Advanced Study in Neuropathology
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About the Clerkship
Advanced Study in Neuropathology (NN503M.3)
Note: This is a Medical Student Elective Rotation in Neuropathology
This clerkship/rotation provides an introduction to diagnostic surgical and autopsy neuropathology through the activities of Massachusetts General Hospital Neuropathology Service. The rotation allows a student to recognize critical neuropathological findings and to correlate them with clinical and neuroradiological data. The experience covers the full spectrum of neurologic diseases including tumors, inflammatory/infectious processes, neurodegenerative diseases, vascular disease and neuromuscular diseases.
This course is designed for the student who is seeking an introduction to both the practice and the academic aspects of pathology and laboratory medicine and is directed toward understanding pathophysiology and molecular pathology.
The course consists of participation in ongoing examinations of surgical and autopsy neuropathology specimens, attendance at teaching conferences and case discussions and individual study of the pathologic-anatomical aspects of diseases of the human nervous system, based upon a large collection of illustrative material on file. The diagnostic neuropathology service of Mass General includes a large volume of neoplasms (mostly primary brain tumors), nerve and muscle diseases, neurologic diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. Students are expected to prepare a case with detailed clinicopathologic correlation. Particular exposure to neurodegenerative diseases and to molecular neurooncology may also be arranged.
Goals and Objectives
- Understanding basic diagnostic classification scheme for diagnosis of brain tumors, vascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases
- Understand the interaction of neuroanatomy and neuropathology in the manifestation of human neurologic diseases
- Review and study human neuroanatomy through participation in the neuropathology autopsy service
- Incorporation of basic science content and evidence-based medicine into understanding the pathophysiology of neurologic diseases
Evaluations are based on the following measures:
- Participation in formal and informal activities of the neuropathology service
- Fund of knowledge (and growth in this over the course of the month) related to neuropathologic manifestations of human diseases
- A general assessment of the quality of assigned case work-ups (assessment by the on service neuropathology attending)
High Honors: Enthusiastic participation in all activities of the neuropathology service; knowledgeable and thoughtful preparation of assigned cases, including discussion of the underlying pathophysiology as well as the diagnostic. neuropathologic features, including the ability to go beyond the prepared material when leading the discussion with the staff neuropathologists — typically at the level expected of a pathology trainee.
Honors: Consistent and active participation in all activities of the neuropathology service; knowledgeable and thoughtful preparation of assigned cases, including discussion of the underlying pathophysiology as well as the diagnostic neuropathologic features — typically at the level expected of a senior medical student.
Satisfactory: Consistent but passive participation in all activities of the neuropathology service; acceptable preparation of assigned cases, including at least partial discussion of the underlying pathophysiology as well as the diagnostic neuropathologic features.
Unsatisfactory: Incomplete participation in expected activities of the neuropathology service; incomplete presentation of assigned case (lacking insight into disease mechanisms, lacking sophistication in interpretation of pathologic findings); OR evidence of inadequate levels of professionalism for level of medical education.
How to Apply
Applicants interested in this elective rotation in neuropathology at Mass General should contact Matthew P. Frosch, MD, PhD at email@example.com or 617-726-5156. While actual registration is through the HMS Registrar's office, prior contact with the Mass General Pathology Department is advised to ensure the clerkship experience would be appropriate for the applicant.
- Associate Pathologist, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Subspecialty Head, Neuropathology
- Lawrence J. Henderson Associate Professor of Pathology and Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard Medical School