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Anatomic Pathology

The Anatomical Pathology Residency Training Program at the University of Calgary is a fully accredited
by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Program Highlights

  • In Anatomical Pathology, we examine approximately 115,000 surgical cases and 210,000 gynecologic/10,000 non-gynecologic cytology cases per year, and perform approximately 210 adult and 350 pediatric/fetal autopsies per year.
  • Our program hosts 2 major examinations per year
  • We provide our trainees with a Continuing Medical Education (CME) Fund
  • Trainees can apply for up to $5,000 for internally supported research projects which is awarded through the AP Research Coordinator and AP Residency Training Committee.
  • We have published our residency selection criteria here.

Program Overview

Our program participates in the annual CaRMS match and accepts three to four new residents per year into a five year program. Training in anatomical pathology is conducted at all of Calgary's major laboratory facilities: The Foothills Medical Center, South Health Campus, the Rockyview, Peter Lougheed, and Alberta Childrens' Hospitals, the Chief Medical Examiner's Office and the Diagnostic and Scientific Centre (DSC).  The first year of training is a general internship year done at the Rockyview General Hospital.  This is followed by four years of training in anatomical pathology including surgical pathology, autopsy pathology, pediatric pathology, cytopathology, and forensic pathology as well as other surgical pathology subspecialties. A brief outline is provided below:

PGY 1 (13 blocks): Basic Clinical Training

2 blocks Anatomical Pathology (1 Orientation + 1 Anatomy/Histology)(FMC)
2 blocks Surgery (1 General surgery + 1 Surgical specialty) (RGH)
2 blocks Internal Medicine (RGH)
1 block Obstetrics and Gynecology (RGH)
1 block Pediatrics (ACH)
1 block Medical Oncology (FMC)
1 block Gynecologic Oncology (FMC)
1 block Elective
1 block Emergency Medicine (RGH)
1 block Radiology (RGH)

PGY 2 (13 blocks): Anatomical Pathology

9-10 blocks Surgical Pathology (FMC/PLC/DSC/RGH/SHC)
3-4 blocks (Adult) Autopsy (FMC)

PGY 3/PGY 4/PGY 5 (39 blocks)

17 blocks “mandatory” subspecialties

    • These are the minimum requirements; additional blocks can be taken if desired.
    • Best if completed before PGY5.

4 blocks cytopathology (DSC) – three blocks in PGY3 or 4, one block in PGY5
1 block renal pathology/electron microscopy (FMC)
2 blocks pediatric pathology (ACH) – any time after PGY3 block 7
2 blocks forensic pathology (OCME) – any time after PGY3 block 7
2 blocks neuropathology (FMC) – any time after PGY3 block 7
2 blocks GU pathology (RGH) (may be split)
1 block lymph node pathology (FMC)
1 block bone marrow pathology (FMC)
1 block molecular pathology and cytogenetics (various sites)
1 block dermatopathology (DSC)

          12 blocks elective time:

    • Taken any time between PGY 3 and 5 years (recommend that at least 2 blocks be saved for the final 6 months of PGY 5 year)
    • Examples of suitable elective rotations: rural pathology, research, general pathology, or subspecialty focus (eg. breast pathology, GYN pathology etc).

4-6 blocks of other AP rotations (examples given below)

    • Taken any time between PGY 3 and 5 years.
    • May include rotations such as: general surgical pathology (any site), adult autopsy pathology (FMC), other specialty surgical pathology (eg. gyne pathology, breast pathology), etc.

4-6 blocks as Chief Resident (FMC)

  • In general, PGY 4 or 5 only. NOT recommended for PGY 5 in final 6 months of training.
  • Must include regular (~30-50%) participation in the FMC surgical pathology rota (typically in a supervisory role, assisting junior residents).
  • Must be taken on site at FMC.
  • May overlap with other electives (eg. autopsy, research, etc.), as long as the Chief remains on site at FMC.

 The elective periods of the residency can also include time in the clinical pathology disciplines (hematopathology, microbiology, and medical biochemistry), electives in outside institutions (often a means of preparing for a fellowship year after anatomical pathology qualification), and research. In recent years, multiple international rotations have been set up as well as rotations in smaller Alberta communities.
Detailed objectives and more can be found in our Residency Training in Anatomic Pathology program manual which is available as a downloadable .pdf file. Please note that this is a large file, we recommend right clicking on the link and selecting "save link as."

Research is a core component of the training program. Residents participate in an Annual Research Day, and have ongoing research projects throughout their final four years of training. Our program has been internationally recognized for achievement in resident research, and all of our recent residents have traveled extensively to present original research at national and international conferences.

Laboratory medicine was amalgamated in Calgary in the 1990s. For residents, this means that the training program accesses a patient population of over one million people on a common laboratory database with ~65 staff pathologists, most of whom have subspecialty interests within pathology. In Calgary, we have new laboratory facilities at the DSC South Health Campus, and Alberta Childrens' Hospitals. New laboratories are currently under construction at Rockyview and Peter Lougheed. Our core teaching facility at the Foothills Medical Center moved into a new space in 2015. This new department at the Foothills is on the 7th floor of the McCaig Tower and features state of the art teaching infrastructure.

For a listing of the current residents click here. For a list of the program alumni click here.   

To contact our program or set up an elective please email us.

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