Anatomical Pathology



Anatomical Pathology is that branch of medicine concerned with the study of the morphologic aspects of disease and includes subspecialties that may be oriented towards specific organ systems, (for example, gynecological pathology, dermatopathology, gastrointestinal pathology, cardiovascular pathology, respiratory pathology, musculoskeletal pathology, renal pathology, genito-urinary pathology, endocrine pathology, ophthalmic pathology, E.N.T. pathology, neuropathology), certain laboratory methods (for example, cytopathology, immunopathology, electron microscopy), or certain types of clinical cases (for example, pediatric pathology, forensic pathology).

General Objectives

On completion of the educational program, the graduate physician will be competent to function as a consultant Anatomical Pathologist. Residents must demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes relating to gender, culture and ethnicity pertinent to anatomical pathology. In addition, all residents must demonstrate an ability to incorporate gender, cultural and ethnic perspectives in research methodology, data presentation and analysis.

UBC Residency Training Program in Anatomical Pathology

The UBC Anatomical Pathology Residency Training Program offers a number of advantages, including a wealth of excellent case material, expert teaching staff and highly flexible electives that can be geared toward specific career goals. Medical students entering through the CaRMS Match are initially matched for “Laboratory Medicine”: if necessary, the resident’s final decision to pursue the Anatomical Pathology program can be deferred beyond the PGY-1 year. The 5-year training program includes a PGY-1 clinical year that is in keeping with the philosophy that “good pathologists are also good clinicians”. The PGY-2 through PGY-5 years consist of a mixture of mandatory and elective rotations (typically scheduled as 3-month blocks) that cumulatively provide a broad, well rounded experience in fulfilment of Royal College objectives. Historically, UBC has had amongst the highest successful pass rates at the Royal College examinations of any Anatomical Pathology program in Canada, and trainees have gone on to highly satisfying and rewarding careers.

Subsequent Challenges and Opportunities

The practice of Anatomical Pathology mostly involves making microscopic diagnoses, oftenof serious diseases in which in-depth clinical and basic science knowledge is required. Collaboration with medical and surgical subspecialists is crucial, as the Pathologist’s diagnosis can profoundly determine the type and extent of subsequent patient treatment. With the exception of Forensic Pathology, performing autopsies is a minor component to most modern Anatomical Pathology practice. Salaries are comparable with those of other medical specialties. Given the “greying” Laboratory Medicine community in Canada, there are superb opportunities for residents to choose a career path that best fits their interests, abilities and lifestyle considerations, including options for part-time employment.

Contact Information

Program Director:
Dr. Brian Skinnider, LMCC, FRCPC
Department of Pathology,
Vancouver General Hospital
910 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

Program Administrative Contact:
Shelley Berkow
Post-Graduate Residency Program Manager
Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Program Assistant
3203-910 West 10th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9
Tel: (604) 875-4892
Fax: (604) 875-4988