Residency & Fellowship Programs: AP Rotations


Cytogenetics Laboratory Director:

Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory Co-Director:

Cytogenetics Laboratory Location:

Recommended Rotation Length:

Goals and Objectives

Most residents do a single rotation in Neuropathology for 1 month; these goals & objectives apply to the rotation, independent of post-graduate year of training.

Diagnostic and patient care activities:

  1. To become familiar with processing central and peripheral nervous system and muscle tissues:
    • proper triaging of the tissue for routine histopathology, immunophenotyping, and molecular genetic analysis;
    • understanding the importance of tissue also as a key resource for investigational studies and for evaluating the efficacy of future treatment modalities.
    • demonstrating knowledge of basic anatomy of the developing and adult brain and spinal cord, including gross description of the normal brain, knowledge of routine sections to be taken for gross and microscopic examination of the brain and spinal cord.
    • demonstrating knowledge of the common special stains used in neuropathology, including silver stains and myelin stains, and of their interpretation
    • understanding basic immunostaining profiles of neurological disorders
    • demonstrating diagnostic knowledge of the common brain tumors
    • demonstrating basic knowledge of basic muscle pathology and common enzyme histochemical stains used in muscle biopsy interpretation
    • demonstrating basic understanding of common neurodegenerative diseases
    • demonstrating basic understanding of common demyelinating diseases, developmental disorders, and infections that affect the central and peripheral nervous systems. 
  2. To coordinate all the pathological information in reaching a final diagnostic conclusion. This includes:
    • developing skills in correlating gross, microscopic, immunophenotypic and molecular genetic findings;
    • evaluating all of these pathologic findings in the context of clinical neurology, neuroradiographic, and other laboratory findings

Interpersonal and communication skills:

To learn to function as a laboratory consultant to the clinical colleagues, including:

  1. communicating accurately and succinctly the results of the pathologic evaluation and the diagnostic conclusions;
  2. discussing additional or alternative biopsy procedures and their role in reaching a diagnosis;
  3. developing the skills of presenting the results to the clinicians at a clinicopathologic conference.

Medical knowledge and its application:

To establish a habit of collecting and studying relevant literature in neuropathology, neurology, neuroradiology, neurosurgery, and basic neuroscience and to evaluate published material critically. This includes using technology to manage information, support own education and facilitate the learning of students and other health care professionals.

Systems-based practice:

  1. To develop an understanding of the organization and function of the different technical sections of the laboratory, and to practice cost-effective laboratory utilization and resource allocation that does not compromise quality care. This also includes an understanding of how neuropathology services and other professional practices affect other health care professionals and organizations.
  2. To understand quality assurance and quality control issues relevant to clinical neuropathology practice. These include:
    • using and understanding appropriate controls for tests;
    • initiating and maintaining stringent quality control measures in all aspects of neuropathology
    • making sure instruments and technologists are consistent through effective quality control procedures.


To develop the habits leading to excellence in professional performance, including:

  1. perfect attendance to all Divisional activities;
  2. reliability in each assigned duty;
  3. completeness of the work-up of each case;
  4. dedication to patient’s care;
  5. maintaining correct and cordial relationships with laboratory and clerical personnel, with attendings and with other fellows and residents.

Practice-based learning and improvement:

To locate, appraise and assimilate evidence from scientific studies related to neuropathology cases and to obtain and use information from the neuropathology division experience and the larger population from which specimens and cases are drawn.


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