained in how to handle calls at night and weekends.

Session topics also include introduction to the Department of Pathology Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Yale Medical Library resources, wellness resources, and introduction to digital pathology.

How is digital pathology being integrated into the program?

The Department of Pathology has whole slide scanners for educational and research purposes, as well as clinical activities. Consult cases and tumor board cases undergo scanning and can be accessed through our unique in-house developed PathPortal system, which is a single interface for accessing clinical information, current and prior pathology material, and gross images. Residents have access to these cases. Whole slide images are increasingly utilized for our intradepartmental unknown conferences and other teaching endeavors.

What is the exposure to grossing like in your program?

On subspecialty surgical pathology rotations, including GI resections, Head & Neck/Endocrine, Gynecologic, Breast resections, Genitourinary, Thoracic, Dermatopathology, Pediatric/Bone Soft tissue services, residents work in the gross room closely with a team of exceptional pathologists’ assistants who are passionate about being in the academic environment and contributing to resident education. Grossing responsibilities begin at 1pm and go no later than 6pm, but are frequently done before this. Additional supervision and support are provided by fellows and attendings who come to the gross room to evaluate complex cases together with the resident.

What does your program have in place to ensure resident wellness?

The Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine both have designated departmental faculty Wellness Officers, Drs. Jocelyn Chandler and Nataliya Sostin, who have designed a wellness curriculum and lead a resident wellness committee. The YNHH GME office supports an annual house staff wellness week and there is 24/7 availability to the Housestaff Lounge, well-stocked with coffee and food items, free of charge.

Do residents present tumor boards?

PGY1, PGY2, and PGY4 residents present at Melanoma tumor board and PGY2 residents present at Bone and Soft tissue tumor boards, both with faculty supervision. Other forums exist for graduated responsibility with case presentations, including at consensus conferences and extradepartmental forums.

What opportunities does your program provide for resident teaching?

Residents on CP rotations teach the Microbiology and Hematology medical student labs.

What research opportunities are available for residents?

Opportunities for research funding awards are available through the departments, including the Chairman’s Challenge. Physician-scientists in the CP-only track are supported by the Laboratory Medicine T32 and supplemented by the department at the appropriate PGY level. Most AP/CP residents participate in research projects during their training, submit abstracts and present at national meetings. These often result in publications under the mentorship of faculty.

What is a routine day like in your program?

AP rotations in surgical pathology are predominantly subspecialized and include sign-out, grossing, and previewing each day. Each rotation is a little different based on service specific considerations, which vary in volume and case complexity.

CP rotations are structured in the different subspecialties. In Transfusion Medicine & Apheresis, residents interpret antibody workups and write notes, follow patients that require specific platelets transfusions, interpret and write notes for transfusion reaction workups, attend apheresis rounds, run the apheresis clinic (seeing patients, writing notes, putting orders in), assist other providers with any transfusion medicine related questions, and take call during the day for the service. In Chemistry & Immunology rotation, the residents are responsible for sign-out of protein electrophoresis and immunofixation electrophoresis, review high-expense send-out tests, learn from the medical laboratory scientists the technical aspects of the departments, assist providers with any question in chemistry and immunology labs, participate in chemistry laboratory meetings including topics of quality improvement and quality control, and participate in the implementation of quality improvement projects. In Microbiology, the residents receive calls either by the medical laboratory scientists or the provider taking care of the patients for clarification of laboratory test results and/or requests for additional testing, including antibiotic susceptibility testing, evaluation of mixed cultures for pathogens, requests for supplemental testing such as molecular tests. In Hematology & flow cytometry rotation, the residents interpret blood smears, flow cytometry, special coagulation, hemoglobin, and molecular test results, while also assisting providers with cases that require further selection of tests. During the rotation at the Veteran Affairs Hospital, residents are exposed to general clinical pathology including all the areas of laboratory medicine.