Pathology Fellowship Programs

The department offers a number of one or two-year fellowships in specialized areas of pathology for those who wish to continue their training beyond residency or to specialize in a particular area of pathology.

The following programs are available:

Cytopathology Fellowship

This one-year, ACGME-accredited fellowship provides advanced training in all aspects of Cytopathology. The fellows participate in the daily sign-out of all specimens and provide immediate on-site interpretation for superficial and deep FNAs with progressive responsibilities leading to the development of diagnostic autonomy. There is substantial exposure to surgical pathology with emphasis on the correlation between these two disciplines, particularly as the needle core biopsies object of on-site interpretation are kept as part of the Cytopathology specimen. Approximately 16,000 specimens are evaluated annually, including 2500 non-gynecologic exfoliative specimens and 2100 fine needle aspiration biopsies covering the spectrum of cytopathology practice with extensive use of immunochemistry, flow cytometry, molecular and cytogenetic ancillary studies. The program includes a 2-week rotation in our solid tumor molecular diagnostics service. A dedicated Ultrasound-guided FNA (USFNA) service is located in the Pathology Department, staffed by three USFNA-trained pathologists, with an annual volume of 350 cases. The Cytopathology fellows receive training in FNA performance, actively participating in procedures under direct attending supervision with the objective of becoming proficient in both palpation and ultrasound-guided FNA. Appropriate clinical management as applied to surgical and cytopathology diagnoses and interdisciplinary communication is stressed, including case presentation at tumor boards. Participation in the instruction of residents through lectures and slide sessions is an integral part of the program. Over 4,000 glass slide study sets are available for review. Fellows will also gain practical skills in laboratory management. Translational research as well as clinical research for presentation at national level is strongly encouraged.

Requirements: Candidates must have satisfactorily completed an accredited training program in AP or AP/CP and passed USMLE Step 3 or COMLEX 3.

Program Director: Adele Kraft, MD

Recruitment Status: Currently accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year; one open position remaining

See below for Fellowship Program Application Information

Hematopathology Fellowship

This fellowship is aimed at MDs or MD/PhDs who have completed residency training in AP, CP or AP/CP in the United States (ACGME accredited) or Canada and who are certified (or eligible for certification) by the American Board of Pathology and wish to pursue a career in academic hematopathology or in private practice. Intensive training is provided in blood and bone marrow morphology, flow cytometric immunophenotyping, and genetic/genomic analysis of hematopoietic malignancies. The fellows have rotations on the peripheral blood, bone marrow and lymph node sign out services as well as rotations in flow cytometry, cytogenetics, molecular pathology and hematology laboratories and lymph node pathology, flow cytometry, wet hematology, cytogenetics, molecular diagnostics, coagulation, and laboratory administration. Emphasis is placed on the practical aspects of specimen processing and correlation of histopathologic findings with flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, cytogenetics, and molecular diagnostics. Opportunities exist for hands-on experience in performing bone marrow aspirates and biopsies and advanced training is provided in molecular diagnostics. Fellows are encouraged to take advantage of numerous research and teaching opportunities available based on a high volume clinical service and extramural consult service, and close relations with the Hematology/Oncology Service and the VCU Department of Medicine.

Requirements: Preference will be given to applicants who have completed AP and/or CP training.  All candidates must have passed USMLE Step 3.

Program Director: Roger S. Riley, MD, PhD

Recruitment Status:

  • Currently accepting applications for the 2020-2021 academic year; one open position remaining
  • Currently accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year; two open positions remaining

See below for Fellowship Program Application Information

Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship

This is a one-year clinical fellowship which trains pathologists and medical geneticists for a career in molecular genetic pathology. The trainee receives a thorough exposure to all aspects of molecular genetic pathology including infectious diseases, hematopathology, oncology, human identity testing, and medical genetics. The VCU Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory is a state-of-the-art, 6,400 sq ft facility that performs more than 25,000 tests annually. Fellows participate in laboratory test development and translational research. The fellows are responsible for interactions with clinicians and other pathologists, and test interpretation as the training progresses. Fellows rotate through the human genetics clinical services and in the biochemical genetics laboratory. Hands-on experience is obtained with a broad range of molecular techniques including nucleic acid extraction, real-time PCR, reverse transcriptase PCR, cytogenetics, FISH, SNP analysis, Affymetrix microarray technology, bone marrow engraftment chimerism studies, and nucleic acid sequencing.

Requirements: Candidates must have passed USMLE Step 3 or COMLEX 3, and satisfactorily completed residency in AP and/or CP, or in Medical Genetics.

Program Director: Michael Idowu, MD, MPH

Recruitment Status: Currently accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year; one open position remaining

See below for Fellowship Program Application Information

Neuropathology Fellowship

This program provides intensive training in all aspects of Neuropathology (NP) with the aim of preparing our fellows for Board Certification and a successful career as an academic neuropathologist. Fellows gain familiarity with a wide variety of diseases of the nervous system, skeletal muscle, peripheral nerve, and eye, developing diagnostic proficiency through both morphologic examination and utilization of ancillary techniques including immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, and molecular analysis. A variety of research opportunities are available within the division and VCU Health, with an emphasis on neuro-oncology. Preference will be given to applicants seeking a conventional two year neuropathology training commitment, though other arrangements may be available on an individual basis.   

Requirements: At least two years of post-graduate training are required; this may include 2 years of anatomic pathology (AP) or 1 year AP plus 1 year clinical training in neurology/neurosurgery. Combined AP/NP applicants will also be considered.  Trainees must have passed USMLE Step 3.

Program Director: Hope Richard, MD, PhD

Recruitment Status: Scheduled to start accepting applications for the 2022-2024 cycle in July 2020; one open position

See below for Fellowship Program Application Information

Surgical Pathology Fellowship

This is a one year program designed for individuals who wish to pursue intense training in Surgical Pathology in an environment that allows graduated responsibility and independent work necessary to build diagnostic confidence and maturity. The Surgical Pathology laboratory at VCU Medical Center processes approximately 19,000 specimens/ year representing benign and malignant pathology, biopsies as well as large complex resections from all organ systems. Sign-out in Surgical Pathology is subspecialized, assuring trainee interaction with faculty with expertise in specific organ system pathology. The general framework of this fellowship includes: nine months rotations through various subspecialty services (GI/Liver, GYN/GU, Breast/Heart/Lung/General, ENT /Dermatopathology) and three months of elective rotations. The fellowship allows flexibility in the schedule, depending on the fellow’s subspecialty interest. While on a subspecialty service rotation, the fellow signs-out the cases as a junior attending with the resident only, handles frozen sections and consultation cases, instructs the residents in handling complex specimens, and presents at interdisciplinary conferences. Elective rotations are available in Neuropathology, Cytopathology, Molecular Pathology, or other clinical pathology services (Hematopathology, Blood Bank). The fellow is expected to participate in one of the many departmental research projects and presentation at national meetings and publication in a peer reviewed journal will be encouraged. This fellowship is designed to provide the necessary skills for the fellow to function as an academic pathologist with responsibilities in service, teaching, and research or as a community-based pathologist with responsibilities primarily in service and laboratory management.

Requirements: Candidates must have satisfactorily completed an accredited training program in AP or AP/CP and passed USMLE Step 3. 

Program Director: Valentina Robila, MD, PhD

Recruitment Status: Scheduled to start accepting applications for the 2022-2023 academic year in July 2020; one open position

See below for Fellowship Program Application Information

Forensic Pathology Fellowship

This ACGME accredited fellowship with the State of Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), is for one year commencing July 1 and ending on June 30. 

Our fellows work with and are mentored by twelve Board-certified forensic pathologists within the OCME and have the opportunity to consult with specialists in areas such as neuropathology, forensic odontology, cardiac pathology, and forensic anthropology. 

We have a diverse curriculum schedule that includes lectures, conferences, labs, specialty courses on odontology, anthropology, radiology and hands-on instruction.  A rotation through the Department of Forensic Science allows the fellow to see and understand how evidence is processed and assessed.

Fellows will have an opportunity to attend a national meeting for NAME or AAFS.

There is training and instruction with lawyers and court room experience. 

The fellow will consult with families, law enforcement, attorneys and others involved with their cases. 

Certified Mediocolegal Investigators participate in teaching fellows how to take reports of death and investigate scenes. 

The fellow will participate in journal presentations, attend and participate in mortality review meetings, have the opportunity to develop research projects and participate in student education.

OCME participates in mass casualty exercises and drills with state and federal agencies featuring PAPR training, FEMA lectures, and ICS/Unified Command Structure education.

OCME Virginia is one of the nation’s first statewide decentralized medical examiner systems, one advantage of this is the uniformity of job performance, standards and training.  All four district offices are available for training, and feature diverse patient populations.

Our office is NAME accredited and the forensic training program fulfills the eligibility requirements for the American Board of Pathology’s certification in Forensic Pathology.

Requirements: Applicants must be eligible for AP, AP/CP or AP and subspecialty board certification.  You must be able to obtain an unrestricted medical license and driver license for the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Program Director: Jennifer Bowers, MD

Recruitment Status:

  • Currently accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year; two open positions remaining
  • Currently accepting applications for the 2022-2023 academic year; three open positions remaining

Fellowship Program Application Information

The VCU Department of Pathology uses the Standardized Pathology Fellowship Application Form for most of its programs, which can be found on the CAP website. Application forms and information about the Forensic Pathology program are available at the OCME website.

Completed applications should be submitted, along with the following additional required documents:

  1. A one-page personal statement discussing your interest in pathology and your career goals.
  2. A complete and detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV). Be sure to include research and publications information.
  3. Acknowledgement that three letters of recommendation (which are on letterhead and have been signed) from attending pathologists are to be sent directly to the program coordinator. One letter must come from the director of the applicants residency program.
  4. A photocopy of your citizenship papers or a photocopy of both sides of your permanent resident card, if you are a naturalized citizen or a permanent resident of the United States.
  5. A copy of their USMLE/COMLEX transcript confirming that you’ve passed Step/Level 3 of that exam. All applicants for fellowship positions must have passed Step 3 of USMLE or COMLEX.
  6. A copy of your transcript from medical school.
  7. Note:
    • If you are accepted into our program and are not a permanent resident or citizen of the United States, please know that you will be required to obtain a J-1 Clinical visa.
    • You will also be required to provide original or notarized copies of your transcript and ECFMG certificate.

 

Application materials should be emailed to: 

Pamela Adams-Lewis, MBA, HSA, EdD
Senior Graduate Medical Education Program Coordinator
Department of Pathology
PathGME@vcuhealth.org