Message from the Director

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine accessions approximately 47,000 surgical specimens, 5,500 non-gyn and fine needle aspirate cytology specimens, and over 22,000 gyn cytology specimens per year. The University of Vermont Medical Center is situated in Burlington, VT with the beautiful backdrop of the Green Mountains. Our department is centrally located with an easy commute to work and all of our services are centrally located at the main campus.

The cornerstone of the surgical pathology fellowship at UVM Medical Center and the University of Vermont is the Provisional Diagnosis Service, or "hotseat." It is an exciting rotation in which the senior resident or fellow is responsible for providing provisional diagnoses and triage for resident bench cases processed in the Surgical Pathology Division. Teaching junior residents, providing guidance on complex gross specimens and providing a QA role with feedback on previewed cases is also an important part of this role.

The hot seat is located in the hub of our sign out area directly across from the cutting room and histology and in the same suite with the attending staff, surgical pathology office, and Cytology Division. Hot seat rotations are each one month long and fellows can expect to be serve in this role on a 6 month rotational basis. Previous fellows and residents who have rotated in this position find the experience to be enlightening and profoundly educational as they directly interact with clinicians, surgical pathology attendings, and mentor junior residents. The typical day starts with evaluation of routine and expedited biopsies followed by non-biopsy excision specimens. In the afternoon, the hot seat is responsible for intraoperative consultations together with oversight by an attending.

When not on hot seat, fellows will review and dictate consults cases and slide reviews across various organ systems, present multi-disciplinary tumor boards, teach slide sessions to residents and teach medical student labs. Residents who want to specialize in a certain sub-specialty area will be given the opportunity to do so. There are also many opportunities to become engaged in research or quality improvement projects across the lab.

Surgical pathology fellows who demonstrate competence during their first 6 months of fellowship will be given the opportunity to begin signing out cases independently, cover frozen sections and call toward the end of their training. The ability to show independence and demonstrate some sign out experience is a valuable asset in today’s job market.

We are proudly participating in the Unified Approach and common recruitment timeline for surgical pathology and surgical pathology subspecialty fellowship programs.

Headshot of Agnes Balla, MD
Agnes Balla, MD
Program Director, Surgical Pathology Fellowship

Surgical Pathology Fellowship Program

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