MGB Virtual Pathology

Director(s): Matthew Frosch, Richard Mitchell
Location: MULTI - Multi-site (J)
Open to Exclerks:
Description: This month-long clinical elective will draw on the daily anatomic pathology and clinical pathology (laboratory medicine) activities at both BWH and MGH in order to increase understanding of clinico-pathologic correlations, pathophysiological mechanisms, molecular pathology and the interrelationships of diseased organs in systemic disorders. This course is designed for the student who is seeking an introduction to both the practice and the academic aspects of pathology and laboratory medicine. The course will consist of four week-long experiences, each spent with a different subspecialty area from one or both of the two hospitals. Selection of specialties and placement onto existing services at one of the two hospitals will be done by the course directors, following pre-course contact with enrolled students to identify specific areas of interest (e.g., hematopathology, coagulation, gynecologic pathology, neuropathology, etc). In addition to participation in daily diagnostic sign out of cases, there will be mid-day didactic sessions as well as self-directed assigned learning modules from the educational resources of the two departments. The assigned modules will include some foundational material regarding basic aspects of pathology (basic pathologic processes, review of histology, foundational concepts in laboratory testing, basis of molecular diagnostics) as well as more specific readings appropriate to the sub-specialty a student is assigned to for the week. At mid-week, there will be a one-on-one virtual teaching session for each student (potentially more than one if they have selected the same subspecialty for the week) with faculty or senior trainees from MGH and/or BWH, in which assigned content is reviewed, and additional discussion and explanation is provided. Each student will also prepare a weekly 10-minute presentation, which will be case-based and literature-informed. These will be given virtually to the full roster of students as well as a designated faculty member and other interested faculty (including the course directors). All activities of the course will occur through electronic methods – combinations of Zoom and Microsoft Teams (will require active Partners credentialing at either BWH or MGH for access). The cumulative effect will be a representative introduction to elements of surgical pathology, molecular pathology, cytopathology, informatics, laboratory medicine (including transfusion medicine, microbiology, hematology, immunology, and/or clinical chemistry) and translational research. While the course will help provide preparation for a potential career in pathology, students interested in other areas of medicine will be able to gain insights into disease processes and the role of pathologists in medical and surgical diagnosis and management.
Grade Criteria:
Honors with Distinction (HD): Reserved for students who demonstrate excellent fund of knowledge, acquire diagnostic skills over the course of each week, show the ability to integrate clinical and scientific information into the interpretation of pathologic findings and can articulate underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms of disease. These students would also be expected to be active participants and leaders in all discussion sessions and to give well-organized and clear presentations which highlight critical aspects of the selected problem.

Honors (H): These students will have demonstrated solid diagnostic skills, with improvement over the course of each week and broadly over the month. They will have become adept at understanding the connection between pathologic diagnoses, clinical issues and underlying pathophysiologic processes. They will have been active participants in discussion sessions and have given consistently solid presentations which cover important aspects of the selected problem and reflect adequate examination of the literature.

Satisfactory (S): These students will have participated regularly in all activities, with some evidence of learning of diagnostic approaches and underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms over the course of each week. They will have joined all of the discussion sessions, although may not have volunteered until asked to contribute. They will have given the required presentations, although these may have not demonstrated appropriate level of connection between clinical issues, pathologic processes and underlying biologic mechanism.

Unsatisfactory (U): Reserved for enrolled students who do not meet the expectations of attendance at all scheduled events, do not participate at all in the group sessions and present talks which do not reflect thoughtful consideration of clinical problems or information from the literature.