Dermatopathology Fellowship Training Program
University Hospital/University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Curriculum for Dermatopathology Fellowship Training
The Dermatopathology Fellowship Training Program is an ACGME accredited
one-year program. The program is directly sponsored by the Department of
Policy on Admissions
The dermatopathology training program adheres to the guidelines established by
the office of Graduate Medical Education at the University Hospital/University of
Cincinnati College of Medicine and the departments of Pathology and Dermatology.
Applications are accepted from persons who have successfully completed an ACGME-
accredited residency in Dermatology.
Introduction (General Comments)
The fellowship program is predicated on the premise that the fellow is an
independent, self-motivated graduate medical trainee. A wide range of practical
experiences, conferences, and didactic sessions are offered and may be tailored to the
unique academic interests of the trainee. Contributions to the literature are expected
The fellowship program is designed to offer training in diagnostic
dermatopathology with additional opportunities to conduct clinical research in
dermatopathology. It is expected that the program will adequately train the fellow to
successfully practice in an academic or private practice environment. Applicants are
required to have successfully completed an ACGME-accredited residency in
dermatology. Training in surgical pathology is required for certification in
dermatopathology. For dermatology-trained residents, the general structure of the
program is to spend seven months in full-time dermatopathology training and attend
daily dermatopathology sign outs throughout the year. Four months of the training
program are spent in various surgical pathology subspecialties’ sign outs, along with
participation in any associated surgical pathology didactic conferences and autopsies
relevant to dermatopathology. There is also a one month rotation in lab management.
Additionally, two half days per week are reserved for research and clinically related
endeavors. (See Appendix A: Sample Block Rotation Schedule for the
Rotations (The detailed curriculum is included in the Goals & Objectives documents for each
The fellow shall acquire mastery of the gross pathology of cutaneous biopsies. The
fellow will read 5 days a week under the direct supervision of the attending faculty and
will be expected to sign out at least 5,000 new accessions during the fellowship year.
The fellow is expected to learn how to dictate cases using clear and precise language and
to provide the clinician with the appropriate clinicopathologic correlations. The fellow
will become knowledgeable in the areas of histochemistry as applied to diagnostic
dermatopathology and be expected to appropriately use special stains.
The dermatopathology curriculum consists of both instructional learning and
independent study. An outline of the curriculum follows with some brief descriptions.
Daily Pre-Reading of Slides: The fellow reads the slides independently,
making note of description and impression and any questions or uncertainties about any
of the slides.
Daily Sign Outs with Faculty and Brief Discussions on Selected
Topics: The attending faculty and the fellow together go over every slide that the fellow
has previously read on that day. Further testing/reading is assigned and/or in-depth
discussion occurs as appropriate.
Monthly Mentor's Session: The fellow studies an assigned topic in advance,
which is then discussed in a separate teaching session with the attending faculty.
Unknown Sessions: Unknown cases are given to the fellow for independent
study, then the attending faculty and fellow meet together to go over the cases. This
helps to identify any weaknesses of the fellow and areas for further study.
Independent Study: The fellow is expected to read independently (a list of
specific topics and available/recommended textbooks is included in the rotation-specific
Case Logs: The fellow is expected to keep a log of interesting cases.
Microscopy: The fellow is expected to become familiar with microscopy and
the physics of the microscope.
Dermatopathology Research/Scholarly Activity: The fellow will conduct
dermatopathology research and/or other scholarly activity that is expected to result in at
least 2 articles. Failure to do so may delay completion of the fellowship until 2 articles
are at least provisionally accepted.
The fellow will teach dermatology and pathology residents on the
dermatopathology rotation during their daily pre-reading sessions, and will give
unknown case sessions and dermatopathology conferences to dermatology residents.
The fellow is encouraged to submit an abstract for and/or attend the annual
meeting of the American Society of Dermatopathology and/or the annual meeting of the
International Society of Dermatopathology.
The fellow shall learn the basics of immunopathology sample preparation and read
all submitted immunopathology specimens.
The fellow will have opportunity to learn the principles and practice of laboratory
management through both the Dermatopathology Laboratory and the Department of
The fellow will participate in interpretations of diagnostically complex cases and
review those cases with special relevance to dermatology including but not limited to
soft tissue tumors, pigmented lesions, and lymphoma. The fellow will participate in the
review of all new cases with a suspected diagnosis of cancer. The fellow will attend all
required surgical pathology conferences
Autopsy: The fellow is expected to participate in autopsies appropriate to
dermatopathology. The fellow is notified throughout the year when such autopsies are
Supervision and Duty Hours
Supervision: The fellow is supervised by attending faculty daily during
signouts, both in dermatopathology and in surgical pathology.
Duty Hours: The fellow is expected to be on duty in dermatopathology or
surgical pathology from 8:00 a.m. (or 7:30 a.m. for certain conferences) until 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday. The fellow does not take any call.
The fellow receives two (2) weeks of vacation time during the one year fellowship.
Recommendation to sit for the Board certification examination requires successful
completion of at least 11 months and 1 week of fellowship training (leaving 2 weeks for
vacation and, if necessary, an extra week for time away for conferences or sick time).
Requests for vacation time should be submitted to and approved by the program
Evaluation of Fellow: The fellow will receive three written evaluations per
year by the Dermatopathology faculty. These will be discussed with the Program
Director and constructive guidance will be provided. The fellow will be given a chance
to respond to the evaluation forms. Evaluation will cover and follow the ACGME core
competencies. The fellow is also evaluated on the surgical pathology rotation by the
surgical pathology director and or other surgical pathology attending faculty with whom
the fellow works. Additionally, the fellow receives daily monitoring and feedback on a
consistent basis. At successful completion of training, the fellow shall be eligible to sit
for the Board certification examination.
360° Evaluation of Fellow: The fellow is evaluated annually by the
dermatopathology laboratory and office staff and dermatology residents.
Evaluation of Program: The fellow will complete an annual evaluation of the
program and faculty in accordance with ACGME requirements.
Policy On Dismissal
No fellow shall be dismissed from the program without written notice of
deficiencies, suggested behavioral modifications and appropriate time for rectifying the
problems. Supervision of remediation will be monitored internally by the program
director and externally by the Office of Graduate Medical Education. If, after all
appropriate preliminary steps have been taken and documented, there is no
improvement, the fellow will be terminated. The fellow is entitled to due process as
outlined in the GME Agreement that each fellow signs upon acceptance into the
Sample Block Rotation Schedule for Dermatopathology
MONTH Rotation Department
July Dermatopathology Dermatology
August Dermatopathology Dermatology
September Surgical Pathology* Pathology
October Surgical Pathology* Pathology
November Surgical Pathology* Pathology
December Surgical Pathology* Pathology
January Dermatopathology Dermatology
February Dermatopathology Dermatology
March Dermatopathology Dermatology
April Lab Management Pathology/Dermatopathology
May Dermatopathology Dermatology
June Dermatopathology Dermatology
*Surgical Pathology months are on a 3-day rotation:
Day 1: Surg Path gross/frozen cut-in
Day 2: Surg Path specimen review/signout
Day 3: Surg Path Biopsy review/signout
Autopsy: The dermatopathology fellow will be paged at any occasion in the year that
an autopsy with a disease of interest to dermatology is going to be performed.
The dermatopathology fellow will participate in daily dermatopathology reading
throughout the year, including when on rotations in the pathology department.
The dermatopathology fellow receives two (2) weeks of vacation time.