So, what are selective pathology fellowships? They are 12 month fellowships that originally provided advanced competency training in subspecialty areas but would not result in ABP certification at their completion (eg – surgical pathology subspecialties). There are 3 tracks of these types of fellowships encompassing 80 currently ACGME accredited programs with 155 available positions as of the writing of this blog post (12/17/14): A) selective pathology-surgical pathology, B) selective pathology-focused AP, and C) selective pathology-focused CP. These programs can either be non-accredited programs (NAPs) or ACGME-accredited programs (AAPs) and the ACGME requirements for such fellowships can be found here.
These fellowships can be a stand-alone 12 months, as many of the surgical pathology selective pathology fellowships tend to be, or can include an extra year. Examples of extra year selective pathology fellowships include the New York City’s Office of the Medical Examiner and University of New Mexico’s forensic neuropathology/cardiovascular pathology fellowships and the Houston Methodist Hospital’s hematopathology fellowship (http://www.houstonmethodist.org/SelectivePathologyHematopathology), both of which require a second year beyond the traditional fellowship in these subspecialty areas. Methodist’s hematopathology selective pathology fellowship can be completed alone but will not lead to eligibility for ABP board certification in hematology, so it is preferable to combine it with the traditional hematopathology fellowship.
These fellowships either provide additional focused diagnostic training in areas important for these fields and/or opportunities for research. If there is a second year, funding is provided by the institution and not the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) like it is for residency, and so this limits the numbers of these types of fellowships. Traditional AAPs are eligible for funding from CMS while NAPs are not. Some institutions instead of selective fellowships provide a second “junior faculty” or “clinical instructor” year.
- JC Iezzone, A Ewton, P Chévez-Barrios, S Moore, LA Thorsen. Selective Pathology Fellowships: Diverse, Innovative, and Valuable Subspecialty Training. Arch Pathol Lab Med, April 2014; 138: 518-525. http://www.archivesofpathology.org/doi/pdf/10.5858/arpa.2013-0454-SA
-Betty Chung, DO, MPH, MA is a third year resident physician at Rutgers – Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ.