Charles Steenbergen MD, PhD Johns Hopkins Hosp Pathology Bldg Rm 401 600 N Wolfe St Baltimore, MD 21287-6417
Tel: (410) 955-3980 Fax: (410) 614-9011
Program name: Johns Hopkins Hospital - MD
Program Director: Dr. Charles Steenbergen
Number of residents (per year / total): avg.8/34 total
Visas sponsored? Only under very special circumstances (usually not)
Pros: High volume, broad diversity of specimens; expert faculty; engaged residents; collaborative environment; funding availability; great teachers; extensive research opportunities, wonderful didactics; friendly people
Cons: Longer hours; pediatric path is integrated with general surgical path; no pediatric pathology fellowship
Average work hours on surgical path? 70-80/week
Are you allowed to do external rotations? Only if the rotation is not offered at JHH
Do you feel you have:
· Adequate preview time? Yes
· Adequate reading time? Yes
· Adequate support staff (PA’s, Secretarial, etc…)? Yes
· Adequate AP Teaching? Yes
· Adequate CP Teaching? Yes
· Graduated responsibilities? Yes
Fellowship Programs offered? Please list: Surgical pathology, GI, GYN, Cytopathology, Molecular, GU, Dermatopathology, Neuropath, Transfusion, Chemistry, Microbiology, Hematopathology, Renal
CAP Standardized Fellowship Application Accepted? No
Additional benefits to trainees (Book Fund, Travel Fund, Other resources): $1000/yr book fund; all expenses paid for conferences if presentating a poster/platform
Famous Faculty: Too many to list!
This has to be one of the best hemepath fellowships in the country. Very well-rounded. Dr. Borowitz, the program director, is one of the kings of flow cytometry and is well-known for his work in the area of lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma. The fellows basically run the consult service (people seeking second options on hemepath cases, etc.) while also managing all the flow cytometry (both in-house and reference cases) and managing/overseeing the residents who writeup all the in-house cases. Plus, the fellows spend one month at NIH with Drs. Jaffe and Pittaluga. The volume is quite high, but it is manageable. There is an option to stay on for a second year if you are interested in a significant research component to your future career.
- No openings for 2011 or 2012
(Posted on studentdoctor.net pathology forum by LNSquasher on 5-27-2011)
"The in-house surgical path material at Hopkins is divided equally between permanent faculty (7-8 pathologists) and junior faculty ("fellows" -- 4 per year). So the junior faculty sign out twice the inhouse routine material than the permanent faculty (Epstein, Hruban, etc) do. The juniors also do ALL of the frozens (can certainly show any case you're not comfortable with) and take all of the SP call. The confirmings are day three in the schedule and a small component of the responsibility. It is a very independent set up. The cases signed out by the "fellows" with the residents are not especially easy and largely consist of complicated resections.
"True consults go to faculty (most are directed to a specific faculty member -- especially Epstein, or course) and the rest -- usually only a few cases per day -- are signed out by the permanent faculty on a rotating basis.
"Are there errors? I'm sure there are, but at the beginning you are especially encouraged to show a lot of cases at the concensus conference. Towards the end of the year, there is very little difference with the other pathologists in the percentage of cases shown for QA purposes.
"There is no doubt that the level of responsibility is not for everyone (or perhaps most people) right out of residency, but you learn a lot, and very quickly.
"And it's an especially great system if you're permanent faculty, as you have no primary frozen responsibilities or call."
"GI does the mucosals and liver bxs and directed consults to Dr. Montgomery. They don't really see many resections, though recently they take a few Whipples (we have up to 4 pancreata/day). GYN has an entirely separate service. There is no breast fellowship, so that's all on the SP service (Argani sees true consults). The only things we don't see much of is GI biopsies and GYN, though you can rotate on those services during elective months, of which we have 3 during the year."
"...while there is no doubt you'll be well prepared to sign out SP after the year in the real world, let's not make the mistake of overselling the experience. The SP "fellows" take ALL of the call for the department, which can be busy, and which can frankly really suck. You can potentially spend the whole weekend reading rush biopsies and organ harvests on your own, without backup. You are basically taking on the responsibility (and liability) of a busy year of signout, while getting paid essentially like a resident. Frankly, it's a complicated decision whether to pursue the experience." 
(Posted on studentdoctor.net pathology forum by Absidia on 6-1-2011.)
"Let's also not make the mistake of underselling it. A few points:
- While they can be busy at times, the vast majority of weekends and call nights are relatively uneventful.
- Unlike MSKCC or MDA, there is no grossing.
- Admittedly the pay is not much more than that of a resident (it's your PGY level + 5K), but it is just one year, and I would argue that the training you get more than compensates.
- While the attendings certainly do not baby you, there is tons of backup should you need it (even on weekends, though it is rarely done, you can call someone in or use virtual microscopy).
- Finally, rarely mentioned is the ability to rotate 3 months on a specific service (e.g., GU with Epstein or GI with Montgomery), creating a "mini-fellowship" complete with research opportunities for those that desire them.
I would argue very strongly that there is no better SP training ("fellowship") experience."
(Posted on studentdoctor.net pathology forum by gschl1234 on 9-02-2011.)
"The Hopkins system is a 3 day rotation where you do frozens, sign out, and confirming consults x 9 months. On signout you sit at a 2 person scope w/ the resident (who's previewed and done all the paperwork) and right next to you is another 2 headed scope where the attending on for the week signs out with the other resident. Theoretically, the 2 residents previewing the previous night should have balanced out trays so the attending and fellow (technically called SP assistant) see roughly equal # of slides. As an assistant, you're on your own for all 3 days but you can ask for help. For frozens, you can go to the attending on in-house service or if pancreas, Dr. Hruban is usually already there from the beginning so he can confirm your impression. For signout and confirmings, you can bring as much as you want to the 2:00 QA conference. But the assistant releases his/her cases and attendings don't signout or preview your cases for you. The other 3 months are electives. Call is shared among the 4 assistants over the year. There's always a resident on who gets the first page. All GYN, GI biopsies and Derm biopsies are signed out by subspecialty so the in-house SP service sees pretty much everything else."