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Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology Fellowships

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Bone and Soft Tissue FellowshipsEdit

There is good news and bad news in the world of Bone and Soft Tissue fellowships. The good news...historically, there aren't too many people applying for any given year. The bad news...there aren't very many positions available (though some new one's have opened). There is no one thing that will get you a spot, but the general advice that goes for any fellowship applies here: try to do some research, try to take part in some sort of 'extracurricular' activity (CAP, ASCP, etc), get good recommendations, and don't write a horrible personal statement. Having an 'in' somewhere doesn't hurt either ;-). And like with all specialties, if you want to go to a specific, big name, place, it really helps to know someone who can put in a good word for you (Read Networking).

So getting a position should not be too hard for the average resident, the hard part may be deciding where to apply. Below is just some information, current as of November 2013.

  • MD Anderson offers a bone and soft tissue fellowship. The positive about this fellowship is that they see almost every sarcoma in the United States. For completeness sake, they do get more bone and soft tissue pathology than any other institution in the world. Jeanne Meis, who took over at the AFIP after Enzinger semi-retired, is there and so is Harry Evans. Bogdan Czerniak also wrote one of the most complete books on bone with Howard Dorfman.


  • The Mayo Clinic offers a bone and soft tissue fellowship. Also an excellent fellowship, although the majority of your experience will be consultation cases. The majority of in-house cases actually do not end up coming through the service as they are signed out by whatever Mayo consultant receives the case. The majority of lesions you see will be the "tweeners." The cases that are in between being benign and malignant; and those cases which no one knows what they are. Andrew Folpe, Andre Oliveira, Carrie Inwards, and Karen Fritchie do most of the sign out.


  • The Cleveland Clinic experience is also an excellent fellowship. Most likely the experience is the same as the Mayo Clinic. It is guided by John Goldblum, Steven Billings, and Brian Rubin
  • The NYU Hospital For Joint DIseases "Orthopedic Pathology" fellowship was one of the more famous and historic Bone and Soft Tissue fellowships in the country prior to its closure in 2015 after the Hospital For Joint Diseases Pathology department was dissolved into the main NYU Langone Medical Center. The fellowship featured benign and malignant bone and soft tissue pathology and had vast amounts of historic study sets; some dating from the time of the 'father' of Bone Pathology Dr. Henry Jaffe who was a prior Director of Pathology at Hospital for Joint Diseases.
  • As mentioned above there are some new programs, namely Mayo Clinic in MN and Cleveland Clinic in OH, both excellent places and both fellowships not well publicized.
  • In the residency/fellowship book that is available from ISCP it states UAB has a program...this is on hiatus as they have lost an attending, but they are willing to discuss doing a general surgical pathology fellowship with more of a focus in BST.
  • Mass General advertises a fellowship, but for several reasons has not had a fellow in about 5 years, nor do they have any lined up in the future, but you can always try.
  • There is no bone and soft tissue fellowship at the Brigham and Women's. There is a surgical pathology fellowship, generally given to MGH or Brigham residents. Additionally, only a few surgical pathology fellows will spend 3 months with Chris Fletcher. While it is a great experience, there is very little bone pathology and the majority is soft tissue tumors. Still awesome, but not the same thing on your CV.

I may be missing some places, I'm going on memory from my recent fellowship escapade. Feel free to add more info and any programs I may have forgotten. :-)

Comment (11/25/14):

"[These] three institutions (Mayo, MD Anderson, and the Cleveland Clinic) currently provide the best education and the most number of cases in bone and soft tissue pathology." - anonymous user (11/25/14)

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