Explore This Fellowship
About the Fellowship
As of July 1, 2023 The Mass General Brigham (MGB) Hematopathology Fellowship program represents a newly combined merger of the two longstanding fellowship programs at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and seeks to train individuals who will become leaders in the field of hematopathology. Trainees are exposed to a wide variety of clinical material encompassing all aspects of hematopathology, with increasing graduated responsibility over the course of the fellowship year. Approximately two thirds of the fellow’s time is spent at the BWH site, which serves as the diagnostic hematopathology service for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), and one third of the fellow’s time is spent at MGH. Training in all rotations involves consistent exposure to and responsibility for clinical specimens, with supervision and backup from faculty. The trainee’s involvement with challenging consultation cases at both sites gives them insight into some of the most difficult issues in hematopathology diagnosis and the role of academic institutions in making their expertise available to other health care institutions. The fellows interact with clinicians on a daily basis and participate in both intra- and inter-departmental conferences and tumor boards. The fellows are actively involved with teaching junior trainees, including BWH and MGH pathology residents and hematology-oncology fellows rotating on the hematopathology services, and interact with other pathology subspecialty services at both institutions. Fellows learn to critically evaluate the literature and practice evidence-based medicine and they are encouraged to design and carry out at least one independent research project during their fellowship year.
The Hematopathology program at the Mass General seeks to train individuals who will become leaders in the field of hematopathology. Leadership can involve generation of new knowledge in the form of basic or clinical research, dissemination of knowledge through teaching of medical students, trainees, or practitioners of either pathology or clinical medicine, and the provision of high-quality, state-of-the-art patient care. The philosophy of post-graduate Pathology training in our department is based on the premise that trainees learn best by being exposed to a wide variety and large volume of clinical material and by having a level of responsibility appropriate to their level of experience.
The training involves consistent exposure to and responsibility for clinical specimens, with supervision and backup from faculty. The trainee’s involvement with challenging consultation cases from pathologists around the world gives him/her insight into some of the most difficult issues in hematopathology diagnosis as well as the role academic institutions play in making their expertise available to other institutions within the health care delivery system. Communication with clinical colleagues in the course of patient care is an important part of this experience. Fellows are given enough responsibility to test their knowledge and decision-making capacities. Every case and every decision are reviewed by a senior pathologist, who corrects and gives feedback on the fellow’s judgments and performance. In this way, the fellow's communication skills and overall professional development are enhanced.
Fellows must also learn to critically evaluate the literature, practice evidence-based medicine, and present laboratory and other data at conferences; these activities are incorporated into the daily responsibilities of the trainees. Fellows are expected to design and carry out at least one independent clinical, translational, or basic research project, thereby teaching them the use of scientific evidence and application of research methods to advance the hematopathology field.
Types and Numbers of Appointments
There are two Hematopathology fellowship positions each year.
Through the individual rotations of the fellowship over the course of the year, the fellow is expected to develop competency in (and is continually evaluated in) the following:
- Patient care (case ownership, responsibility, and teamwork)
- Medical knowledge in all aspects of hematopathology
- Ability to continually learn and improve his/her practice (by analyzing his/her own clinical and research experiences, incorporating information from didactic lectures, conferences, and evaluations, and practicing evidence-based medicine)
- Interpersonal and communication skills (teaching, learning, clear diagnosis, and effective interaction with patients and members of the health care system)
- Professionalism (ethical behavior, maturity, and respect for patients and members of the health care system)
- Systems-based practice (using hospital and pathology information systems, practicing cost-effective care, integrating ancillary studies in the hematopathologic diagnoses, and understanding the role of hematopathology in the hospital and overall health care system)
- Applicants must be Board-certified or eligible for certification in AP, CP or AP/CP by the time of starting fellowship, and if a graduate of an international medical school, have a valid ECFMG certificate and visa and have a Massachusetts license prior to starting the fellowship; residents performing AP or AP/CP residency at MGH may perform an intercalated fellowship year after at least 2 years of residency training, followed by post-fellowship completion of their residency.
- Applicants must be eligible for employment and medical licensure in Massachusetts.
Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of this fellowship are:
- To develop medical knowledge in the techniques of bone marrow aspiration and biopsy and their interpretation, lymph node interpretation, coagulation testing, flow cytometry analysis, peripheral smear and body fluid morphology interpretation, and the applications of advanced technology (including in-situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, cytogenetics, and molecular diagnostics including next-generation sequencing), to hematologic problems of both adults and children
- To become proficient in the diagnosis and classification of hematologic malignancies, and of non-neoplastic diseases of hematopoietic and lymphoid tissues and peripheral blood
- To be able to effectively and in a timely fashion communicate hematopathologic diagnoses by formulating an interpretive report that will provide, in a clear, concise, and complete form, the information needed by clinicians to proceed in the management of the patient
- To learn the appropriate, cost-effective performance and interpretation of techniques utilized in the diagnosis of hematologic diseases, including cytochemistry, flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, cytogenetics, fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH), molecular diagnostics, automated cell counting, hemoglobin electrophoresis, and coagulation testing, and to understand the role of these tests in the overall health care delivery system
- To be able to use effectively hospital information technology systems to construct and communicate hematopathologic diagnoses, including integrating laboratory studies and clinical information with morphologic findings and proficiently using pathology information systems
- To become a proficient communicator in the presentation of information at clinical conferences and scientific meetings
- To learn to professionally interact with and effectively teach residents, medical students, clinical colleagues, and ancillary laboratory staff and to respect the input and effectively learn from other members of the health care system
- To be able to effectively access pertinent scientific literature, analyze the literature critically, integrate new information in an ongoing fashion into diagnostic decision-making, and use systems-based resources to improve one's practice
- To have an understanding of the principles of clinical investigation, including the ability to design, carry out and publish studies using patient-related information to advance knowledge or to disseminate existing knowledge in the specialty
- To develop an understanding of issues involved with managing a diagnostic hematopathology service, a flow cytometry laboratory, and a hematology/coagulation laboratory and to understand the function of these services in the hospital and overall health care delivery system
Structure of the Hematopathology Program
The most difficult area of hematopathology is the diagnosis and classification of hematologic malignancies and their precursors in bone marrow, lymph nodes and other tissue biopsy specimens. To acquire proficiency in this area requires consistent supervised exposure to diagnostic specimens over as long a period as possible. For this reason, the largest amount of time in the 1-year program is spent on the Hematopathology Service. This service is responsible for all bone marrow, lymph node, spleen, and thymus specimens, as well as blood and body fluid specimens requiring pathologist interpretation and specimens from other services with extranodal lymphoid infiltrates and lymphomas. The fellow is assigned to this service for 28 weeks, spread throughout the 12-month fellowship. The remaining weeks include assigned time to be spent in the other laboratories (Hematology, Coagulation, Flow Cytometry, Immunopathology, Molecular Diagnostics and Cytogenetics), at Children's Hospital Boston to acquire additional experience in pediatric hematopathology, and on a clinical service (Leukemia, Lymphoma, Bone Marrow Transplant, and/or Hematology Consult), as well as unscheduled weeks that can be used for in-depth involvement in ongoing research projects, rotations at other institutions or laboratories of interest to the trainee (to be set up in consultation with the Program Director), and/or additional experience on Hematopathology or another service.
The fellowship Core Curriculum encompasses 43 weeks in the following rotations:
- Hematopathology (24-26 weeks)
- Flow cytometry (2 weeks)
- Laboratory Hematology (1 week)
- Coagulation Laboratory (2-4 weeks)
- Leukemia/Lymphoma/Hematology Clinical Rotation (2 weeks)
- Molecular Diagnostics and Cytogenetics (BWH) (2 weeks)
- Hematopathology Molecular Diagnostics (MGH)(4 weeks)
- Pediatric Hematopathology (Boston Children's Hospital) (4 weeks)
Exclusive of 4 weeks of vacation, the remaining 5 weeks are devoted to elective time on research projects and/or additional elective time in one of the core areas.
As the year progresses, the fellow is encouraged to write complete reports and to communicate preliminary results to clinicians. The fellow provides backup and supervision for the residents on the service in microscopic interpretation, in handling calls regarding specimens, and in presenting at clinicopathologic conferences. In the final 6 months of the fellowship, each fellow spends 2-3 weeks performing independent Hematopathology sign-out, showing cases to the attending only when problems are encountered. This responsibility includes teaching individuals at various levels (medical students, junior residents, senior residents on electives, and visiting pathologists) who may participate in hematopathology sign-out. All cases are reviewed subsequently by the attending and countersigned, but the expectation is that no changes should be necessary to specimens that the fellow thinks are straightforward; major changes are reviewed together with the fellow and supervising attending. In this way, the fellow and the faculty will be able to assess the fellow’s ability to function independently, while maintaining an adequate level of supervision.
How to Apply
We will be accepting applications for academic 2025-2026 from March 1st, 2023 – June 1st, 2023. Interested applicants should send the below required documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- CAP Standardized Pathology Fellowship Application
- Curriculum Vitae (must be in date/year format 00/0000)
- Personal Statement describing career goals and hematopathology interest
- USMLE Steps 1, 2, & 3 Score Report- (Canadian physicians and Doctors of Osteopathy who are eligible for licensure may substitute documentation of successful completion of LMCC/MCCQE and COMLEX examinations, respectively, in lieu of USMLE examinations).
- Three Letters of Recommendation (one letter must be from your current program director or department chair)
- Copy of MD Degree (International medical graduates only)
- Copy of ECFMG Certificate (International medical graduate only)
Please note that if you submit an application to either the BWH or MGH Hematopathology Fellowship, you have applied for the same program and the combined MGB Hematopathology Program faculty will review your application; two separate applications are not needed.
Robert P. Hasserjian, MD - Program Director
Director, Hematopathology Fellowship Program
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street, Warren 244
Boston, MA 02114
Graduate Medical Education Program Manager
Learn more about the faculty supervising this fellowship.
- Director of Hematopathology
- Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School
- Director, Hematopathology Fellowship Program, Pathology Service
- Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School
- Medical Director, Core Laboratory, Hematology
- Assistant Pathologist, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Associate Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School
- Assistant in Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
- Associate Chief for Clinical Affairs, Department of Pathology
- Director of Surgical Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School