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Hum Pathol. 2011 Jun;42(6):774-94. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2010.08.002. Epub 2010 Oct 28.

Pathology subspecialty fellowship application reform 2007 to 2010.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, Manhasset, NY 11042-1114, USA.


The specialty of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine has entered into a phase when the 4-year sequence of Anatomic Pathology and/or Clinical Pathology Residency Training is almost universally followed by 1 or more years of Subspecialty Fellowship Training. Such training may occur in one of the American Board of Pathology-recognized subspecialties or any number of "subspecialty fellowships" that, although not leading to subspecialty board certification, may nevertheless fall under the oversight of the local institutional Graduate Medical Education Committee and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Review Committee for Pathology. Unlike the application process for first-year Pathology Residency, which is run through the National Resident Matching Program, applications for Subspecialty Pathology Fellowships are not coordinated by any consistent schedule. Competition for Subspecialty Pathology Fellowships has consistently resulted in undesirable drift of the fellowship application process to dates that are unacceptably early for many fellowship applicants. Responding to widespread dissatisfaction voiced by national pathology resident organizations, in 2007, the Association of Pathology Chairs began evaluation and potential intervention in the fellowship application process. Three years of intermittently intense discussion, surveys, and market analysis, have led the Council of the Association of Pathology Chairs to recommend implementation of a Pathology Subspecialty Fellowship Matching program starting in the 2011 to 2012 recruiting year, for those Applicants matriculating in fellowship programs July 2013. We report on the data that informed this decision and discuss the pros and cons that are so keenly felt by the stakeholders in this as-yet-incomplete reform process.

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