Explore This Fellowship

About the Fellowship

The Cytopathology Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, a one-year, ACGME-accredited program, provides advanced training in diagnostic cytopathology under the supervision of eight staff cytopathologists. The goal of the program is to train cytopathologists who will become leaders in the field. Whether the candidate intends to practice in an academic setting or in a community-based practice, the combination of clinical, teaching, and research opportunities will prepare the trainee for any eventuality.

In 2019, the MGH Cytopathology Laboratory processed 17,597 non-gynecological specimens including 4,543 FNAs, 400 of which were cytopathologist-performed. Additionally, 24,863 SurePath Pap tests were screened along with 24,155 HPV tests for Cervical/Anal Paps and head and neck cancers.

The fellows are given gradually increasing responsibility in cytopathology with appropriate supervision. Work-up of clinical cases is facilitated by a modern pathology information system that is integrated into the hospital information and electronic record systems. Cytopreparatory techniques are taught. Training also includes performance of superficial fine needle aspiration biopsies with ultrasound guidance at our cytopathologist-run FNA clinic, rapid interpretation of deep needle aspirations performed by radiologists, gastroenterologists and pulmonologists, interpretation of ancillary tests including immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry, fluorescence in-situ hybridization, electron microscopy and molecular techniques. Aspects of quality assurance and laboratory management are integrated throughout the year.

Teaching responsibilities that include individual resident teaching and lectures are incorporated into the program. Educational opportunities allowing for interaction with our cytopathology colleagues at surrounding Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals include participation in the joint cytopathology journal club we host with Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, as well as the opportunity to perform mock or real CAP on-site inspections and See, Test, Treat Events with Cambridge Health Alliance. An emphasis is placed on refinement of communication and teaching skills, whether dealing with pathology colleagues, clinicians, patients or families.

Fellows are encouraged to design and complete a research project, either a clinicopathologic study or a project utilizing the extensive research resources of the department. Fellows are also encouraged to select one quality improvement project for analysis. Most often the work is presented at national pathology meetings. Each fellow is able to select a research topic with the help of a faculty mentor. The fellow-faculty team will design and carry out the study. Departmental funds are available for select studies.

Finally, fellows are encouraged to join and to actively participate in national cytopathology and pathology organizations so as to develop confidence in their ability to influence the current and future practice of their profession.

Requirements

Prior to appointment in the program, fellows must have one of the following: at least two years of a pathology residency accredited by the ACGME or of a program located in Canada and accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC); or certification by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic pathology and clinical pathology or in anatomic pathology. If a graduate of an international medical school, the applicant must have a valid ECFMG certificate. The candidate must also be eligible for employment in Massachusetts and obtain a Massachusetts medical license prior to starting the fellowship.

Curriculum

In order to develop diagnostic acumen, the fellow spends approximately half of the year on cytopathology sign-out. Although always under supervision, the fellow is the primary cytopathologist in charge of cytology cases along with the accompanying surgical pathology, either cell blocks or core biopsies, and is responsible for professional communication with clinicians, radiologists and cytotechnologists and for timely completion of sign-out. The fellow will spend four weeks in the cytopathology division of the Brigham and Women's Hospital in order to be exposed to a different case mix and alternate approaches to laboratory management and cytopreparatory techniques. A two-week rotation in the Mass General molecular pathology laboratory is part of the program, as well as a one-week elective rotation in the fellow’s surgical pathology subspecialty of choice. In addition to four weeks of vacation, fellows have six weeks of off-service time in which they are to pursue research and quality improvement projects. Duty hours are typically 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, but no later than 9:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Fellows may be asked to cover some general surgical pathology call, not to exceed two weeks per year.

How to Apply

Applications

We are participating in the American Society of Cytopathology’s (ASC) unified recruitment timeline for cytopathology fellowship programs starting with the 2023-2024 fellowship year.

Timeline:

Applications will start being reviewed mid July 2021 (submission window: July to September 2021).

Interviews will be offered starting mid August and up to November 2021.

The earliest fellowship offer date is October 1, 2021. Applicants will have 72 hours to accept or decline.

Applications:

To apply to our program, please email the following materials to Jaclyn Brogna at jbrogna@partners.org:

  • CAP Standardized Fellowship Application 
  • Curriculum Vitae (must be in month/year date format, e.g., 00/0000)
  • Personal Statement
  • USMLE Steps 1, 2, & 3 Score Reports
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (one letter must be from either your current program director or your department chair)
  • Wallet-sized Photo
  • ECFMG Certificate (foreign medical graduates only)
  • Copy of MD Degree (foreign medical graduates only)

Please do not send application materials via ground mail. All application materials should be emailed to Jaclyn Brogna at jbrogna@partners.org.

Please remind your letter writers that even though they are sending their letters via email, all LORs must be on institutional letterhead, dated, and signed.