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Why I Chose Methodist for Pathology Residency
(originally written by Jerad M Gardner, MD, a former Methodist PGY-4 Resident; published here on the wiki and then subsequently edited by others)


Disclaimer: This document represents my personal opinion ONLY (as well as the opinions of several other residents who have subsequently added to or updated this document). I am stating my own views and opinions, which are not necessarily held by The Methodist Hospital or any of its employees. The following statements are accurate to the best of my knowledge, but you should definitely refer to the Methodist website and/or program coordinator for the most up-to-date and accurate information.This document was originally created so that I could hand it out to residents at the end of their interview day. I will now post it here on the Pathology Resident Wiki so that it can be accessed and updated more easily.


Strengths:Edit

The Methodist Hospital has been training residents for 50 years (as an affiliate of Baylor). Even though the program is new in name, the hospital and faculty are well acquainted with resident training. Excellent Work Environment Hospital Values/Loyalty to Employees (bonuses/parties for patient satisfaction, etc) Commitment of GME/Faculty (they are advocates for us) to Education (not scut work)

FacultyEdit

(research, publications, networking/personal connections, professional society positions, outstanding teaching). This is an abbreviated list of some of their achievements:

  • Musser - Department Chair
    • World Renowned Microbiologist
    • Multiple NIH grants
    • >270 published articles
    • Co-Director, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute
  • Ayala -Previous Director of Surgical Pathology, MD Anderson
    • >360 published articles
    • Contributed to ~50 books (Fletcher, Bostwick, etc)
    • Trained numerous pathologists at Anderson (Amin, Grignon, etc)
  • Ro -Previous Professor of Pathology, MD Anderson
    • >500 published articles
    • Contributed to ~30 books (Fletcher, Bostwick, etc)
    • Trained numerous pathologists at Anderson (Amin, Grignon, etc)

Mody -Past-President, American Society of Cytopathology

    • Winner of CAP Lifetime Achievement Award, 2009
  • Cagle -Past-President, Pulmonary Pathology Society
    • Member, International Mesothelioma Panel
    • Editor-in-Chief, Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • Schwartz -Committee Member, College of American Pathologists
    • Committee Member, American Society of Cytopathology
    • Well known and respected, with many publications
    • Nationally recognized speaker
    • Winner of 2009 CAP Spotlight Service Award (to recognize a pathologist who routinely goes above and beyond for patient care)
  • Chevez-Barrios -Director, American Association of Ophthalmic Pathologists
  • Powell -Chair, Pathology Residency Review Committee (ACGME)
    • Chair Elect, PRODS Council (Pathology Program Directors)
    • Chair, Program Directors in Neuropathology of AANP
    • Member, Neuropathology, Graduate Medical Education and Curriculum Committees, College of American Pathologists
    • Member, American Association of Neuropathologists (AANP), Executive Council

21 (of 34 total) Faculty: Editorial board members, Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

22 of our current faculty worked at Methodist (as Baylor faculty) when our hospital was affiliated with Baylor. Since the affiliation ended, we have acquired 10 new faculty members, 4 of whom either trained at or worked for Baylor previously.

These current Methodist faculty previously directed residency training at Baylor:Edit

  • Schwartz - Director, Surgical Pathology, Baylor

Residency Program Director, Baylor

  • Powell - Residency Program Director, Baylor
  • Mody - Director, Cytology, Baylor
  • Chang - Director, Hematopathology, Baylor
  • Chevez-Barrios - Associate Residency Program Director, Baylor
  • Bernard - Associate Residency Program Director, Baylor

Methodist faculty have trained, worked, or taught at the following institutions:Edit

Baylor, Case Western, Columbia University, Dartmouth, Duke, Georgetown, MD Anderson, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, New York University, Penn State, Stanford, St. Jude’s, Tulane, UCSF, U of Florida, U of New Mexico, U of Pennsylvania, U of Pittsburgh, U of Rochester, U of Utah, Washington University (St. Louis), World Health Organization, Yale.

Faculty are friendly, approachable, and available(ie – benign)!Edit

Open door policy with ALL faculty.

They truly are here because they love to train residents.



Excellent Benefits:Edit

  • ~$51k/yr for PGY-1 (2013-2014, Highest salary out of all pathology residency programs in Texas. Salaries are adjusted annually to reflect cost of living increase. Also, there is a $1500-$2000 salary increase by PGY level.)
  • free health insurance for resident [including free lab work and radiology and or very cheap surgery or inpatient stays at Methodist] [can add spouse/kids to plan for reasonable price]
  • free lunch most days at noon conference
  • 3 wks paid time off 1st yr and 4 wks off/yr after that [PLUS, one week off per year around Christmas, PLUS 7-8 other national holidays] [you get paid for any unused PTO hours (up to a max of 21 days of PTO) at the end of residency training]
  • 403b retirement plan with Fidelity [50% match by Methodist, up to 2% of your salary. e.g.- if you put in 4% (~$66/paycheck) they will match with 2% (~$33/paycheck), excellent choice of nearly 100 different mutual funds to invest in]
  • $1000/yr book fund (but PGY-1 books are picked and provided by department, so book fund for 1st years consists of what is remaining after books purchased, around $150)
  • 2 lab coats provided
  • The GME office will pay for any national meeting if you are there presenting research [may room w/ other resident to prolong stay], up to 3 meetings per year (although they are not terribly strict about this and may allow additional meetings if you are really interested and get an abstract accepted) ($1600/yr for 1st-3rd years, $2000/yr 4th year)
  • The department will provide each resident with a fund for attending national meetings/educational courses/board review courses without the requirement of presenting ($1600/yr for 2nd & 3rd year, $2000 for 4th yr, 1st years do not qualify though)
  • The department also provides a "senior trip" which is one week at the meeting/conference of your choice (will not pay for admission to a review course, but will pay travel/food, etc.)
  • 3 in-state meetings/yr paid for by department (Texas has multiple great in state pathology meetings every year, including the Texas Society of Pathologists, Texas Society of Pathologists Young Pathologists Section Retreat, UT Southwestern Annual Surgical Pathology Review, UTMB Galveston Annual Dermpath Review)
  • Essentially all local meetings in Houston are paid for by department (Houston Society of Clinical Pathologists monthly dinner meeting and annual Spring Symposium)
  • $6000 training bonus at completion of residency ($2000/yr, up to 3 yrs; this also applies to fellowships)


One of Methodist's biggest strengths in my mind is that each resident is responsible for dictating all their own cases (from grossing to micro to diagnosis). They then sit with faculty for signout. It lets you take ownership of your case and think how you would do it once you get out on your own.

Dr. Ro’s daily 2pm conference Edit

The crown jewel of our program (seriously, my favorite thing of all at Methodist). Dr. Ro gives an hour long interactive surgpath conference at the 18 head microscope every day. It is fantastic and very fun.

Residents perform many FNA’sEdit

5 PA’s (tremendous help when grossing)


Multiple fellowships offered at Methodist (Hemepath, SurgPath, Cytopath, Ophthalmologic Path, Neuropath, Blood Bank, Molecular Pathology, HLA/Transplant Pathology) (Pathology Imaging [first in nation] fellowship is in development now.)


Ability to work/attend lectures with both UTH and Baylor (and sometimes UTMB) residents and MD Anderson fellows

What happens to Methodist residents after graduation?Edit

2007Edit

  • Pediatric Pathology Fellow, Texas Children’s Hospital=> Faculty, Vanderbilt

2008Edit

  • Private Practice, Upstate New York (straight to private practice with no fellowship)
  • Surgical Pathology/Cytopathology Fellowships, Methodist
  • Dermpath Fellowship, M.D. Anderson=> Dermatopathology private practice, Houston
  • Molecular Pathology Fellow, Baylor=>Faculty, UCSF
  • Cytopath Fellowship, MD Anderson=>Faculty VAMC, Arizona
  • Cytopathology/Surgical Pathology Fellowships, Methodist=>Faculty, Methodist
  • Surgical Pathology Fellow, Methodist=> Private practice, Beaumont, TX

2009Edit

  • GI Path Fellowship, Brigham & Women’s Hospital (Harvard-affiliated)
  • Hematopathology Fellowship, Methodist
  • Molecular Pathology Fellowship, UPMC
  • Blood Bank Fellowship, Methodist

2010Edit

  • Cytopathology Fellowship, Methodist=> Dermatopathology Fellowship, UT Houston
  • Blood Bank and Surgical Pathology Fellowships, Methodist
  • Soft Tissue and Dermatopathology Fellowships, Emory
  • Surgical Pathology Fellowship, Methodist=> Faculty, Northwestern
  • Surgical Pathology/Cytopathology Fellowships, Methodist

2011Edit

  • Cytopathology Fellowship, Methodist
  • Surgical Pathology Fellowship, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • Surgical Pathology Fellowship, Methodist
  • Surgical Pathology Fellowship, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • Hematopathology Fellowship, Methodist



Common Concerns From Applicants:Edit

Methodist is a New Program

There are unknowns that need time to tell. e.g. - Board scores? Fellowship acceptance? Do TMH grads get jobs? Less institution name recognition? The answers will come in time, but for now:

  • Many pathology faculty at Methodist are nationally well-known (see list on page 1), and these faculty will provide letters of recommendation to future employers and fellowship directors. Also, due to their extensive current and previous experience, faculty members are often personally contacted by their friends and colleagues regarding employment and fellowship opportunities.
  • Baylor-trained pathologists will still often associate Methodist residents in a positive way with Baylor (I have personally experienced this!), because they remember the quality of training they received at Methodist while they were residents. As discussed above, many of the current Methodist faculty were also working here previously as Baylor faculty.
  • As for those from other institutions (i.e. – outside of Texas), Methodist is rapidly gaining national status as an outstanding hospital:
  • US News & World Report, America’s Best Hospitals, Honor Roll, 2009-2010: ranked in the top 20 hospitals in the nation!

America’s Best Hospitals- For the past several years we have ranked in the top 50 for multiple specialties (more than any other TX hospital), annually ranked in top 20 (urology, neuro/neurosurgery) for past 10 yrs.

  • Fortune, Best Companies To Work For, 2006-2010: In Top 10 for 3 years and in Top 20 for 1 year.
  • United States & Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP), 2007: Top 10 list by institution for most research abstracts submitted.
  • College of American Pathologists (CAP), 2009: Top institution for research abstracts submitted.
  • Texas Society of Pathologists (TSP), 2010: Top institution for research abstracts/posters submitted.
  • Methodist Research Institute: 400,000+ sq ft dedicated to research.


  • Personal networking often secures jobs, especially in the small field of pathology. Our faculty are involved in many national societies and have diverse personal connections. Endorsement from many of these pathologists can go a long way toward getting a job!

Misc Concerns (or "cons"):Edit

  • We get a lot of experience with frozens. Receiving the specimen, preparing it for frozen, and looking at the frozen with faculty. But we do not get to physically cut the frozen on the cryostat because the techs do that. We are supposed to use the cryostat in our "free time" in the frozen room to practice cutting, but on a busy frozen day that is a pipe dream. I think this is an issue because when we get out in practice we're gonna have to know how to do it. But as far as the rest of the process of frozen sections, we get PLENTY of experience.
  • Not enough prostate biopsies (Many programs nationwide have this problem, as prostate biopsies are often sent out to private labs. But, we have lots of prostatectomies, and Dr. Ro teaches plenty of GU path. Also, a study set is being constructed using previous prostate biopsies from our archives.) Update: Recently we have had an increase in the number of prostate biopsies sent to us, due to some newer urologists at our hospital.
  • Not enough dermpath exposure. (Our surgpath specimens include a modest amount of dermpath cases. Dermpath electives are routinely available at UT Houston with Dr. Rapini, and electives are also available at MD Anderson, Baylor, UTMB Galveston.) Update: After the residents raised this issue with the program director, our director arranged for more dermpath conferences. We now have 10-20 unknown dermpath cases to review for almost weekly dermpath conferences, two of which are taught by Dr. Sanchez (dermpath fellowship director from UTMB Galveston). The other two are taught by Dr. Colome, a private practice dermatopathologist. The way this complaint was handled was a great example of how seriously our program takes our concerns and how hard they work to make sure our educational needs are met.
  • No pediatric pathology at Methodist (Core rotation at UTH- Univ. Texas Houston for all residents. TCH- Texas Children’s Hospital elective rotation available for those with strong interest in pediatric pathology fellowships and pediatric pathology career. One of our residents rotated at TCH and later did a pedipath fellowship there.)
  • CP training perhaps not as strong as Baylor or UT Houston (We are working to develop stronger CP training, through the recruitment of new CP faculty, such as Dr. Monzon [Molecular Pathology, from U of Pittsburgh], Dr. Wang [ Clinical Chemistry, from UCSF], and Dr. Dilioglu [HLA, from St. Jude’s]. We rotate at UTH for several months of CP, also attend UTH CP conferences.)
  • No/few medical students (If you are interested in teaching histo or pathology, for example.) Update: As more med students have discovered our program, we are now having more med students rotate with us from other institutions.
  • Residents do not use billing (CPT) codes on a daily basis. This is easier for the residents but means that we get less exposure to billing related issues. (Pro or con, depending on your view.)
  • Smaller indigent population (may see fewer cases typical for that population than you would see at a large county hospital). However, we have outstanding variety and many rare/unique cases on routine basis.
  • Too many conferences? (2-3/day on average. Most are very good, but when you are busy, sometimes it can be a bit much. And you are required to be there on time, which for the most part is not a problem but I have been in the middle of a frozen or FNA and had to drop everything to go to conference. There's always someone to take over but it's not ideal since it would be easier if I could just finish it myself.)
  • No moonlighting (Since Methodist pays us more, they ask us not to moonlight so that we can focus on learning pathology).

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