Required Competencies

Patient Care

Residents must be able to provide patient-centered pathology care that is appropriate and effective for the diagnosis of health problems, and communicate effectively with their clinical colleagues to provide the important diagnostic and prognostic information for the care of the patients. Residents are engaged in providing pathology services that promote health, such as interpretation of lipid panels and pap smears. Residents are expected to:

  • Gather accurate and essential information about their patients when performing autopsies, surgical pathology, cytopathology, and bone marrow examinations and interpreting laboratory results.
  • Communicate effectively and demonstrate caring and respectful behaviors when interacting with patients and their families and other health-care practitioners.
  • Make informed decisions about diagnostic and prognostic results based on patient information and preferences, up-to-date scientific evidence, and clinical judgment
  • Develop and carry out case management plans.
  • Counsel and educate clinicians, patients, and families about disease processes they diagnose.
  • Perform competently all medical procedures such as fine-needle and bone marrow biopsies and all pathologic procedures such as autopsy prosection, and surgical pathology dissection necessary for provision of patient care.
  • Provide health care services, such as Pap smear screening and interpretation and the consultative interpretation of other screening tests aimed at preventing health problems or maintaining health.
  • Work with other health care professionals, including those from other disciplines to provide patient-centered care.

Medical Knowledge

Residents must demonstrate knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate (epidemiological and social-behavioral) sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care. Residents are expected to:

  • Demonstrate an investigative and analytic thinking approach to the work-up of anatomic pathology cases and laboratory consultations.
  • Know and apply the basic and clinically supportive sciences which are appropriate to the modern practice of pathology.

Practice-Based Learning and Improvement

Residents must be able to appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, investigate and evaluate their diagnostic acumen in regard to provision of care via anatomic pathology diagnoses and laboratory consultations. Residents are expected to:

  • Analyze practice experience utilizing statistical analysis of their concordance with staff on surgical pathology and autopsy gross examinations and microscopic diagnoses, and cytopathology and bone marrow biopsy diagnoses from Copath (Anatomic Pathology Computer System) reports, and perform practice-based improvement activities using a systematic methodology.
  • Demonstrate ability to locate, appraise, and assimilate evidence from scientific studies related to patients’ health care problems, including:
    • Perform literature search and review to find relevant scientific references to aid in the workup of surgical pathology, autopsy, bone marrow, and laboratory consultative cases (computer-based searches).
    • Obtain and incorporate information about their patient population (via Copath computer searches and medical records chart review) for clinicopathologic study of selected diseases.
  • Apply knowledge of study designs and statistical methods to the appraisal of clinical studies and other information on diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness.
  • Demonstrate competency in the use of information technology to manage information, access on-line medical information, and support their own education, including:
    • Accessing of patient clinical information and previous pathology accessions via Medsite (on-line hospital information system – web site) and Copath.
    • Performance of computer searches of the medical literature.
    • Utilize digital imaging technology.
    • Accessing web sites pertaining to specific pathologic diagnoses (grading systems for tumors, etc.).
  • Actively participate in the teaching of medical students and other health care professionals, including teaching medical students as lecturers (senior residents only), leaders in small groups and laboratory sections and teaching clinicians and other health care professionals during inter- and intradepartmental conferences and tumor boards.