The residency program at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is designed to train pathologists for independent practice in an academic medical center, community hospital, commercial laboratory, or other type of pathology-focused career. Anatomic and Clinical Pathology (APCP) and Anatomic Pathology (AP) tracks are offered; descriptions of these programs are provided elsewhere in this website. Learning occurs through active participation in service-based activities, a comprehensive core curriculum of didactic lectures and slide conferences, numerous interdisciplinary patient care and educational conferences, and experiential learning opportunities in quality improvement and laboratory management. In addition to the rich clinical education provided to residents, opportunities for developing educational and investigative skills are abundant. Efforts are made to develop residents' formal and informal teaching skills because much of the effectiveness of the pathologist in the academic institution and in the community hospital depends on his or her ability to "teach" other physicians, hospital administrators, and other health-care personnel. Our department's Pathology Research Award Program provides funding for residents' research projects and presentations.
Our faculty consists of educators who encompass the full spectrum of Anatomic and Clinical Pathology disciplines. Our Division of Experimental Pathology includes established scientists who offer basic and translational research opportunities to interested residents. The Department of Pathology also includes over 300 administrative, technical, and clerical staff. We are a highly collegial group who maintain high standards in our professional activities. Our faculty and residents have numerous opportunities to work closely together, and with other members of the medical staff. We have an active mentorship program for residents, in which residents choose a faculty mentor to advise them about career planning and other topics. Regular meetings of the residents with the Program Director, Associate Program Directors, and Division Chiefs allow for discussion of future directions and process improvements.
Recent developments in the Department of Pathology include the following:
- Establishment of 4 ACGME-accredited fellowships in Blood Bank/Transfusion Medicine, Dermatopathology, Hematopathology, and Surgical Pathology (Selective Pathology)
- Expansion of our department's research laboratory, the Morphologic and Molecular Pathology Core Research Laboratory, which provides technical support for resident and faculty research projects
- Creation of a new Clinical Pathology Consultation rotation which allows senior residents to serve as consultants to our medical staff regarding laboratory medicine (especially the ordering of tests and interpretation of clinical laboratory findings) and provides ongoing exposure to molecular pathology
- Implementation of a 2-week rotation in Coagulation
- Expansion of our elective choices (new rotations including Orthopaedic Pathology, Gastrointestinal Pathology, private practice pathology at Lancaster General Hospital, Pulmonary Pathology, Lead Resident in Surgical Pathology)
- Building of our quality improvement and laboratory management training program to include interactive experiences with quality improvement projects, participation in capital budget and budget planning, and participation in laboratory inspections.