We have a tremendous residency program, with awesome training in both AP and CP. We are a medium-sized program with generally four residents in each of the four post-graduate years.
Our trainees take an active role as consultants to our clinical colleagues, but there are many unique opportunities in the curriculum for direct patient care responsibilities. The superficial fine needle aspiration service is run by residents on the Cytopathology rotation. We personally evaluate and consent patients and perform the aspiration procedures. Our department also oversees one of the most comprehensive apheresis clinics in Virginia. Patients from near and far present to our clinic for their treatment. As residents rotating on Transfusion Medicine, we actively evaluate and educate patients. Working with our Transfusion Medicine faculty, we manage patients needing apheresis services routinely and emergently.
None of our CP rotations involves solely passive learning. Our residents work with our medical technologists at the bench side-by-side, learning from them as they learn from us. We are frequently consulted by our clinical colleagues to assist with interpreting complicated test results and to decide which laboratory studies to pursue for patients suspected of having an exotic disease. We are active participants in meetings where we learn about quality control, quality assurance, and laboratory management.
In addition to the volume and diversity of surgical materials, our AP training offers a unique opportunity to trainees to render intraoperative (frozen section) diagnoses on their own, with fellow and faculty supervision as needed. This opportunity allows residents to build confidence in their diagnostic abilities.
In short, training at VCU prepares trainees to be future laboratory directors and leaders in pathology.