Daily resident teaching conferences occur each morning. The spectrum of topics covered in these teaching conferences are as diverse as the field of pathology. Attendance is required at these conferences.
Monday: Gross Unknown Conference. Staff will show kodachrome slides or digital images of recent surgical pathology specimens and then call on a resident to discuss what they see. Generally, the resident talks about specimen's possible organ of origin, gives a differential diagnosis of the disease process and discusses the best grossing technique for the specimen. Pathology boards include questions with gross pictures, so this is a valuable preparation for boards and for broadening one's knowledge base. Once a month, instead of the usual gross conference, residents meet in the autopsy suite and review interesting cases from the previous weeks. The autopsy conference is entirely resident-driven with oversight from our dedicated autopsy staff members.
Tuesday: Surgical Pathology Unknown Conference. A few days before this conference an assigned faculty member will put out slides of difficult cases (usually about six) for the residents to review and formulate a diagnosis. During the conference, a resident will be called on to discuss the microscopic features, provide a differential diagnosis and explain what further studies (special stains, immunoperoxidase etc.) may be necessary to achieve a definitive diagnosis. The case is then discussed by staff and residents as a group. Usually the conferences have a theme (soft tissue, breast lesions, etc.) related to the special interest of the presenting faculty member.
Wednesday: Clinical Pathology Didactic Conference. Responsibility for this conference rotates from one clinical pathology service to another throughout the year (Transfusion Medicine, Chemistry, Hemepath, Immuno, Microbiology, Molecular Pathology). For example, seven didactic sessions of Hemepath are followed by seven sessions of Microbiology. Topics are widely variable, and include classification of leukemias and lymphomas, flow cytometry, coagulation testing, mycobacteria, endocrine testing, platelet usage, etc.
Thursday: Anatomic Pathology Specialty Conference. Usually this conference is a didactic, but occasionally unknown cases (dermatopathology) are put out similar to the surgical pathology unknown conference. Neuropathology, cytopathology, dermatopathology and ocular pathology are areas typically covered.
Friday: Clinical Pathology Morning Report. Residents from each of the clinical pathology services present cases via PowerPoint format to the other residents and staff, with a short discussion. Usually each presentation lasts 10 minutes. These are typically informal presentations and do not require the resident to spend an inordinate amount of time in preparation. The benefit of having the opportunity to hone our presentation skills throughout residency training is invaluable.
Pathology Grand Rounds (Thursday): Similar to grand rounds in other specialties; usually a staff member, senior resident, fellow, or visiting faculty from another institution gives a didactic presentation.
Hemepath/Transfusion Medicine conference (Mondays): This is a thirty-minute didactic conference given by residents, fellows or staff. Presentations consist of an in-depth look at a particular topic/or a series of interesting cases.
Gastrointestinal (GI) pathology conference (Fridays): Frank A. Mitros, M.D., Chris Jensen, M.D., and Leana Guerin, M.D., present recent cases to gastroenterology clinical staff and give a short didactic regarding the pathologic features of the case. This conference provides a lively and informal experience in interdepartmental communication.
In addition to these, there are several other informal learning opportunities including daily liver/G.I. consults and hematopathology unknown conferences.