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Email complete applications to Maggie McGough (truax031@umn.edu

Physicians interested in pursuing advanced training in laboratory medicine and pathology will need to submit a completed Fellowship Application Form, a letter of intent and all supporting documentation including an updated CV, test scores, copy of MD certificate and three letters of recommendation. The letter of intent should include the name of the fellowship program and a brief overview of the applicant's interests, related prior experiences, and long-term career goals.

Minimal Requirements

Minimal Requirements

The following outline lists the minimal requirements for application to the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology Graduate Medical Education Programs, including the general residency, advanced specialty, and fellowship programs.

With over 200 applications received annually, applicants who meet the following criteria will be reviewed and considered. A subgroup of eligible applicants is selected for admission interviews by invitation from the Director of Residency and Clinical Fellowship Training Programs. The GME Coordinator will directly contact selected applicants to offer and arrange for an interview.

Applicants not meeting the below listed requirement will not be further reviewed, offered an interview, or receive a response.

  1. All applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria at matriculation:
    1. Graduate of a medical school in the United States or Canada accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
    2. Graduate of a college of osteopathic medicine in the United States accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
    3. Graduate of a medical school outside of the United States and Canada who meets one of the following qualifications:
      1. Possession of a valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) at the time of application and matriculation.
      2. Possession of a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a U.S. licensing jurisdiction at the time of application and matriculation.
    4. Graduate of medical school outside of the United States who has successfully completed a fifth year pathway program at a LCME accredited medical school.
  2. Applicants must be able to pass a criminal background check upon matriculation pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 144.057 and 245A.04. Physicians-in-training who do not pass this background check are not permitted to enter or continue in the program.
  3. Applicants must meet state and federal employment regulations at matriculation and during training. The Department accepts applicants with valid J-1 visas only. The Department does not sponsor other types of visas.
  4. Applicants must be fluent in both spoken and written English, especially as it relates to the clinical practice of medicine.
  5. The University and its Departments do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, color, sex, national origin, disability, age, marital status, public assistance status, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

Additional Requirements by Level of Post-Graduate Medical Education

Additional Requirements by Level of Post-Graduate Medical Education

  1. Applicants for PGY-1 positions currently enrolled in a LCME or AOA accredited medical school must meet all of the following criteria:
    1. Must have passed Part 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
    2. Must pass Part 2 of the USMLE prior to matriculation.
    3. Must be awarded the MD or DO degree prior to matriculation.
  2. Applicants for PGY-1 positions who have completed medical school must meet all of the following criteria:

    1. Must possess a valid MD or DO degree and not be more than eight years from medical school graduation at the time of matriculation.
    2. Must have passed USMLE Part 1 and Part 2.
    3. Demonstrated continued interest and involvement in clinical medicine since graduation from medical school.
    4. Applicants must participate in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).
  3. Applicants for PGY-2 positions must meet all of the following criteria:

    1. Must be currently enrolled and in good standing in an ACGME accredited residency training program at the time of application.
    2. Must have passed USMLE Part 1 and Part 2.
    3. Must pass Part 3 of the USMLE by the end of PGY-4 year.
    4. Must provide a letter from their previous training program, outlining satisfactorily completed prior training.
  4. Applicants for PGY-3 or higher positions must meet all of the following criteria:

    1. Must be currently enrolled and in good standing in an ACGME accredited residency training program at the time of application.*
    2. Must have passed USMLE Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
    3. Must provide a letter from all previous training programs, outlining satisfactorily completed prior training.

    *Applicants who have graduated from an ACGME accredited residency program may apply for the advanced specialty/fellowship training programs without being currently enrolled in a graduate medical training program.

Additional Requirements for Advanced Specialty

Additional Requirements for Advanced Specialty

  1. Applicants for all Advanced Specialty or Fellowship Programs:
    1. Applicants must meet all of the above applicant criteria appropriate to their stage of training.
    2. Applicants for the advanced programs must meet the additional criteria, as specified below by individual advanced specialty / fellowship program.
    3. Applications from physicians-in-training currently enrolled in graduate medical education at the University of Minnesota are given preference over external applicants for the advanced specialty / fellowship programs.
  2. Specialty Training Program Requirements:
    1. Hematopathology Fellowship
      Applicants meeting the minimal criteria, as listed above, will be further evaluated and given preference based on prior experience, interest, and demonstrated excellence in diagnostic hematopathology, medical student and/or resident teaching, and ability to perform bone marrow aspiration and biopsy procedures. Three years of approved straight CP or four years of approved combined AP/CP residency training is required at the time of matriculation.
    2. Molecular Diagnostics Fellowship
      Applicants meeting the minimal criteria, as listed above, will be further evaluated and given preference based on prior experience, interest, and demonstrated excellence in the fields of clinical and research molecular diagnostics, as they apply to medical practice. Three years of approved straight CP or four years of approved combined AP/CP residency training is required at the time of matriculation.
    3. Surgical Pathology Fellowship
      Applicants meeting the minimal criteria, as listed above, will be further evaluated and given preference based on prior experience, interest, and demonstrated excellence in the field of anatomic pathology. The surgical pathology fellowship does not accept applicants with only prior clinical pathology training. Three years of approved straight AP or four years of approved combined AP/CP residency training is required at the time of matriculation.
    4. Transfusion Medicine Fellowship
      Applicants meeting the minimal criteria, as listed above, will be further evaluated and given preference based on prior experience, interest, and demonstrated excellence in the field of transfusion medicine. The transfusion medicine fellowship does not accept applicants with only prior anatomic pathology training. Three years of approved straight CP or four years of approved combined AP/CP residency training is required at the time of matriculation. Candidates who are Board eligible or certified in internal medicine, hematology, pediatrics, anesthesiology, or surgery will also be considered.
    5. Cytogenetics Fellowship
      Applicants meeting the minimal criteria, as listed above, will be further evaluated and given preference based on prior experience, interest, and demonstrated excellence in the area of cytogenetics and molecular genetics. Three years of approved straight CP or four years of approved combined AP/CP residency training is required at the time of matriculation.

General Residency, Advanced Year, and Fellowship Programs Criteria

General Residency, Advanced Year, and Fellowship Programs Criteria

Eligible applicants are reviewed, offered interviews, ranked, and accepted based on the Program Director's and Residency Advisory Committee's assessment of the following criteria:

  1. General preparedness for residency, advanced specialty, or fellowship training.
  2. Breadth and depth of medical knowledge, as it relates to the current practice of medicine.
  3. Understanding of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology as a specialty.
  4. Feedback and insight from in-person faculty interviews.
  5. Aptitude for successful post-graduate medical education.
  6. Ability to safely perform the spectrum of patient care duties required for completion of the training program.
  7. Effectiveness of professional and interpersonal communication skills.
  8. Demonstration of integrity, motivation, ethic, and dedication to scholarly pursuit of medical knowledge.
  9. Performance on the United States Medical Licensing Examination(s).
  10. Letters of recommendation and evaluations.
  11. Compatibility with the Program's goals, objectives, and structure.
  12. Compatibility with current Program trainees.

Interviewing

Interviewing

Important Notes in Preparation for an Interview:

  1. Do your homework!
    Prepare for the interview. The internet provides a valuable means to learn about programs you are interested in. Before you interview, you should look at the program's web page; it should provide information in terms of the general philosophy of the program, facilities, case-volumes, resources available, faculty and academic productivity. Review of this information should prepare you for the interview. Most items in the following list should be addressed during the interview or in follow-up conversations.
  2. Don't be afraid to ask!
    Keep in mind that you have as much right to learn about the program as the program has to know about you. The main tool is the interview; therefore, do not be afraid to ask questions to the program director, coordinator, faculty and importantly, current residents. It is OK to ask some of the same questions to different interviewers. Some degree of redundancy is one of the safety mechanisms that Mother Nature provides us. What an interviewer may not be well informed about, somebody else may provide additional information; evidently, look for significant discrepancies.
  3. Take notes!
    As much as possible, you should gather information on the topics listed below; it is a considerable amount of information and by the time you are done with your interviews, you may not remember who said what. Do not let note taking interfere with the interview; if possible jot down some important pieces of information, and fill out a "score card" at the end of the day.
  4. Say thank you!
    After the interview is over, thank the interviewers for their time. After your trip, a thank you card or an e-mail is a small detail that should not take much of your time. It is useful to highlight in this card what you like about the program and your interest in it.
  5. Establish priorities!
    There are many good programs, but there are probably no "ideal" ones.
    Establish your priorities and see how different programs match them.

So go ahead, ask questions and MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION!

  1. Is the Department balanced in both Anatomic and Clinical Pathology? Are they disproportionately strong in one area of Pathology (usually at the expense of the other)? Do faculty members in both areas of Pathology respect and collaborate with each other?
  2. What is the financial stability of the Department? Are they building and growing (do you see evidence of growth/new buildings during your visit)? Are they hiring new faculty? If so, in what areas of Pathology? And why?
  3. Is an up-to-date list of current faculty members with mini-biographies available for your review? (If not available through the Internet, ask to see it).
  4. Have faculty members left the program in the last two years? What did they teach? Why did they leave? Where did they go? How have they been replaced?
  5. What type of administrative / coordinator support does the Department provide? This is important to keep the focus on education and minimize resident paperwork hassles.
  6. How many medical students from the institution go into Pathology each year? Over the last ten years? The number of medical students going into Pathology reflects the success of the program in stimulating and attracting future trainees and the institution's general commitment to Pathology education and training.
  7. How many institutions / hospitals participate in the program? Multi-institutional programs provide residents with a variety of material, areas of expertise and practice style perspectives.
  8. Were there citations in the last program's Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) inspection? How have they been addressed?
  9. What percentage of residents pass the American Board of Pathology on their first attempt? In what areas do the residents perform below average on the Board examination? In what areas do they perform above average?
  10. How do residents perform on the annual in-service examination (R.I.S.E.)?
  11. Is the program structured (standardized vs. flexible) when making resident schedules? Does each resident follow the same rotation format? How is each year of the program structured? Can you do a fellowship in your fourth year?
  12. Do the residents get specific written goals and objectives for each rotation? Are they provided with specific performance evaluation guidelines for each rotation? Are there clearly written rotation summaries / educational handouts for the rotations?
  13. What are the program's annual case numbers? Is the listing of case numbers by training site and a breakdown by specimen types for the previous year available? (Programs supply this information to the inspectors for accreditation.) What are the areas of strength/weakness?
  14. Is the number of cases optimal for maximum faculty teaching time at the time of sign-out? Does getting the cases signed-out or learning from each case drive the clinical service? (There must be a reasonable balance; ask residents this question) Remember, too many just as too few cases, are suboptimal for resident education. You can't learn from high volume alone. There must be time for reading and reviewing.
  15. Do the residents review all the cases they gross in before or at the time they are signed-out? Do the residents run around looking for different faculty members to sign-out with each day or is there a sign-out schedule that is followed? Who reviews cases with the residents? (faculty, fellows, both). Faculty members have more experience; fellows have more time and may provide an "added value" to the program and to your learning experience. Appropriate balance, with access to faculty when cases are reviewed with a fellow, yields the best training. Are cases ever given to residents after they have been signed-out?
  16. How is graded responsibility integrated into the program? Are residents simply assigned to "get the job done" (i.e. service before education)?
  17. How often do residents get together for conferences? What comprises the core didactic conference schedule? Is it equally balanced between Anatomic and Clinical Pathology? Ask for a listing of the core conferences to review. Do the individual rotations have teaching sets of common diseases and interesting/difficult cases? Are there instructional CD-ROMS available to residents?
  18. What percentage of conferences does the faculty, fellow, and resident present? It is important for each of these individuals to run conferences; adequate balance should be sought. How do the residents and faculty interact with regards to conference planning and presentation?
  19. Do residents participate in medical student education, peer teaching, and intra- / inter-departmental conferences?
  20. Does the program have a good library? What is the journal collection like? Can you do literature searches from the residents' office or from home? Are you provided with unlimited Internet access for searches?
  21. How does the program integrate management, ethics, and professionalism into the training program? How are new laboratory technologies made available to residents?
  22. Do residents get a chance to become familiar with digital imaging techniques, and other computer capabilities (data bases, files searches, bibliographic searches, etc.)? Is there a dedicated staff to support digital equipment, imaging, web-site, etc?
  23. Does the program sponsor any fellowships? If so, how do the fellows and residents interact? Do the fellows take cases away from the residents? Or do they provide an "added value" to the residency program? What fellowship programs does the institution sponsor?
  24. Is there a resident educational expense allowance (book fund) to pay for books, subscriptions, and memberships? Is there a separate travel fund for residents presenting at meetings that is not in competition with the book allowance? (see below) These benefits are a sign of the department's financial stability and support for the program.
  25. How many residents attend national meetings each year? Do they present research that they have participated in at these meetings? Does the program cover the costs of registration, travel, hotel, and meals? Are funds available specifically allocated for residents to participate in and explore research ideas? If so, how much is available, what is the procedure to obtain them, and what are examples of recent funding?
  26. What are the usual duty hours for residents? (ask the residents) What time do residents go home? Do they have time to study and prepare for conferences at a reasonable time of the day?
  27. How family-friendly is the program? What do they provide for Maternity leave? What do they provide for Paternity leave? Do residents with family feel that they can balance adequately family life and residency training?
  28. How are the resident concerns addressed? Is the program director responsive to resident issues? Are concerns directly addressed in a timely fashion that improves training?
  29. Do I fit in with the current residents? Do the residents get together informally, away from the program?
  30. Does the program look for a specific applicant/resident clone or is there diversity in its residents? Diversity makes for a better training environment. Are the residents competitive in a positive fashion, do they work together as a team?
  31. Have any residents left the program before completing their training in the last couple of years? Has the program terminated any residents in the recent past? If so, why?

Applicant selection

Applicant selection

General Residency, Advanced Year, and Fellowship Programs Criteria for Applicant Evaluation:

Eligible applicants are reviewed, offered interviews, ranked, and accepted based on the Program Director's and Residency Advisory Committee's assessment of the following criteria:

  • General preparedness for residency, advanced specialty, or fellowship training.
  • Breadth and depth of medical knowledge, as it relates to the current practice of medicine.
  • Understanding of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, as a specialty.
  • Feedback and insight from in-person faculty interviews.
  • Aptitude for successful post-graduate medical education.
  • Ability to safely perform the spectrum of patient care duties required for completion of the training program.
  • Effectiveness of professional and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Demonstration of integrity, motivation, ethic, and dedication to scholarly pursuit of medical knowledge.
  • Performance on the United States Medical Licensing Examination(s).
  • Letters of recommendation and evaluations.
  • Compatibility with the Program's goals, objectives, and structure.
  • Compatibility with current Program trainees.

Additional notes

Complete applications must be received no later than September 1 for positions beginning July 1 of the following year.

Applications for the Hematopathology Fellowship Program should be received no later than January 1 for positions beginning July 1 of the following year.

Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine Fellowship suggests applying early as applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The application deadline is 03/31 for Fellowships beginning the same year.

Only complete applications are reviewed for possible interviews. Complete applications consist of the Department's fellowship application form, Curriculum Vitae, United States Medical Licensing Examination results (parts 1, 2, and 3), and three letters of recommendation. These letters should be from the applicant's current/most recent program director and two other physicians who know the applicant well. International medical graduates must also submit a copy of their valid ECFMG certificate and be eligible for a J-1 visa, if necessary.

Visa Sponsorship: The J-1 alien physician visa sponsored by ECFMG is the preferred visa status for foreign national trainees in all UMN graduate medical education programs; therefore, the department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology sponsors only J-1 visas. We do not sponsor H-1B visas. More information on the J-1 visa can be found on the UMN-GME webpage.