By allowing two weeks for residents to investigate a case that has puzzled even senior consulting physicians, residents on the Pathways Consult Service in the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital are able to read primary literature and speak with world experts to inform their analysis.

Through piecing together complex medical histories, interpreting the perspectives of multiple diverse experts, and reading literature on the forefront of what is known, Pathways Consult Service allows residents to hone and develop their critical thinking skills. Additionally, often the hypotheses the Pathways Consult Service teams propose settle on mechanisms very few people have studied in depth.

Residents learn more about disease mechanisms to which they may not have had prior experience. They benefit from working in an interdisciplinary team to break down traditional organ-based silos in their investigation.