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Discipline of Laboratory Medicine

Anatomical Pathology Residency Program

Program Director:  Dr. Altaf Taher
Program Secretary:  Ms. Elaine Crocker
Barron, J. (Chair)
Taher, A. (Program Director)
Morris-Larkin, C.
Pirzada, A.
Ghosh, C.
Cook, D.
Kirby, S.
Zahariadis, G.
Avis, S.
Hough. C. (Administrative resident)
Mansoor. S.M. (Elected resident)
Program Contacts
Name:  Dr. Altaf Taher
Title:  Program Director
Tel: 709-777-2164
Fax: 709-777-6061
Name:  Amanda Mullett
Title:  Program Administrator
Tel: 709-777-8245
Address:  Anatomical Pathology
Health Sciences Centre, Rm 1539
300 Prince Philip Drive
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
A1B 3V6
Program Curriculum

This residency program is for 5 year(s)

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.


Memorial University of Newfoundland offers a five-year residency training program in anatomical pathology. The program is accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Responsibility and involvement in decision making increase throughout the five years of training, as skills and knowledge are applied to clinical problems and professional skills are further developed. The program is under the management of a residency program director and has a Pathology Residency Committee on which there is elected resident representation.

PGY 1 

1 block - Medical Oncology
1 block - Internal Medicine (GI)
1 block - General Internal Medicine
1 block - Pediatric Emergency
1 block - Urology
1 block - General Surgery
1 block - Gynecologic Oncology
2 blocks - Laboratory Medicine
1 block - Selective (Choice between dermatology, radiology, and adult emergency)
3 blocks - Electives


The first year after PGY1 provides residents entering the program with a range of experience including rotations to affiliated hospitals and initial instruction in the disciplines of laboratory medicine. Orientation to completing autopsies and grossing specimens occurs over the first one month.  Following this rotation, residents are assigned to rotations that further emphasize focused development of grossing skills but will not be limited to the following subspecialties for microscopy:
1 block - Introduction to Grossing and Autopsy
1 block - Gastrointestinal pathology 1
1 block - Gynecologic pathology 1
1 block - Dermatopathology 1
1 block - Head and Neck pathology 1
1 block - Genitourinary pathology 1
1 block - Breast pathology 1
1 block - Gastrointestinal pathology 2
1 block - Gynecologic pathology 2
1 block - Head and Neck pathology 2
1 block - Genitourinary Pathology 2
1 block - Breast pathology 2
1 block - Cytopathology


In the final three years, residents in the anatomical pathology program embark on a series of rotations in the subspecialties including pediatric pathology, cytology, neuropathology, molecular pathology and forensic pathology throughout the PGY 3 - 4 years.  There is a six-month elective period in the PGY 4 year, which may be spent in research or further anatomic pathology.
In the fifth year, experience as a hot seat resident in surgical pathology at each of the affiliated adult hospitals is combined with subspecialty experiences prior to eligibility for the Royal College specialty examination. A final month in cytology also occurs.
Rural Pathology Experience:  A one month rotation at a rural Newfoundland or New Brunswick site is available to those residents who wish to complete this experience.  The rotations are offered at James Paton Memorial Hospital (Gander), Western Memorial Hospital (Corner Brook), and Saint John, New Brunswick.  The duration is one month.  Accommodation is provided.  This is not a compulsory rotation, but is highly recommended.


A research project is required to be completed during the residency program. The active research usually takes place during the PGY 3 and PGY 4 years, but project ideas are encouraged within the latter part of PGY 2.  A residents' research presentation day takes place each year.  This involves collaboration with clinicians and/or basic scientists in various subspecialty areas of pathology.


Residents participate in the Academic Half Day in Pathology, a weekly series of teaching sessions held throughout the year. Residents are excused from service duties in order to attend these sessions. Numerous joint clinical and pathology teaching rounds take place in each of the affiliated hospitals. They include the following: medical-pathology rounds, surgical pathology rounds, lymphoma rounds, autopsy rounds, gross neuropathology rounds, hematopathology rounds, and multidisciplinary tumor board rounds (breast, GI, thoracic, urology, dermatology, etc.).  Residents are expected to attend all rounds and to present cases at autopsy rounds and medical-pathology rounds.

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