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W Stephen Black-Schaffer, MD Massachusetts General Hospital Pathology Service, WRN219 55 Fruit St Boston, MA 02114

Tel: (617) 724-1463

Fax: (617) 726-6832


Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Residency ProgramEdit

MGH Pathology Training Website

MGH Pathology Residency Application FAQs

Program Director: W. Stephen Black-Schaffer, MD

Associate Director for Anatomic Pathology: Peter M. Sadow, MD, PhD

Associate Director for Clinical Pathology: Christopher Stowell, MD

Program Administrator: Trina Pappadia (; 617-643-4397)

Number of residents (per year / total): 9-12/40

Fellowship Programs Offered:

ABPath Boarded: Hematopathology, Cytopathology, Neuropathology, Microbiology, Clinical Chemistry, Transfusion Medicine, Informatics, Molecular Genetic Pathology (MGH/BWH), Dermatopathology (Harvard program: MGH/BWH/BIDMC)

Selective Surgical Pathology (with sign out responsibilities and staff privileges): Gastrointestinal Pathology, Head & Neck Pathology, Breast Pathology, Gynecological & Obstetric Pathology, Genitourinary Pathology, Pulmonary Pathology, Cardiovascular Pathology, Medical Renal Pathology; on a given year, applicants may choose to do a hybrid fellowship, usually with two subspecialties. Full year fellowships are standard for gastrointestinal pathology, head & neck pathology, and gynecological pathology (Scully Fellows)

CAP Standardized Fellowship Application Accepted? Yes

Are you allowed to do external rotations? Yes; incorporating external expertise or an individual's preferences may be allowable given the merit and duration of the experience. In most cases, this will be very limited.

Comment 1:Edit

Quoted from post by caffeinegirl (10/22/2010) on pathology forum:

"As an MGH grad, I can give you my opinion on the program...
Both the AP and CP portions are strong, and the department under the leadership of Dr. Louis has definitely strengthened academically. There are ample opportunities for both clinical and basic science research, if that's your inclination. We have NIH training grants and a "SP-LIT" program which combines residency with post-doc, and which I know has been quite successful. You can choose a lab anywhere under the Harvard umbrella.
As for the training, as I have said in the past, it is awesome. But definitely not for's rigorous and fast-paced and the program attracts those who "learn by doing." Due to the high volume, you get exposed to lots of bread and butter and zebras (both in CP and AP) which is great. I learn by reading about a certain case and by experience, rather than reading chapters in a textbook...this program was perfect for my learning style.
The camaraderie between residents and between residents and faculty is great. This is a pretty informal program (can wear scrubs if you want, call many attendings by their first name) and has a great team attitude.
During your interviews, you'll get a feel for the culture and attitude of the department...choose one which suits both your personal and academic character, and you will do well" [1]

Comment 2:Edit

PROs: The reputation is obvious and the training is good. The cases are resident run and you will see a lot of material.

CONs: They have been cited for breaking the 80 hour work will work long and hard.

NB: The department has never been in violation of ACGME compliance with work week hours (not sure where that came from, but I can attest to this for now) -- any individual in violation of the rules (either total number of hours, 10 hours between shifts, weekend off-call, etc) is generally counseled by the program directors as to why this is the case (as they are neither encouraged or allowed to violate this policy). In most circumstances, violations have occurred due to residents being on vacation and not noting that they are away in the reporting system (Sadow, 2015)

Comment 3:Edit

(March 2011)

Pros: Wide breadth of specimens. Great supportive resident culture. Living in Boston. Cons: Strong culture of blaming the resident for everything that goes wrong. Slow administrative response to resident problems. Sometimes getting cases done (big volume load!) takes precedent over resident training. Average work hours on surg path? 40-80+

Do you feel you have:

• Adequate preview time? Usually.

• Adequate support staff (P.A.’s, secretarial, etc.)? No. Residents still depended on as cheap PA’s.

• Adequate AP Teaching? Sometimes.

• Adequate CP Teaching? Always.

Comment 4 (Posted September 2012)

Residency Program Name: Massachusettes General Hospital

Residency Program Director: W. Stephen Black-Schaffer

Number of residents (per year / total):

9-14 depending on openings/38 total positions

Visas Sponsored:

      J1, H1B


Varied and challenging case load; attending consult services; engaged program director; dedicated residents rooms & desks; unknowns OUTS' conference; senior frozen signout.


Late Hours and weekend previewing when on busy surgical pathology

Average work hours on surgical path?

60-80, though less on some rotations (cytopathology, renal path, molecular, and neuropath)

Are you allowed to do external rotations?

Yes, during your elective time.

Famous Faculty:

Robert Scully (Gyn, deceased)

Esther Oliva (Gyn)

David Louis (Neuropath, Department Chair)

Nancy Harris (Hemepath)

Greg Lauwers (GI)

Martha Pitman (Cytology, GI)

David Wilbur (Cytology, Digital Imaging)

Eugene Mark (Pulmonary)

Walter (Sunny) Dzik (Blood Bank)

Keith Joung (Research)

Do you feel you have:

  • Adequate preview time? More or less…depends on how late you're willing to stay, how detailed you want to be with reports. 7-10pm is dedicated preview time but some like to come in early in the morning.
  • Adequate support staff (P.A.’s, secretarial, etc.)? We have around 6 PA's and a large transcription pool. Sometimes histology seems understaffed with delayed slide delivery.
  • Adequate AP Teaching? Very good, some attendings really love to teach and go out of their way. A very few avoid teaching residents.
  • Adequate CP Teaching? Excellent!!! Nothing bad I can say about the CP faculty, who make teaching a real priority.

Are Fellowship Programs Offered? Please list: Cytopathology; Dermpath; Neuropath; Informatics; Molecular; Hemepath; Gyn; Surg Path (Breast, GU, GI, OB, Head & Neck, Lung/Cardiovascular, Bone & Soft Tissue, Renal, Pulmonary, CV, Autopsy)

CAP Standardized Fellowship Application Accepted? Yes

Cytopathology Fellowship Edit

Dermatopathology Fellowship Edit

Hematopathology Fellowship Edit

Pathology Informatics FellowshipEdit

Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship Edit

See also: Harvard Medical School Molecular Genetics Pathology (HMS/MGP) Fellowship

Neuropathology Fellowship Edit

Subspecialty Surgical Pathology FellowshipEdit

Fellows may be involved in either one or up to three specialty areas including:


Bone and soft tissueEdit


Ear, nose, and throat (Head and Neck)Edit




Obstetric and perinatalEdit



Transfusion Medicine Fellowship Edit

Medical Microbiology FellowshipEdit


  1. Pathology Forum Post by Caffeine Girl