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The Neuropathology Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital seeks to train individuals who will become leaders in Neuropathology through combinations of basic or clinical research, teaching and the provision of high-quality, state-of-the-art patient care. The philosophy of post-graduate pathology training at MGH is based on the premise that trainees learn best by being exposed to a wide variety and large volume of clinical material, with a level of responsibility appropriate to their level of experience.
The training program in Neuropathology is a two year ACGME-accredited program that involves consistent exposure to, and responsibility for, clinical specimens, with supervision and backup from senior trainees and faculty. Interaction with other clinical service in the hospital during the course of patient care is an important part of this experience. Fellows are given graded responsibility to test their knowledge and decision-making capacities. They also learn to evaluate the literature critically, integrate new knowledge into their practice, and present this data at clinical conferences. Trainees are expected to teach in the second year neuroscience course at Harvard Medical School and to design and carry out at least one independent clinical or basic research project.
Types and Numbers of Appointments
There is one first year and one second year fellow each year. Normally one Neuropathology fellowship position is available per year, although the program is approved for a total three trainees at any one time.
Applicants must have completed two years of Anatomic Pathology training or be eligible for certification in AP, AP/CP, Neurology or Neurosurgery. Applicants should have already passed USMLE Part 3. Graduates of an international medical school must also have a valid visa and ECFMG certificate.
Applicants for fellowships in Neuropathology must:
Goals and Objectives
Structure of the Neuropathology Program
The Neuropathology program is a two year training program, designed to be entered either after two years of Anatomic Pathology training (AP/NP path approved by the American Board of Pathology) or after completion of Anatomic Pathology or Anatomic and Clinical Pathology training. The Neuropathology Service examines about 1500 surgical specimens per year including over 500 intraoperative consultations, 100 muscle biopsies and around 20 nerve biopsies and about 200 brains. Training during the first year is predominantly focused on classification and diagnosis of neoplasms as well as medical diseases of the nervous system. In addition, the first year includes a one month rotation at Children’s Hospital to expand experience with pediatric and developmental neurological diseases and neuropathology. Trainees present at hospital-wide patient-oriented conferences as well as in teaching conferences for other trainees. Additional teaching experience comes when fellows teach in the Neuroscience Course at Harvard Medical School as laboratory instructors. The second year, the trainees are appointed as the Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC) Neuropathology Fellow and are responsible for the processing and analysis of 65-70 brains with a wide variety of neurodegenerative disorders that are received by the ADRC Brain Bank. This allows them to develop experience in the current diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, while they continue their experience in surgical neuropathology and frozen section diagnosis.
Fellows take on the responsibility for assisting in the training and teaching of residents from other training programs, including within the MGH Pathology Departments (AP or AP/CP residents) and from Neurology (both adult and pediatric services). As the year progresses, the fellow is encouraged to write complete reports and to communicate preliminary results to clinicians. In the final 2-3 months on the Neuropathology service, the fellow is given the opportunity to sign out cases independently, showing cases to the attending only when problems are encountered. The attending subsequently reviews and countersigns all cases, but the expectation is that no changes should be necessary to cases that the fellow thinks are straightforward. In this way, the fellow and the program will be able to assess the fellow’s ability to function independently, while maintaining an adequate level of supervision.
Applications for combined AP/NP training should be submitted through the NRMP as described for the AP program, with indication that they wish to be considered for this combined training program. For potential candidates who are already engaged in residency training (AP, AP/CP, Neurology or Neurosurgery), inquiries should be made as early as feasible since positions are often filled several years in advance. Applicants should send a completed CAP standardized Application for Pathology Fellowships, a current CV, 1-page personal statement concerning their interest in Neuropathology, and three letters of reference to:
Matthew P. Frosch, MD, PhD Director, Neuropathology Fellowship Training ProgramMassachusetts General Hospital55 Fruit Street, Warren 325 Boston, Massachusetts 02114 Phone: 617-726-5156Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fellowship Coordinator Tony Brooks Email: email@example.com
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